Heading into the new season, there will be a new overtime procedure for high school girls’ soccer.
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association held its central committee meeting last Tuesday and Wednesday at the High Peaks Resort in Lake Placid. During the two-day meeting, several proposals were voted on that will impact various high school sports.
The meetings included representatives from all 11 state sections.
One of the major rule changes involved the procedure for overtime periods in girls’ soccer.
“I voted for the change,” said Hoosick Falls coach Tom Husser, who is the Section II girls’ soccer chairman and a member of the state girls’ soccer committee. “There’s going to be two thoughts on it. The boys used to have the same overtime rules as the girls before with two five-minute sudden-victory overtimes. Now the girls’ rules are the same as the boys’ rules again. I think we cleaned up the overtime process, actually. I’m glad for it.”
Representatives of the 11 sections approved a change to the overtime procedure in the regular season and postseason for the sport of girls’ soccer. Regular-season games will consist of two 40-minute halves with two 10-minute sudden-victory overtimes.
“I understand the vote was close at the state level,” said South Glens Falls coach Stephen Philo, who is the Foothills Council representative of the Section II girls’ soccer committee. “Any time there’s a change, it’s an adjustment for everyone. We’ll see how it goes.”
Beginning with section play and continuing through the state tournament, overtimes will consist of two 15-minute sudden-victory periods and, if still tied, penalty kicks. The only exception to this would be in the state championship game where co-champions may be declared after the two sudden-victory overtime periods.
“Personally, I don’t like it and I’m not sure what the rationale behind it was,” said Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville coach Zale Benton, who is the Western Athletic Conference representative on the Section II girls’ soccer committee. “Simply because, if someone scores in the first overtime, you would like to have extra time to get it back.”
Under the previous rules, a tie score after regulation was followed by two 10-minute overtimes, then two five-minute sudden-victory periods, then penalty kicks if necessary.
“The five-minute overtimes were tough. Now we have two 15-minute sudden-victory overtimes, and I think that will help keep the flow of the game going,” Philo said. “I think the sudden-victory format will also add more of a sense of urgency. You now have to get that one goal or you’re done. I don’t see this change as a big deal. I think it will be good and it keeps us uniform with the boys.”
The old format occasionally led to games that saw multiple goals scored in overtime, leading to some lopsided scores after few, if any goals, were scored in regulation.
“We’ve all been there at one point in time or another,” Philo said. “There have been some overtimes where there have been way too many goals in overtime because of the format.”
Changing the overtime process has been a source of debate for several years at the state level.
“There’s been a lot of discussion going on for several years on the topic,” Husser said. “I’ve been on the committee for 14 years and it’s come up every year.”
With the overtime change now made, Benton said that she hopes that the NYSPHSAA considers the differences between boys’ and girls’ sports going forward.
“The state is just pushing it so the girls’ sports are doing everything that the boys’ sports are doing,” Benton said. “I think there are a lot of very different situations between the various boys’ and girls’ sports that should be considered.”