Are soccer dives a strategy?


Soccer players have been seen as quite the performers over the years. Viewers have described players as “overdramatic” in the way they fall down after being fouled. However, could these theatrical dives be considered a possible strategy?

Back in July, Ira Flatow from “NPR Science Fridays” sat down with FOX reporter and former soccer player, Umair Irfan, to discuss the scientific study of soccer dives.

A soccer dive, or a flop, is an attempt by a player to gain an unfair advantage by falling to the ground and possibly feigning an injury, to give the impression that a foul has been committed. The strategy is all about when and where players flop.

“I believe flopping is a strategy,”said varsity defender Adam Leeker (11). “I don’t flop often, but there is a time and place for it. Especially in dangerous positions where you don’t have anywhere to go with the ball.”

Studies show that players are most likely to flop when the score is tied, and they are on their opponent’s side of the field. This way they are able to possibly get a penalty kick which could lead to a goal. Soccer is the slowest scoring sport, so goals are valuable.

“It truly is a skill that is hard to master. It can be the difference between a win and a loss,” said Leeker. “It’s frustrating, but it’s apart of the game.”

Due to the excessive amount of dives by players, FIFA referees have begun reviewing more plays in order to see if the fall was legitimate or not.

“The only time it should be done, in my opinion, is maybe inside the 18 to try to get a PK,” said freshman defender Ben Beseda (9). “Other than that, it’s a waste of time, and is just really annoying.”

Flops have been seen since the beginning soccer. However, most people at OHS view them as unfair play and feel that something needs to be done.

“I think that if you flop and it’s obvious then you should get a card, or something like that,” said Coach Brad Oestreich.

Originally, the phrase “taking a dive” meant to cheat or give up. Therefore, soccer dives can be considered an unfair advantage, and even a false win.