The NHL first adapted the shootout to settle regular season games for the 2005-06 season.
At the time, many fans were complaining about the number of games that were ending in a tie, and they wanted a winner.
Since its inception there have been a total of 856 shootouts, which equates to approximately 13 percent of all games being decided by what is arguably a glorified skills competition. (All stats courtesy of NHLshootouts.com.)
For some NHL teams, the difference between making the playoffs and heading to the golf course early often hinges on their success in the shootout, which is a travesty.
Traditional hockey fans roll their eyes at the thought that their team could miss the playoffs based on their success in the shootout. For them, a tie was just fine, an indication that both teams played their hearts out, that both teams earned a point.
As exciting as the shootout can be for the winning side, I have always hated to see a game decided in this manner. Worse yet is when international competitions have used the shootout to decide championships, which is preposterous!
Overall, the idea of deciding a game via the shootout is a joke. Outside of soccer, what sport would resort to determining a game this way?
Football would never resort to deciding a game with a best-of-three field goals. You will never see a basketball game settled by a three-point shootout, and you’ll never see a golf tournament decided by a longest drive competition.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at ten alternatives to the shootout…the good, bad and the ugly of them…