I thought this was an interesting article: "Why Soccer Players Take Dives".

There is a rule against flopping in the NBA now but as evidenced in the ongoing World Cup games the use of deceptive practices by soccer players, despite the risk of penalty (yellow card), to influence referees and officials has evolved into an advanced art with strategic dimensions.

Many of the professional players, in fact, are so good at flopping that it is only through a close examination of replays that it is possible to determine whether there was sufficient contact to cause the trip and/or injury being acted out by the aggrieved player.

In some cases very close matches can hinge on the decisions made by referees to award penalty kicks. Teammates add to the drama by frantically arguing the merits of the referees' decisions and then whipping up their nationalistic supporters through various gesticulations into a frenzy of whistles (boos) and catcalls.

I was recently amused while walking past a Swedish elementary school playground to see a young kid apparently emulating the deceptive antics of an Iranian goalie shown on TV during a recent World Cup game. His performance was outstanding as he rolled around on the ground in feigned pain after unwittingly allowing a goal while reaching down to tie the laces on his shoes. The lesson of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" was perhaps temporarily forgotten.

A related article:

"Some scientists have proposed using machine vision algorithms to detect flopping, but soccer is a notoriously stodgy sport. Video replays were just approved for the first time in this year's World Cup, and even electronic goal detection remains controversial."





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