Definition of Golden Goal

Golden goal. The term is familiar, even if it is not universally used across all sports. It is usually the rule that helps settle tight matches that go into these periods of 'sudden death'.

What is the Golden Goal in sports?  When does it happen?  Illustration / drawing / definition.The name seems to date back as far as 1867, when football teams in England would use it as a tiebreaker in cup matches. Nowadays, professional association football has largely scrapped the rule in favour of penalty shootouts. However, some leagues, like the NCAA in America still use the golden goal rule before penalties.

The rule was abolished at the top end of association football because it did not actually end up with more attacking play, but rather the opposite. Teams that lost on a controversial goal (like the Czechs in the Euro 96 final) would be furious with the rule. The International Football Association Board (IFAB) announced that after Euro 2004, the rule would be removed from the laws of the game.

The term goes beyond association football. This form of tiebreaker can be seen in the NHL, where if a team scores in overtime before a penalty shootout it wins the game. Similarly, rugby has a 'golden point' rule, where after 80 minutes of a scoreless match, the first team to score any point wins the match. Field hockey and lacrosse are two other sports that use a version of the golden goal rule.

In association football outside of the NCAA, the golden goal rule is a thing of the past. Yet, the sudden death rule that it embodies still lives on in other sports around the world.