Playing overtime in sports

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Playing overtime in sports

The author is the political news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.

In the world of sports, overtime is played when the winner is not determined within the regularly allotted time. It is the cold rule of the game that there is no draw. Overtime is often played in tournaments in the World Cup or the Olympics. The method of the overtime differs depending on the type of sports and the time period.

An overtime game that Koreans remember vividly is the round of 16 match between Korea and Italy in the 2002 World Cup. After a 1-1 tie, Ahn Jung-hwan scored a dramatic header in overtime, and the game ended in Korea’s victory at 2-1. The golden goal rule defines that a goal scored in overtime ends the game.

FIFA introduced the golden goal rule in 1993 for a number of reasons. First of all, it can end the match quickly to save the players from physical exhaustion. FIFA also expected that each team would play aggressively to score that one extra goal. But players actually tend to be more defensive as they know the game will end if they conceded a goal. The golden goal was abolished following the 2006 World Cup.

Baseball has an overtime game rule called “automatic runner” in extra innings. A recent example was in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. If the winner is not determined by the end of the 10th inning, two runners will be placed on first and second base from the 11th inning. As two runners can be designated as the 2nd and 3rd batters, batting can start from the fourth batter. This increases the chance of ending the game quickly.

There is also overtime in martial arts events. In judo, when two players are tied, the round goes on until one side gets ippon or waza-ari to win, or gets three shido, or guidance, to lose. There is no time limit. In Korean ssireum, a 30-second overtime match is played when there is a draw. If the game does not end there, players are weighed on the spot, and the lighter player wins.

Analysts say that the upcoming local elections on June 1 is overtime for the presidential election. It is held only 20 days after the new administration is established. The last presidential election was a very close one, as the president was elected by a margin of just 0.7 percent.

I am concerned that the local election agenda is dominated by national political issues, such as stripping the prosecution of its investigation authority. It is hard to find the spirit of grassroots democracy. I hope candidates focus on the issues of their neighborhoods, as local elections are not an overtime play of the presidential election.
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