Law Changes for 2019/20 Season

cwy21

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As some of you may know, I referee a lot of football in the US. There we're some pretty significant law changes made for the next season and I wanted to clarify those changes. Unfortunately, the football media has a habit of not doing the greatest job explaining law changes so I made this post. Feel free to ask me questions.

The actual text changes can be viewed here - http://static-3eb8.kxcdn.com/documents/791/171520_110319_IFAB_LoG_changes_and_clarifications.pdf


  • Substitutions – Previously the law allowed for a player to leave the field at any boundary. The latest change mandates a player leaves at the nearest boundary unless the referee allows the player to leave at the halfway line. We will have to see how this change applies at the professional level. You can imagine a situation where a Celtic player is subbed at Ibrox and has to walk around half of the pitch in front of Rangers fans and how this could lead to unforeseen issues. (Major Change....?)
  • Cards to managers – As experimented with in the Football League and League Cup, the referee will now now show managers and bench personnel yellow and red cards. In addition, if the referee or fourth official cannot identify the person which the misconduct on the bench came from, the most senior coach will receive the yellow or red card.
  • Allows an injured player to remain on the pitch and take a penalty kick.
  • Clarifies that ‘drinks’ stoppages due to hot/humid weather should be added onto the end of a half.
  • The coin toss will allow a team to take the kick off or defend a certain half of the field.
  • Dropped balls – All dropped balls will involve one player with all other players mandated to be at least four meters from the dropped ball. If a dropped ball is required AND play was stopped in the penalty area OR the last touch of the ball was in the penalty area then the ball must be dropped to the goalkeeper. In all other cases, the ball must be dropped to a player of the team that last touched the ball before play was stopped. For example, if play was stopped because a player was seriously injured, play will restart with a dropped ball to the team who last touched the ball when play was stopped. No longer will a team ‘play the ball back’ to the opposition. (Major Change)
  • If the ball hits the referee and it goes directly into the goal, OR leads to a ‘promising attack’, OR causes a change in possession then play is restarted with a dropped ball. (Major Change)
  • A goalkeeper cannot throw the ball into the opposing goal. Obviously very rare but more likely to happen at the indoor or small sided level.
  • Handling - This is a big change. While there is significant change to the wording of the handling law (the word ‘deliberate’ no longer exists), the referee in me must note that the changes made are to match up with how FIFA/UEFA have currently instructed referees to call handling. So, don’t expect the types of ‘handball’ calls to change. The law was re-written to match up with what’s already being called.
    • The key changes to the handling law are as followed:
      • You cannot score a goal from handling the ball, even if it’s accidental.
      • If the ball hits your hand and you gain control of the ball or create a scoring chance, then it is a ‘handball offence
      • If the ball hits your arm which is above shoulder level OR if their hand/arm has made their body ‘unnaturally bigger’, then it is usually a ‘handling offence’
      • It’s not usually an offence if the ball hits the arm when it’s close to the body OR it comes off of your foot/head/body and goes into your hand
    • The most important thing I can iterate from this change in the handling law is that it was written to match how top level referees had already been told to call the game. So when you see articles in August about changes to the law, make sure you realize that handling hasn't really changed how it will be called. Only the wording was changed to match how it was already being called in today's game.
  • Clarifies that a goalkeeper cannot be given a yellow or red card for handling the ball inside their penalty area. Only an indirect free kick can be given.
  • If the goalkeeper attempts to clear a ‘backpass’ but fails, they can then pick the ball up. As a referee, it’s unclear with the language what counts as a failed clearance. Hopefully further information is coming about his.
  • Allows the referee to delay showing a red or yellow card if the non-offending team takes a quick free kick and has a clear goal scoring opportunity. If the team committed a red card offence for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity and the quick free kick is allowed, the offending player will be cautioned when the ball next goes out of play.
  • A player must still be cautioned for an inappropriate goal celebration (removing the shirt, climbing into the stands, etc.) even if the goal is disallowed through VAR.
  • A list of yellow and red cards to coaching staff is included in the Laws of the Game. These are similar to the already existing standards which would lead to a manager being warned (yellow card) or removed (red card).
  • Clarifies that all verbal offences are restarted with an indirect free kick.
  • Clarifies that an offence against a teammate or own team’s official outside the field of play results in an indirect free kick.
  • Clarifies that kicking an object that isn’t a ball at an opposition player OR kicking an object including the ball at a substitute or bench personnel is a direct free kick offence.
  • If three or more players form a ‘wall’, all attacking players must remain at least 1 meter from the wall until the ball is put into play. If the attacking team is within 1m of the wall when the kick is taken, an indirect free kick will be awarded to the other team. (Major Change)
  • The goalkeeper must have one foot on the goal line at the moment a penalty kick is taken. Ref note – It’s to be seen if this is enforced any more strictly than the current law.
  • A goal kick or a defensive free kick is in play when it’s kick and moved. No longer must a goal kick leave the penalty area to be in play. (Major change)
 
Last edited:

Pellshek

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#3
If the word "deliberate" has been removed from the hand ball law, then what's the basis for giving a card for a handling offence?

My understanding is that the law at the moment distinguishes between a deliberate hand ball to, say, stop a goal, which is a red, and an accidental hand ball that stops a goal, which may be called a foul, but isn't a red. I don't think the current basis for the red in the former case is that it stopped a goal - after all, so did the accidental handball! - but rather that intent was deliberate.
 

cwy21

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Thread starter #4
If the word "deliberate" has been removed from the hand ball law, then what's the basis for giving a card for a handling offence?

My understanding is that the law at the moment distinguishes between a deliberate hand ball to, say, stop a goal, which is a red, and an accidental hand ball that stops a goal, which may be called a foul, but isn't a red. I don't think the current basis for the red in the former case is that it stopped a goal - after all, so did the accidental handball! - but rather than intent was deliberate.
The 'current' laws state that to be a foul it must be deliberate. Further more, a yellow card is given for 'stopping a promising attack' by deliberately handling the ball and a red card for denying a goal or obvious goal scoring opportunity by deliberately handing the ball (see the Colombia/Japan match in the World Cup or the Suarez incident in 2010). But, it has been clear that how referees have been instructed to call 'handball' has gone well beyond the dictionary definition of 'deliberate handball'. That's why the law has been changed to match up more with how FIFA/UEFA/IFAB have instructed referees to call it.

In the future, a handball offence that 'stops a promising attack' will still be a yellow and a handball offence that stops a goal or obvious goal scoring opportunity will be red. This changes in language are solely to match up with how the game was already being called. Hopefully that makes sense. I suspect it could be a problem going into next season.
 

Deggsy56

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#5
Nothing about shirt pulling or a player wrapping his arms round another in the box preventing him scoring then?? Oh that's ok then. Seems to be an acceptable offence these days.
 

tooey

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#6
Nothing about shirt pulling or a player wrapping his arms round another in the box preventing him scoring then?? Oh that's ok then. Seems to be an acceptable offence these days.
They're both already offenses so I'm unsure what they need to change? The fact that they aren't called seen/called by officials is something completely different.
 
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#7
‘Clarifies that a goalkeeper cannot be given a yellow or red card for handling the ball inside their penalty area. Only an indirect free kick can be given’

Isn’t this like saying a striker won’t be booked or sent off for scoring? I thought it might’ve been a mistake and supposed to read ‘outside the area’ but even then the punishment makes no sense.
 

cider spurs

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#8
Thanks for the article.

However, I find it a bit strange that you missed out...

  • When Mike-Dean is officiating any given Spurs match, a period of 5 minutes post match will be awarded to the Spurs players. This will be known as 'Wedgie Time', a 5 minute period for the players to try and pull Dean's shorts so far up his torso, his balls become earrings, and his buttocks nestle on his shoulders, thus allowing for all parties concerned to move on without the need for FA retrospective intervention. (major change)
 

dagraham

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#9
I think there are going to be a lot of penalties given for handball next season. Might even work in our favour seeing as we have a rock solid penalty taker. Kane will certainly be pleased.

I won’t be though as I think the refs interpretation often seems to differ to mine these days.
 

hellava_tough

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#10
‘Clarifies that a goalkeeper cannot be given a yellow or red card for handling the ball inside their penalty area. Only an indirect free kick can be given’

Isn’t this like saying a striker won’t be booked or sent off for scoring? I thought it might’ve been a mistake and supposed to read ‘outside the area’ but even then the punishment makes no sense.
Back-pass from a player on his team?
 

worcestersauce

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#12
I guess the substitution rule is to eradicate the long slow walk from the other side of the pitch, you watch make their way to the centre spotfrom now on though.

This is interesting,
If three or more players form a ‘wall’, all attacking players must remain at least 1 meter from the wall until the ball is put into play. If the attacking team is within 1m of the wall when the kick is taken, an indirect free kick will be awarded to the other team. (Major Change)

It makes the defensive wall out of bounds to the attacking team so no more joining the wall then leaning into it to create a hole.

Also,
Allows the referee to delay showing a red or yellow card if the non-offending team takes a quick free kick and has a clear goal scoring opportunity. If the team committed a red card offence for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity and the quick free kick is allowed, the offending player will be cautioned when the ball next goes out of play.

I can see this raising a few questions if the to be red carded player makes the clearance off the line.

Bloody interesting though, thanks for posting cwy21.
 

cwy21

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Thread starter #15
‘Clarifies that a goalkeeper cannot be given a yellow or red card for handling the ball inside their penalty area. Only an indirect free kick can be given’

Isn’t this like saying a striker won’t be booked or sent off for scoring? I thought it might’ve been a mistake and supposed to read ‘outside the area’ but even then the punishment makes no sense.
Sorry for the confusion. This relates to a backpass situation. Keepers could never be punished with a card when handling the ball inside their own area. For example, if a back pass is going into the goal and they make a diving save on the line, it's only an IDFK and not any sort of card.

OP - are these rules for the whole world, the USA and/or UEFA countries?
These are FIFA/IFABs changes. They'll go into effect starting with the Women's World Cup this summer and apply to all European leagues/competitions in the fall.
 

cwy21

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Thread starter #17
Since we're getting close to the new season and the Women' World Cup was without officiating controversy (/s), I figured I'd shamelessly bump this thread from March.
 
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#18
This season, particularly the first month or so, is going to be a complete nightmare with regards to VAR. There’s going to be lots of Man City CL ‘celebrate like mental for 3 minutes cos you thought you won only to find out it’s been disallowed’ moments. It’s gonna be shit.
 
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#19
While there is significant change to the wording of the handling law (the word ‘deliberate’ no longer exists)
This is not quite accurate. Under the changes, a "deliberate" handball is not the only handball offense. The rules now recognize that handball should be called in certain circumstances even when the contact is accidental.

Here is what the new rule states, though I have replaced the bullets for numbers for clarity:

***

"It is an offence if a player:

(1) deliberately touches the ball with their hand/arm, including moving the hand/arm towards the ball;​
(2) gains possession/control of the ball after it has touched their hand/arm and then:​
(a) scores in the opponents’ goal; or​
(b) creates a goal-scoring opportunity; or​
(3) scores in the opponents’ goal directly from their hand/arm, even if accidental, including by the goalkeeper."​

***
The rules then list various circumstances that "usually" are or are not an offense. I interpret this as meaning that there is a presumption that the handball is or is not deliberate in the given scenario (and thus is or is not an offense) though the specific circumstances may dictate otherwise.

***

It is usually an offence if a player:

(1) touches the ball with their hand/arm when:
(a) the hand/arm has made their body unnaturally bigger​
(b) the hand/arm is above/beyond their shoulder level (unless the player deliberately plays the ball which then touches their hand/arm)​

The above offences apply even if the ball touches a player’s hand/arm directly from the head or body (including the foot) of another player who is close.

Except for the above offences, it is not usually an offence if the ball touches a player’s hand/arm:

(1) directly from the player’s own head or body (including the foot)​
(2) directly from the head or body (including the foot) of another player who is close​
(3) if the hand/arm is close to the body and does not make the body unnaturally bigger​
(4) when a player falls and the hand/arm is between the body and the ground to support the body, but not extended laterally or vertically away from the body​

***
 

hellava_tough

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#20
So will there be two different interpretations of the 'handball' law?

One for the PL and one for the CL?

For the record, the CL handball law is an utter farce!!
 
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