Laws of the Game - Changes for 2018

Outline summary of Law changes 2017/18

Herewith a simple outline of the main changes /clarifications.

ALL LAWS

· Replace ‘infringement/infringe’ etc. with ‘offence/offend’ etc.

LAW 1 – The FIELD OF PLAY

· Artificial turf may be used for the lines on a grass field if not dangerous

LAW 3 – The Players                                                         

· National FAs can allow a maximum of five substitutions (except at the top level)

· National FAs can now allow return substitutions in youth, veterans and disability football

· Clearer wording for the substitution procedure

· A substitution made at half-time without informing referee is not a caution (YC) offence

· Changing the goalkeeper at half-time without informing the referee is not a caution (YC)

· Player who enters the field of play without the referee’s permission (if it is required) and interferes is punished with a direct free kick (FK)

· Team scoring a goal with an extra person on the field is punished with a direct FK

LAW 4 – The Players’ Equipment

· Goalkeeper caps are not included in the list of restrictions on head covers

· Players are not permitted to wear/use any electronic or communication equipment, except electronic performance and tracking systems/EPTS); technical staff may only use communication equipment for safety/welfare issues

· All EPTS equipment must bear a minimum safety standard mark

LAW 5 – The Referee

· Important statement that decisions made by match officials must always be respected

· National FAs can allow temporary dismissals (sin bins) for some/all cautions (YC) in youth, veterans, disability and grassroots football (Guidelines for both systems will be published)

· A medical official guilty of a dismissible offence may stay/treat players if no other medical person is available for the team

·

LAW 7 – The duration of the match

· A short drinks break is permitted at half-time of extra time

LAW 8 – The Start and Restart of Play

· Kicker can stand in the opponents’ half at the kick-off

LAW 10 – DETERMINING THE OUTCOME OF A MATCH

· Extra time must be two equal periods, maximum 15 minutes each

Kicks from the penalty mark (KFPM)

· Corrected wording for goalkeeper who is unable to continue           

· Excluded player may replace a goalkeeper even if team has used all its permitted substitutes 

· Kicker may not play the ball a second time

· A goalkeeper who offends and the penalty has to be retaken must be cautioned (YC)

· If the kicker offends the kick is forfeited (recorded as ‘missed’)

· If the goalkeeper and kicker offend at the same time:

o retake and two cautions (YCs) if no goal is scored

o if a goal is scored the kicker is cautioned (YC) and kick recorded as ‘missed’

LAW 11 – offside

· An offside player can be penalised if the ball rebounds/deflects off a match official

· Addition of ‘attempts to’ to the definition of a ‘save’

· Offside guidance:

o player in offside position who impedes an opponent must be penalised

o player in offside position who is fouled before committing an offside offence – foul penalised

o player in offside position who is fouled when already committing an offside offence – offside penalised

LAW 12 – Fouls and Misconduct

· Verbal offences are punished with an indirect FK

· If an advantage is played for a sending-off (RC) and the player commits another offence, that offence is penalised

· A player ‘stopping a promising attack’ in the penalty area is not cautioned (YC) if the offence was an attempt to play the ball

· Addition to list of cautions (YCs) for a ‘denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity’ (DOGSO) offence in the penalty area which was an attempt to play the ball

· Caution (YC) for goal celebration which causes safety/ security issue

· If player moves diagonally to pass the last defender/goalkeeper this can still be a DOGSO

· Clearer DOGSO wording for a penalty area offence which is an attempt to play the ball

· Entering the field of play without permission and stopping a goal or DOGSO is a sending-off

· Off-field offence by/against a player involving opposing player/substitute/team official (or against a match official) is penalised by FK on the boundary line if the ball is in play

· Direct FK for throwing or kicking ball/object onto the field to interfere with play/someone

· Direct FK on boundary line for throwing or kicking ball/object at someone off the field

LAW 13 – Free Kicks

Attacker in or entering the penalty area before a defensive FK has left the area cannot play or challenge for the ball until it has been touched by another player

LAW 14 – The Penalty Kick

· Kicker must be clearly identified

· If the goalkeeper and kicker offend at the same time:

o retake and two cautions (YCs) if no goal is scored

o if a goal is scored the kicker is cautioned (YC) and kick recorded as ‘missed’ + indirect FK (see Law 10)

· Goal can be awarded after outside interference if the ball still goes in the goal

LAW 16 – The Goal Kick

· Attacker entering the penalty area cannot play or challenge for the ball until it is touched by another player

 

The following are the changes to the Laws of the Game for 2017/18. For each change the old wording (where appropriate) and the new/changed/additional wording are given, followed by an explanation for the change.

The text shown in the ‘old text’ boxes may be the exact previous text or a more general outline of the meaning of the previous text.

ALL LAWS

Offences and infringements

Many languages do not have different words for ‘offence’ and ‘infringement’, the difference is not clearly understood (even by English experts) and their use inconsistent e.g. a player can be an ‘offender’ but not an ‘infringer’. To make the Laws clearer and to assist translation, ‘offence’ and ‘offend’ replace ‘infringement’ and ‘infringe’.

LAW 1 – The field of play

Field markings

Additional text

The field of play must be rectangular and marked with continuous lines which must not be dangerous; artificial playing surface material may be used for the field markings on natural fields if it is not dangerous

Explanation

Artificial ‘turf’ (or similar) can be used for line markings on grass fields if it is not dangerous.

LAW 3 – The Players

2. Number of substitutions

Official competitions

Old text

A maximum of three substitutes may be used in any match played in an official competition organised under the auspices of FIFA, confederations or national football associations.

New text

The number of substitutes, up to a maximum of five, which may be used in any match played in an official competition will be determined by FIFA, the confederation or the national football association except for Men and Women competitions involving the 1st teams of clubs in the top division or senior ‘A’ international teams, where the maximum is three substitutes.

Explanation

FIFA, confederations and national football associations can allow up to a maximum of five substitutes in all competitions except at the highest level.

Return substitutions

Old text

· The use of return substitutions is only permitted in the lowest levels (grassroots/recreation) of football, subject to the agreement of the national football association.

New text

· The use of return substitutions is only permitted in youth, veterans, disability and grassroots football, subject to the agreement of the national football association, confederation or FIFA.

Explanation

The use of return substitutions, which are already allowed in grassroots football, has been extended to youth, veterans and disability football (subject to permission of the national FA).

Substitution procedure

Old text

· The substitution is completed when a substitute enters the field of play; from that moment the substitute becomes a player and the replaced player becomes a substituted player. Substitutes can take any restart provided they first enter the field of play.

New text

The substitution is completed when a substitute enters the field of play; from that moment, the replaced player becomes a substituted player and the substitute becomes a player and can take any restart.

Explanation

Clearer wording.

Substitution procedure

Additional text

If a substitution is made during the half-time interval or before extra time, the procedure must be completed before the match restarts. If the referee is not informed, the named substitute may continue to play, no disciplinary action is taken and the matter is reported to the appropriate authorities.

Explanation

Clarifies that a substitution made at these times without informing the referee is not a cautionable (YC) offence.

Offences and sanctions

Additional text

If a player changes places with the goalkeeper without the referee’s permission, the referee:

· allows play to continue

· cautions both players when the ball is next out of play but not if the change occurred during half-time (including extra time) or the period between the end of the match and the start of extra time and/or kicks from the penalty mark

Explanation

Clarifies that changing places with the goalkeeper at these times without the referee being informed is not a cautionable (YC) offence.  

Player outside the field of play

Old text

If, after leaving the field of play with the referee’s permission, a player re-enters without the referee’s permission, the referee must:

· stop play (not immediately if the player does not interfere with play or if the advantage can be applied)

· caution the player for entering the field of play without permission

· order the player to leave the field of play (if necessary)

If the referee stops play, it must be restarted:

· with an indirect free kick from the positon of the ball when play was stopped

· in accordance with Law 12 if the player infringes this Law

Additional and amended text

If a player who requires the referee’s permission to re-enter the field of play re-enters without the referee’s permission, the referee must:

· stop play (not immediately if the player does not interfere with play or a match official or if the advantage can be applied) (…)

· caution the player for entering the field of play without permission

· order the player to leave the field of play (if necessary)

If the referee stops play, it must be restarted:

· with a direct free kick from the position of the interference 

· with an indirect free kick from the position of the ball when play was stopped if there was no interference

· in accordance with Law 12 if the player infringes this Law

Explanation

· A player who re-enters the field of play without the referee’s permission (when required) and interferes with the game is now punished with a direct free kick (as for a substitute/team official)

· It is unnecessary to require the offending player to leave the field of play after the caution (YC).

Goal scored with an extra person on the field of play

Old text

If, after a goal is scored, the referee realises, before play restarts, an extra person was on the field of play when the goal was scored:

the referee must disallow the goal if the extra person was:

· a player, substitute, substituted player, sent off player or team official of the team that scored the goal (…)

Play is restarted with a goal kick, corner kick or dropped ball.

New Text

If, after a goal is scored, the referee realises, before play restarts, an extra person was on the field of play when the goal was scored:

the referee must disallow the goal if the extra person was:

· a player, substitute, substituted player, sent off player or team official of the team that scored the goal; play is restarted with a direct free kick from the position of the extra person (…)

Explanation

This makes the Law consistent with the 2016/17 change which penalises a substitute/team official who enters the field of play without permission with a direct free kick.

LAW 4 – The players’ EQUIPMENT

Other equipment - head covers

Additional text

Where head covers (excluding goalkeepers’ caps) are worn, they must: (…)

Explanation

Clarifies that goalkeepers’ caps are not included in the list of restrictions on head covers.

Other equipment - electronic communication

Old text

The use of any form of electronic communication between players (including substitutes/substituted and sent off players) and/or technical staff is not permitted.

New text

Players (including substitutes/substituted and sent off players) are not permitted to wear or use any form of electronic or communication equipment (except where EPTS is allowed). The use of any form of electronic communication by team officials is not permitted except where it directly relates to player welfare or safety.

Explanation

· The new wording makes it completely clear that apart from EPTS devices, players must not use or wear any form of electronic equipment or communication equipment (e.g. camera, microphone, earpiece etc.). This is to preserve the integrity of the game so that no one can communicate with players during the match, except the ‘transparent’ verbal tactical information from coaches.

· Player safety is very important so electronic communication is permitted for the safety and welfare of the players e.g. using a lapel microphone to ask for a stretcher, ambulance or using assessment equipment (e.g. iPad) for a head injury.

Other equipment - electronic performance and tracking systems (EPTS)

Additional text

Where wearable technology (WT) as part of electronic performance and tracking systems (EPTS) is used in matches played in an official competition organised under the auspices of 

FIFA, confederations or national football associations, the technology attached to the player’s equipment must bear the following mark:  

This mark indicates that it has been officially tested and meets the minimum safety requirements of the International Match Standard developed by FIFA and approved by The IFAB. The institutes conducting the tests are subject to the approval of FIFA. The transition period runs until 31 May 2018.

Explanation

It is important that any EPTS used by players is certified as having satisfied established minimum safety criteria. This requirement is compulsory as from 1 June 2017; systems already in use have a transition period for compliance which ends on 31 May 2018.

LAW 5 – The Referee

Decisions of the referee

Additional text

The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play, including whether or not a goal is scored and the result of the match, are final. The decisions of the referee, and all other match officials, must always be respected.

Explanation

It is a fundamental principle of football that match officials’ decisions must always be respected (even when they are incorrect).

Disciplinary action

Additional text

The referee (…)

· has the power to show yellow or red cards and, where competition rules permit, temporarily dismiss a player, from entering the field at the start of the match until after the match (…)

Explanation

National FAs may now allow temporary dismissals in youth, veterans, disability and grassroots football.

Disciplinary action

Additional text

The referee (…)

· takes action against team officials who fail to act in a responsible manner and may expel them from the field of play and its immediate surrounds; a medical team official who commits a dismissible offence may remain if the team has no other medical person available, and act if a player needs medical attention.

Explanation

A team’s medical person who should be dismissed from the technical area is allowed to remain and treat injured players if the team does not have another medical person available.

LAW 7 – The duration of the match

Half-time interval

Additional text

Players are entitled to an interval at half-time, not exceeding 15 minutes; a short drinks break is permitted at the interval of half-time in extra time.

Explanation

Consideration of players’ welfare means that it is sensible to allow the players a quick drinks break at the half-time interval in extra time; the break is not for coaching purposes.

LAW 8 – The Start and Restart of Play

The kick-off

Additional text

For every kick-off:

· all players, except the player taking the kick-off, must be in their own half of the field of play

(…)

· a goal may be scored directly against the opponents from the kick-off; if the ball directly enters the kicker’s goal, a corner kick is awarded to the opponents

Explanation

· The ‘new’ kick-off (ball played backwards) is popular but often the kicker has to step into the opponents’ half to take the kick; the new wording allows this.

· It is a corner kick to the opponents if the kick-off goes directly into the kicker’s own goal.

LAW 10 – DETERMINING THE OUTCOME OF A MATCH

Winning team

Additional text

When competition rules require a winning team after a drawn match or home-and-away tie, the only permitted procedures to determine the winning team are:

· away goals rule

· two equal periods of extra time not exceeding 15 minutes each

· kicks from the penalty mark

A combination of the above procedures may be used.

Explanation

Clarifies that there must be two equal periods of extra time of no more than 15 minutes each and that a combination of different methods to determine the winner is permitted.

Kicks from the Penalty Mark

Players eligible for kicks from the penalty mark (KFPM)

Old text

With the exception of a substitute for an injured goalkeeper, (…)

New text

· With the exception of a substitute for a goalkeeper who is unable to continue, (…)

Explanation

Wording changed to be the same as in another part of Law 10.

0

Players eligible for kicks from the penalty mark (KFPM)

Old text

· A goalkeeper who is unable to continue before or during the kicks and whose team has not used its maximum permitted number of substitutes, may be replaced by a named substitute, or a player excluded to equalise the number of players, but takes no further part and may not take a kick

New text

· A goalkeeper who is unable to continue before or during the kicks may be replaced by a player excluded to equalise the number of players or, if their team has not used its maximum permitted number of substitutes, a named substitute, but the replaced goalkeeper takes no further part and may not take a kick

Explanation

Clarifies that:

· a player who has been excluded to equalise the numbers can replace the goalkeeper even if the team has used all its substitutes

· a goalkeeper who is replaced has ended their involvement in the KFPM.

When a kick is completed 

Additional text

· The kick is completed when the ball stops moving, goes out of play or the referee stops play for any offence; the kicker may not play the ball a second time

Explanation

Clarifies that the kicker can not play the ball a second time.                                                   

Offence by the goalkeeper

Additional text

· If the goalkeeper commits an offence and, as a result, the kick is retaken, the goalkeeper must be cautioned. 

Explanation

Clarifies that a goalkeeper who offends and causes a retake must be cautioned (YC).  

Offence by the kicker

Additional text

· If the kicker is penalised for an offence committed after the referee has signalled for the kick to be taken, that kick is recorded as missed and the kicker is cautioned.

Explanation

Clarifies that if the kicker offends the kick is forfeited (recorded as ‘missed’) i.e. no retake.

Offence by the goalkeeper and kicker

Additional text

· If both the goalkeeper and kicker commit an offence at the same time:

o if the kick is missed or saved, the kick is retaken and both players cautioned

o if the kick is scored, the goal is disallowed, the kick is recorded as missed and the kicker cautioned

Explanation

Clarifies the outcome when both the goalkeeper and kicker offend at the same time, which is a rare situation as usually one will have offended first. There are different outcomes because:

· if the kick is missed/saved (because of the goalkeeper’s offence) both players have committed a cautionable (YC) offence so both are cautioned (YC) and the kick is retaken

· if the goal is scored, the goalkeeper has not committed a cautionable (YC) offence but as the kicker’s offence is cautionable (YC) it is ‘more serious’ (see Law 5) and is penalised.

LAW 11 – Offside

Offside position from rebound

Additional text

A player in an offside position at the moment the ball is played or touched by a team-mate is only penalised on becoming involved in active play by:

· gaining an advantage by playing the ball or interfering with an opponent when it has:

o rebounded or been deflected off the goalpost, crossbar, match official or an opponent

Explanation

Clarifies that if the ball rebounds or is deflected off a match official to a player who was in an offside position, that player can be penalised for an offside offence.                                                                             

Definition of ‘save’

Additional text

A ‘save’ is when a player stops, or attempts to stop, a ball which is going into or very close to their goal with any part of the body except the hands/arms (unless the goalkeeper within their penalty area).

Explanation

More accurate definition of a ‘save’.

Offside offence

Additional text

In situations where:

a player moving from, or standing in, an offside position is in the way of an opponent and interferes with the movement of the opponent towards the ball this is an offside offence if it 

· impacts on the ability of the opponent to play or challenge for the ball; if the player moves into the way of an opponent and impedes the opponent’s progress (e.g. blocks the opponent) the offence should be penalised under Law 12.

· a player in an offside position is moving towards the ball with the intention of playing the ball and is fouled before playing or attempting to play the ball, or challenging an opponent for the ball, the foul is penalised as it has occurred before the offside offence

· an offence is committed against a player in an offside position who is already playing or attempting to play the ball, or challenging an opponent for the ball, the offside offence is penalised as it has occurred before the foul challenge

Explanation

Clarification of situations where:

· a player in an offside position away from the ball commits an offence which impacts on the ability of the defender(s) to play or challenge for the ball

· an offence is committed against a player who is in an offside position.

LAW 12 – Fouls and Misconduct

Indirect free kicks

Additional text

An indirect free kick is awarded if a player:

· (…)

· is guilty of dissent, using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures or other verbal offences

· (…)

Explanation

Clarifies that verbal/gesture offences are punished with an indirect free kick even if there is a caution (YC) or sending-off (RC); some have wrongly interpreted the direct free kick for a ‘offences against a match official’ to include dissent etc. but it only applies to physical offences.      

Advantage after a red card

Additional text

Advantage should not be applied in situations involving serious foul play, violent conduct or a second cautionable offence unless there is a clear opportunity to score a goal. (…) if the player plays the ball or challenges/interferes with an opponent, the referee will stop play, send off the player and restart with an indirect free kick, unless the player committed a more serious offence.

Explanation

Clarifies that if a player commits a sending-off (RC) offence and the referee plays the advantage, if the player then commits another offence it should be penalised e.g. the player fouls an opponent.

Cautions for unsporting behaviour

Additional text

There are different circumstances when a player must be cautioned for unsporting behaviour, including if a player:

· commits a foul or handles the ball to interfere with or stop a promising attack except where the referee awards a penalty kick for an offence which was an attempt to play the ball

Explanation

Removal of a caution (YC) for stopping a promising attack when a penalty kick is awarded for an offence which was an attempt to play the ball is consistent with a caution (YC), not a sending-off (RC) if the referee awards a penalty kick for a DOGSO offence which is an attempt to play the ball..

Cautions for unsporting behaviour

Additional text

There are different circumstances when a player must be cautioned for unsporting behaviour, including if a player:

· denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by an offence which was an attempt to play the ball and the referee awards a penalty kick

Explanation

As a DOGSO offence in the penalty area involving an attempt to play the ball is now punished with a caution (YC) and not a sending-off (RC) this offence is added to the list of cautionable (YC) offences.

Celebration of a goal

Additional text

A player must be cautioned for:

· climbing onto a perimeter fence and/or approaching the spectators in a manner which causes safety and/or security issues

· gesturing or acting in a provocative, derisory or inflammatory way

Explanation

Any action which causes safety/security concerns, or is provocative etc. must be cautioned (YC).

Sending-off offences

Old text

A player, substitute or substituted player who commits any of the following offences is sent off:

· denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the opponents’ goal by an offence punishable by a free kick (unless as outlined below).

New text

A player, substitute or substituted player who commits any of the following offences is sent off:

· denying a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity to an opponent whose overall movement is towards the offender’s goal by an offence punishable by a free kick (unless as outlined below).

Explanation

· Clarifies that denying a goal by committing an offence is a sending-off (RC) offence.

· Use of ‘offender’ clarifies the text, which was potentially misleading/incorrect.

· Use of ‘overall movement’ clarifies that if, in the final stage, the attacker moves diagonally to go past a goalkeeper/defender an obvious goal-scoring opportunity can still exist.                  

Sending-off offences

Old text

Where a player commits an offence against an opponent within their own penalty area which denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity and the referee awards a penalty kick, the offender is cautioned unless:

· the offence is holding, pulling or pushing; or

· the offending player does not attempt to play the ball or there is no possibility for the player making the challenge to play the ball; or

· the offence is one which is punishable by a red card wherever it occurs on the field of play (e.g. serious foul play, violent conduct etc.)

New text

Where a player commits an offence against an opponent which denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity and the referee awards a penalty kick, the offender is cautioned if the offence was an attempt to play the ball; in all other circumstances (e.g. holding, pulling, pushing, no possibility to play the ball etc.) the offending player must be sent off.

Explanation

Clearer wording – no change in the Law or its application.

DOGSO by someone entering the field of play

Additional text

A player, sent off player, substitute or substituted player who enters the field of play without the required referee’s permission and interferes with play or an opponent and denies the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity is guilty of a sending-off offence.

Explanation

Clarifies that someone who enters the field of play without the referee’s permission (including when a player requires permission to return to the field e.g. after an injury) and prevents a goal, or denies an obvious goal-scoring opportunity, has committing a sending-off (RC) offence, even if no other offence is committed.

Restart of play after fouls and misconduct

Old text

If the ball is in play and a player commits an offence inside the field of play against:

· (…)

· a team-mate, substitute, substituted player, team official or match official – a direct free kick or penalty kick (…)

If the ball is in play and a player commits an offence outside the field of play:

· if the player is already off the field of play, play is restarted with a dropped ball

· if the player leaves the field of play to commit the offence, play is restarted with an indirect free kick from the position of the ball when play was stopped. However, if a player leaves the field of play as part of play and commits an offence against another player, play is restarted with a free kick taken on the boundary line nearest to where the offence occurred; for direct free kick offences, a penalty kick is awarded if this is within the offender’s penalty area.

New text

If the ball is in play and a player commits an offence inside the field of play:

· (…)

· a team-mate, substitute, substituted or sent off player, team official or match official – a direct free kick or penalty kick (…)

If, when the ball is in play:

· a player commits an offence against a match official or an opposing player, substitute, substituted or sent off player, or team official outside the field of play or

· a substitute, substituted or sent off player, or team official commits an offence against, or interferes with, an opposing player or match official outside the field of play,

play is restarted with a free kick on the boundary line nearest to where the offence/interference occurred; a penalty kick is awarded if this is a direct free kick offence within the offender’s penalty area.

Explanation

· It is a direct free kick if an offence is committed on the field of play against a sent-off player.

· A player who commits an offence against an opposing player/substitute/team official or match official off the field of play is penalised with a free kick on the boundary line e.g. a player strikes an opposing substitute/team official.

· A substitute/team official who commits an offence against an opposing player or match official off the field is penalised with a free kick on the boundary line e.g. a substitute strikes a player waiting to return after injury or trips a player who has temporarily left the field of play to chase the ball.

· This Law does not apply for offences between substitutes or team official - it is only for an offence by or against one of the players.

Throwing objects

Old text

Offences where an object (or the ball) is thrown

If, while the ball is in play, a player, substitute or substituted player throws an object (including the ball) at an opponent and or any other person the referee must stop play and if the offence was:

· reckless - caution the offender for unsporting behaviour

· using excessive force - send off the offender for violent conduct (…)

If a player standing on or off the field of play throws an object at an opponent, play is restarted with a direct free kick or penalty kick from the position where the object struck or would have struck the opponent.

Play is restarted with an indirect free kick if a:

· player standing inside the field of play throws an object at any person outside the field of play

· substitute or substituted player throws an object standing inside the field of play

New text

If a player standing on or off the field of play throws an object (including the ball) at an opposing player, substitute, substituted or sent off player, or team official, match official or the ball, play is restarted with a direct free kick from the position where the object stuck or would have struck the person or the ball.  If this position is off the field of play, the free kick is taken on the nearest point on the boundary line; a penalty kick is awarded if this is within the offender’s penalty area

If a substitute, substituted or sent off player, player temporarily off the field of play or team official throws or kicks an object onto the field of play and it interferes with play, an opponent or match official, play is restarted with a direct free kick (or penalty kick) where the object interfered with play or struck or would have struck the opponent, match official or the ball.

In all cases, the referee takes the appropriate disciplinary action:

· reckless - caution the offender for unsporting behaviour

· using excessive force - send off the offender for violent conduct

Explanation

· If a player throws an object at someone off the field of play the free kick is awarded on the boundary line nearest to where the object hit or would have hit the person; this will be a penalty kick if within the offender’s penalty area.

· The outcome/impact of throwing or kicking an object onto the field of play is the same as if the person committed the offence directly, so the punishment is the same.

LAW 13 – FREE KickS                                                                    

Attacking player in or entering the penalty area

Additional and amended text

If, when a free kick is taken quickly by the defending team from inside its penalty area, any opponents are inside the penalty area because they did not have time to leave, the referee allows play to continue.   If an opponent who is in the penalty area when the free kick is taken, or enters the penalty area before the ball is in play, touches or challenges for the ball before it has touched another player, the free kick is retaken.

Explanation

This change makes the requirements for a defensive free kick in the penalty area consistent with the requirements at a goal kick (Law 16).

LAW 14 – The Penalty Kick

Identifying the kicker

Old text

The player taking the penalty kick must be properly identified.

New text

The player taking the penalty kick must be clearly identified.

Explanation

Clearer text.

                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Additional time for a penalty kick

Additional text

Additional time is allowed for a penalty kick to be taken at the end of each half of the match and extra time. When additional time is allowed, the penalty kick is completed when, after the kick has been taken, the ball stops moving, goes out of play, is played by any player (including the kicker) other than the defending goalkeeper, or the referee stops play for an offence by the kicker or the kicker’s team. If a defending team player (including the goalkeeper) commits an offence and the penalty is missed/saved, the penalty is retaken.

Explanation

Clarifies when a penalty is completed when time has been extended for the penalty kick to be taken.

Offence by goalkeeper and kicker (see Law 10)

Additional text

· If both the goalkeeper and kicker commit an offence at the same time::

o if the kick is missed or saved, the kick is retaken and both players cautioned

o if the kick is scored, the goal is disallowed, the kicker is cautioned and play restarts with an indirect free kick to the defending team

Explanation

Clarifies the outcome when both the goalkeeper and kicker offend at the same time, which is rare as usually one will have clearly been the first to offend. There are different outcomes because:

· if the kick is missed/saved (because of the goalkeeper’s offence) both players have committed a cautionable (YC) offence

· if a goal is scored the goalkeeper has not committed a cautionable (YC) offence but as the kicker’s offence is cautionable (YC) it is ‘more serious’ (see Law 5) and is therefore penalised.

Interference with a penalty kick

Additional text

The ball is touched by an outside agent as it moves forward:

the kick is retaken unless the ball is going into the goal and the interference does not prevent the goalkeeper or a defending player playing the ball, in which case the goal is 

· awarded if the ball enters the goal (even if contact was made with the ball) unless the ball enters the opponents’ goal.

Explanation

Clarifies what should happen if there is interference with a ball going into the goal at a penalty kick.

LAW 16 – The GOAL Kick

Attacking player in or entering the penalty area

Additional text

If an opponent who is in the penalty area when the goal kick is taken, or enters the penalty area before the ball is in play, touches or challenges for the ball before it has touched another player, the goal kick is retaken.

Explanation

Clarifies the action to be taken if a player enters the penalty area before the ball is in play.

Practical Guidelines for Match Officials

Herewith the main changes.

Positioning, Movement and Teamwork

Kicks from the penalty mark

Additional text

(…) If there are AARs, they must be positioned at each intersection of the goal line and the goal area, to the right and left of the goal respectively, except where GLT is in use when only one AAR is required. AAR2 and AR1 should monitor the players in the centre circle and AR2 and the Fourth Official should monitor the technical areas.

Explanation

Only one AAR is needed (to monitor the goalkeeper’s movement) when GLT is used.

Penalty kick

Corrected text (and diagram)

Where there are AARs, the AAR must be positioned at the intersection of the goal line and the goal area (…)

Body language, Communication and Whistle

Assistant Referees

Corner kick/goal kick

Old text

When the ball wholly passes over the goal line near to the AR, a signal should be made with the right hand (better line of vision) to indicate whether it is a goal kick or a corner kick.

When the ball wholly passes over the goal line the AR must raise the flag to inform the referee that the ball is out of play and then if it is:

  • near to the AR - indicate whether it is a goal kick or a corner kick.
  • far from the AR - make eye contact and follow the referee’s decision. The AR may also make a direct signal if the decision is an obvious one.

New text

When the ball wholly passes over the goal line the AR raises the flag with the right hand (better line of vision) to inform the referee that the ball is out of play and then if it is:

  • near to the AR - indicate whether it is a goal kick or a corner kick
  • far from the AR - make eye contact and follow the referee’s decision

When the ball clearly passes over the goal line the AR does not need to raise the flag to indicate that the ball has left the field of play. If the goal kick or corner kick decision is obvious, it is not necessary to give a signal, especially when the referee gives a signal.

Explanation

The AR does not need to signal for a very clear goal kick or corner kick, especially if the referee has already signalled and/or the ball goes out of play on the opposite side of the goal from the AR.