2019-2020 Law Changes

Dropped ball

Changes

  • A dropped ball no longer involves members from both teams.  The ball will be dropped for the team that last touched it when play was stopped.  To prevent a team gaining an unfair advantage, all players of both teams, except the recipient of the dropped ball, must be at least 4.5 yards away.
  • If the ball touches the referee (or other match official) and goes into the goal, team possession changes or a promising attack starts, a dropped ball is awarded.  It can be very unfair if a team gains an advantage or scores a goal because the ball has hit a match official, especially the referee.

Free Kicks

Changes

  • When there is a ‘wall’ of 3 or more defenders, the attackers are not allowed within 1 yard of the wall..
  • When the defending team takes ANY kick (including goal kicks) from within their own penalty area, the ball is in play once the kick is taken and no longer has to clear the penalty box to be played.  This only applies to leagues that do NOT have a build out line.

Goal Celebrations

Changes

  • A yellow card for illegal celebration (e.g. removing their shirt) remains even if the goal is disallowed.

Handball

Changes

  • Deliberate handball remains an offence
  • The following ‘handball’ situations, even if accidental, will be a free kick:
    • The ball goes into the goal after touching an attacker’s hand/arm.
    • A player gains control of the ball after touching their hand/arm and then scores or creates a goal scoring opportunity.
    • The ball touches a player’s arm/hand which has made their body unnaturally bigger.
    • The ball touches a player’s hand/arm when it is above their shoulder (unless the player deliberately played the ball which then touches their hand/arm)
    • The following will not usually be a free kick  unless they meet the previous criteria
    • The ball touches a player’s arm/hand directly from their own head/body/foot or the head/body/foot of another player who is close/near.
    • The ball touches a player’s hand/arm which is close to their body and has not made their body unnaturally bigger.
    • If a player is falling and the ball touches their arm/hand when it is between their body and the ground to support the body.
    • If the goalkeeper attempts to ‘clear’ the ball by kick or throw or deliberate kick from a teammate, but the clearance fails, the goalkeeper can then handle the ball.

Kick-Off

Changes

  • The team that wins the kickoff may now choose to take the kickoff or pick which end to defend in the first half

Penalty Kick

Changes

  • The team’s penalty taker can have treatment and then take the kick.
  • The goalkeeper cannot be touching the goalposts/crossbar/nets to prevent the goalposts/crossbar/nets from moving before the taking of the kick.
  • The goalkeeper must have at least a part of one foot on/inline with the goal line when the kick is taken and cannot stand behind the line.

Player’s Equipment

Changes

  • Multi colored/patterned undershirts are allowed if they are the same as the sleeve of the main shirt.
  • Manufacturers are now making undershirts whose sleeves are the same as the main shirt sleeve.  These should be allowed as they help match official’s decision making.

Quick restarts and Yellow/Red Cards

Changes

  • If the referee is about to issue a YC/RC, but the non offending team takes the free kick quickly and creates a goal scoring opportunity, the referee can delay the YC/RC until the next stoppage if the offending team was not distracted by the referee.

Substitutes

Changes

    • A player who is being substituted must leave the field by the nearest point on the touchline or goal line (unless otherwise directed by the referee).
    • This will not apply to all of NOKC’s in-house leagues, but only the highest levels of play.

Team Officials

Changes

  • A team official guilty of misconduct will be shown a Yellow card or Red card.  If the offender cannot be identified, the senior coach in the technical area will receive the card
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