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2020 FIFA Law Changes: How will these impact your next season?

04/01/2020, 9:45am EDT

All FIFA Law changes will go into effect in MASS when play resumes.  Please see summary below.

Outline Summary of Law Changes

Law 3: A player who is being substituted must leave the field at the nearest point on the boundary line, unless otherwise directed by the referee 

Law 4: Undershirts can be multi-colored/patterned if exactly the same as the sleeve of the main shirt 

Law 5

  • Referee cannot change a restart decision after play has restarted but, in certain circumstances, may issue a YC/RC for a previous incident 
  • If the referee leaves the field for a VAR review or to call players back to the field at the end of a half, a decision can still be changed 
  • Team officials guilty of misconduct can be shown a YC/RC; if an offender cannot be identified, the senior coach in the technical area receives the YC/RC 
  • If a penalty kick is awarded, the team’s penalty taker can receive assessment or treatment and then stay on the field and take the kick 

Law 7: Clarification of the difference between ‘cooling’ and ‘drinks’ breaks

Law 8: 

  • The team that wins the toss may choose to take the kick-off
  • Dropped ball – ball dropped for goalkeeper (if play stopped in penalty area) or for one player of team that last touched the ball at the location of the last touch; all other players (of both teams) must be at least 4m (4.5 yds) away

Law 9: Dropped ball if the ball touches the referee (or other match official) and goes into the goal, possession changes or an attacking move starts

Law 10: Goalkeeper cannot score by throwing the ball into the opponents’ goal

Law 12: 

  • Handball text re-written for greater clarity/consistency with clear guidelines for when ‘non-deliberate’ handball should (and should not) be penalized
  • Confirmation that an ‘illegal’ handball offence by a goalkeeper in their own penalty area is not sanctioned with a YC/RC
  • If, after a throw-in or deliberate pass from a team-mate, the goalkeeper unsuccessfully kicks or tries to kick the ball to release it into play, the goalkeeper can then handle the ball
  • Referee can delay issuing a YC/RC until the next stoppage if the non-offending team takes a quick free kick and creates a goal-scoring opportunity
  • The YC for an ‘illegal’ goal celebration remains even if the goal is disallowed
  • List of the warning/YC/RC offences for team officials
  • All verbal offences are punished with an IDFK
  • Kicking an object is punished in the same way as throwing an object

Law 13: 

  • Once an IDFK has been taken, the referee can stop showing the IDFK signal if it is clear that goal cannot be scored directly (e.g. from most offside IDFKs)
  • For defending team free kicks in their penalty area, the ball is in play once it is kicked and clearly moves; it does not have to leave the penalty area
  • When there is a defensive ‘wall’ of at least 3 players, all attacking team players must be at least 1m from the ‘wall’; IDFK if they encroach

Law 14: 

  • Goalposts, crossbar and nets must not be moving when a penalty is taken and the goalkeeper must not be touching them
  • Goalkeeper must have at least part of one foot on, or in line with, the goal line when a penalty kick is taken; cannot stand behind the line
  • If an offence occurs after the referee signals for a penalty kick to be taken but the kick is not taken, it must then be taken after any YC/RC is issued

Law 15: Opponents must be at least 2m from the point on the touchline where a throw-in is to be taken, even if the thrower is back from the line

Law 16: At goal kicks, the ball is in play once it is kicked and clearly moves; it does not have to leave the penalty area

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