2019 Changes in the Laws of the Game

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Beginning August 1, 2019, changes to the FIFA Laws of the Game will be in effect. While some changes are less noticeable, some of the revisions are major changes. LSA along with our State Referee Committee (SRC) want all referees, coaches and parents to become familiar with these changes in the laws. Below is a brief explanation of some of the changes or you can see all of the changes in FIFA’s publication by clicking below.
 
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Free Kicks
The rule change now prohibits attacking players from being in the wall. Specifically, when there is a wall of three or more players attackers are not allowed within one yard of the wall. Any attacking player found to be less than one yard from the wall when a free kick is taken will be penalized and the other team will be rewarded with an indirect free kick.
 
Goal kicks
Previously, the ball was deemed 'dead' until it left the penalty area, but a new change means that the ball is in play as soon as it is touched and it can be played inside the 18-yard box.
 
Kick-off
The team that wins the coin toss has a choice of picking which half to attack or to take first kick-off.
 
Yellow & Red Cards for Coaches
In order to clamp down on difficult behavior from coaches who don't see eye to eye with the referee or their opposite number, officials will be able to show them yellow or red cards, in the same way they do with players.
 
Handball
The IFAB has attempted to provide more clarity on the handball offense for occasions when the offense is deemed to be 'non-deliberate'. Essentially, the changes will mean that there will be no goal in cases where the ball accidentally strikes a player's hand before crossing over the line. Similarly, if a player has accidentally handled the ball and created an advantage or subsequently scores, they will be penalized with a free kick.
 
Penalty Kicks
The goalkeeper must not be moving or touching the goalposts and must have at least part of one foot on or in the case of jumping, in line with the goal-line.
 
Drop Ball 
The dropped ball is no more. Well, at least not as we know it. If play is stopped inside the penalty area the ball will simply be dropped for the goalkeeper. If it is stopped outside the penalty area the ball will be dropped for a player from the team that last touched the ball. In all cases, players will have to be at least four and a half yards away.
 
 
 
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