As we reported on Wednesday, there are set to be a host of changes to the game ahead of the new season.

Some rules make great sense, like removing the triple punishment for ‘denying a clear goalscoring opportunity’ if it results in a penalty by issuing a yellow instead of a red, but some are just daft.

Here are all the rule changes as released by IFAB:

Law 01 – The Field of Play

  •  Artificial and natural surfaces may not be combined on the field
  •  Competitions may determine field size for their competitions (within Law)
  •  All commercial advertising on the ground must be at least 1m (1yd)

from boundary lines

  •  Logos/emblems of FAs, competitions etc… allowed on corner flags

(no advertising)

Law 02 – The Ball


Law 03 – The Players (new title)

  •  A match may not start/continue if a team has fewer than 7 players
  •  Substitutes may take a restart but must first step onto the field
  •  Clarifies situation when a player is sent off before/after kick-off
  •  Direct FK (or penalty) if a substitute/team official interferes with play
  •  If something/someone (other than a player) touches a ball as it goes into the goal the referee can award the goal if the touch had no impact on the defenders
  •  If a goal is scored with an extra person on the field and referee has restarted play the goal stands and match continues

Law 04 – The Players’ Equipment

  •  Any tape or other material on/covering socks must be same colour as the sock
  •  Player losing footwear/shinguard accidentally can play on until next stoppage
  •  Undershorts must be colour of shorts or hem; team must all wear same colour
  •  Electronic communication with substitutes is forbidden
  •  Player can return during play after changing/correcting equipment, once equipment has been checked (by referee, fourth official or AR) and referee signals

Law 05 – The Referee

  •  Decision can not be changed if play restarted or referee has left the field (HT+FT)
  •  If several offences occur at the same time the most serious is punished
  •  Referee can send a player off from pre-match pitch inspection onwards
  •  Referee can only use RC + YC after entering the field at start of the match
  •  Player injured by RC/YC foul can be quickly assessed/ treated and stay on field
  •  The equipment a referee can or may be allowed to use
  •  Diagrams of referee signals included (from Guidelines section)

Law 06 – The Other Match Officials (new title)

  •  More details about the duties of the assistants, AARs, fourth official
  •  Diagrams of assistant referee signals included (from Guidelines section)

Law 07 – The Duration of the Match

  •  More reasons for additional time (e.g. medical drinks breaks)

Law 08 – The Start and Restart of Play

  •  All restarts included (previously only kick-off and dropped ball)
  •  Ball must clearly move to be in play for all kicked restarts
  •  Ball can be kicked in any direction at kick-off (previously had to go forward)
  •  Referee can not ‘manufacture’ outcome of a dropped ball

Law 09 – The Ball in and out of Play

  •  If a ball rebounds off a match official it is in play unless it has wholly passed over a boundary line

Law 10 – Determining the Outcome of a Match (new title)

Kicks from the penalty mark:

  •  Referee will toss a coin to choose the goal (unless weather, safety, etc.)
  •  Player temporarily off the field (e.g. injured) at final whistle can take part
  •  Both teams must have same number of players before and during the kicks
  •  Clear statement of when a kick is over
  •  Kicks not delayed if player leaves the field; if not back in time kick is forfeited

Law 11 – Offside

  •  Halfway line ‘neutral’ for offside; player must be in opponents’ half
  •  Players’ arms not considered when judging offside position (including goalkeeper)
  •  Offside FK always taken where offence occurs (even in own half)
  •  Defender off the field only ‘active’ until defending team clear ball or play stops
  •  As above for attacker returning; before that re-entry point is the offside position

Law 12 – Fouls and Misconduct

  •  Foul with contact is a direct FK
  •  Advantage for a RC – indirect FK if offender then gets involved in play
  •  Change of wording for handball so that not every handball is a YC
  •  Some DOGSO offences in the penalty area are punished with a YC
  •  Attempted violent conduct is a RC, even if no contact
  •  Striking on head/face when not challenging an opponent is a RC (unless negligible)
  •  Offence against substitutes, team officials, match officials etc. is now a direct FK
  •  Foul off the field penalised with a direct FK on boundary line (penalty in own penalty area)

Law 13 – Free Kicks

  •  Difference between ‘stopping’ a FK and ‘intercepting’ the ball after FK taken

Law 14 –The Penalty Kick

  •  Indirect FK + YC if wrong player deliberately takes the penalty
  •  Indirect FK if ball kicked backwards
  •  If ‘illegal’ feinting occurs it is always an indirect FK (and YC)
  •  Goalkeeper YC if infringes and PK is retaken

Law 15 – The Throw-in

  •  New wording makes it clear that ball must be thrown with both hands

Law 16 – The Goal Kick

  •  If GK kicked into own goal it is a corner kick to opponents
  •  An opponent in the penalty area when the goal kick is taken can not play the ball first

Law 17 – The Corner Kick

  •  If CK kicked into own goal it is a corner kick to opponents

Full explanations of all the changes can be found in this PDF