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Law Revisions for 2018

The 2016/17 revision of the Laws of the Game was the biggest one in The IFAB’s history.
This year there is a ‘follow up’ and many of the changes for 2017/18 are clarifications

Main Changes

  1. Sending-off (RC) for DOGSO -   REDUCED TO -    Caution (YC) for (DOGSO), if attempt to play the ball in PA
  2. Caution (YC) for Stop a Promising Attack - REDUCED TO - No caution (YC) for (SPA), if attempt to play the ball in PA
  3. Penalising with a direct free kick a player who enters the field of play without the required referee’s permission and interferes with play, as is the case for a substitute/team official.

All Laws:

“Infringement / infringe” has been all replaced by “offence / offend”

Law 1 - Field of Play

Artificial playing surface material may be used for the field markings on natural fields if it is not dangerous.

 
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Law 3 - The Players

Player outside the field of play

If a player re-enters without the referee’s permission, the referee must:

  • stop play (not immediately if)
  • •caution the player for entering the field of play without permission
 

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
 

Procedure

If a substitution is made during the half-time interval or before extra time, the procedure must be completed before the match restarts.

 

Goalkeeper and player

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

Offences and sanctions

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 authority.

Offences and sanctions

  • allows play to continue
  • cautions both players when the ball is next out of play
  • but not if the change occurred during half-time

Law 4 - Player's Equipment

Electronic communication

  • Not permitted except where EPTS is allowed
  • Electronic communication by team officials only for welfare or safety.
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If electronic performance and tracking systems (EPTS) is used, it must bear the following mark:

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Other Equipment

Non-dangerous protective equipment, for example … is permitted as are goalkeepers’ caps and sports spectacles.


Law 5 - The Referee

The decisions of the referee, and all other match officials, must always be respected

A medical team official who commits a dismissible offence may remain if the team has no other medical person available


Law 7 - The Duration of the match

A short drinks break is permitted at the interval of half-time in extra time.   (for fluids not coaching)


Law 8 - The Start and Restart of Play

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

 
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Law 10 - Kicks from the penalty mark (clarification)

  • The kicker may not play the ball a second time
  • If the goalkeeper commits an offence and, as a result, the kick is retaken, the goalkeeper must be cautioned.
  • 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.

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

  • if the kick is missed or saved, the kick is retaken and both players cautioned
  • if the kick is scored, the goal is disallowed, the kick is recorded as missed and the kicker cautioned

Law 11 - Clarifications -

Definition of a Save

 

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.

 

In situations where 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

 

In situations where 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

 

Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct -

Stopping a Promissing Attack - Clarification
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
 

DOGSO - Clarification
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 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.

DOGSO  - 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.

DOGSO wording changes

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

Second YC Clarification -
(Where the referee has applied advantage clause on second YC) 
The referee must send off the player when the ball is next out of play but 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.

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

 

Sending-off offences

  • 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.

Law 13 - Free Kicks

  • If, when a free kick is taken 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.

Law 14 - The Penalty Kick - Clarification

Procedure

  • Additional time is allowed for a penalty kick to be taken and completed at the end of each half of the match or 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
  • a player of both teams offends the Laws of the Game, the kick is retaken unless a player commits a more serious offence (e.g. illegal feinting); if both the goalkeeper and kicker commit an offence at the same time:
    • if the kick is missed or saved, the kick is retaken and both players cautioned
    • 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

Law 16 Goal Kick

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.


Modifications to the Laws of the Game

  • For youth, veterans, disability and grassroots football:
    • size of the field of play
    • size, weight and material of the ball
    • width between the goalposts and height of the crossbar from the ground
    • duration of the two (equal) halves of the game (and two equal halves of extra time)
    • the use of return substitutes
    • the use of temporary dismissals (sin bins) for some/all cautions (YCs)

Interfering with an Opponent

In this Part 1 section we are going to look at the meaning of "challenging an opponent" for the ball.
In regards to an offside situation, three elements need to be present to meet the criteria for challenging an opponent

  1. Attempts to play
  2. Playing distance
  3. Action that has impact

A player is offside if he clearly attempts to play a ball which is close to him when this action impacts on an opponent.
 

Look at this example from Juventus vs Everton. 
Does the blue player in an offside position clearly attempt to play the ball?
Is the ball close to him?
Does his action impact, in this case, the opposing goalkeeper?

The answer to all three questions is "yes".
This is an offside offense.

 

View the following two situations and decide if they meet the conditions for "challenging an opponent"

Video 1:
 
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“interfering with an opponent” means preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent’s line of vision or challenging an opponent for the ball
— Law 11
 
 
Video 2:
 
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What if a player makes a clear attempt to avoid playing the ball?
FIFA's offside circular offers advice on this type of situation by adding
"...or making an obvious action which clearly impacts the ability of an opponent to play the ball".

Here is a situation where a player in an offside position makes not attempt at the ball, in fact, attempts to avoid playing the ball.  However, his obvious action of attempting to avoid the ball clearly impacts the defender and the goalkeeper.
This is an offside offense.
 

Watch the following clip. 
Does the obvious action of the offside player clearly impact the defender?

Video 3:
 
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A player is offside if he clearly attempts to play a ball which is close to him when this action impacts on an opponent or he makes an obvious action which clearly impacts the ability of an opponent to play the ball.

Players standing in an offside position during free kicks

In a recent FA Cup match Manchester United's Juan Mata scored a free kick goal versus Shrewsbury.  This goal should not have been allowed due to offside - interfering with an opponent. 

As you can see in the video,  three United players positioned themselves in an offside position directly in front of the keeper with the aim of blocking his view.  As Mata moves to take the free kick the trio attempt to get back onside but fail to do so.    The clear movement (obvious action) of the three players clearly impacts on the ability of, in this case, the goalkeeper, to play the ball.

    If an attacking player moves to an offside position for a clear tactical purpose, and then remains in an offside position when the ball is last touched/played by a team-mate, they run the risk of being penalized for interfering with an opponent.

Part of FIFA's definition of interfering with an opponent includes "clearly obstruct the line of vision of an opponent...making an obvious action which clearly impacts the ability of an opponent to play the ball." 
The word "impact" applies to an opponent’s ability (or potential) to play the ball and will
include situations where an opponent’s movement to play the ball is delayed, hindered or prevented by the offside player.

PRO offers the following guidance in this type of situation:
    Officiating crews should use preventive refereeing techniques when players take offside positions for tactical purposes on free kicks.   The assistant referee should inform the referee using the communication system that the players are in an offside position and the referee should inform those players that they will be called for offside if the free kick played directly towards the goal.  (examples include a shot on goal or a cross)
Players may choose to remain in an offside position and you still need to wait to see how the free kick is taken before a player may be penalized for offside.  If the offside positioned players move to an onside position before the ball is played by a team mate they would not be offside.