The New Rules For Soccer: What’s Changed?

9th September 2019
The modification of soccer regulations is a subject that always sparks controversy. How do you feel about these new soccer rules?

Did you know that the most popular sport in the world recently changed its rules? Some of those changes involve a significant alteration to the way that we play this sport. Therefore, it’s convenient to stay updated with the new rules for soccer. Keep reading to find out what they are!

The International Football Association Board, an organization in charge of all the regulatory issues regarding this sport, presented seven modifications. They’ve already informed the referees and the players about these changes.

In fact, most of these new rules already came into effect in international games. However, one of those changes is still in the experimentation stage.

If we add the increasing use of VAR (video assistant referee) to these new soccer rules, we can state that we’re entering a new era of this sport. Do you think the changes they’ve made are positive?

The seven new rules for soccer

1. A substituted player can now exit at the nearest point

In the past, any player that was sent-off had to exit the field at the same place where their replacement would enter the field. From now on, players can exit through the line that’s closer to their position. The purpose of this is to speed the game and avoid time losses to make the most out of the game.

Two soccer players during an international game that applied the new rules for soccer

2. The referee can now return the ball

If the ball bounces back on the referee and the team that wasn’t in control of the ball (until that point) takes over it, the game resumes with the referee bouncing the ball back so that the other team can recover it. If this were to happen inside the area, the throw would be for the goalkeeper, even if the attacking team was the one affected by the interference.

3. Goals that were shot using hands don’t count

Wasn’t this already a rule in soccer? Yes, but the new rules for soccer means that intent is no longer a factor that matters.

This means that if handling the ball with their hands or touching it accidentally ends up in a goal or a risky play, the referee must invalidate the action.

4. Goal kick, one of the new rules for soccer to speed up the game

We’ve always known that the soccer ball was not competitive until after a throw-in. As a matter of fact, if a team didn’t comply with this rule because they started to play right away, there wasn’t a penalty.

With the new rules for soccer, this action will no longer exist. From the moment that the goalkeeper makes a throw-in, the ball is already in play and the opposite team can take control over it.

5. Warnings for the bench players

This fifth rule involves the coaches and replacement players. All of the official members of a team’s line up can receive warnings now, and not just direct exclusions. This includes coaches and bench players. Any player that comes near the VAR revision area will also receive a punishment.

6. Attacking players in the wall

It’s common to see teams place an attacking player in the wall when they have to shoot free kicks. The purpose of this trick is to reduce the visibility of the goalkeeper and move the players from the alignment that he built.

Two soccer players fighting over the ball

From now on, attacking players won’t be able to stand less than 3 ft. away from the wall, as long as there are three or more players there.

7. Eliminating the rebound for penalties, one of the future new rules for soccer

Finally, we must mention that there’s another rule in the experimental stage, and it’s only effective in non-professional competitions. The game must stop after a failed or blocked penalty. In other words, in the future, goals that derive from a second action after a penalty kick may not count towards the game score.

These new rules for soccer certainly try to fix the flaws in the current regulations. Doing this will help to ensure a more agile game with fewer time losses, even if people don’t like them. The rivalry between new rules and tradition will always be around. The truth is that soccer has changed notably in the last few years and we must start to become used to it.

  • Trasmonte, Jorge. Cambios en el reglamento del fútbol. 10 de junio de 2019. Diario Olé. https://www.ole.com.ar/copa-america/brasil2019/reglas-futbol-copaamerica_0_UbIOSb80w.html
  • Las siete nuevas reglas que cambiarán el fútbol desde junio. 3 de marzo de 2019. La Nación. Disponible en: https://www.lanacion.com.ar/deportes/futbol/reglas-futbol-2019-international-board-nid2225204
  • Las 7 nuevas reglas aprobadas por la International Board que cambiarán el fútbol mundial. 2 de marzo de 2019. Infobae. https://www.infobae.com/america/deportes/futbol-europeo/2019/03/02/las-7-nuevas-reglas-aprobadas-por-la-international-board-que-cambiaran-el-futbol-mundial/