The IFAB released the actual language of the changes to the 2019 Laws of the Game.  Some of these are a bit befuddling and are going to roil instruction in all our various associations for the next several seasons.

NOTE: All changes come into force on June 1, 2019.  Competitions starting before that date may apply the changes from the start of their competition.

Some highlights:

  • DBs are now to  a single player with all players from both teams 4 meters away—if in the PA, the DB always goes to the GK
  • Cards to team officials—examples of warnings, cautions, send offs included
  • The ball hitting the ref will often be a DB
  • Winner of coin flip can choose to KO
  • GKs can no longer throw the ball into opponent’s goal
  • Not all handling needs to be deliberate
  • “Pass back” modification that if the GK tries unsuccessfully to clear the ball kicked/thrown in to him, can then use hands
  • On a cautionable/send-off foul, the ref can permit a quick restart and then later issue the card—but a quick restart on DOGSO downgrades it to a caution
  • IFK signal can be dropped once clear cannot score directly
  • GKs/FKs in PA in play as soon as kicked and clearly moved
  • If a defensive wall has three or more players, opponents must be a meter away.
  • On PK, GK must have at least one foot on line an cannot touch frame

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