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Summary of Changes to The Laws of The Game 2019-2020

1. The coin toss (Law 8)
• Team winning the toss now either:
• Chooses to take the kick-off, and opponent chooses the goal to attack; OR
• Chooses the goal to attack, and opponent kicks off.

2. Disciplinary action against team officials (Law 12)

• Team officials (e.g. coaches) may be:
• Warned
• Cautioned & shown the yellow card
• Sent off & shown the red card

3. Dropped ball (Law 8)

• Drop the ball to a SINGLE player in all cases
• IF, when play was stopped, the ball was INSIDE the penalty area or was LAST TOUCHED in the penalty area:
• Drop the ball to the goalkeeper
• OTHERWISE, drop the ball:
• TO ONE PLAYER of the team that last touched the ball
• AT THE POINT of the last touch by a player, outside agent, or match official
• IN ALL CASES, ALL OTHER PLAYERS (from both teams) must be at least 4.5 yards away

4. Ball hits a match official (Law 9)

• Drop the ball (in accordance with procedure in Law 8) if the ball touches a match official, stays on the field, and
• Goes into the goal, OR
• Team possession changes, OR
• A promising attack starts

5. Handling the ball (“handball offence”) (Law 12)

• It is an offence if a player:
• Deliberately touches the ball with their hand/arm (no change here);
• Gains possession/control of the ball after it has touched their hand/arm and then:
• Scores in the opponents’ goal;
• Creates a goal-scoring opportunity (SINCE RESCINDED!); or
• Scores in the opponents’ goal directly from their hand/arm, even if accidental, including by the goalkeeper

6. Goalkeeper handling changes (Laws 10 and 12)

• Restart if the goalkeeper throws the ball directly into the opponents’ goal: goal kick (Law 10)
• If the goalkeeper clearly kicks or attempts to kick the ball from a throw-in or deliberate kick from a team-mate but the ‘clearance’ fails, the goalkeeper then can handle the ball (Law 12)

7. No attackers in the wall (Law 13)

• IF three (or more) defenders form a wall for the taking of a free kick
• THEN all attackers must be at least 1 yard from the wall until the ball is in play
• RESTART FOR OFFENCE: Indirect free kick for the defending team

8. Penalty kick modifications (Law 14)

• The goalkeeper must keep ONE FOOT on or above the line until the ball is kicked
• The penalty kick taker, if assessed quickly for injury, does not have to leave & can take the kick (Law 5)

9. Defensive free kicks within a team’s own penalty area & goal kicks (Laws 13 and 16)

• The ball is in play when it is kicked and clearly moves
• The ball does NOT have to leave the penalty area to be in play
• Opponents STILL MUST remain outside the penalty area UNTIL the ball is in play

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