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PAASL and Laws Of The Game changes

To all PAASL players,

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has changed a variety of Laws of the Game. Many of you watching the Women's World Cup or European Cup Qualifiers may have noticed some of these rule changes already. PAASL has scheduled Sunday, August 4, 2019 (8/4/19) as the date our referees will adopt these rule changes for PAASL games.

A quick summary of rule changes which should affect common PAASL play:


- Winner of coin toss can choose direction or possession.

- Only one player present at a drop ball. Other players must be 4.5 yards away. The dropped ball is to go to the last team in possession of the ball at the point the ball was last touched by anyone.

- Dropped ball in the penalty area goes to the defending goal keeper.

- A ball which hits the referee and impacts play will now be a dropped ball instead of a play on.

LAW 12

- Goal cannot be scored off an attacker's hand/arm, even if the handball occurs directly from the touch of another player who is close. Deliberate, incidental no longer applies.

- Usually a handball if the hand/arm has made the body bigger. Deliberate, incidental no longer applies.

- Usually a handball if the hand/arm is above/beyond the shoulder unless the player deliberately plays the ball which then touches their hand/arm.

- Usually NOT a handball if the ball comes from the player's own head, body or foot.

- Usually NOT a handball if the ball comes from the head/body/ foot of another player who is close.

- Usually NOT a handball when a player is falling and hand/arm is between the body and ground.

- After a throw-in or deliberate pass from a teammate, if the GK unsuccessfully kicks or attempts to kick the ball into play, the GK may then handle the ball

LAW 13

- Free kick by the defending team in their own penalty area is in play when the ball is kicked and moves. (The ball is no longer required to leave the penalty area to be considered in play.)

- When there is a defensive wall of 3 or more players, attackers must be at least 1 meter away from the wall.

LAW 14

- For a penalty kick, goal keeper must have at least part of one foot (instead of both feet) touching the goal line (or in line with the goal posts) when the ball is kicked.

LAW 16

- At a goal kick, the ball is in play once it is kicked and clearly moves. (The ball is no longer required to leave the penalty area to be considered in play.)

No changes to Laws 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, and 15.

Please note this is only a quick summary of most of the rule changes. This does not include ALL rule changes, as some do not apply to PAASL. For example, the rule changes provide that coaches and their staff can now receive yellow and red cards, which does not apply to PAASL. If you would like to read about the rest of the rule changes, or seek more information, the full text with edits and video clip examples can be found here:

Also please note the following guiding principles directly from IFAB.

- Players must respect all decisions made by the referee and other match officials

- Respect for the Laws of the Game and the match officials who apply the Laws is paramount to the fairness and image of football.

Many of these rule changes require subjective determination by the referees to apply and enforce. Please DO NOT argue with the referees, as you cannot be 100% certain your application of the laws of the game or the rules you think you know are commensurate with the application of these new rule changes. All of our referees have been retrained on these new rules and will have a better understanding of them than the players. Referees will also make mistakes during this transition period. Please be tolerant and understand that our referees make decisions in real time and make calls to the best of their ability for your enjoyment. Lets aim to stop player dissent and get on with play!

As always, we welcome your comments and questions. Don't forget about our referee feedback form, which is the best method for you to report gross misapplication of any rule changes. Thank you to all our players for your participation in PAASL. We look forward to seeing you on the pitch.

PAASL Board of Directors