NISL FIFA changes and clarifications 2016-2017

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A simple outline of the main FIFA changes /clarifications.


Law 01 – The Field of Play

  • Artificial and natural surfaces may not be combined on the field

  • Competitions may determine field size for their competitions (within Law)

  • All commercial advertising on the ground must be at least 1m (1yd) from boundary lines

  • Logos/emblems of FAs, competitions etc... allowed on corner flags (no advertising)


Law 02 – The Ball

  • None


Law 03 – The Players (new title)

  • A match may not start/continue if a team has fewer than 7 players

  • Substitutes may take a restart but must first step onto the field

  • Clarifies situation when a player is sent off before/after kick-off

  • Direct FK (or penalty) if a substitute/team official interferes with play

  • If something/someone (other than a player) touches a ball as it goes into the goal the referee can award the goal if the touch had no impact on the defenders

  • If a goal is scored with an extra person on the field and referee has restarted play the goal stands and match continues

  • Laws of the Game 2016/17 | Law changes 2016 / 17

  • Outline summary of Law changes


Law 04 – The Players’ Equipment

  • Any tape or other material on/covering socks must be same colour as the sock

  • Player losing footwear/shinguard accidentally can play on until next stoppage

  • Undershorts must be color of shorts or hem; team must all wear same color

  • Electronic communication with substitutes is forbidden

  • Player can return during play after changing/correcting equipment, once equipment has been checked (by referee, fourth official or AR) and referee signals


Law 05 – The Referee

  • Decision can not be changed if play restarted or referee has left the field (HT+FT)

  • If several offences occur at the same time the most serious is punished

  • Referee can send a player off from pre-match pitch inspection onwards

  • Referee can only use RC + YC after entering the field at start of the match

  • Player injured by RC/YC foul can be quickly assessed/ treated and stay on field

  • The equipment a referee can or may be allowed to use

  • Diagrams of referee signals included (from Guidelines section)


Law 06 – The Other Match Officials (new title)

  • More details about the duties of the assistants, AARs, fourth official

  • Diagrams of assistant referee signals included (from Guidelines section)


Law 07 – The Duration of the Match

  • More reasons for additional time (e.g. medical drinks breaks)


Law 08 – The Start and Restart of Play

  • All restarts included (previously only kick-off and dropped ball)

  • Ball must clearly move to be in play for all kicked restarts

  • Ball can be kicked in any direction at kick-off (previously had to go forward)

  • Referee can not ‘manufacture’ outcome of a dropped ball


Law 09 – The Ball in and out of Play

  • If a ball rebounds off a match official it is in play unless it has wholly passed over a boundary line


Law 10 – Determining the Outcome of a Match (new title)

Kicks from the penalty mark:

  • Referee will toss a coin to choose the goal (unless weather, safety, etc.)

  • Player temporarily off the field (e.g. injured) at final whistle can take part

  • Both teams must have same number of players before and during the kicks

  • Clear statement of when a kick is over

  • Kicks not delayed if player leaves the field; if not back in time kick is forfeited


Law 11 – Offside

  • Halfway line ‘neutral’ for offside; player must be in opponents’ half

  • Players’ arms not considered when judging offside position (including goalkeeper)

  • Offside FK always taken where offence occurs (even in own half)

  • Defender off the field only ‘active’ until defending team clear ball or play stops

  • As above for attacker returning; before that re-entry point is the offside position


Law 12 – Fouls and Misconduct

  • Foul with contact is a direct FK

  • Advantage for a RC – indirect FK if offender then gets involved in play

  • Change of wording for handball so that not every handball is a YC

  • Some DOGSO offences in the penalty area are punished with a YC

  • Attempted violent conduct is a RC, even if no contact

  • Striking on head/face when not challenging an opponent is a RC (unless negligible)

  • Offence against substitutes, team officials, match officials etc. is now a direct FK

  • Foul off the field penalized with a direct FK on boundary line (penalty in own penalty area)

  • Laws of the Game 2016/17 | Law changes 2016 / 17


Law 13 – Free Kicks

  • Difference between ‘stopping’ a FK and ‘intercepting’ the ball after FK taken


Law 14 –The Penalty Kick

  • Indirect FK + YC if wrong player deliberately takes the penalty

  • Indirect FK if ball kicked backwards

  • If ‘illegal’ feinting occurs it is always an indirect FK (and YC)

  • Goalkeeper YC if infringes and PK is retaken


Law 15 – The Throw-in

  • New wording makes it clear that ball must be thrown with both hands


Law 16 – The Goal Kick

  • If GK kicked into own goal it is a corner kick to opponents

  • An opponent in the penalty area when the goal kick is taken can not play the ball first


Law 17 – The Corner Kick

  • If CK kicked into own goal it is a corner kick to opponents

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