IFAB Circular 7: Clarifying LOTG revisions

Still get some questions on the IFAB Circular 7. There was a big revision of the Laws of the Game before the 2016-2017 season, but not everything was clear yet. The IFAB has launched a document clarifying the LOTG revisions. I’ve linked to it, but not shared the whole text in a blog post yet.

You can download the copy from the IFAB website or read the most important changes below.

Logo IFABIFAB has written that future changes of the Laws of the Game will focus on “three important areas”:

  • Fairness and integrity
  • Universality and inclusion
  • The growth of technology

Unsporting behaviour

The ABM approved FIFA’s request to highlight two areas of unsporting behaviour which seem to be increasing: • At a goal kick, a defending player deliberately plays the ball before it has left the penalty area. • A player deliberately takes a throw-in so the ball does not enter the field of play. Often the player is deliberately attempting to waste time and knows that the throwin/goal kick will be retaken as the ball was not in play. Referees are asked to be vigilant and a player who deliberately attempts to waste time in these ways should be cautioned (yellow card, YC); due allowance must always be made for the time lost.

Clarifications to the Laws of the Game 2016/17

The IFAB has been asked to clarify, often for translation purposes, some parts of the Laws of the Game 2016/17. The wording for all these clarifications will form part of the proposals for the Laws of the Game 2017/18 which will be considered at the AGM. However, the ABM wishes to highlight the following important clarifications:

Law 5 – The Referee

If a team’s medical person is dismissed from the technical area, that person is still allowed to treat players if no another medical person is available.

Law 10 –Determining the outcome of a match

Kicks from the Penalty Mark

Offence by the kicker

If the kicker offends the kick is forfeited (recorded as ‘missed’).

Offence by goalkeeper and kicker

If both the goalkeeper and kicker offend: o if a goal is scored, the kicker is cautioned (YC) and the kick is recorded as ‘missed’. o if a goal is not scored, both players are cautioned and the kick is re-taken.

Law 12 – Fouls and misconduct

Indirect free kicks

Verbal/gesture offences are punished with an indirect free kick even if the player is cautioned (YC) or sent off (RC). The direct free kick for ‘offences against a match official’ is for direct physical offences (pushing, holding, striking etc.) and not verbal or gesture offences.

Sending-off offences

If, in the final stage of an attack, the attacker moves diagonally to go past a goalkeeper/defender an obvious goal-scoring opportunity still exists if the overall/general movement of the player was towards the opponent’s goal.

Denial of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by entering the field of play

Any player, substitute or team official who enters the field of play without the required referee’s permission and prevents a goal or denies an obvious goal-scoring opportunity must be sent off, even if no other offence is committed.

Law 14 – The penalty kick

Offence by goalkeeper and kicker

If both the goalkeeper and kicker offend:

  • if a goal is scored, the kicker is cautioned (YC) and play is restarted with an indirect free kick to the defending team from the penalty mark.
  • if a goal is not scored, both players are cautioned and the kick is re-taken.

Week 29 Laws of the Game Quiz

Doing well with the March quizzes? Last week’s one was easy, this one is a bit more difficult. But please prove my wrong 🙂

Good luck with the 29th edition of the LOTG Quiz.

Terms and conditions

Please find the Terms and Conditions plus links to previous quizzes on the Quiz Page.

Football’s Law 18: the grey area for referees

Football’s Law 18 usually goes about using common sense as referee. But recent matches by Bas Nijhuis show another aspect of football’s Law 18. The grey area for referees. Bas Nijhuis wants to keep the game in a flow. It’s interesting for the fans and also gives players less opportunity to complain. But how far can you go as referee?

Bas Nijhuis usually applies Football's Law 18

What’s your opinion: can you ignore little fouls to keep the game in a flow?

Nijhuis on football’s Law 18

Bas Nijhuis has discussed his performances in the media and his answer the the question is ‘yes’. “Of course there are always little fouls, but I think: come on.” He adds that refereeing that way helps to develop a real game.

Former Dutch international Youri Mulder and analyst does not agree with Nijhuis’ style. “The referee says it was ‘in the spirit of the game’. So he’s purposely whistling in a certain spirit, but there’s only one thing that should guide his decisions, which is following the rules. An offence is an offence.”

Experiences from an amateur referee

The buzz around football’s Law 18 and the use of common sense got me thinking. It reminded me of an interview I did with a high level amateur referee I did myself. He told he has tried to referee in the spirit of game and not give some yellow cards, which should be given if you only look at the Laws of the Game.

But it did not help him. Assessors even gave him lower marks when he did that, while the card average of other refs was sometimes much lower. “Their games are not easier or with less tackles/fouls on average than mine.”

Grey area has become black

The amateur referee I spoke his now very clear to players if he sees or hears something he doesn’t want to. “They will notice if I don’t want to see particular behaviour or don’t want to hear specific comments. I give the cards if necessary, it gives clarity for myself and the players.”

“A referee with more personality will show less cards than I do, but his games are not easier for sure. Apparently his decisions are perceived as convincing by both the players, people on the stands and the assessor. If I don’t give a yellow for a foulthat’s obviously reckless for me, I’ll see that back in the feedback in my assessor’s report. Ten years ago I could use verbal communication a lot more than these days. There was a big grey area, that now has become black.”

The importance of personality

What are your thoughts on personality and the use of it by referees? And would you ignore fouls if that helps in creating a more exciting game?

Week 28 Laws of the Game Quiz

This is week 28 of the Laws of the Game Quiz. Good luck!

I’d love to know from you which topics in the LOTG you find difficult, which will be useful for me. I will try to make some questions about these topics in future quizzes this season. Feel free to share your thoughts below or via jan@dutchreferee.com

Terms and conditions

Please find the Terms and Conditions plus links to previous quizzes on the Quiz Page.

Week 27 Laws of the Game Quiz

The first quiz of March. Are you in for some referee goodies from Refsworld UK? Make sure you take part in all quizzes of this month. Good luck!

Terms and conditions

Please find the Terms and Conditions plus links to previous quizzes on the Quiz Page.

Which Laws of the Game changes do you suggest?

Which Laws of the Game changes do you suggest? The IFAB will have a meeting on March 3rd where last year’s major revision of the LOTG will be discussed.

I am really looking forward to your ideas in how to make football rules better, more interesting or easier to implement as a referee. Please share your ideas in in the comments below.

IFAB meeting about Laws of the Game changes

The IFAB has announced: “Following last year’s major revision of the Laws of the Game which made them easier to understand and more consistent in their interpretation and application, this year’s AGM will be asked to approve final ‘tiding up’ to assist translation and interpretation of some of the changes of the Laws of the Game introduced in 2016. This will represent the final stage of the overall major textual revision of the Laws.”

Share your ideas about Laws of the Game changes

Share your ideas about LOTG changes and the reason you think it needs a change. I’ll love to publish the ideas from the comments below or shared on social media in this blog as well. Please be creative and I’ll embed your ideas here.

And last year there was a big revision, but has it worked out well for you?