Blog,  news

Laws Of The Game changes for 2015/2016: return subs

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has published Laws Of The Game changes for 2015/2016.

Logo IFABThere are no major changes, but few things are allowed now: returning substitutes and electronic performance and tracking systems. I know many refs for example who already use tracking systems on gps-watches and the returning subs are already in use in The Netherlands on lower levels – now there are officially allowed by Fifa.

Below you can find the texts that explain the new rules a bit further.

Law 3: number of player

The first Laws Of The Game changes for 2015/2016 begin on page 17 of your rulebook. The following text is added:

Return Substitutions
The use of return substitutions is only permitted in the lowest levels (grassroots/recreational) of football, subject to the agreement of the member association concerned.

And to the substitution procedure on page 18 is added after “the substituted player takes no further part in the match”: except where return substitutions are permitted.

Reason for returning subs

“The two – year experiment with “return substitutions”, conducted by The Football Association (The FA) and the Scottish Football Association (SFA), proved very successful in amateur and recreational football. The participation level of players increased significantly. Furthermore, it stopped teams from dropping out mid-way through the season and also helped players coming back from injuries.”

Law 4: The player’s equipment

A new sub-paragraph on page 70 of the Laws of the Game:

Where electronic performance and tracking systems (EPTS) are used (subject to the agreement of the member association/competition organiser concerned):

  • they must not pose any danger to the players and/or match officials
  • information and data transmitted from the devices/systems is not permitted to be received or used in the technical area during the match.

Reason for allowing EPTS

In the official IFAB announcement is said: “Many teams and players wear EPTS devices already for training purposes in order to control and improve their performance. Subsequently, requests were made to The IFAB to permit players to wear such devices also during matches, subject to the two criteria mentioned above.”

How do you measure how much you run during a game?

If you may change one rule in football, what would it be?


  • Jack

    “If you may change one rule in football, what would it be?”

    A full re-write of the DOGSO provisions, implementing the following points:

    1) No longer divide between handball-DOGSO and otherwise. DOGSO is DOGSO no matter the offence, and “moving towards the goal” and so on are stupid clauses.

    2) Instead of a red card, the punishment for DOGSO is a yellow card and an automatic penalty kick, regardless of the location on the pitch of the offence. DOGSO is not a violent or offensive act; it is a technical one, so the punishment should be mainly against the team rather than the player. A penalty kick is the punishment that fits the crime — it remedies the loss of an obvious goalscoring opportunity by giving back what was lost. A penalty kick is worth as much in the 90th minute as it is in the 1st.

    2) For the rare situation such as the Suarez handball in 2010, a new category of offence above DOGSO, something like “cynically denying a near-certain goal,” worth a red card and a penalty kick. This is only to be applied if the referee judges that (a) a penalty kick does not fully compensate for the lost goalscoring chance, (b) the player committed the offence deliberately, and (c) a goal would make a material difference to the outcome of the game..

    • Jan ter Harmsel

      I like to get rid of the triple punishment idea (red, penalty kick, match ban) as well.

      Your last point is quite difficult to determine. I would stick with the yellow card for DOGSO and let authoroties decide whether it was so unfair that the player still deserves a match ban.

  • Piper

    Hello there, You’ve done an excellent job.
    I’ll definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends.
    I am sure they will be benefited from tbis site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.