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IFAB thinks rolling substitutes are good idea

The IFAB meeting in Northern Ireland took place to talk about the Laws of the Game. One of the new things they want is rolling substitutes for grassroots football. That means that kids can go off and back on during the same match. That means everybody can play. It is also a solution for players who have been injured before. Coaches don’t know how they will come back and how long they can play. If pain comes back, the coach can replace him.

May this sub re-enter the pitch soon? IFAB thinks rolling substitutes are good idea for f.e. grassroots football
May this sub re-enter the pitch soon? IFAB thinks rolling substitutes are good idea for f.e. grassroots football
A test with rolling substitutes worked good in the UK and I must say it also works pretty well ono lower levels in The Netherlands.

The IFAB did not make any decisions for changes in the Laws of the Game yet. That will be done in the meeting early next year. Member associations can bring their ideas up the table until the 1st of December.

What else did they talk about? Some points were pointed out by the FA.

  • The new technical panel representing match officials and a football panel made up of experts from across the world. A good way of .
  • There is still no solution for triple punishment (red card, penalty plus a ban) for a player who denies an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.Uefa referee boss Collina earlier suggested this rule needs to be changed.
  • The IFAB was sceptical about plans to look again at the increased use of video technology. The Dutch FA recently announced they want to do that. They already test with it during matches in the Eredivisie. More about the Dutch experiment.

If must pick one rule you want to change in football, which one would that be? Please share it below.


  • Dan

    That’s what rolling substitutes means? I was thinking it meant players could switch without stopping play. All youth matches I’ve ever seen in Australia and Canada already allow players to go on and off unlimited times.

    • jan (administrator)

      The definition of the FA website says that the pilot “means teams are able to send players on and off during matches”

      On the website of League Football I read: “A player who has been substituted himself becomes a substitute and may replace another player at any time subject to the substitution being carried out in accordance with Law 3 of the Laws of the Game of Association Football”

      The reference to the LOTG means that the procedures remain the same, I think. So it means players can go off and on, but not when the ball is still in play like field hockey or basketball.

      In The Netherlands there is also something like that for all youth and adult games on the lower levels.

  • Jack

    The one law change I would make would be to reduce DOGSO offences to a yellow card, but make it an automatic penalty kick no matter where on the field the offence occurs (and even if it is an indirect free kick offence; as there are possibilities of IFK DOGSO offences under the current law)

    This restores the obvious goalscoring opportunity that was lost and so takes away the incentive for cynical fouls of this sort, while getting rid of the “triple jeopardy.”

    To extend this, an additional category of “cynically denying a near-certain goal,” which is to still be worth a red card. For a DOGSO offence to fall under this description, the notable considerations are:

    1) Intention: the defender must have a conscious decision to commit the foul.
    2) Near-certain goal: the referee should consider that the probability of a goal being scored clearly exceeds the probability of a goal being scored from the subsequent penalty kick.
    3) Context: a high probability of the offence causing a material difference to the outcome of the game.

    A material example of “cynically denying a near-certain goal” would be Suarez’s handball at the 2010 World Cup. Other examples would be things such as a deliberate trip on an attacker with an open goal.

    • jan (administrator)

      Hi Jack, thanks so much for your comment. It’s the solution for me too to give a penalty kick for DOGSO even if it’s outside the penalty area. Offences that are violent conduct should still be punished with a red card.

    • jan (administrator)

      What are the most important pro’s and cons then? It works in The Netherlands as well. Many kids can play this way.

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