Laws of football

As a referee you need to understand the laws of football. IFAB has released completely updated editions of the Laws of the Game for 2016-2017. US and Canada leagues will still use the 2015-2016 rules, because they won’t change rules during the season. You can find copies of that below.

Download laws of the game 2016-2017

Get your copy of the Laws of the Game 2016-2017.

Fifa Laws of the Game 2016-2017


Laws of the game 2015/2016

Click images for copies of “old” Laws of the Game, that are still used in US and Canada because they will not change the rules during the season, that starts at the beginning of the year.

KNVB Spelregels  Cover Fifa Laws of the Game 2015/2016

You download the Laws of the game in different languages. Check the links for the 2015/2016 versions below.

Want them all? Download all 2015/2016 versions of the Laws of the Game.

Fifa only makes official releases in the langueages above. Please contact me via if you have a link to another language and I’ll add it.

17 Laws of Football

Football has 17 laws in the book

  • Law 1: The Field of Play
  • Law 2: The Ball
  • Law 3: The Number of Players
  • Law 4: The Players’ Equipment
  • Law 5: The Referee
  • Law 6: The Assistant Referees
  • Law 7: The Duration of the Match
  • Law 8: The start and restart of play Law 9: Ball in and out of play
  • Law 10: The Method of Scoring Law 11: Offside
  • Law 12: Fouls and Misconduct
  • Law 13: Free kicks (direct and indirect)
  • Law 14: The Penalty Kick
  • Law 15: The Throw-in
  • Law 16: The Goal Kick
  • Law 17: Corner kick

Law 18: use common sense

“The most important law is not written down – the so-called ‘Law 18’ – and this is about common sense. A referee may have a great knowledge and understanding of the laws, but to apply them in a correct manner is a required skill”, is how Hugh Dallas, for Scottish international referee and current member of the Uefa Referees Committee, it decribes.

Original Sheffield rules of football

Do you know for which amount of money the original rules of the game were sold for? A record breaking £881,250. Check a previous blog post for a photo of the original rule book plus the exact rules back in 1858. Want to get an idea how football looked back that day? Former Premier League referee officiated a youth game with the original rules. Quite funny story, with a referee with a high hat.

24 thoughts on “Laws of football

  1. this is Delano Collins and i play football for my school and have to say that is a Good work is done and i am pleas with what am seeing now thank you good bye

    • Thanks Delano. Good to see players checking the Laws of the Game as well. Good luck with your football career and have fun!

  2. Good changes, but want to suggest that offsides should only be awarded if 1 meter off. Let d goals roll against laxity.

    • It creates the same problem as in the current situation. It’s sometimes difficult to see if someone’s onside or offside. There can be a 1cm difference. That’s also the problem with 1.01 m ofside or 99 cm offside. And measuring the difference between players might be more difficult than seeing if players are on the same level. How would you make sure the 1m difference will be properly observed?

  3. This time I realise a lot of improvement in my know
    knowledge on the LOTG.
    Thanks a lot Jan. Please keep on.????????????????⚽️

    • Try to get all the advice you can. Evaluate your performances. Make sure you have a plan. What are your long-term and short-term goals? Just a few thoughts.

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