Soccer Rule Changes

The Q Collar

Soccer Rules Changes - 2022-23

By NFHS on March 03, 2022soccer Print


4-2-2: The change clarifies that hair adornments, such as beads, may be worn in the hair if they are secured to the head and do not present a risk of injury to the player, teammates or opponents.
Rationale: Clarifies that hair adornments can be worn in the hair if they do not endanger other players as well as being more inclusive of participants’ cultural and religious beliefs.

7-1-3: State association may adopt procedures to require the game be played in its entirety.
Rationale: This allows states that may require the game to be played in its entirety (for post-season or regular season seeding play), to do so without a conflict with the current rule.

10-1-2f, 10-1-1, 10-1-3h (NEW): Clarifies that a player cannot score by throwing the ball into the goal.
Rationale: Defined the outcomes on a goalkeeper’s throw when throwing the ball directly or own goal.

12-2, 11-1-1. 18-1-1s (NEW): Clarifies the upper boundary of the arm is in line with the bottom of the armpit.

A revision to Rule 12-2 further defines the arm when determining handling offenses. A player is penalized for handling when carrying, striking or propelling the ball with a hand or arm, which is now further defined by the upper boundary of the arm in line with the armpit.

"The rules committee has received several inquiries regarding handling,” said Stan Latta, chair of the NFHS Soccer Rules Committee. “In an effort to define what parts of the arm/hand are considered in determining handling, wording was approved to describe the specific areas of  the arm/hand that should be considered when determining a handling violation."
Rationale: Defines the arm for the purposes of determining handling and offside.

14-1 Penalty: Defines that an indirect free kick is awarded the defending team for an improper penalty kick.

Penalty describes the process for a penalty kick and was amended to add clarification that the kick must be kicked forward, toward the goal. If a penalty kick is not kicked forward, an indirect free kick is awarded to the defending team.
Rationale: Penalizes the kicking team for not kicking the ball forward on penalty kick.

17-1-2: Defines proper distance for the opposing team from a corner kick restart.

Regarding corner kicks, Rule 17-1-2 clarifies that the defending team shall be 10 yards from the corner arc until the ball is kicked and

the corner kick shall be kicked from the ground within the corner arc.

Rationale: Clarifies the proper distance for the opposing team on a corner kick.

2022 Editorial Changes
4-1-1, 11-1-4b 2022

Points of Emphasis

  1. Strategic Time Wasting Techniques
  2. Penalty Kick
  3. Dissent
  4. Sportsmanship



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