Soccer Rule Changes

2019-2020 changes

2018-19 Changes

2020-21

By NFHS on April 17, 2020 soccer

 

2-2-4 SECTION 2 BALL SPECIFICATIONS:
ART. 4…If the ball becomes deflated during play, it is declared dead where it was last played and the game is resumed by a drop ball between any two opposing players at the spot where it was last played. If the ball becomes deflated within the goal area, then the ball is dropped between two opposing players subject to the provisions of Rule 9-2-2 and 9-2-3. Ball deflated during a penalty kick results in retaken kick.

Rationale: The provisions for a drop ball have changed, refer to 9-2.

4-1-1a SECTION 1 REQUIRED EQUIPMENT:
ART. 1a…The visiting team shall wear solid white jerseys and solid white socks, and the home team shall wear dark jerseys and socks (dark is defined as any color which contrasts with white). Prior to and during the game, jerseys shall be tucked into the shorts, unless manufactured to be worn outside.

Rationale: Manufacturing practices have changed.

4-2-7e, f SECTION 2 OTHER EQUIPMENT:
ART. 7…A tooth and mouth protector (intraoral), if worn, shall:
e. not to be completely white; and
f. not to be completely clear.

Rationale: SMAC no longer recommends the mouth protector meet these two criteria; dropping these two requirements brings soccer in line with the other sports that allow mouth guards.

9-1-1b SECTION 1 BALL IN AND OUT OF PLAY: 
ART. 1…The ball is out of play when:
a. it has completely crossed the goal line or touch line, whether on the ground or in the air;
b. the ball touches an official and remains on the field; and
1. a team starts a promising attack;
2. goes directly into the goal;
3. possession changes

Rationale: This is to address situations where the ball touches a referee and a team gains an advantage.

SECTION 2 DROP BALL:
ART. 1…The game is restarted with a drop ball:
a. when the ball is caused to go out-of-bounds by two opponents simultaneously;
b. when the ball becomes deflated; (2-2-4)
c. following a temporary suspension of play for an injury or unusual situation; (except as noted in 14-1-7) and the goalkeeper is not in possession of the ball.
d. when simultaneous fouls of the same degree occur by opponents; or
e. when the ball touches an official as per 9-1-1b.

Rationale: This proposal prevents an opponent from gaining an advantage.

9-2-3 SECTION 2 DROP BALL
ART. 3…The ball is dropped by an official from waist level to the ground. The referee drops the ball to one player of the team that last possessed the ball at the position where it was last touched by a player(s), an outside agent or match official. If when play was stopped, the ball was in the penalty area or the last touch, by either team, was in the penalty area, the ball is dropped to the defending team’s goalkeeper with all opposing players outside the penalty area. In all cases, all other players must remain at least 4 yards from the ball until it is in play. Any number of players may contest a dropped ball (including the goalkeeper); a referee cannot decide who may contest a drop ball or its outcome.

Other Rules Affected:
9-2-2 SECTION 2 DROP BALL ART. 2…The ball should be dropped at the location where it became dead unless this is within the goal area, in which case, it shall be dropped on that part of the goal-area line which runs parallel to the goal line nearest the location where the ball was when play was stopped. If the ball was caused to go out of bounds by two opponents simultaneously, the ball is dropped five yards inside the boundary line to one player of the team in possession of the ball prior to the simultaneous touch, unless this is the goal area. (See 9-3) (See 9-2-3)

Rationale: Simplifies the drop ball procedure.

9-3 DELETE SECTION 3 TEMPORARY SUSPENSION
In the case of a temporary injury or unusual situation the game shall be restarted with a drop ball. As in 9-2-3. The referee drops the ball to one player of the team that last touched the ball at the position where it was last touched by a player, an outside agent or match official. If when play was stopped, the ball was in the penalty area or the last touch, by either team, was in the penalty area, the ball is dropped to the defending team’s goalkeeper. In either case, all other players must remain 4 yds from the ball until it is in play. at the point where the ball was when play was suspended (except as noted in 14-1-7) provided the ball was not in the goal area and not in the possession of the goalkeeper (1The ball is dropped f2-8-2). Should there not be clear possession at the time play is suspended due to an injury or unusual situation, there will be a drop ball at the spot where the ball was declared dad subject to the provisions of Rule 9-2-2.

Rationale: Information was redundant.

13-2-3b DELETE SECTION 2 WHEN AWARDED
ART. 3b…For temporary suspension of play for injury or unusual situation and the goalkeeper has possession to the ball as per Rule 9-3 (9-3).

Rationale: Provisions for drop ball changed.

13-3-1 SECTION 3 HOW TAKEN
ART. 1…Players opposing the kicker shall be at least 10 yards from the ball until it is kicked, unless they are standing on their own goal line between the goal posts. If the free kick is awarded to the defending team in its penalty area, players opposing the kicker shall be outside the penalty area at least 10 yards from the ball and shall must remain there until the ball is in play clears the penalty area.
Where 3 or more defending team players form a wall, all attacking team players must remain at least 1 yard from the wall until the ball is in play.

Rationale: This will allow the ball to be put back into play quicker and will lead to a decrease in confrontational moments during free kicks.

13-3-2 SECTION 3 HOW TAKEN
ART. 2…The ball shall be kicked while it is stationary on the ground at the spot specified by the official. To be in play, the ball shall be moved in any direction. If the free kick is awarded to the defending team in its penalty area, the ball is not in play until it is beyond the penalty area and into the field of play. Failure to kick the ball as specified shall result in a rekick.

Rationale: Allows the ball to be put back into play quicker.

13-3-4 NEW SECTION 3 HOW TAKEN
NEW ART. 4…For indirect kicks, the referee shall signal an indirect kick (using Official NFHS Soccer Signals Rule 5-3-1b) by raising an arm above the head; this signal shall be maintained until the kick is taken and the ball touches another player or goes out of play. If the referee fails to signal the kick is indirect and the ball goes directly into the opponent's goal, the kick shall be retaken.

Rationale: This clarifies the need to make the signal and prevents punishing the team taking the kick when the referee fails to give the proper signal.

14-1-3 SECTION 1 PENALTY KICK
ART. 3…The opposing goalkeeper shall stand with at least one foot on or in-line with the goal line, facing the kicker, between the goal posts, and shall not be touching the goal posts, crossbar, or nets, until the ball is kicked. Lateral or forward movement is allowed, but the goalkeeper is not permitted to come off the line with both feet by stepping or lunging forward until the ball is in play.

Rationale: This clarifies the goalkeeper’s position during the taking of a penalty kick.

16-1-2 SECTION 1 GOAL KICK
ART. 2…Players opposing the kicker shall remain outside the penalty area until the ball is in play has cleared the penalty area.

Rationale: Clarifies when the ball is in play.

16-1-3 SECTION 1 GOAL KICK
ART. 3…Once spotted, the ball shall be kicked from the ground from any point within the goal area by a player of the defending team. The ball is in play when it is kicked and moves.
A goal kick shall clear the penalty area and enter the field of play. If the ball is not kicked beyond the penalty area, the goal kick shall be repeated.

Rationale: Clarifies when the ball is in play.

16-1-4 SECTION 1 GOAL KICK
ART. 4…After the goal kick is properly taken leaves the penalty area, the ball may be played by any player except the one who executes the goal kick. The kicker may not play the ball until it has been touched by another player.

Rationale: Clarifies how the kick is taken and when it is in play.

 

Soccer Rules Changes - 2019-20

By NFHS on March 12, 2019 so

3-4-3 NEW: The clock shall be stopped when a substitute by the team in the lead is beckoned on the field in the final five minutes of the second period only.

Rationale: Rule affected by change in 7-4-3.

 4-3: Improperly Equipped Players (18-1-1u)

 Cautions will not be issued for improperly equipped player(s).

If not immediately correctable, improperly equipped player(s) shall be instructed to leave the field of play when the ball next ceases to be in play. The player(s) may be replaced. The removed player(s), if not replaced, may re-enter at the next dead ball only after reporting to an official, who shall be satisfied the player’s equipment and uniform are in order. Play shall not be stopped for an infringement of this rule except that the referee may stop play immediately where there is a dangerous situation.

Rationale: The change corrects an injustice.  For the far more serious infringement of illegal equipment, the offending team does not play shorthanded.  For the less serious offense of improper equipment, they are required to play shorthanded.  The change addresses this inequity.

 5-3-1d: The officials shall:

(d) call out "play on" and, with an underswing of one or both arms, indicate a foul which was observed but shall go unpenalized because penalizing the offending team would give an advantage to the offending team.  If the referee applies the advantage, which was anticipated but does not develop at that time, the referee shall penalize the original offense.

Rationale: This change permits the use of one arm to signal advantage.

7-4-3 NEW: The clock shall be stopped when a substitute by the team in the lead is beckoned onto the field in the final five minutes of the second period only.

Rationale: Coaches in the lead will make multiple substitutions in the later stages of the match.  This tactic is being used as a time-wasting ploy.  Adding this rule will help the game to be decided by the players and not a coach who is wasting time when in the lead.  These substitutes are usually players from the far side of the field that take more time off the clock.  This addition would stop this practice.

 9-2-1: The game is restarted with a drop ball:

a. when the ball is caused to go out of bounds by two opponents simultaneously;

b. when the ball becomes deflated;

c. following temporary suspension of play for an injury or unusual situation and a goalkeeper is not in possession of the ball 

d. when simultaneous fouls of the same degree occur by opponents.

Rationale: This rule changes the awarding of a free kick to a drop ball thereby possibly creating a scoring opportunity for a team underserving.

 9-2-3: The ball is dropped by an official from waist level to the ground. Any number of players may contest a dropped ball (including the goalkeepers); a referee cannot decide who may contest a dropped ball or its outcome. 

Rationale: This addition helps to provide clarity in the application of this rule.

9-2-5 NEW: ART. 5 . . . The ball shall be dropped again if it touches a player before it touches the ground or leaves the field of play after it touches the ground without touching a player. 

Rationale: This addition helps to avoid confusion and allow the rule to be more equitable under the circumstances.

 9-2-6 NEW: ART. 6 . . . If a dropped ball enters the goal without touching at least two players, play is restarted with a goal kick if it enters the opponent’s goal or a corner kick if it enters the team's own goal.

Rationale: This addition helps to avoid confusion and allow the rule to be more equitable under the circumstances.

 9-3: In case of a temporary suspension due to injury or any unusual situation the game shall be started by a drop ball at the point where the ball was when the play was suspended (except as noted in 14-1-7), provided the ball was not in the goal area and not in the possession of the goalkeeper.  12-8-2

Rationale: This change will eliminate free kick opportunities that often create scoring opportunities that are not deserved.  

Points of Emphasis

  1. Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury Prevention.

  2. Pre-game Communication Between the School Administration and Game Officials.

  3. Official’s Communicating Misconduct with Coaches.

Soccer Rules Changes - 2018-19

By NFHS on February 20, 2018 soccer

 

4-1-1a, b: a. The home team shall wear dark jerseys and socks (dark is defined as any color which contrasts with white), and the visiting team shall wear solid white jerseys and solid white socks. Prior to and during the game, jerseys shall be tucked into the shorts, unless manufactured to be worn outside.
b. Both socks shall be the same color, with the home team wearing socks of a single dominant color, but not necessarily the color of the jersey and the visiting team wearing solid white sock. If tape or a similar material (stays/ straps) is applied externally to the socks, it must be of similar color as that part of the sock to which it is applied.

Rationale: This change allows home teams to wear the school-colored jerseys at home. The change would provide the opportunity for teams to use an alternative color uniform for "special" events, if approved by the state association.

4-1-1d, e: d. If visible apparel is worn under the jersey and/or shorts, it shall be of similar length for an individual and a solid liked-color for the team.

Rationale: The previous rule caused financial hardships for some players and schools. The rule allows for the purchase of one set of cold-weather undergarments per player.

4-2-10 (NEW): In addition to the above permitted uses, state associations may on an individual basis permit a player to participate while wearing a head covering if it meets the following criteria:

1. For medical or cosmetic reasons – In the event a participant is required by a licensed medical physician to cover his/her head with a covering or wrap, the physician’s statement is required before the state association can approve a covering or wrap which is not abrasive, hard or dangerous to any other player and which is attached in such a way it is highly unlikely that it will come off during play.
2. For religious reasons – In the event there is documented evidence provided to the state association that a participant may not expose his/her uncovered head, the state association may approve a covering or wrap which is not abrasive, hard or dangerous to any other player and which is attached in such a way it is highly unlikely to come off during play.

Rationale: The addition of this exception allows for the participation of students who for religious reasons must maintain a covered head in all situations. The same is true for the student who for medical or cosmetic reasons needs to cover the head.

8-1-2: At the moment of the kickoff, all players, except the player taking the kickoff, shall be in their team's half of the field. Players opposing the kicker shall be at least 10 yards from the ball until it is kicked.

Rationale: This 2017 rule change allowing the kickoff to be taken in any direction has created difficulty for the player taking the kick to easily kickoff into his/her own half of the field without physically being in the opponent’s half of the field. This addition to the rule would permit only the player taking the kickoff to be in the opponent’s half of the field, in order to take the kickoff.

11-1-4: A Player is offside and penalized if, at the time the ball touches or is played by a teammate, the player, in an offside position, becomes involved in active play by:

  • a. interfering with play or with an opponent or;
  • b. seeks to gain an advantage by being in that position.

A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent, who deliberately plays the ball (except from a deliberate save), is not considered to have gained an advantage. Indirect free kick at the spot of the infraction (even in own half), subject to the provisions in P 13.1.3

Rationale: This change better articulates the difference between being in an offside position and an offside violation. It also places the penalty language in a more logical place within the rule.

12-8-1f, 15 (NEW): 1. A player, coach or bench personnel shall be cautioned (yellow card) for:

f. unsporting conduct, including, but not limited to: 15. A player who commits an offense against an opponent within his/her team penalty area which denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity and the referee awards a penalty kick, if the offense was an attempt to play the ball. 12-8-2d3, 4 2. A player, coach or bench personnel shall be disqualified (red card) for: (NEW) d. committing serious foul play: 3. a player commits a foul, outside the penalty area, attempting to deny an obvious goal-scoring opportunity, and the goal is not scored; or 4. a player commits a foul, inside the penalty area, while not attempting to play the ball, and the goal is not scored.

Rationale: This change addresses the issues of denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity (DOGSO) that occur in the game that places a player and team in double jeopardy when applying a penalty.

13-2-1j (NEW): ART. 1 . . . Direct free kicks are awarded and taken from the point of the infraction (Except as in 13-1-3 and 14-1-1):

j. if a player, coach, or bench personnel enters or leaves the field of play without permission of an official and interferes with play or an official (12-8-1).

Rationale: This change emphasizes the importance of proper decorum and behavior from the benches.

13-2-3: ART. 3 . . . The following indirect free kicks are taken from where the ball was when the referee stopped play: (Subject to restrictions in 13-1-3 and 13-1-4.)

a. if a player, coach or bench personnel enters or leaves the field of play without permission of an official and does not interfere with play or an official (12-8-1);

Rationale: This change maintains a focus on the proper decorum and behavior of the benches.

18-1-g (NEW): A deliberate act is one in which a player chooses to act, regardless of the outcome of that action. This deliberate act is neither reaction nor reflex. A deliberate action may result in the opponent benefiting from the action (e.g., a deliberate, but misplayed ball that goes directly to an opponent). A reaction or reflex may result in that player benefiting from the action (e.g., a ball inadvertently contacting the arm and falling directly to the player's feet).

Rationale: This definition provides guidance for interpretation of rules that contain the word deliberate or phrase deliberate act.

 Major Editorial Changes

4-2-4: Clarifies a religious medal or other religious items must be taped to the body

 

 

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