The Laws of the Game are the official laws of association football. The laws outline the minimum number of players for each team, the time allotted for each half, the dimensions of the field and ball, the kinds of fouls that can result in penalties, the offside rule, and many other rules that help to define the sport. The referee’s job during a game is to interpret and uphold the Laws of the Game.
In the middle of the 19th century, many attempts were made to codify the regulations for the different football styles. The current laws were first codified in 1863 when the Football Association was only being started. The Laws have changed throughout time, and the International Football Association Board has maintained them since 1886. (IFAB).
The Laws are the only association football regulations that FIFA allows its members to follow. The Laws now provide a few minor optional adjustments that national football associations can put into place, including some for play at the lowest levels, but other than those minor differences, practically all organised football played around the world is played according to the same set of regulations. The National Federation of State High School Associations and the National Collegiate Athletic Association continue to employ rulesets that are similar to, but different from, the IFAB Laws, while Major League Soccer used a unique ruleset in the United States during the 1990s.
Laws of The Game
- Law 1: The Field of Play
- Law 2: The Ball
- Law 3: The Players
- Law 4: The Players’ Equipment
- Law 5: The Referee
- Law 6: The Other Match Officials
- Law 7: The Duration of the Match
- Law 8: The Start and Restart of Play Covers the kick-off and dropped-ball; other methods of restarting play are covered in other laws.
- Law 9: The Ball In and Out of Play
- Law 10: Determining the Outcome of a Match
- Law 11: Offside
- Law 12: Fouls and Misconduct
- Law 13: Free Kicks
- Law 14: The Penalty Kick
- Law 15: The Throw-in
- Law 16: The Goal Kick
- Law 17: The Corner Kick
LAW 1: THE FIELD OF PLAY
1. Field Surface
The playing field must be totally natural or, if authorised by competition regulations, entirely artificial, unless competition rules specifically allow for an integrated combination of artificial and natural materials (hybrid system).
Artificial flooring needs to be green.
Artificial surfaces used in competition games involving representatives of national football associations affiliated with FIFA or international club competition games must adhere to the FIFA Quality Programme for Football Turf or the International Match Standard, unless special permission is granted by The IFAB.
2. Field Markings
A continuous set of unharmed lines must be used to define the playing area’s rectangular shape. The field may be marked out on natural fields, if necessary, using a synthetic playing surface material. The locations that these lines define are a part of them.
The only lines that may be marked on the playing field are those that are listed in Law 1. On artificial surfaces, other lines may be used, provided they are of a different color and can be clearly identified from football lines.
The two longer border lines are touchlines. Goal lines are the two shorter lines.
The middle of the two touchlines, known as the midway line, separates the field of play into two equal halves.
The middle is where the halfway line’s halfway point is located.
The center mark is located on the halfway point of the halfway line. A circle with a radius of 9.15 meters encircles it (10 yards).
Measurements are obtained from outside the boundaries since the lines are a part of the area they encompass.
The distance between the mark’s center and the back border of the goal line is known as the penalty mark.
- Length (touchline):
minimum 90m (100yds)
maximum 120m (130yds)
- Length (goal-line):
minimum 45m (50yds)
maximum 90m (100yds)
4. Dimensions for International Matches
- Length (touchline):
minimum 100m (100yds)
maximum 110m (120yds)
- Length (goal-line):
minimum 64m (70yds)
maximum 75m (80yds)
5. The Goal Area
Two lines parallel to the goal line are drawn at a distance of 5.5 meters (6 yards) from the inside of each goalpost. A line drawn 5.5 meters (6 yards) onto the playing field and parallel to the goal line connects these lines. The region bounded by these lines and the goal line is known as the goal area.
6. The Penalty Area
Two lines are drawn perpendicular to the goal line, 16.5 meters (18 yards) from the inside of each goalpost. A line drawn parallel to the goal line connects these lines, which extend 16.5 meters (18 yards) onto the playing field. The area bounded by these lines and the goal line is known as the penalty area.
Each penalty area has a mark inside it that is 11 meters (12 yards) from the goalposts’ center line.
A circle with a radius of 9.15 meters (10 yards) and its center at each penalty mark is drawn around the penalty area.
7. The Corner Area
A quarter circle with a radius of 1 m (1 yd) from each corner flag post is drawn inside the playing field to represent the corner area.
A flag post with a flag on it that is at least 1.5 metres (5 feet) high and has a non-pointed top must be present at each corner.
Flagposts may be placed at either end of the midway line, at least one yard from the touchline.
9. The Technical Area
The following are some instances of stadium games when team officials, substitutes, and players who have been substituted have a designated seating area:
- The technical area should not extend farther than 1m (1yd) on either side of the designated seating area or farther than 1m (1yd) from the touchline.
- Marks should be used to identify the area.
- However many participants are permitted in the technical section as specified in the competition rules.
are determined before the game even begins, in accordance with the competition rules.
- must act in a responsible manner.
- Unless special circumstances apply, such as when a doctor or physiotherapist enters the field of play to evaluate a player who has been hurt with the referee’s approval.
- Only one person at a time may communicate tactical directives in the technical area.
Goal-line Technology (GLT)
GLT technology can be used to confirm whether a goal has been scored in order to support the referee’s decision.
The use of GLT must be specified in the competition regulations.
PRINCIPLES OF GLT
GLT only relates to the goal line and is used to determine whether a goal has been scored.
Only the match officials are required to obtain an immediate, automatic confirmation from the GLT system within one second that a goal has been scored (via the referee’s watch, by vibration and visual signal, or the video operation room) (VOR).
LAW 2: THE BALL
1. Qualities and Measurements
All balls must be:
- Made with appropriate materials
- Between 68 cm (27 ins) and 70 cm in circumference (28 ins)
- By the beginning of the match, weighed between 410 g (14 oz) and 450 g (16 oz).
- 0.6 to 1.1 atmospheres (600 to 1,100 g/cm2) at sea level (8.5 to 15.6 lbs/sq in) in pressure
- All balls used in games played in official competitions run under FIFA or confederations’ auspices must comply with the FIFA Quality Programme for Football’s specifications and display one of its marks.
2. Replacement of a Defective Ball
If the ball becomes defective:
The game is paused and replayed when a ball is dropped.
If the ball falters during a kick-off, goal kick, corner kick, free kick, penalty kick, or throw-in, the restart is retaken.
If the ball is damaged during a penalty kick or kicks from the penalty mark while traveling forward and before it touches a player, the crossbar, or the goalpost, the penalty kick is retaken.
3. Additional Balls
Additional balls may be dispersed about the playing area by the referee as long as they adhere to Law 2 and are used under his or her supervision.
LAW 3: THE PLAYERS
1. Number of Players
A game can only contain eleven players total from each team, one of whom must be the goalie. No team may start the game or carry it on if it has less than seven players on either team.
If a team does not have the necessary seven players because one or more players have purposely left the field of play, the game may not continue after the ball has left the field of play. If a side has fewer than seven players, the advantage may be played, so the referee is not compelled to stop play.
2. Number of Substitutions
Up to five substitutes may be made in every game played in an official competition, as determined by FIFA, the confederation, or the national football association. When tournament rules permit the use of up to five substitutions per team in men’s and women’s competitions featuring first teams from premier clubs or senior “A” international teams, each side shall:
- gets three maximum substitution opportunities, while halftime is also a time for substitutions.
- A team that hasn’t used all of its allowed substitutes and/or alternatives may use any unused replacements and/or substitution possibilities at a later time.
- When competition rules permit teams to use one more substitute during overtime, each team will have one additional substitution opportunity.
- Moreover, substitutes are permitted at halftime and between the end of regulation time and the start of extra time; these do not count as used substitution possibilities.
For senior “A” international team matches, a maximum of fifteen substitutes may be selected, of whom a maximum of six may be deployed.
More substitutions are allowed in all other games under the following restrictions:
- The groups decide on a maximum number.
- Before the game, the referee is notified.
3. Substitution Procedure
The names of the substitutes must be given to the referee prior to the start of the game. By this time, any substitute who hasn’t been named is ineligible to take the field.
- The referee must be informed before any substitution is made.
- Unless they are already off the field of play, the player being substituted needs the referee’s permission to leave the field of play and must do so via the closest point on the boundary line, unless the referee indicates they may do so immediately at the halfway line or another point (for reasons such as safety, security, or injury, for example).
- except when return substitutes are permitted, must visit the technical area or locker room and exit the game immediately.
- If a player who has to be replaced decides not to go, play continues.
- Upon receiving a signal from the referee, during a play stoppage near the halfway line, and after leaving the field, the player being replaced
4. Changing the Goalkeeper
If one of the following circumstances occurs, any player may exchange positions with the goalie: Prior to the switch, the referee is informed; the switch is made during a pause in play.
5. Offenses and Sanctions
The designated replacement may participate and will not face any penalties from the referee.
A named substitute may be the named participant.
In general, no fewer substitutions are made.
The referee reports the incident to the appropriate authorities.
6. Players and substitutes sent off
The number of substitutions the team is allowed to make after the kickoff is unaffected by the player’s ineligibility to be replaced, and the player is ineligible to be replaced. A player who receives a red card before the team list is submitted is ineligible to be named in any capacity on the team list.
A specified substitute who is dismissed either before or after kickoff may not be replaced.
7. Extra Persons on The Field of Play
The coach and any other people listed on the squad roster are the team officials, not players or substitutes. A third-party agent is somebody who is not identified as a player, substitute, or team representative.
- Only when play is being obstructed should it be stopped.
- When the game is over, remove the player and impose the necessary punishments.
- After a team official, substitute, substituted player, or player who was sent off, play continues with a direct free kick or penalty kick.
- The game is restarted with an outside agent after the ball is dropped.
- If the ball enters the goal, the goal is awarded (even if contact is made with the ball), and interference does not prevent a defender from playing the ball unless the attacking team was responsible for the interference.
8. Player Outside The Field of Play
If a player who needs the referee’s permission to re-enter the field of play does so without it, the referee shall halt play (not immediately if the player does not interfere with play or a match official or if the advantage can be applied)
advise the player not to enter the playing area without permission
Following a stoppage by the referee, play must resume: if there was no interference, directly from the site of the interference; if there was, indirectly from the spot where the ball was when play was stopped.
A player does not commit an offense when they cross a boundary line while the game is still in progress.
9. Goal scored with an extra person on the field of play
The goal must be rejected by the referee if the extra person was a player, substitute, substituted player, sent-off player, or team official of the team that scored the goal; the game is restarted with a direct free kick from the additional player’s position.
If an outside agent interfered with play, they are punished and the play is restarted with a dropped ball, unless a goal brought “more individuals on the field of play” as stated above.
10. Team Captain
The squad’s behavior is somewhat within the team captain’s control, although he or she has no special privileges.
LAW 4: THE PLAYERS’ EQUIPMENT
A player is not allowed to use or wear any risky equipment.
It is forbidden to wear any jewelry, including neckpieces, rings, bracelets, earrings, leather bands, rubber bands, and other accessories. Jewelry covering with tape is not permissible.
Both the starting lineup and the substitutes must pass inspection before the game can commence. A player who is wearing or using dangerous or unlawful jewelry or equipment must be told by the referee to take it off and leave the playing area at the next pause.
If a player refuses to cooperate or wear the item once more, they must be warned.
2. Compulsory Equipment
The following diverse items make up the necessary equipment for a player:
shorts and a sleeved shirt
Shin Guards must be made of a material that covers them and provide a decent level of protection. Any tape or other material that is worn on the outside must match the color of the sock to which it is affixed or covered.
Goalkeepers may wear running shoes.
The two teams must wear colors that distinguish them from one another and the referees.
Goalkeepers are required to wear distinct colors from other players and match officials.
If both goalkeepers are wearing the same color shirt and neither is donning another shirt, the referee allows the game to continue.
a single hue that closely resembles the main hue of the shirt sleeve; or a pattern or collection of hues that closely resembles the shirt sleeve.
The undershorts or tights worn by members of the same team must be the same color as the main shorts or the bottom of the shorts.
4. Other Equipment
Caps and eyeglasses for goalkeepers are acceptable. Examples of non-dangerous protective equipment include facemasks, knee and arm protection made of soft, lightweight padding, and headgear.
Where head coverings are worn (apart from goalkeeper caps), they must:
- be either the shirt’s primary color or black (provided that the players of the same team wear the same color)
- be consistent with the professional appearance of the player’s equipment.
- be free of attachment to the clothing
- Neither the player wearing it nor any other player are at risk (for example, a neck opening/closing device).
- not have any components projecting from the surface (protruding elements).
5. Slogans, Statements, Images and Advertising
No slogans, sentiments, or images that are political, religious, or personal may be displayed on equipment. Players are not permitted to display undergarments that bear slogans, statements, or graphics that are political, religious, or otherwise personal, or that bear any form of advertising other than the logo of the product’s maker. A player or team may be punished by the competition’s organizer, the national football association, or FIFA for any infraction.
- Law 4 governs the clothing worn by players, substitutes, and players who have been substituted, and all team officials who operate in the technical area are required to follow its rules.
- The player’s number, name, team crest or logo, any initiative slogans or symbols encouraging the game of football, respect, or integrity, as well as any advertising permitted by national FA, confederation, or FIFA regulations are (usually) acceptable.
- teams, date, competition/event, and location of a match
- Only the approved words, feelings, or images may be displayed on the front of the shirt and/or armband.
- In other circumstances, the catchphrase, quote, or illustration might only be visible on the captain’s armband.
Interpreting the Law
It is important to consider Law 12 (Fouls and Misconduct) while deciding whether a word, phrase, or image is appropriate. A player who violates any of the following must face punishment from the referee under this rule:
Any term, claim, or representation that falls within one of these categories is forbidden. This includes using harsh, insulting, or abusive words and/or action(s).
The terms “political” and “personal” are less clear to define than “religious” and “personal,” although the following are not permitted slogans, phrases, or images:
any living or deceased person(s), any local, regional, national or international political party, organisation or group, etc., any local, regional, or national government or any of its departments, offices, or functions any organisation that discriminates any organisation whose goals or actions are likely to offend a significant number of people any specific political act or event.
6. Offenses and Sanctions
When play is interrupted for any offense, the referee may instruct the player to leave the field of play to rectify the equipment, unless it has already been corrected.
Before returning to the field of play, a player must have the equipment on their person checked by a match official. This can only happen with the referee’s permission (which may be given during play)
A player who enters the field uninvited shall be warned, unless there was interference, in which case a direct free kick (or penalty kick) is awarded. If the warning needs to be given during play, the indirect free kick is given from where the ball was when play was stopped.
LAW 5: THE REFEREE
1. The Authority of The Referee
Each game is overseen by a referee who has complete authority to apply the rules of the game to that specific contest.
2. Decisions of The Referee
Decisions will be made to the best of the referee’s ability while adhering to the “spirit of the game,” the Laws of the Game, and their application. Within the constraints of the Laws of the Game, the referee has the option to take the appropriate action.
All decisions made by the referee about the game, including whether or not a goal is scored and the result of the match, are final. Always obey the referee’s and all other match officials’ decisions.
The referee may not change a decision on a restart even if they realize it is wrong or on the advice of another match official once play has resumed or the referee has signaled the end of the first or second half (including overtime) and left the field of play or abandoned the tournament. If the referee leaves the field of play after the half to go to the referee review area (RRA) or instruct the players to go there, the decision for an event that occurred before the conclusion of the half may still be changed.
3. Powers and Duties
- enforces the Laws of the Game
- controls the match in cooperation with the other match officials
- serves as the timekeeper, keeps a record of the game, and sends a match report to the proper authorities detailing any penalties and other occurrences that occurred before, during, or after the game.
- supervises and/or indicates the restart of play
- If an offense is committed, the game continues with the expectation that the non-offending team will gain an advantage. if that expectation is not met, the offense is penalised.
punishes players who commit actionable and sending-off offenses by taking disciplinary action against them, and the most serious offense is punished with a sanction, restart, physical severity, and tactical impact.
has the authority to impose punishment beginning with the pre-game inspection and continuing until they leave after the game (including kicks from the penalty mark). If a player commits a sending-off offence prior to entering the field of play at the start of the game, the referee has the authority to prevent that player from playing in the match (see Law 3.6); the referee will also record any additional misconduct.
The game can go on even if a player has a minor injury until the ball is out of bounds. Play must halt if a player sustains serious injuries so they can be removed from the playing surface. The injured player must reenter the game from the touchline if the ball is in play; if it is out of play, they may enter from any boundary line. A hurt player is not permitted to receive medical assistance on the playing field and is only permitted to return once play has restarted. When a goalkeeper is harmed or when a goalkeeper and an outfield player collide and require medical attention, there are two exceptions to the rule.
Depending on the gravity of the incident, the referee may allow the game to continue or pause, suspend, or end it if a spectator throws something at the field that hits a match official, a player, or a team official. Play is interrupted and restarted with a dropped ball, another object, or an animal if a spectator whistles during play. if not enough floodlights are present.
4. Video Assistant Referee (VAR)
The use of video-assisted referees (VARs) is only permissible when the match/competition organizer satisfies all Implementation Assistance and Approval Programme (IAAP) requirements as defined in FIFA’s IAAP papers and has gained official FIFA authorization.
If the referee commits a “clear and visible error” or misses a “significant missed incident,” the video assistant referee (VAR) may only help the referee.
after the goal/no goal, direct red card, penalty/no penalty (not second caution)
When the referee warns or dismisses the wrong player from the other side, this is known as mistaken identification.
REVIEWS AFTER PLAY HAS RESTARTED
Only in instances of mistaken identity or potential sending-off offenses, such as aggressive behavior, biting, spitting, or other extremely offensive, insulting, or abusive behavior, may the referee conduct a “review” and implement the appropriate sanction after play has resumed (s).
5. Referee’s Equipment
- Red and yellow cards
- Notebook (or other means of keeping a record of the match)
Referees may be permitted to use:
- Equipment for communicating with other match officials – buzzer/bleep flags, headsets etc.
- EPTS or other fitness monitoring equipment
Referees and other ‘on-field’ match officials are prohibited from wearing jewelry or electronic equipment, including cameras.
6. Referee signals
7. Liability of Match Officials
Any harm, property damage, or other loss caused by a person, club, company, association, or other body as a result of a choice made in accordance with the Laws of the Game or regarding the customary procedures required to hold, play, and manage a match.
Such decisions may be made, among other things, about the fitness of the field equipment and ball used during a match, the condition of the playing ground or its surroundings, or whether the weather will allow or forbid a match to take place.
to permit the removal of an injured player from the field of play for medical attention or to mandate the removal of an injured player for medical attention. Whether or not a player is allowed to use a certain piece of clothing or equipment where the referee has the final say. Whether or not to permit fans, security guards, team representatives, or stadium officials to enter the stadium.
LAW 6: THE OTHER MATCH OFFICIALS
Additional match officials can be chosen, including a video assistant referee (VAR), at least one assistant VAR, a fourth official, two more assistant referees, a reserve assistant referee, and two more assistant referees (AVAR). The referee will always have the last say, although they will assist him or her in managing the game in compliance with the Laws of the Game.
The referee, assistant referees, fourth official, extra assistant referees, and reserve assistant referee make up the “on-field” match officials.
The VAR and AVAR help the referee and act as the “video” match officials (VMOs) in compliance with the Laws of the Game and the VAR protocol.
The match officials are under the referee’s control. If there is undue interference or improper behavior, the referee will relieve them of their duties and alert the appropriate authorities.
All “on-field” match officials, with the exception of the reserve assistant referee, are required to report any major misconduct or other incident that takes place away from the referee and the other match officials to the relevant authorities. When they can see an offense more clearly than the referee, they also help the referee with it. The referee and other match officials must be informed of any report that is made.
Together with the referee, the “on-field” match officials monitor the field of play, the balls, and the player’s gear while also recording the time, goals, misconduct, and other stats.
1. Assistant Referees
When the complete ball leaves the field of play, which team is entitled to a corner kick, goal kick, or throw-in, when a substitute is needed for penalty kicks, when the goalkeeper crosses the goal line before the ball is kicked, and when the ball crosses the line are all indicated by these markers. The assistant referee assumes a position parallel to the penalty mark if several assistant referees have been assigned.
The assistant referee’s additional responsibility is to oversee the substitution procedure.
2. Fourth Official
Monitoring the substitution procedure and checking a player’s or substitute’s equipment are also part of helping the fourth official.
the re-entry of a player after the referee’s signal or consent, which informs the referee of any technical area occupants acting recklessly and shows how much time is left to play at the end of each half (including extra time).
3. Additional Assistant Referees
The extra assistant referees can indicate if the ball completely crosses the goal line, which team receives a corner kick or goal kick following a goal, whether the goaltender crosses the goal line prior to a penalty kick being taken, and whether the ball completely crosses the line.
4. Reserve Assistant Referee
The sole duty of a reserve assistant referee is to replace a fourth official or assistant referee who is hurt.
5. Video Match Officials
A video assistant referee (VAR) may use replay footage to assist the referee in making a decision when there is a “clear and obvious error” or “serious missed incident” involving a goal/no goal, penalty/no penalty, direct red card (not a second caution), or a case of mistaken identity where the referee cautions or sends off the wrong player of the offending team.
A match official who assists the video assistant referee (VAR) primarily does the following:
maintaining track of VAR-related incidents and any technology or communication problems that can make it difficult for the VAR to communicate with the referee, especially when the VAR is conducting a “check” or “review,” such as instructing the referee to “halt play” or “delay the restart,” etc.
highlighting the “lost” time when play is halted for a “check” or “review,” which includes notifying the proper parties of a VAR-related decision.
Assistant referee signals
LAW 7: THE DURATION OF THE MATCH
1. Periods of Play
According to the rules of the competition, a game’s two 45-minute halves may only be reduced with the referee’s approval and the agreement of both sides prior to the match.
2. Half-Time Interval
Players are granted a quick drink break at halftime that lasts no longer than one minute, as well as a break that lasts no longer than 15 minutes during the half of extra time. The tournament rules must specify how long the half-time break will last, and it can only be altered with the referee’s consent.
3. Allowance for Time Lost
Any playing time lost in either half as a result of substitutions, medical evaluation and/or removal of injured players, time-wasting, or disciplinary measures is compensated for by the referee.
Medical stoppages permitted by competition rules, such as “cooling” and “drinks” stops (which shouldn’t last longer than a minute), delays brought on by VAR “checks” and “reviews,” and any extra variables, such as a restart that is severely delayed, are all taken into consideration (e.g. goal celebrations)
After the last minute of each half, the referee determines how much time must be added, which is announced by the fourth official. The extra time may be increased but not decreased by the referee.
To make up for a timing error made during the first half, the referee cannot lengthen the second half.
4. Penalty Kick
If the penalty kick needs to be taken or repeated, the half is extended until it is completed.
5. Abandoned Match
A match that has been abandoned is replayed unless the sport’s regulations or the organisers specify otherwise.
LAW 8: THE START AND RESTART OF PLAY
The first and second half of a game, as well as both overtime halves, all begin with a kickoff. Additionally, it starts up again when a goal has been scored. Free kicks, penalties, throw-ins, goal kicks, and corner kicks are some more restarts (see Laws 13 – 17). A dropped ball serves as the restart when the referee stops the game and the Law does not need one of the following restarts.
1. Kick Off
According to the rules, the side that wins the coin toss choose which goal to attack in the first half, and depending on the result, their opponents either take the kickoff or select which goal to attack in the first half.
After a goal is scored, the opposite side receives the kickoff to start the second half, when the teams switch ends and take aim at each other’s goals. The second half is opened by the team that decided which goal to pursue in the first.
Every time you start:
Everyone on the field of play—aside from the kicker—must be in their respective halves. The opposing team must be at least 9.15 metres (10 yards) away from the ball before it enters play. The centre mark requires that the ball remain still. When the ball is kicked and visibly moves, the referee indicates that it has entered play.
If the ball enters the kicker’s goal without first passing through the kicker, the opponents are awarded a corner kick from the kickoff.
OFFENCES AND SANCTIONS
For a handball offence or if the kickoff player touches the ball again before it touches another player, a direct free kick is awarded.
In the event of any further kickoff procedure infractions, the kickoff is retaken.
2. Dropped the Ball
The ball is dropped for the opposing team’s goalkeeper in the penalty area if, at the time play was stopped, either the ball was there or the last touch of the ball was there.
In all other cases, the referee hands the ball over to a member of the team that last touched it, in the location where a player, an outside agent, or a match official last made contact with it, as described in Law 9.1.
All other players (on both teams) must remain at least 4 metres (4.5 yards) away from the ball before it enters play.
The ball enters play when it makes contact with the ground.
OFFENCES AND SANCTIONS
The ball is dropped once more if
touches a player before leaving the field of play and then returns after leaving the field of play without touching a player.
if two or more players don’t touch a dropped ball that enters the goal A goal kick, if it hits the opponent’s target, or a corner kick, if it scores for the team, restarts the game.
LAW 9: THE BALL IN AND OUT OF PLAY
1. Ball Out of Play
When a team launches a potentially successful attack, the ball goes straight into the goal, or the team in possession of the ball switches, the ball is out of play. Additionally, it is no longer in play if it makes contact with a referee while still on the field of play or fully crosses the goal line or touchline on the ground or in the air.
2. Ball in Play
If the ball touches a referee or bounces off a goalpost, crossbar, or corner flagpost and remains on the field of play, it is always in play.
LAW 10: DETERMINING THE OUTCOME OF A MATCH
1. Goal Scored
A goal is scored when the entire ball crosses the goal line, goes between the goalposts, and goes under the crossbar if the team scoring the goal hasn’t committed any offence.
If the goaltender tosses the ball directly into the opposing team’s goal, it results in a goal kick.
If a referee announces a goal before the ball has completely crossed the goal line, play is restarted with a dropped ball.
2. Winning Team
The team that scores the most goals is the one that prevails. If neither team scores a goal or both teams score an equal amount of goals, the game is a draw.
Only the following techniques may be employed when home-and-away ties or drawn games are required by competition regulations to have a winning team:
two equal extra periods of no more than 15 minutes each, with the away goals rule, and then penalty kicks from the mark.
3. Kicks From the Penalty Mark
Unless otherwise stated, when taking kicks from the penalty mark, the applicable Laws of the Game shall apply. After the game is over, kicks are made. A player who has been sent off is ineligible to take part in kicks from the penalty mark, and warnings and cautions received throughout the game are not carried over.
LAW 11: OFFSIDE
1. Offside Position
Offside refers to any portion of a player’s head, body, or feet that are inside the opponent’s half (beyond the halfway line) and that are farther from the opponent’s goal line than the ball and the player immediately behind them on the field of play.
The hands and arms of every player, including goalkeepers, are not taken into consideration. Offside is determined by where the upper arm’s edge meets the armpit.
A player is not offside if they are level with any of the following:
the second-to-last opponent, or the final two opponents
2. Offside Offence
Only if a player interferes with play by playing or touching the ball after it has been passed to or touched by a teammate, or if they interfere with an opponent by obviously blocking their line of sight, tackling them for the ball, or attempting to play a ball that they are not in possession of, will they be penalised for being in an offside position when a teammate plays or touches the ball*.
gaining an advantage by playing the ball or interfering with a rival after the ball has: been purposefully saved by any rival; bounced or been deflected off the goalpost, crossbar, or a rival;
A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent who purposely plays the ball, even by deliberate handball, is not considered to have gained an advantage unless there was a deliberate save by any opponent.
When a player stops or makes an attempt to stop a ball that is travelling toward or very close to the goal, they make a “save.” They do this by using any part of their body other than their hands or arms (unless the goalkeeper is within the penalty area).
3. No Offence
There is no offside offence if a player receives the ball directly from:
- a goal kick
- a throw-in
- a corner kick
4. Offences and Sanctions
Even if it is in the player’s half, the referee awards an indirect free kick in the area of the field of play where the offside infraction occurred.
A defending player who leaves the field of play without the referee’s approval is deemed to be on the goal line or touchline for offside purposes until the next time play is stopped or until the other team has played the ball toward the halfway line and it is outside its penalty area. If a player intentionally left the field of play, they must be cautioned before the ball is the next out of play.
LAW 12: FOULS AND MISCONDUCT
1. An Immediate Free Kick
If a player engages in any of the following actions toward an opponent that the referee deems to be careless, reckless, or utilising excessive force, he or she is given a direct free kick:
- jumps at
- kicks or attempts to kick
- strikes or attempts to strike (including head-butt)
- tackles or challenges
- trips or attempts to trip
If an offence involves contact it is penalised by a direct free kick or penalty kick.
- When a player challenges another player without paying attention or showing regard, they are being careless. There is no necessity for disciplinary action.
- When a player acts recklessly, it is necessary to warn them since they may endanger or negatively affect an opponent.
HANDLING THE BALL
For the purpose of judging handball offences, the upper limit of the arm is parallel to the base of the armpit. A player touching the ball with their hand or arm isn’t always improper.
For example, pushing them in the direction of the object when it has abnormally expanded their body is what it means to intentionally touch the ball with their hand or arm. It is considered that a player has unnaturally enlarged the size of their body when their hand or arm posture cannot be explained or justified by the movement of their body in that specific situation.
With their hand or arm in such a position, the player runs the chance of being struck by the ball, which could lead to a penalty.
Goals for the opposition are the consequence of the goaltender handling the ball either straight from their hand or arm, even if unintentionally, or immediately after the ball has touched their hand or arm.
2. Indirect Free Kick
If a player engages in any of the following behaviours, it results in an indirect free kick being given: playing dangerously, impeding an opponent’s movement without making contact, dissent, using disrespectful, insulting, or abusive language and/or action(s), or indulging in other verbal infractions.
attempts to kick the ball as the goalkeeper is releasing it or interferes with the goalkeeper’s ability to release the ball from their hands.
Starts, regardless of whether the goalie touches the ball with their hands, a purposeful trick to pass the ball to the goalkeeper (even from a free kick or goal kick) with the head, chest, knee, etc. If the goalie started the planned trick, they will be held accountable.
Indirect free kicks are awarded to goalies who commit any of the following offences inside their own penalty area: controlling the ball with the hand or arm for more than six seconds before releasing it.
After receiving the ball immediately from a throw-in taken by a teammate who contacts the ball with the hand or arm after releasing it but before it has touched another player, the goalie kicked or attempted to kick the ball to release it into play.
Whenever a goalkeeper is thought to have the ball in his or her hand(s):
It is forbidden to touch the ball with any part of the hands or arms, or to place it between the hands, between the hand and any surface (such as the ground or one’s own body), unless the goalkeeper makes a save or the ball bounces off him or her.
PLAYING IN A DANGEROUS MANNER
In addition to obstructing a close opponent from playing the ball out of concern for their safety while attempting to play the ball, playing recklessly also covers any action that creates a risk of injury to anyone (including the player).
As long as the opponent is not in danger, it is acceptable to use a bicycle or scissors kick.
3. Restart of Play After Fouls and Misconduct
When play resumes if the ball is out of bounds, the preceding decision is followed. If a player makes physical contact with another player inside the playing area while the ball is in motion against:
A direct free kick or penalty kick is awarded to a teammate, substitute, substituted or sent-off player, team official or match official. An opponent may also receive an indirect or direct free kick or penalty kick.
Any verbal infraction is punishable by an indirect free kick.
Play is restarted with a dropped ball if the referee stops it for an offence committed by a player inside or outside the field of play against an outside agent, unless an indirect free kick is awarded for leaving the field of play without the referee’s permission, in which case the indirect free kick is taken from the point on the boundary line where the player left the field of play.
Play is restarted with a free kick on the boundary line closest to where the offense/interference occurred if a player, substitute, substituted or sent-off player, or team official commits an offence against a match official, an opposing player, a substitute, substituted or sent-off player, or a team official outside the field of play; for a direct free kick off a player, the referee will decide.
If a player commits an offence outside the field of play against another player, substitute, substituted player, or team official of their team, play is restarted with an indirect free kick on the boundary line closest to the location of the offence.
LAW 13: FREE KICKS
1. Types of a Free kKck
Direct and indirect free kicks are awarded to the opposing team if a player, substitute, sent-off, or substitute player, or a team official, offends.
INDIRECT FREE KICK SIGNAL
The referee indicates an indirect free kick by raising his arm above his head; he continues to do so until the kick is made and the ball has been touched by another player, has left the field of play, or a direct goal cannot be scored.
THE BALL ENTERS THE GOAL
- If a direct free kick is made directly into the opposing goal, it counts as a goal.
- If an indirect free kick is made directly into the opposing team’s goal, it is awarded as a goal kick.
- If a direct or indirect free kick is made directly into the opponent’s goal, it results in a corner kick.
All free kicks are taken from the location of the offence, with the following exceptions:
- If a direct or indirect free kick is made directly into the opponent’s goal, it results in a corner kick. a The attacking team is given indirect free kicks, which are taken from the nearest spot on the goal area line that runs parallel to the goal line, for offences committed inside the opponent’s goal area.
- The placement of free kicks for offences involving a player entering, reentering, or leaving the field of play without authorisation is determined by the position of the ball when play was stopped. If a player fouls off the field of play, play is restarted with a free kick on the boundary line closest to where the foul happened; for direct free kick offences, a penalty kick is awarded if this is inside the offender’s penalty area.
- where the Law designates another position (see Laws 3, 11, 12)
3. Offences and Sanctions
The referee permits play to continue if a player rapidly executes a free kick and an opponent less than 9.15 m (10 yds) from the ball intercepts it. However, the kick is retaken if the opponent is closer to the ball than the required distance at the time it is taken, unless the advantage can be used. However, if an opponent stalls the taking of a free kick on purpose, they must be warned for delaying the start of play.
A member of the attacking team receives an indirect free kick if they are less than one yard away from a “wall” of three or more defenders at the moment the free kick is executed.
When the defending team quickly conducts a free kick from inside its penalty area because they did not have enough time to escape, the referee allows play to continue if any opponents are present inside the penalty area. If an opponent touches the ball or challenges for possession of it while in the penalty area at the time the free kick is taken, or if they enter the area before the ball enters play, the free kick must be restarted.
If a kicker touches the ball again after it enters play but before it touches another player, they are awarded an indirect free kick; if they commit a handball offence:
- There is a direct free kick given.
- A penalty kick is awarded if the offence occurred inside the kicker’s penalty area, unless the kicker was the goalkeeper in which case an indirect free kick is awarded.
LAW 14: THE PENALTY KICK
The ball must remain at the penalty mark, and the goalposts, crossbar, and goal net cannot move.
It’s critical to know who will attempt the penalty shot.
The defensive goalie must be facing the kicker and stand on the goal line between the goalposts without touching the crossbar or goal net before the ball is kicked.
The players other than the kicker and goalkeeper must be:
- at least 9.15 m (10 yds) from the penalty mark
- behind the penalty mark
- inside the field of play
- outside the penalty area
Once the players have positioned themselves in accordance with this Law, the referee indicates for the penalty kick to be taken.
The player kicking the penalty kick must kick the ball forward; backheeling is permitted as long as the ball moves forward.
A minimum of a portion of one foot must be in contact with, parallel to, or behind the goal line when the opposing goalie kicks the ball.
More time is given for a penalty kick to be taken and finished after each half of the game or extra time. If extra time is allowed, the penalty kick is over when the ball stops moving, leaves play, is played by a player (including the kicker) other than the goalie of the opposite team, or the referee pauses the game because the kicker or the kicker’s team was involved in an infraction. If a member of the opposing side, including the goalkeeper, commits a foul and the initial attempt is blocked or saved, the penalty is retaken.
2. Offences and Sanctions
When the referee signals for a penalty kick to be taken, it must be executed immediately; otherwise, the referee may take disciplinary action before signaling once more for the kick to be executed.
the player taking the penalty kick or a team-mate offends:
- The kick is restarted if the ball touches the goal.
- Except in the following circumstances, where play is stopped and continued with an indirect free kick regardless of whether a goal is scored, in the referee restarts play with an indirect free kick if the ball does not enter the goal.
- A penalty kick is executed in reverse.
- A teammate of the designated kicker makes the kick; the kicker receives a warning from the referee for trying to kick the ball before finishing the run-up (feinting throughout the run-up is permitted).
- Only if the goalkeeper’s misconduct had an effect on the kicker is the kick retaken. A goal is scored if the ball strikes one of the goalposts, the crossbar, or both.
- The kick is retaken if the goalkeeper stops the ball from going into the goal.
- If a goalkeeper causes the kick to be retaken as a result of their error, they will receive a warning for their first game offence and a warning for any subsequent offences.
- a goal is scored if the ball enters the goal; if it does not, the kick is retaken; if a player from either team fouls, the kick is retaken unless the player commits a more serious offence (such as “illegal” feinting);
- Before the ball touches another player, the kicker touches it again.
- For a handball offence, a direct free kick or indirect free kick is given.
LAW 15: THE THROW-IN
When launching the ball, the thrower must be facing the field of play and have a portion of each foot on the touchline or on ground outside the touchline.
Throw the ball backwards and over your head from where it left the field of play.
Every opponent must be at least 2 metres away from the place on the touchline where the throw-in will be made (2 yards).
The ball enters play when it touches the playing field. If the ball contacts the ground before entering, the throw-in is retaken by the same team from the same location. If the throw-in is not taken accurately, the opposing team is given another chance to take it.
If a player accurately takes a throw-in and then intentionally throws the ball towards an opponent to play the ball again, the referee allows play to continue as long as the throw-in was not made carelessly, recklessly, or with excessive force.
2. Offences and Sanctions
If the thrower commits a handball offence, a direct free kick is awarded; if the thrower touches the ball again after it enters play but before it touches another player, an indirect free kick is awarded.
A penalty kick is awarded if the offence occurred inside the thrower’s penalty area, unless the opposing team’s goalkeeper handled the ball, in which case an indirect free kick is provided.
An opponent who unreasonably distracts or hinders the thrower (including by getting closer than 2 m (2 yds) to the spot where the throw-in is to be taken) receives a warning for unsportsmanlike conduct; if the throw-in has already been taken, an indirect free kick is awarded.
LAW 16: THE GOAL KICK
The stationary ball must be kicked by a member of the opposing team from any place inside the goal area.
The ball is in play when it is kicked and is seen moving.
Opponents must stay outside of the penalty area before the ball is put into play.
2. Offences and Sanctions
If the kicker commits a handball offence, a direct free kick is awarded; if the kicker touches the ball again after it has entered play but before it has hit another player, an indirect free kick is awarded.
A penalty kick is awarded if the offence occurred inside the kicker’s penalty area, unless the kicker was the goalkeeper in which case an indirect free kick is awarded.
If any opponents are present inside the penalty area during a goal kick because they did not have enough time to escape, the referee allows play to continue. If a player who is already in the penalty area when the goal kick is taken or who enters the area before the ball enters play touches or challenges for the ball, the goal kick is redone.
If the offender enters the penalty area before the ball enters play and commits a foul or is fouled by an opponent, the goal kick is retaken, and they may be given a warning or be dismissed.
LAW 17: THE CORNER KICK
A corner kick is given when all of the ball crosses the goal line, whether on the ground or in the air, having last touched a defender and no goals are scored.
Only the opposing team may directly score after a corner kick; if the ball enters the kicker’s goal, the opponents are awarded a corner kick.
- The ball must be placed in the corner closest to the point when it crossed the goal line.
- The ball must be kicked by a member of the attacking team.
- The ball does not need to leave the corner area once it is kicked and begins to move visibly.
- No moving of the corner flagpost is permitted.
- Opponents must maintain a distance of at least 9.15 metres (10 yards) from the corner arc until the ball enters play.
2. Offences and Sanctions
If a kicker touches the ball again after it enters play but before it touches another player, they are awarded an indirect free kick; if they commit a handball offence:
A direct free kick is awarded.
A penalty kick is awarded if the offence occurred inside the kicker’s penalty area, unless the kicker was the goalkeeper in which case an indirect free kick is awarded.
If a player correctly executes a corner kick and then deliberately kicks the ball at an opponent to play it again, the referee allows play to continue as long as the kick is not executed carelessly, recklessly, or with excessive force.
2022/23 LAW CHANGES EXPLAINED
An overview of this year’s major legal changes is provided below to help teams, managers, players, officials, and spectators get ready for the next season.
Law 3 – The Players
Law 3 includes the temporary amendment allowing teams in “top” competitions to use up to five substitutions (with fewer possibilities for substitution).
Law 8 – The Start and Restart of Play
The referee must flip a coin to determine the “ends” and the “kick-off.”
Law 10 – Determining the Outcome of a Match
clarification that a team official may be admonished or dismissed during kicks from the penalty mark (KFPM)
Law 12 – Fouls and Misconduct
explication of the goalkeeper’s own penalty area handball violations
A player will receive a free kick that will be placed in a certain area if they leave the field of play without the referee’s permission and then violate an outside agent.
Law 14 – The Penalty Kick
the goalkeeper’s position should be made clear before and during the execution of a penalty kick.