Laws of the Game: 2020 Amendments


The following are the key Law Amendments for the 2020 season: · Substituted players must leave the field at the nearest point unless otherwise instructed by the Referee (Law 3) · Team Officials guilty of misconduct can be shown a Yellow or Red Card. If an offender/s in the technical area cannot be identified by the Referee, the senior coach in the technical area receives the Yellow or Red Card (Law 5) · The team that wins the toss may choose to take the kickoff. If they do so, their opponent gets to choose the goal they will attack (Law 8) · Dropped Ball – ball is dropped for Goalkeeper (if play stopped in Penalty area) or for one player of the team that last touched the ball and all other players must be at least 4m away – i.e. uncontested possession (Law 8) · Dropped Ball if the ball touches the Referee (or other match official) and goes into the goal, possession changes or an attacking move starts (Law 9) · Goalkeepers cannot score by throwing the ball in to the opponent’s goal (Law 10) · Handball text has been re-written for greater clarity/consistency – please take the time to read and understand these amendments (Law 12 – see next page) · Free kicks in the defending teams’ penalty area – the ball is in play once it is kicked and clearly moves, it does not have to leave the penalty area (Law 13) · When there is a defensive wall of at least 3 players, all attacking players must be at least 1m from the wall. An indirect free kick is awarded if they encroach (Law 13) · Goalposts, crossbar and nets must not be moving when a penalty kick is taken, and the goalkeeper must not be touching them (Law 14) · Goalkeeper must have at least part of one foot on, or in line with, the goal line when a penalty kick is taken and cannot stand behind the line (Law 14) · Opponents must be at least 2m from the point on the touch line where a throw in is to be taken, even if the thrower is back from the line (Law 15) · At goal kicks, the ball is in play once it is kicked and clearly moves, it does not have to leave the penalty area. No opposition players may enter the penalty area until the ball is in play (Law 16)


Handball Rule

Handling the ball It is an offence if a player:

• deliberately touches the ball with their hand/arm, including moving the hand/arm towards the ball

• gains possession/control of the ball after it has touched their hand/arm and then:

  • scores in the opponents’ goal

  • creates a goal-scoring opportunity

  • scores in the opponents’ goal directly from their hand/arm, even if accidental, including by the goalkeeper