Laws of the Game open session | Tues 21 Mar

The 2017 football season is not far away, and there have been a number of changes to the Laws of the Game.  Below is a summary of these changes. We will be holding an open session for clubs at Capital Football offices on Tuesday 21 March at 7.00pm, facilitated by Jamie Cross, our Referee Manager.

Register for the session on Tuesday 21 March here.

If your club would like a session run at your club for players and coaches, please contact Jamie (


Laws of the Game (summary of changes for 2017)

LAW 1 – The Field of Play

  • Competitions may determine the field size for their competitions (within Law 1)
  • All commercial advertising on the ground must be at least 1m from boundary lines
  • Logos/emblems of FAs, Federations, competitions etc. are allowed on corner flags (no advertising as the lines are a part of the field)

LAW 3 – The Players (new title)

  • A match may not start/continue if a team has fewer than 7 players
  • Substitutes may restart a match but must step onto the field first
  • Clarifies situation when a player is sent off before/after kick off
    • Before team list submitted can not be named on the team llist
    • After team submitted, may be replaced by a named substitute, who cannot be replaced
    • After kick off can not be replaced
  • Direct FK (or penalty) if a substitute or team official interferes with play
  • If something/someone other than a player touches the ball as it is going into goal, the referee can award the goal if the touch had no impact on defenders (the ball must go into the goal)
  • If a goal is scored with an extra person on the field and the referee has restarted play, the goal stands; but the matter must be reported.

LAW 4 – The Players’ Equipment

  • Any tape or other material on/covering socks must be the same colour as the sock
  • Player losing footwear/shinguard accidentally can play on until the next stoppage
  • Undershorts must be the same colour of shorts or hem; team must all wear the same colour
  • Electronic communication with substitutes is forbidden
  • Player can return during play after correcting equipment, once it has been checked and the referee signals

LAW 5 – The Referee

  • Decision can not be changed if play has restarted or the referee has left the field
  • Referee can send a player off from pre-match pitch inspection onwards
  • Referee can only use a YC/RC after entering the field at the start of the match
  • Player injured by a YC/RC can be quickly treated and stay on the field
  • Equipment a referee may use (compulsory, optional)
  • Diagrams of referee signals

LAW 6 – The Other Match Officials (new title)

  • More details about the duties of the assistants, AARs, fourth official
  • Diagrams of AR signals included (from Guidelines in 2015 LotG)

LAW 7 – The Duration of the Match

  • More reasons for additional time (e.g. medical drinks breaks)

LAW 8 – The Start and Restart of Play

  • All restarts included
  • Ball must clearly move to be in play for all kicked restarts
  • Ball can be kicked in any direction at kick-off

LAW 10 – Determining the Outcome of a Match (new title)

Kicks from the penalty mark

  • Referee will toss a coin to choose the goal
  • Player temporarily off the field at final whistle (injured) can take part
  • Both teams must have the same number of players before/ during the kicks
  • Clear statement when a kick is over (ball stops moving)

LAW 11 – Offside

  • Halfway line is neutral for offside; player must be in opponents’ half
  • IFK taken from where offence occurs (even in own half)
  • Defender off the field only active until defending team clear the ball or play stops
  • As above for attacker

LAW 12 – Fouls and Misconduct

  • Foul with contact is a DFK e.g. impedes an opponent with contact = DFK
  • Advantage for a RC – IFK if offender gets involved in play
  • Change of wording for a YC for handball, holding – BUPA only
  • Some DOGSO offences in the penalty area punished with a YC (Trip, tackle, kick attempting to play the ball)
  • Attempted violent conduct is a RC, even if no contact
  • Striking on the head/face when not challening an opponent is a RC (unless negligible)
  • Offence against subs, team officials, match officials is now a DFK
  • Foul off the field penalised with a DFK on the boundary line, if ball in play

LAW 13 – Free Kicks

  • Difference between stopping a FK and intercepting the ball after the kick

LAW 14 – The Penalty Kick

  • IFK + YC if wrong player takes the penalty i.e. not the identified kicker
  • IFK if ball kicked backwards
  • Illegal feinting = YC and IFK
  • Goalkeeper infringes = YC. Retake, if no goal.

LAW 16 – The Goal Kick

  • An opponent in the PA when the GK is taken can not play the ball first
  • Opponents must remzin outside the penalty area until the ball is in play

Copy of Summary of Changes Laws of the Game 2016/17 (pdf)