Premier League gears up for rule changes for 2019 – 20 season
Premier League fever has erupted in Britain once more, with the 2019 – 20 season kicking off this weekend. As players, managers, teams and fans up and down the country optimistically look forward to the start of the new season, there’s a new set of rules implemented for us all to get used all.
Video Assistance Referee (VAR)
One of the biggest changes this season is the introduction of VAR. Using Video Assistant Technology, referees are able to assess incidents that occur on the pitch to determine the outcome of decisions. VAR decisions will however be limited to three per game.
As we saw in this year’s Women’s Football World Cup, VAR is not without criticism and continues to divide opinion amongst players, coaches, fans and everyone else involved in the game.
This new football technology can be invaluable in stamping out critical decisions that were made inaccurately by match officials.
However, many opponents of VAR condemn the system for taking the ‘romance’ out of the game and that referrals take too long and hold up the game.
Another new rule being brought in this season is that players can be booked for over exuberant celebrations when they score and the goal then gets disallowed by VAR.
Players, coaches and officials also need to be aware of changes to the rules regarding handballs. If, during the build up to a goal, the ball hits an attacker’s arm, the goal will be disallowed even if the handball was accidental.
With regards to free kicks, the wall must be stood at least 10 yards away from the free kick spot and an attacking player is not allowed to stand in the wall.
During penalty kicks, new Premier League rules state that goalkeepers must have one foot on the line as the penalty is being taken. Goalies are now not permitted to touch the posts prior to a spot kick in order to reduce deliberate mind games.
When a goalkeeper takes a free kick, the ball is now active the second it leaves the goalie’s foot meaning teammates no longer have to wait until the ball exits the penalty area to start controlling it.
Officials on the touchline can now be punished in the same way as players with yellow and red cards.
Further changes to the rules include drop balls no longer being used, substituted players having to leave the field at the nearest point, and a team’s place on the table if they are level with the opposing team on points, goals difference, and goals for and against, being determined by their head-to-head record.
With fans about to ascend on football clubs across the UK, with players, coaches, staff and officials poised to grapple with the raft of new rules being introduced, it’s vital clubs, no matter how large and prestigious or small and inconspicuous, have the right insurance in place to keep the club and everyone in it safe.
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