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News - Details

2019-20 Laws of the Game Changes

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) released several key changes to the Laws of the Game for the 2019-20 season. In Maryland, these changes are in effect beginning with the Fall 2019 season.

These changes were made to help encourage a faster pace of play with less down time, clarified what is/is not handling, and introduced the ability for referees to give a card to bench personnel, and better maintain the spirit of the game.

Here are some resources (inc. videos below) that will help everyone better understand the law changes:


We want to thank Colorado Soccer Association and their Director of Referees Esse Baharmast (former MLS, Olympic and World Cup Official, and current FIFA Referee Instructor) for their video series highlighting some of the biggest changes you'll see this year with descriptions and examples below: 


  Law_5_-_Referee_-YC-RC_team_officials   Law_5_-_Referee_-PK_Injury

Law 3: The Players - Substitutions


Law 5: The Referee - Team Official Cards


Law 5: The Referee - Injured Penalty Kick Takers

Law_8_-_Restart_of_play_-_Drob_Ball   Law_8_-_Restart_of_play_-_Drob_Ball   Law_9_-_Ball_in_and_out_of_play

Law 8: Start/Restart of Play - Drop Ball


Law 8: Start/Restart of Play - Coin Toss

Law 9: Ball In/Out of Play - Ball hits the referee

Law_10_-_Determine_outcome_of_match   Law_12_Fouls_-_delay_YC-RC_copy   Law_12_Fouls_-_Handling_the_ball
Law 10: Outcome of Match - GK scoring   Law 12: Fouls/Misconduct - Handling the ball   Law 12: Fouls/Misconduct - Delayed Cards
Law_13_Free_Kicks_1M_player_rule_copy   Law_13_Free_Kicks_1M_player_rule_copy   Law_14_-_Penalty_Kick
Law 13: Free Kicks - Inside the penalty area   Law 13: Free Kicks - Attackers 1M from the wall   Law 14: Penalty Kick - GK conduct
Law_15-_throw_in   Law-16---Goal-Kick    
Law 15: Throw In - 2M distance from line   Law 16: Goal Kick - Ball leaving the penalty area    


Remember: MSYSA has a Zero Tolerance Policy regarding abuse of any kind, including against referees.

Interested in becoming a referee? Contact Maryland Soccer Referees for more information.