The IFAB has made significant changes to the Laws of the Game

These changes will be effective in the fall 2019 ASL season

In brief, here are the changes:

  • Handball:  clarification on what is/is not considered a handball offense.
  • Goal kicks:  the ball is in play when the kick is taken and can be played by another player before it leaves the penalty area.
  • Free kicks inside the penalty area:  the ball is in play once it has been kicked and does not need to leave the penalty area before it can be played by another player.
  • Defensive wall on free kicks:  if the defending team’s wall is made up of 3 or more players, the attacking team must remain 1 meter away from all players in the wall.
  • Dropped ball:  in situations requiring a restart with a dropped ball: (a) if play was stopped with the ball in the penalty area, the ball will be dropped for the goalkeeper; or (b) if play is stopped outside the penalty area, the ball will be dropped for one player of the team that last touched the ball, at the point of the last touch.  In all cases, all players must be at least 4 meters (4.5 yards) away.
  • Substitutes leaving the field: the referee can require a player being substituted to leave at the nearest point along the field unless there is a safety concern. The player must go immediately to the technical area or dressing room.
  • Yellow cards and red cards to technical staff:  technical staff can be shown the yellow and red card. All regulations regarding suspensions as they relate to misconduct including red cards and the accumulation of yellow cards will be applicable to technical staff.

Below we've got links to several articles and documents from the IFAB that address the changes in more detail.


Albuquerque Sol


New Mexico State Soccer Association

United State Adult Soccer Association

United States Soccer Federation