Here is FIFA’s Short List of Changes

The changes that have been listed by FIFA are hardly earth shattering!

Unless you think of the kick-off which is now so different that one of my coaches from the Academy e-mailed me after seeing Northern Ireland kick-off asking how can this be!

Plus now if someone is fouled in the penalty area they may or may not be sent off if you think it’s not deliberate!

And of course, now an injured player may or may not have to go off if you caution or red card the offender.

In other words we’ve got to use our opinion on these things!

FIFA have given us (the referees) an Outline Summary of the Law Changes for this coming season.

Just in case you haven’t seen them, I’ve recreated them below:

Law 01 – Field of Play

  • Artificial and natural surfaces may not be combined on the field
  • Competitions may determine field size for their competitions (within Law)
  • All commercial advertising on the ground must be at least 1m (1yd) from boundary lines
  • Logos/emblems of FAs, competitions etc… allowed on corner flags (no advertising)

Law 02 – The Ball


Law 03 – The Players (new title)

  • A match may not start/continue if a team has fewer than 7 players
  • Substitutes may take a restart but must first step on the field
  • Clarifies situation when a player is sent off before/after kick off
  • Direct FREE KICK (or penalty) if a substitute/team official interferes with play
  • If something/someone (other than a player) touches a ball as it goes into the goal the referee can award the goal if the touch had no impact on the defenders
  • If a goal is scored with an extra person on the field and the referee has restarted play the goal stands and match continues

Law 04 – 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 next stoppage
  • Undershorts must be colour of shorts or hem; team must all wear same colour
  • Electronic communication with substitutes is forbidden
  • Player can return during play after changing/correcting equipment, once equipment has been checked (by referee, fourth official or AR) and referee signals

Law 05 – The Referee

  • Decision cannot be changed if play restarted or referee has left the field (HT + FT)
  • If several offences occur at the same time the most serious is punished
  • Referee can send a player off from pre-match pitch inspections onwards
  • Referee can only use RC + YC after entering the field at the start of the match
  • Player injured by RC/YC foul can be quickly assessed/treated and stay on the field
  • The equipment a referee can or may be allowed to use
  • Diagrams of referee signals included (from Guidelines section)

Law 06 – The Other Match Officials (new title)

  • More details about the duties of the assistants, AARs, fourth official
  • Diagrams of assistant referee signals included (from Guidelines section)

Law 07 – The Duration of the Match

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

Law 08 – The Start and Restart of Play

  • All restarts included (previously only kick-off and dropped ball)
  • Ball must clearly move to be in play for all kicked restarts
  • Ball can be kicked in any direction at kick-off (previously had to go forward)
  • Referee cannot “manufacture” outcome of dropped ball

Law 09 – The Ball in and out of Play

  • If a ball rebounds off a match official it is in play unless it has wholly passed over a boundary line

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

Kicks from the penalty mark:

  • Referee will toss a coin to choose the goal (unless weather, safety, etc…)
  • Player temporarily off the field (e.g. injured) at final whistle can take part
  • Both teams must have the same number of players before and during the kicks
  • Clear statement of when a kick is over
  • Kicks not delayed if player leaves the field; if not back in time kick is forfeited

Law 11 – Offside

  • Halfway line is “neutral” for offside; player must be in opponents’ half
  • Players’ arms are not considered when judging offside position (including goalkeeper)
  • Offside FREE KICK always taken where offence occurs (even in own half)
  • Defender off the field only “active” until defending team clear ball or play stops
  • As above for attacker returning; before that re-entry point is the offside position

Law 12 – Fouls and Misconduct

  • Foul with contact is a direct FREE KICK
  • Advantage for a RC – indirect FREE KICK if offender then gets involved in play
  • Change of wording for handball so that not every handball is a YC
  • Some DOGSO offences in the penalty area are punished with a YC
  • Attempted violent conduct is a RC, even if no contact
  • Striking on head/face when not challenging an opponent is a RC
  • Offence against substitutes, team officials, match officials etc. is now a direct FREE KICK
  • Foul off the field penalised with a direct FREE KICK on boundary line (penalty in own penalty area)

Law 13 – Free Kicks

  • Difference between “stopping” a FREE KICK and intercepting the ball after FREE KICK taken

Law 14 – The Penalty Kick

  • Indirect FREE KICK + YC if wrong player deliberately takes the penalty
  • Indirect FREE KICK if ball kicked backwards
  • If “illegal” feinting occurs it is always an INDIRECT FREE KICK (and YC)
  • Goalkeeper YC if infringes and PK is retaken

Law 15 – The Throw-in

  • New wording makes it clear that ball must be thrown with both hands

Law 16 – The Goal Kick

  • If Goal Kick kicked into own goal it is a corner kick to opponents
  • An opponent in the penalty area when the Goal Kick is taken cannot play the ball first

Law 17 – The Corner Kick

  • If CK kicked into own goal it is a corner kick to opponents

It is my intention to give some more details on these over the coming weeks.


Category: Blog, The Renegade

Give a little whistle!

At A&H Referees I look to provide products that either I’ve used or I’ve seen used effectively.

I’ve seen referees who think this:

“It’s only a whistle!”

They have a lanyard that would fit round an elephant’s calf muscle and a whistle that takes more puff than a dragon in his prime would have!

So when someone says “It’s only a whistle!”

I say “Oh no it’s not – it’s your number one communication tool so it better be right.”

This is why the Fox 40 Classic is my whistle of choice.

Before 1996 I was using a black pea’d whistle from Acme.  Back then I got a phone call from a fellow referee who’d been to Canada and he’d brought some newly invented Fox 40 Classics.

I swapped him a couple of pairs of white top socks for one of these whistles.

I was hooked – and I’ve been using Fox whistles ever since.

And I’ve been selling them via A&H Referees.  That’s a different story, a long story that one day I’ll share with you.  But in that story is the reason why the Fox 40 was invented (by a fellow referee!)

Pre-Fox 40 Classic (generally once a season) I’d have the pea stick inside the whistle after an amount of time because of the debris in my mouth, since 1996 this was just an old nightmare that went away.

That said, it is a great idea to keep the internal parts of the whistle clean by using something that melts away any debris that may build up.  Whatever you use, remember to give your whistle a really good rinse before you use it again.

Incidentally, the other thing I fell in love with was the elasticated wrist lanyard.  It is comfortable to wear and small enough that you can “drop” your whistle when you need both hands to make notes.

The Fox 40 Classic is made of three parts which are sonically welded together.  They are virtually indestructible – we say that because we ran one over with a Ford Sierra and the whistle still worked!

The whistle comes in a number of colours although some people think that if you’re using a yellow whistle you’re brandishing a yellow card!

So it’s safer to use black or blue or green just in case you get a person who cannot see the difference between a whistle and a card!

When you convert to the Fox 40 Classic you’ll still need to make it talk.

I was taught to think like this – a blind man should know what decision you’ve just given from the sound of your Fox 40. There is a heck of a difference between an offside and a foul you deem to be attempted murder!

Your whistle should reflect this and I found that the Fox 40 Classic has the ability to be blown gently – it’s just an offside – all the way through to – you’re just about to see red my friend!

Getting your whistle to have different meanings will take time to master but in the end it will be worth it.

Remember that the Fox 40 Classic has three vents (where the sounds come from), so when you’re running and blowing it don’t cover any of them.

So if you want to make the switch to a Fox 40 Classic follow this link and now and get your hands on one to finish the season on a high.

Category: Misc, The Renegade

The Renegade Ref is beaten for words!

As referees we’re always battling against this attitude of a lack of respect for authority, aren’t we?
When I was visiting Colchester Referees’ Society I was told by a referee about a game he was officiating on where someone on the field told him to F off!
He was taken aback and didn’t know how to deal with the miscreant. It’s obvious that if it’s a player you show the player a red card and get them off the field of play.
What happens if its an 80 year old woman on a mobility scooter heading across the pitch on a public park?
This is an excerpt from the local press written by the reporter who was not privy to the discussion spoken about above:
Now I have been involved in local football for over forty-five years and save for one strange incident at the old Severals Hospital ground where an inmate emerged from the undergrowth with a ball and proceeded, to walk onto the pitch and place the ball on the centre circle, today’s incident involved an elderly lady who proceeded to ride her mobility scooter straight through the whole recreation ground and across the pitch whilst the game was still in play heading for the open gate on the far-side, she was clearly oblivious to the fact that a game was in motion, referee French stopped the game and ushered the offending vehicle and driver off the pitch.
So you’re a referee – what would you do? What could you do?
One of the referees in the office says that this type of incident brings the game together as everyone finds it amusing.
Perhaps you’ve seen something to rival this for idiocy.

Category: The Renegade