Jul 01

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Laws of the Game 2017/18; Signature League Rules of Play

Laws of the Game

laws of the game 2017-2018Interested in learning more about the rules in the game of soccer? Click on Laws of the Game 2017-2018 to view or download more details regarding each of the Laws, organized as shown below.

Law 1: The Field of Play
Law 2: The Ball
Law 3: The Number of Players
Law 4: The Players’ Equipment
Law 5: The Referee
Law 6: The Other Match Officials
Law 7: The Duration of the Match
Law 8: The Start and Restart of Play
Law 9: Ball In and Out of Play
Law 10: Determining the Outcome of a Match
Law 11: Offside
Law 12: Fouls and Misconduct
Law 13: Free Kicks
Law 14: The Penalty Kick
Law 15: The Throw-in
Law 16: The Goal Kick
Law 17: The Corner Kick

ifab5In addition, effective June 2016, and again June 2017, the IFAB (International Football Association Board) has “updated the Laws of the Game book to make it far more easy to read, understand and use not just for referees but for anyone interested in the Laws and in football.” Please click on Revision of The Laws Of The Game (or the IFAB/FIFA image to the right) to learn more about these changes. Below is a summary of the most recent Law changes for the 2017-2018 season.

Summary of Law changes for 2017/18

The following summarizes the main Law changes relating to players, coaches and match situations:

Electronic and communication equipment

  • Players are forbidden to wear/use any electronic or communication equipment, except electronic performance and tracking systems (EPTS)
  • All EPTS equipment must have a minimum safety standard mark; systems already in use have a transition period to obtain this mark which ends on 31 May 3018
  • Team officials in the technical area may only use communication equipment for player safety/welfare
  • There will be a consultation about other electronic communication in the technical area


  • A short drinks break is allowed at half time of extra-time; the break is not for coaching

Goal celebration

  • A player will get a YC if a goal celebration causes a safety/security problem


  • The kicker is permitted to stand in the opponents’ half to take the kick-off

Offenses off the field (ball in play)

  • If a player commits an offense off the field against an opposing player, substitute or team official, or a match official, it is a free kick on the boundary line*
  • If a substitute or team official commits an offense off the field against an opponent or match official, it is a free kick on the boundary line*


  • When a player who is in an offside position is fouled, the foul is awarded only if the player is not already attempting to play or challenge for the ball
  • Players in an offside position who interfere with (or ‘block’) defenders will be penalized

Penalty kick for a foul which ‘stops a promising attack’

  • A player who commits a foul which ‘stops a promising attack’ in the penalty area will not receive a YC if the foul was an attempt to play the ball

Penalties at the end of a match (Kicks from the Penalty Mark)

  • A goalkeeper who is unable to continue may be replaced by a player excluded to equalize the numbers (e.g. opponents had a players sent off), even if all substitutes have been used
  • A goalkeeper who causes a kick to be retaken will get a YC


  • Law 5 now contains an important statement that decisions made by match officials must always be respected (even when they seem to be wrong) – The IFAB and FIFA hope this will be publicized and supported by everyone in the game

Returning to the field without permission

  • If a player who has gone off the field and needs the referee’s permission to return (e.g. injured, changing footwear etc.) comes back onto the field without the referee’s permission and interferes with play it is a YC and a direct free kick*


  • National FAs can now allow teams to use a maximum of five substitutes (but not in competitions involving teams from 1st (top) division clubs or in ‘A’ international competitions)
  • National FAs have the option to use ‘return substitutes’ in youth, veterans, disability as well as grassroots (lowest levels) soccer

Temporary dismissals (sin bins)

  • National FAs have the option to use temporary dismissals (sin bins) for all/some YCs in youth, veterans, disability and grassroots soccer

Throwing objects

  • If a player, substitute or team official throws/kicks an object (including a ball) onto the field it is a direct free kick* if it interferes with play or a match official
  • If a player throws/kicks an object (including a ball) off the field at an opposing player, substitute or team official, or a match official, it is a direct free kick on the boundary line*

*penalty kick if direct FK offense in the offender’s penalty area


Laws of the Game Made Easy

For a more simple and lighter version of the Laws, U.S. Soccer created a publication to make learning the rules more enjoyable. As stated by the U.S. Soccer Referee Program, “The booklet does not replace the complete Laws of the Game, but works as the perfect starter book to educate young players and referees, as well as coaches or parents.” Please click Laws of the Game Made Easy to begin your education!


Signature League Rules of Play for 2017

Signature Logocal-south-signatureWith the new US Soccer initiatives that are being implemented this Fall season, there are some new rules that will be included in Signature for ALL teams and, in particular, for ALL games in the 2006, 2007 and 2008 birth years (meaning U9, U10 and U11).

These rules are incorporated in the revised 2017 Signature League Rules of Play. They will soon be on the match cards but, it is strongly encouraged that each coach and team manager keep a copy with them to ensure these new rules are followed by all teams and referees during each game. Please click on either Signature image to view the new Rules of Play. In addition, for more information and educational resources from Cal South’s Signature Program, including rules, forms, and reports, click here.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.lnysa.org/laws-of-the-game-2017/