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Question Number: 33241

Law 8 - The Start and Restart of Play 4/14/2019

RE: Adult

S of Syd, Nsw Australia asks...

What's the new law change with drop balls can it not be contested?

And also goal kicks please.

Even though my competition are still using the 2018 rules.

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

The full text of the new laws has not been issued yet but the changed sections of the laws you ask about (and which don't come into effect until later this year) are as follows.

Dropped Ball:

''The ball is dropped for the defending team goalkeeper in their penalty area if, when play was stopped:
- the ball was in the penalty area or
- the last touch of the ball was in the penalty area
- In all other cases, the referee drops the ball for one player of the team that last touched the ball at the position where it last touched a player, an outside agent or, as outlined in Law 9.1, a match official.
- All other players (of both teams) must remain at least 4m (4.5 yds) from the ball until it is in play.
The ball is in play when it touches the ground.''

As referenced above, Law 9.1 has some new situations where a dropped ball will be awarded after the ball touches a match official, as listed below:

''The ball is out of play when:
- ()
- it touches a match official, remains on the field of play and:
- a team starts a promising attack or
- the ball goes directly into the goal or
- the team in possession of the ball changes
In all these cases, play is restarted with a dropped ball.''

Goal kicks:

''The ball is in play when it is kicked and clearly moves.
If, when a goal kick is taken, any opponents are inside the penalty area because they did not have time to leave, the referee allows play to continue. If an opponent who is in the penalty area (), touches or challenges for the ball before it is in play, the goal kick is retaken.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

From next season these two changes will mean that there will be no more contested drop balls or having to give the ball back at at a DB and the ball will not have to leave the penalty area to be in play at restarts inside the penalty area.
The changes are outlined by Referee Grove
Returning the ball to the team that last played it restores what was *lost* when play was stopped, except in the penalty area where it is simpler to return the ball to the goalkeeper. To prevent that team gaining an unfair advantage, all players of both teams, except the player receiving the ball must be at least 4m (4.5 yds) away from the restart.
On goal kicks and free kicks in the penalty area the experiment where, at a defending team kick in the penalty area, the ball is in play once it is kicked and does not have to leave the penalty area, has produced a faster and more constructive restart. Opponents must remain outside the penalty area and at least 9.15m away until the ball is in play. It is in play when the it is kicked and moved.
Now it may increase the potential on the free kicks for attackers to try to prevent the QFK like elsewhere on the field of play. At the moment there is a window of time for the ball to leave the penalty area to *slow* the restart which tends to move attackers away from the ball.
There are other significant changes that referees should familiarise themselves with for next season.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Lots of recent changes in the LOTG these past few years (next year is no exception) have experienced referees scrambling to get re-certified. Or at least a reread of the new laws because many things are no longer what they once were!
The biggest change is drop ball can be to single individuals.
The ball no longer will have to leave the PA to be in play on goal kicks but also on any defending free kick. Just the ten yards need be respected!

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