County Calling

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Put the flags out, we’ve had positive progressional change from the footballing authorities!

Over years, generations of football knowledge becomes so engrained in us that we’re experts by our teens. Since then, learning more about the game has largely been optional.

When nothing really changes, we don’t need to learn new things. Well, news this week means a lot of old dogs are going to have to learn a lot of new tricks.

Officials at the International FA Board have recently revised the Laws of the Game. Since it’s inception way back when, the game has changed considerably, but amendments to the Laws have simply been ‘bolted on’. By tightening and tweaking 95 rules, over half the words have been dropped to simplify the laws.

In reality, the changes range from the comical to the consequential. One major change involves the controversial “triple jeopardy” rule. The rule, which has previously seen goalkeepers sent off and serve a suspension if they conceded a penalty has been amended so that if referees can see that keepers have made a genuine attempt to go for the ball, denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity will now only result in a yellow card. Another big one is the new law surrounding the kick off.

The official ruling is being changed to allow the ball to go in any direction at kick-off as long as it moves. Also, fouled players will no longer necessarily have to leave the pitch for treatment. Some of these changes might seem trivial, but for me its a welcome move toward applying common sense to officiating.

I’m sure that whilst referees will all be busy studying the new Laws of The Game over the summer, the new changes will benefit everyone’s enjoyment of football in the long term. Oh and finally, clubs will be allowed their logos on corner flags once the new laws are in place, as despite it being commonplace in the Premier League it is actually against the laws of the game at the moment.

So yes, you can literally put the flags out.