2019-20 Laws of the Game

Discussion in 'Referee' started by code1390, Nov 13, 2018.

  1. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 30, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    But if a defender is in possession of the ball and in a position to actually make a controlled enough play to aim the ball at his defender's hand... why wouldn't he just clear it? You have the obvious no-risk, high-reward play (clearing the ball) that has been part of the game forever or the high-risk, high-reward play (your suggestion) which results in a DFK. Nevermind the logistics of execution, I just don't see the logic in it. You're going to play for a DFK in your goal area so you don't give possession or a throw-in to your opponent 30+ yards away from goal? Is that the logic? It just doesn't make sense. It won't be taught at the professional level.

    Well, yes on the first part (though not sure "pandering") is the right word. Billions of people are invested in the professional game and that's who the Laws and IFAB are written for. Is the stuff about Fourth Officials "pandering" because 99% of games in the world don't have them? The Laws are for the professional game and then they get adjusted--either explicitly with rules of competition or just via custom with their execution--as you move down the ladder. Nothing is new there.

    Also, despite me hating the campaign about the "triple punishment" and having preferred an adjustment around the suspension side of things, I think most would say that change has worked out pretty well. There are no more kinks than when DOGSO was just rigid and now goalkeepers stay on the field when they make an honest challenge for the ball which results in a foul and--85% of the time--a goal anyway. The campaign was frustrating but the result doesn't seem to be "nonsense."

    I also don't understand what you're asserting in the last sentence with "fault" vs. "praise." Handling is incredibly convoluted as things stand now--both inside and outside the referee community--and I don't see too many referees getting universal praise even when they are objectively right per the Laws. If a change here makes everyone's expectations more streamlined regarding attacking teams not being able to benefit from inadvertent handling (notwithstanding a few of the points raised above), won't that make it easier for referees?
     
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  2. fischietto

    fischietto Member

    Apr 13, 2018
    This is all well and good and I agree with the concept that it’s unjust for a goal to be scored with the hand, is that really a big issue right now that IFAB needs to address? Who is arguing that goals scored with the hand should stand?

    I think a wider issue (with the advent of VAR) is handballs that lead to a penalty. With video review, referees can’t use the excuse of “not seeing it” in order not to give a soft handling penalty. We need a better sample of handball situations and need to be told, for once and for all, WHICH constitute handling and which don’t. The amount of ridiculous handball penalties penalties I’ve seen given just in the last month has been absurd. Please IFAB, give us more detail about what is handling. Yes, maybe some FUTURO and UEFA videos provide some guidance, but why is it so difficult to find? This is how pervasive myths spread.

    I consider myself a very involved referee, looking to improve and take advantage of available resources. If I struggle with this, imagine about the less motivated, and the millions of casual observers beyond them!
     
  3. fairplayforlife

    fairplayforlife Member+

    Mar 23, 2011
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I just can’t agree. IFAB is essentially creating deliberate inequality in the game. If you’re an attacker you might as well amputate your arms, any time the ball hits them your goal scoring chances fall to zero in a league with VAR.

    Players are creative and willing to take stupid sometimes illogical risks to get ahead. It may not be an epidemic but it will happen.

    Maybe the wording will fix any loopholes but I sincerely doubt it based on my experience getting answers from IFAB.
     
  4. RedStar91

    RedStar91 Member+

    Sep 7, 2011
    Club:
    FK Crvena Zvezda Beograd


    Essentially, I think this Law change will make the play above deemed an automatic offence. Let's just assume for the same of argument, that the ball actually did hit Toure's hand (even though I'm still not sure it actually hit his hand). I think we all know there is no way that the play is deliberate or "handling" in even the most strict interpretation of today's law.

    The funny thing is this play above would never be called against a defender in the penalty area. I know in my entire career I have never called a PK against a defender on a ball inadvertently bouncing up on a defender, but we always call it against the attacker using it to gain control of the ball. So IFAB seems to be putting into Law what historically and traditionally has been done.

    The main point I was trying to make, but not as well as you, is what is immediate? The clip above is really text book example of what I think IFAB is trying to put into Law. The issue is how far back do you go to where it doesn't become an offense?

    If the result is all that matters of the handling and not "immediate", then couldn't a penalty kick be called on the defender if it leads to an immediate counterattack? At the professional level, we've seen two or three rapid passes lead to length of the pitch goals.

    In games with VAR I think it could be a problem because you are looking for the factual decision of the ball hitting the hand rather than it being deliberate.

    I know it won't lead to more penalty kicks being called for inadvertent handling, but I think it will lead to referees calling more "trifling" handling decisions in midfield due to worrying about the "result" of the handling.

    There are all kinds plays similar to the Toure play at midfield that we all kind of let go at times just for the sake of game flow and for knowing there is a very little risk in a goal coming out of it. If a goal does come off it, we always fall back on the excuse of "it wasn't deliberate." With this Law change, and with VAR, you're kind of stuck in no man's land.
     
  5. RedStar91

    RedStar91 Member+

    Sep 7, 2011
    Club:
    FK Crvena Zvezda Beograd
    But there are already massive deliberate inequalities in the game between attackers and defenders. If anything this change seems to be consistent with making it harder to score a goal and giving the defense more help.

    Soccer is the only sport that seems to keep favoring the defense/defenders when it comes to rule changes and instruction. The game has and will continue to favor defenders.

    Basketball is doing everything they can to increase scoring and keep defenders from playing any defense. Defenders can't even breath on James Harden anymore without being called for a foul.

    The NFL/NCAA are doing everything they can to help the offenses with rule changes and instructions in football.

    Baseball is thinking about eliminating the defensive shift.

    Yet soccer seems to be going on a path where it seems to be harder and harder to score a goal.

    Look at VAR. We finally got to a point where offside was finally giving the benefit of the doubt to attack, but now with VAR we are disallowing goals for fractional decisions that weren't possible by the human eye.

    We are disallowing goals for trifling fouls by attackers 50 yards away from goal, but not awarding penalty kicks for much more obvious fouls.

    Look a the "triple jeopardy" elimination. Again favoring the defenders to commit fouls in the penalty area.

    Look at seemingly the instruction of not giving cards for serious foul play at the CL and the World Cup. Defenders getting the benefit of the doubt.

    It's quite bizarre actually as to why this is in soccer.
     
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  6. fairplayforlife

    fairplayforlife Member+

    Mar 23, 2011
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I’m not sure the last 15 years of philosophy changes on offside give any indication that IFAB is favoring the defense. Quite the opposite.
     
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  7. socal lurker

    socal lurker Member+

    May 30, 2009
    I don't think the intent of VAR is to have more OS calls--it has been a side effect of greater accuracy. The same with fouls leading to the attack--if you are going to review for PKs, reviewing for those seems the only fair balance. I'd actually be curious on the stats of how many goals have been disallowed for that versus how many PKs awarded.

    As @fairplayforlife noted, the changes to OS over the past decade or two have been virtually all to increase opportunities to score (with a couple of back steps when a change had more broad unintended effects).

    I think this is a tempest in a teapot. There are already relatively few non-deliberate no calls at the professional level, so there aren't a lot of extra calls that are going to be possible to make, even with VAR. And for the rest of us without VAR, i think this is going to come into play very rarely--and as @RedStar91 pointed out, where an attacker trying to score handles the ball, we already have a tendency in the Game to lean heavily toward that handling having been deliberate.

    Whether this is a good change or not is, of course, a matter of opinion. But I don't think it is going to have much of an impact on real games by experienced referees. I think it will be narrowly written (and easier to argue about once it actually exists . . .) and will be narrowly applied by competent referees. I think the impact outside the classroom is going to be very small.

    I do, however, think it muddles training of referees: "Handling is only a foul if it is deliberate . . . except . . ." I think that newbie refs are more likely to let the exception swallow the rule.

    (Now some of the other ideas about changing handling, like basing it on the angle of arms would be a whole different ball of wax.)
     
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  8. Bubba Atlanta

    Bubba Atlanta Member+

    Mar 2, 2012
    Yep, Atlanta
    Club:
    Atlanta United FC
    Well I think it will be nice to switch to arguing about handling for a couple of years as a change from the last few years' arguing about offside.
     
  9. voiceoflg

    voiceoflg Member

    Dec 8, 2005
    Or we could argue against baseball eliminating the shift. What's next in eliminating strong defensive strategies? Outlawing "parking the bus?" :D
     
  10. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 30, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well, yes. No disagreement here. It is going to annoy people who are most worried about the legal philosophical perspective, but a big chunk of those people post here.

    The fact remains that "football expects" goals to not be scored with hands or the aid of hands. Clattenburg--who most respect as a top referee--even made this point in studio. So while a change like this won't meet the test of global fairness, it will fall in line with what most of the game's stakeholders expect. I talk to (and play recreationally) with people all the time who firmly believe defenders shouldn't be punished for accidental handling but that attackers shouldn't be able to benefit from accidental handling. If they see the logical inconsistency--and they don't always do--they ignore it because they think that's how the game should be.

    But again, they wouldn't be "getting ahead" (unless one really wants that DFK inside their own goal area). I'll drop this here, but I just can't believe you really fear this as a result of the discussed change.
     
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  11. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 30, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yes, I think you're right. This would be handling 100% (stipulating it hit his hand). Right now, it shouldn't be.

    The question is, how far away from your attacking goal do you need to be for this to not be handling? Because from what I'm reading in the discussions, this would not be a penalty. So it also shouldn't be a DFK against a defender just outside his own penalty area. Establishing that magic line where it turns from "sorry, you can't gain from that" to "oops, that wasn't your fault; of course I'm not going to punish you with a dangerous restart to your opponent" is what I can't figure out.

    In short, I'm less concerned about the legal and philosophical issues here (and they certainly exist) because it's an effort to bring the game in line with what hundreds of millions of people already think or expect, including serious fans, veteran coaches and top-level players. I'm more concerned with the execution of the inherent nuance.

    Exactly.

    Again, exactly. This will be the major issue and, I suspect, the major headache for referees if this moves forward.
     
  12. fairplayforlife

    fairplayforlife Member+

    Mar 23, 2011
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Fear is probably the wrong word. I see an avenue for exploitation.

    The world of soccer has the unfortunate tendency to let exploitation of the laws creep in far too deep before they react. I recently had the dubious pleasure to read a response from David Elleray that stated a passback can only be an offense of done with the hand. Arms don’t count.

    I’m not saying that is something that is running rampant but the fact people will believe that is frightening and concerning. Because if he happens to spread that, who is to question someone in his position.
     

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