2022 Rule Changes

Updated 12-Apr-2022.

There have been some significant  rule changes for the 2022  season.  You can find the current (2022) full field laws of the game here.

A summary of the changes is available here.  The offical page for the changes is here and includes a presentation with videos that helps explain.

It seems the main changes of interest to us are around hand balls.   In particular, around when an accidental hand ball is considered a foul. Various things that might have been considered a hand-ball last year no longer are!  But, if an attacker scores “immediately” after an accidental handball – it is always a foul (no goal).  In the latter case “immediately” does depend a bit on the ref and what actually happens. It does depend a lot on the view the ref gets.  For players, as always, keep your hands a close to your body as practical and you have less chance of issues.   

Minor changes to other rules, e.g. “offside”: the lower part of the arm is no longer considered.   Also – If you try to use a “trick” to send the ball back to the keeper in breach of the rules, then you could get a yellow card.  

2020 Rule Changes

There have been some significant rule changes for the 2020 season.  You can find the current full field laws of the game here

I hope to have a presentation from the referees association on the changes available soon.

Here is my very quick summary:

  • Substitutions: Players leaving the field must leave at nearest boundary
    • Then walk around the field back to the technical area.
    • The player going onto the field still enters from the centre.
  • Yellow and red cards can be shown to coaches and managers.
    •  If you are shown a red card you must leave the field and take no further part in the game.
    • If the ref can’t work out who to blame, the senior coach is shown the card
  • Goal kicks/free kicks in own penalty area:  
    • Ball is in play when kicked, can be passed to a defender in the penalty area.  
    • No real change to U12 goal kicks (25m rule)
  • Dropped balls:
    • No longer competitive. 
    • Dropped to a player of the team which last had possession, or to goal keeper if it is in the penalty area.
    • Players of the other team must be 4m back.
  • Ball hitting referee:
    • If possession changed or a promising attack developed, then the ball is dropped for the team which previously had possession
  • Coin Toss: Team that wins the toss can pick to kick off or choose direction. 
  • Refs can delay showing a yellow/red card if is to the advantage of the other team.
  • Free kick – defensive walls.  Players from the attacking team must be at least 1m away from the wall.  Yellow card offence
  • Goal keeper during penalty – When the ball is kicked, the defending goalkeeper must have at least part of one foot touching, or in line with, the goal line. Yellow card offence 
  • Passback to goal keeper – if the keeper  clearly tried to play the ball away (e.g. kick, head or chest the ball), and fails to clear it, he can then pick it up.
  • Hand-ball.  Lots of reworking of the rules to make it clearer which (possibly accidental) hand-ball events are called.  
    • Apparently this reflects what the referees have been enforcing in past years, it make makes it clearer (in most cases) what is allowed and what is not.
    • All deliberate hand-balls are still not allowed.
    • Basically – keep your hands and arms close to your body.


2018 Rule change – introduction of the “sin-bin” (not for mini-roos)

We had a lot of rule changes last year.  There is just one significant change this year for the full field game, the introduction the “Sin Bin!”  Some of the details are association specific, for Granville Association the basic idea is you will be sent to sin bin for dissent!  10 minutes for Youth (18s) and Adults, 5 minutes for U12 to U16.  The rule may be different if you find yourself in other competitions (e.g. state cup).

More details below.

Continue reading “2018 Rule change – introduction of the “sin-bin” (not for mini-roos)”

Law (Football rules) changes – from 2017 season

(From Feb 2017 but updated in for in 2018 for web site changes) The laws of the game have changed!!

The laws (rules) of our game (full field version) have changed for this season (2017 and onwards). There have been some 90 or so changes to the rule-book, through many are just clarifications (e.g. indirect free kicks – the ball must clearly move, no taping the ball and calling it a kicked) or tidying up of the english.  But some are significant and obvious – you have probably seen in other games that they have finally given up on getting you to kick the ball forward on kick-off, it can now go backward.  In some cases, less red cards (last-man fouls in the penalty area are now a yellow rather then a red) but in other cases more.   More direct free kicks, some tidying up of the offside rule and much more.

Here is the actual law book for 2016/2017 , changes highlighted. Here is the FFA summary of the changes and here is the offical detailed list of changes.

Changes to bring the mini-roo games into line have been proposed, hopefully they will be accepted and out soon!

If you would like to learn the laws in detail – go to this page, it is the on-line course people must do before becoming a ref (but even here, some of the questions have not yet been updated ).  It takes a few hours to go through, improves your knowledge of the game and if you take the test, allows you to go to the course to become a ref (we can host one of these courses ourselves if there is enough interest).


Laws of the small games – Mini-roo game handbooks (2016 updates)

From below you can download the handbooks for the Small Sided (Mini-roos) games U6, to U11.

U6 to U11 play on smaller fields to simpler rules designed to help then learn the skills of the games in a fun way. The handbooks available below explain the games.

     U6 and U7 handbook. (last update 2014)

     U8 and U9 handbook. (last upate 2016)

     U10 and U11 handbook. (last update 2016)

They do not yet reflect changes from the 2017 update of the main game rules, things such as a kick-off now being able to go backwards.  It is up to the ref of the game to decide this until the rules are officially updated.

Rules on Smoking/Jewellery/Uniforms/Officials/ID Cards/Team Sheets

These were extracted from Football NSW and Granville Association rules.

No Smoking

(a) inside the technical area
(b) inside the ropes
(c) inside the change rooms
(d) within close to the canteen, that is, 10 meters
Football NSW directive –

Players must wear absolutely NO jewellery of any kind

...not even taped or bandaged over! (Football NSW directive)

Absolutely NO alcohol to be consumed on the parks

until AFTER the LAST game is played!

Any player NOT wearing the clubs (complete) uniform will not be allowed to play 


Team Sheets

(a) ALL players names and FFA number MUST be on the Teams Sheet before the start of the game, otherwise he/she CANNOT play! No exception.

(b) Check the scores and offences before taking from the referee at the end of the game.

(c) Ensure the referee initials any changes to score or offences.

ID Cards

(a) ALL Players and Officials MUST have ID cards to stay within the ropes or technical area. A maximum of 5 Players and a maximum of 3 Officials are allowed inside the ropes or technical areas.

(b) A player CANNOT play until their correct ID card has been identified.

(c) A team failing to produce the correct ID cards will automatically forfeit the match and no game is to be played. If a friendly game is played thereafter, and it shouldn’t, it will NOT be covered by insurance.

(d) If the team with cards elects to play the team without cards, then the team with cards has forfieted its right to the automatic victory and any appeal, and the result of that match will stand.