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.