2016/17 IFAB Laws of the Game Now Available

The 2016-17 IFAB Laws of the Game are now available for download.  If you want to skip the summary and go straight to the download, you can click here.

The Only Thing That’s Changed Is Everything

Publisher.  Document organization.  Formatting. Download options.  Law titles.  Law content and wording.  Apart from those small items, not much has changed!

The new Laws are published directly by the International Football Association Board and not FIFA.  The IFAB is now setup as a Swiss corporation in its own right, separate and apart from FIFA.  As a result, the new IFAB logo is prominently featured on the cover, while the logos of the IFAB members – including FIFA – are displayed below the IFAB logo.

As previously reported, the Interpretations are now incorporated directly into the Laws themselves.  This makes the interpretations part of the Laws and makes it much easier to use the Laws book as a reference guide.

All of the graphics and fonts have been updated with a more modern look.

The IFAB website (and here on iTOOTR) now offers downloads of the Laws in three formats: PDF, Word (DOCX) and E-Book (coming soon).

Two new sections of the book summarize and detail changes to the Laws for 2016/17.

New Law Titles

The names of three of the Laws have been updated to reflect changes to the Laws themselves.

Law 3. Was: The Number of Players.  Now: The Players

Law 6, Was: The Assistant Referee.  Now: The Other Match Officials

Law 10.  Was: The Method of Scoring.  Now: Determining The Outcome of a Match

Law Changes and Clarifications

In total, there are 57 changes and clarifications to the Laws.  These range in importance from very significant (changes to misconduct application for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity) to relatively minor (that a match shall not continue if a team is reduced to fewer than 7 players is now officially part of the Laws rather than a suggestion of the IFAB).

Among the more interesting changes not previously mentioned:

  • Interference by a substitute or team official will result in a direct FK for the opponents (Law 03)
  • Ball must “clearly move” to be in play for all kicked restarts (Law 08)
  • Attempted violent conduct shall be punished with a send-off, even if no contact occurred (Law 12)
  • Striking an opponent in the face/head when not challenging for the ball shall be punished with a send-off (Law 12)
  • Impeding with contact results in a  Direct Free Kick (Law 12)

There are many other changes (52 others, in fact), so fire up the downloads and get to studying!