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What's new in 2019/20: Laws for dropped balls

18 Jul 2019
Michael Oliver

This season dropped balls will not be contested by opposing players

Ahead of the 2019/20 season, we look at the new things to keep an eye out for in the Premier League.

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has updated the Laws of the Game, and we are examining what has changed.

Dropped balls

Contested dropped balls are a thing of the past.

Last season an unlimited number of players, including goalkeepers, could battle for a dropped ball.

But that is no longer the case.

In 2019/20, if play is stopped outside the penalty area and a dropped ball is required, it will be dropped for a player from the team that last touched it.

Last touch

The referee will release the ball wherever the last touch happened, and all other players from both sides must be at least four metres away.

If play is stopped inside the penalty area, the ball will be dropped for the goalkeeper.

This new procedure will stop aggressive confrontations around dropped balls.

It will also halt instances where a player purporting to be sportingly kicking the ball back to his opponents seeks to gain an unfair advantage by putting it out for a throw-in deep inside their half.

If the ball touches the referee or another match official and goes into the goal, or results in a change of possession or a promising attack, a dropped ball will be awarded.

See: What's new in 2019/20?

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