The brand new handball ruling has already precipitated loads of controversy within the Premier League this season.
It has been referred to as “nonsense” by Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson, who mentioned it was “ruining the sport”, whereas Newcastle supervisor Steve Bruce says soccer has “lost the plot” with the new ruling.
So what’s the new rule and what has modified?
What’s the new legislation?
It is not technically “new” because it has been in power throughout Europe final season, however the Premier League is now taking a extra strict method. So meaning a participant shall be penalised for handball if:
- The hand/arm is clearly away from the physique and out of doors the “physique line”.
- The participant clearly leans into the trail of the ball.
- The ball travels far.
- The ball touches a hand/arm that’s clearly raised above the shoulder.
- The participant falls and the hand/arm is prolonged laterally or vertically away from the physique.
- A deflection clearly makes no distinction to the ball touching a hand/arm that’s clearly prolonged away from the physique and/or above the shoulder.
- Instantly after touching the ball with the arm, even by accident, the participant scores a objective or creates a goal-scoring alternative.
How has the handball rule modified?
Soccer’s rulemakers, the Worldwide Soccer Affiliation Board (Ifab), tightened up the handball rule in time for this season, defining the boundary between the shoulder and the arm as the underside of the armpit.
Something beneath that and it is a handball – intentional or not, it would not matter.
Ifab additionally emphasised a handball offence takes place when a participant makes their physique ‘unnaturally greater’ and/or places their arms above shoulder top.
It was additionally clarified that an “unintended” handball by an attacking participant is barely penalised if it happens “instantly” earlier than a objective or clear goal-scoring alternative.
Has it resulted in additional penalties?
Sure. There have been 19 penalties for handball underneath the previous guidelines within the Premier League final season, and at this stage final time period there had been no penalties awarded for handball within the high flight.
Already this season there have been 20 penalties within the Premier League, 30% (six) of which have been for handball. For the reason that begin of the 2006-07 season the very best proportion of handball penalties was 21.1% in 2008-09.
The typical of 0.77 penalties per recreation (for any offence) to date in 2020-21 can be a lot greater than earlier campaigns, with the following highest common 0.29 per recreation in 2006-07 and 2008-09.
In Europe, the place the foundations have been strictly utilized final season, the variety of handballs rose from 37 to 57 in Serie A for 2019-20 and from 35 to 48 in La Liga.
In Germany, after they launched the rule, their handballs went up, however final season they went down as gamers began to regulate.
Why are we seeing extra handballs then?
For starters, VAR means referees at the moment are having to evaluate incidents that they in any other case might have missed.
Fifa has taken over the implementation of VAR and ordered all leagues to use strict interpretation of the foundations with the intention to guarantee consistency. This was primarily aimed on the Premier League as different leagues have been already doing so.
Final season, the Premier League utilized its personal looser interpretation to some legal guidelines, together with handball, using pitch-side screens and goalkeepers encroaching off their line at penalties. This can’t now happen.
So ought to a penalty be given each time the ball hits a participant’s hand within the space?
No. The exceptions are if the ball hits a participant’s arm straight from the participant’s personal head or physique and if a participant is falling and their arm is between themselves and the bottom for assist. There may be additionally room for interpretation as to what makes a participant’s physique ‘unnaturally greater’.
So, if a participant has his arms by their facet when the ball hits their hand/arm, they might not routinely concede a penalty.
Who makes the foundations and might they be modified?
Ifab are in command of the foundations of the sport and determine on any adjustments. Ifab is made up of representatives from every of the UK’s soccer associations and governing physique Fifa.
Every British affiliation has one vote and Fifa has 4. Any adjustments should be authorized by three-quarters of the vote.