Explained: The new drop ball rules set to affect Aston Villa and Wolves in the Premier League
Remember contested drop balls? When the referee would drop the ball between two players, creating a split second of chaos.
We’ve seen less and less of those in recent years and now they have finally been cut out of the game altogether.
Football’s rulemakers, the IFAB, have decided that contested drop balls will be no more, replacing them with the uncontested drop balls we have become accustomed to in recent
What are the new rules?
From the coming season, when a drop ball is required, referees will drop the ball to the team that last touched the ball.
That, of course, means we will see less of the ‘sporting’ actions that saw teams who were on the attack having to start again with the opposing team returning the ball to the goalkeeper.
Teams will now have the opportunity to resume their attack from exactly where they left it.
Though, should a player kick the ball out in a sporting action, a throw-in followed by a sporting kick back to the goalkeeper is still likely to play out.
This season, we will also see drop balls awarded for instances when the ball hits a match official, as long as the incident leads to a change of possession, a goal or a promising attack
The last touch
The drop ball will take place at the site of the last touch, and all players but the one receiving the ball must be at least four metres away from the ball..
Why are the new rules being introduced?
The new rules are being introduced to stop the all-out war that often takes place in a contested drop ball.
Those versions of drop balls have long been dubbed dangerous and there’s a reason we have seen less and less of them in football in recent years.
The game’s rulemakers have now gone one better, stamping them out altogether.
They’re also tired of seeing wasted attacks with those so-called ‘sporting actions’ leading to teams losing their attacking advantage, having to start again from the goalkeeper.
That’s why we’re now going from the last touch, with teams being encouraged to wait until the referee blows his whistle, rather than needlessly kicking the ball out.
Of course, we will still see instances when the ball is put out, but part of the aim of these rules is to make those situations more uncommon.