Thomastown United AFC

Founded 1968

Co. Kilkenny

New Rules

New rules for Football 2019 / 20 season

Drop Balls

Drop balls are now uncontested.  The ball is dropped to a player on the team that last touched the ball, where they touched it. All other players must be 4 metres away.

Any play stopped in a penalty area will be returned to the goalkeeper, even if the attacking team had the ball.

A drop ball is now awarded if the ball hits the referee and goes to the other team as a result, or if the referee accidentally scores a goal.


You cannot score with your arm, regardless of intent.

Accidental handball will also be a free-kick or penalty if...

the ball goes into the goal off an attacker
a player gets the ball using his or her arm or hand and then scores, or creates a goalscoring opportunity
the player's arm or hand is above their shoulder (unless the player has controlled the ball onto his own arm or hand)
a player's hand or arm has made their body "unnaturally bigger"
A handball will NOT be a free-kick if...

the ball is knocked on to a hand by the player in question or a nearby player
the arm or hand is close to their body and "has not made their body unnaturally bigger"
a player is falling and the ball touches their hand or arm when it is between their body and the ground to support the body - but not extended to make the body bigger
If the goalkeeper attempts to clear ("release into play") a throw-in or backpass and their clearance fails, then they can handle the ball.


Goal-kicks can now be played to a team-mate inside the penalty area.  The ball is in play once the goal-kick has been taken.  Opponents must still remain outside the penalty area until the kick is taken.  The same rules apply to free kicks in the penalty area.


When a defending team has three or more players in a wall, the attacking team can no longer place a player in or next to it.

If an attacker is standing within one metre of the wall when the kick is taken, they will be penalised with an indirect free-kick.

Quick free-kicks

If the referee is about to show a yellow or red card but the non-offending team takes a quick free-kick and creates a scoring chance, the official can come back and show the card when the ball goes out of play.

However, if the referee had distracted the offending team by starting to show the card, the quick free-kick is not allowed.

Also if the offence was going to be a red card for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity, but the opposition take a quick free-kick, then the player will only be booked because the other team are considered to have restarted their attack.


The penalty kick cannot be taken while the goalkeeper is touching the woodwork or nets - or if the net or posts are still moving after being touched.

The goalkeeper must have one of his/her feet partly on the goalline (or above it if jumping) when the kick is taken. He or she cannot stand behind or in front of the line.

The other change to penalties means an attacker can take a penalty if he needed treatment (as long as the treatment is quick).


A player who is being substituted must leave the pitch by the nearest point on the touchline or byeline - unless the referee says they can leave quickly at the halfway line - or elsewhere for safety or injury reasons.

This change is to stop players time-wasting. Any player who "infringes the spirit of this law" will be booked for unsporting behaviour.

Cards for coaches

A team official guilty of misconduct can be shown a yellow card or red card. If the offender cannot be identified, the senior coach in the technical area at the time will receive the card.

Additional FAI rule: the team manager can be red or yellow carded if a parent is being abusive towards the referee.

The other changes

A player can now be booked for celebrating - for removing their shirt or celebrating with the fans - even if the goal is disallowed.

The team that wins the pre-match coin toss can now choose whether to take the kick-off or which goal to attack - previously they could only choose which goal to attack.

There is now a difference between cooling breaks (90 seconds to three minutes) and drinks breaks (maximum of one minute) in certain competitions played in high humidity and temperatures.

Multi-coloured or patterned undershirts are allowed if they are the same as the sleeve of the main shirt.


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