Nine Premier League rule changes: Everything you need to know ahead of the 2019/20 season

Aveek Chakraborty

Bengaluru, July 17: The 2019/20 Premier League season is officially set to kick off on August 9, with last season's runners-up Liverpool set to curtain raise the new campaign with an exciting clash against newly-promoted Norwich.

Liverpool finished second behind Manchester City, with the Pep Guardiola's side beating the Reds by a single point to reclaim the domestic title. But from the next season onwards, there will be some new rules attached to the league which may change many outcomes.

For the first time ever a winter break will take place in the Premier League fixture list, with every club handed a two-week break. There are also new handball rules coming into play, as well as VAR being used in every match.

But nine new rules will also be implemented from next season and below are the changes which are set to take place in England from the coming season-

1) Head to Head Records

Premier League teams finishing level on points have always been separated by goal difference and then by goals scored and if they were all level a play-off match would be arranged between the clubs. However, that is no longer the case.

The Premier League will use the head-to-head record between two sides level on points to determine their league positions in a bid to avoid the need for an end-of-season play-off.

2) Substitution

Earlier any substitute player has had to make way to the dugout from a particular position only but from now on, to curb time-wasting, players will have to leave the pitch at any nearest point to them.

3) Kick-Off

The team that wins the coin toss can now determine whether to exercise the kick-off or which goal to attack first. In previous seasons they only had the choice of which goal to attack.

4) Free Kick walls

When there is a defensive wall of three or more defenders, the attackers are not permitted within one yard of the wall. Generally, it becomes messier with attacking players trying to clutch in between defenders, thus causing pushing and shoving. But with the new rule, they will not be allowed within the wall.

5) Drop Ball

Instead of a drop ball, the team which last attained the ball will take possession. If the play is stopped inside the penalty box, the match will resume with the goalkeeper.

6) GK behaviour in penalties

Goalkeepers have been allowed to get away with some delicious nonsense at penalties for too long. But not any longer. From new-season goalkeepers can't touch the frame, have to have one boot touching the line and can't stand behind the line during penalties. Keepers are also not allowed to feign movement one way in an attempt to bluff the taker.

7) Goal Kicks

A massive new change and it may speed up the game further. Till now, a goal-kick was not in play until it left the area. So the ball was dead until it left the 18-yard box - if a defender touched it, it was an indirect free-kick, if an attacker touched it the goalkeeper would get the decision. But now, the ball is in play from the moment it is touched.

8) Accidental handball

From next year any goal scored from the arm - accidental or deliberate will not count. If the ball touches an attacking player's arm in the build-up to a goal - accidental or not it will not count. However, there is an exception to it. This rule does not apply to defenders in their own box however it's up to the referee to make a decision at such moment.

9) Celebrations

A player gets a yellow card for any over-exuberant celebrations, jumping into the crowd or taking a shirt off and so on. But with VAR set to take place, you can imagine a player scoring, celebrating but later VAR deemed the goal off. But under the new rule, the player will still be booked even if the goal has been disallowed.

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