FIFA has experimented over the winter a new rule to add to the laws of soccer and starting the new Summer/Fall soccer season these changes will go into effect:
A goal kick: The ball is in play once it is kicked, and does not have to leave the penalty area, has created a faster and more dynamic/constructive restart to the game. It has reduced the time ‘lost/wasted’ including stopping the tactic of ‘wasting’ time when a defender deliberately plays the ball before it leaves the penalty area knowing that all that will happen is the goal kick will be retaken. Opponents must remain outside the penalty area until the ball is in play.
The new law is basically: At goal kicks and for defending team free kicks in their penalty area, the ball is in play once it is kicked and clearly moves – it does NOT have to leave the penalty area.
We will see this new change of the game at the 2019 SheBelieves Cup and the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, U.S. Soccer has received approval from the International Football Association Board (IFAB – FIFA).
Will these rules trickle down from the USSF to the state Soccer Associations? We reached out to FYSA, but they yet have to get back with us.