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The rule changes that will come into effect for the 2019-20 Bundesliga season

All of these adaptations combined will have a significant impact on the game!

Tottenham Hotspur v Bayern Muenchen - Audi Cup 2019 Final Photo by Norbert Barczyk/PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images

The official Bayern Munich website recently released an article describing the multiple rule changes which will come into affect during the 2019-2020 season. In this article, we at BFW will summarize the most important ones:

The coin toss

The captain that wins the coin flip will be able to either chose whether he wants his team to start the game or which direction he wants his side to face. The former option was not previously possible ...


This one is interesting as opposing players now have to be situated two meters from the spot on the sideline where the throw-in is supposed to happen. Perhaps due to this rule change, we will see more occurrences like this between Patrice Evra and Ryan Giggs (in order for teams to keep possession of the ball):

Cards (yellow or red)

Yellow cards can now be given to coaches! In addition, yellow-yellow (and therefore) red or straight red combinations are also applicable to the person managing the team from the touchline. This will help referees give coaches significant, tangible warnings instead of just verbal ones, before red cards are handed out. Hopefully, this unprecedented move will help behavior on the touchlines become more civil... Team coaches are also able to receive cards if the referee deems the play of a person on their team unsavory yet can’t without doubt name the culprit for certain.

Continuing with the theme of cards, players will now be allowed to take quick free kicks in scenarios where before, the referee may have taken much time booking a player. Due to the recent change, referees can now book players at the next stop in the play of the match, an addition to the rules of the “beautiful game” which will surely be utilized.


In recent years, substitutions have been a great source of anger for many players, managers and fans as winning teams often take advantage of the time-wasting possibilities that a substitution provides. A typical scenario involves a center-back coming on for a striker in the 87th minute, with the player being withdrawn strolling off. Sometimes taking minutes off the clock (minutes that often don’t get fully reimbursed through stoppage time).

However, recent rule changes now state that a player must leave the field as soon as possible over the closest boundary line, in contrast to the middle line between the managers dugouts which was the previous point of substitution. This adaption is sure to limit time-wasters even further, a move that can only be good for all involved.

Defending free kicks / walls

All opposition players must still keep a distance of ten yards (9.15 meters) from the ball. New changes say opposition attackers can’t be within one meter of a defensive wall containing at least three players. Non conformity in relation to this gap will result in an indirect free kick... This rule will prevent attacking players from standing in the wall (which is sometimes used as a set piece tactic worked on the training ground), a technique that’s been used for many years now.

Goalkeeper goals

A weird one, granted. However, there is actually a new rule which stipulates that Goalkeepers are unable to score goals by throwing the ball from their own penalty area’s into the opposition goals. Because this has ever been done at a high level anyway...

Goals involving a helping hand (pun intended)

Even if unintentional, from now on, every goal scored by an arm or hand must be disallowed. In addition, if an arm or hand is used in the buildup, the goal still must be disallowed.

Goalkeepers and penalties

When trying to save a penalty, the GK must keep part of one of his foots on the line. Any breach of this and the penalty may be taken again as the GK has gained an unfair advantage in closing down the angle for the player to shoot.

Referees and drop balls

If the football touches the referee or any other official and goes into the goal, changes the possession of the play or launches an attack, there is a form of drop ball, with the ball going back to the team in possession.

Back passes

If a keeper has recognizably tried to pass/clear/shoot the ball after receiving the ball from a throw-in or deliberate pass from a teammate, he may pick the football up with his hands in a clarification attempt.

Gaining time

Picking up the ball after a free kick/ corner decision has been awarded etc. ... to slow play down, allowing for your team to regroup in a few valuable seconds, will not be tolerated. Just like any other form of trying to slow a throw-in, corner or free kick down will not be tolerated.

Many of these new changes will only make the game better and it’s great that we have so many new refreshing rules for the upcoming season!

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