There are 4 Premier League rule changes being made for the upcoming 2023/2024 season – here, we give you a rundown of what they mean for the game.
Rule tweaks and changes are no uncommon thing in the Premier League, with debates on topics such as the offside rule and VAR seemingly endless in nature.
The biggest shock when it comes to the 4 new rule changes for the 2023/2024 season is the fact that none of them have anything to do with VAR, which is perhaps the single most raging debate out there.
The Premier League in particular has had its fair share of controversy around VAR, with several incidents affecting the outcome of important matches during the 22/23 campaign.
However, these new changes focus on other fields of adjudication within the sport, so without further ado, here are the upcoming rule changes for 2023/2024.
As you may expect with changes to the official rules of the game, there is something of a grey area to be found.
The first change for the upcoming Premier League season is that a player may avoid receiving a card for unsporting behaviour if the referee believes that the player made an honest attempt for the ball during a challenge.
This could mean, for one example, that a player who takes somebody down inside the box during a goal scoring opportunity may avoid the dreaded red card – if the referee believes he was going for the ball.
This does of course put a great deal of the decision making down to the referee’s understanding of a player’s intent – something which perhaps could cause more problems than solve them in the future.
It was only a matter of time before yet another official rule change was brought about for the offside rule, being one of the hot topics of the game since its conception.
The new rule has been created to make it easier for referees and VAR staff to adjudicate whether or not a player is offside, and it goes like this:
“A player who is clearly offside should not become onside on every occasion when an opponent moves and touches the ball”.
In essence, this means that a player is not guaranteed to be qualified as onside if the ball has deflected off of an opponent before making its way to them, if he was in an offside position when the ball was first played.
This is something that has in fact been adopted in the Premier League for the last season, but has only just officially been penned into the Laws of the Game.
This next rule may well be courtesy of Emi Martinez, following his antics during the recent World Cup.
This new rule states that keepers “must not behave in a way that unfairly distracts the kicker… [and] fails to show respect for the game and the opponent”
It essentially means that the mind games goalkeepers have so loved to deploy over the years may well be brought to an end – although this rule (as with most) allows a grey area involving the judgement of what is “unfairly distracting” to a kicker.
Goal celebration time
This new rule comes as part of a larger collective effort of trying to tackle the issue of time wasting within the game.
This past season saw record amounts of additional time being added onto games across many competitions, including the Premier League, with officials stopping for the clock when teams would deploy time wasting tactics.
The new rule allows refs to add on additional time for sides who choose to enjoy a lengthy celebration of their goals – an element of discretion is once again given to this rule, though.
Will the new rule changes help the game?
With the majority of these rules aimed at making an easier scenario for referees to make a clear decision in problem areas of the game, we would hope that it would bring more uniformity to decisions across the league.
Only time will tell whether or not these changes will make a positive impact on the game we all love, and it will be interesting to see who falls foul of the new changes first!
Do YOU agree with the new rule changes? Let us know below! 👇