VAR may just be the beginning

It looks as though the IFAB has decided that everyone really likes the idea of VAR, even though it's not really been widely implemented yet and no one really understands some of the important details of how it's going to work, and the changes to ‘denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity’ (DOGSO), even though I'm not convinced there's even a consistent interpretation of the new philosophy other than "hey, let's just not give out red cards on DOGSO any more, that seems pretty harsh, right man?" So they've proposed a rather extensive "PLAY FAIR!" campaign. (The bold and caps is their choice, not mine.)

If you thought VAR was going to change things, there are some really interesting proposals here that would be not insignificant. You can read through the link to find all the proposals, but these are the ones I found most interesting.

Red card for substitute

Listed as "for discussion" is the idea that someone on the bench getting a red card would mean one fewer substitute for the remainder of that match, and potentially one fewer substitute for the next game if they are already out of substitutes.

I can see why you might do this, but it doesn't seem to solve a problem that exists today. Has there been a rash of misconduct from the bench that I have failed to notice?

Cards for coaches and team officials

This is listed as "ready for testing/experiments" and it seems largely procedural. It would make the warnings that refs give to coaches more formal and public by showing cards to them. I'm not really against it, but don't see it making a big difference either way.

Stricter calculation of 'additional time'

The IFAB explicitly calls out the customary 1 minute of stoppage after the first half and 3 minutes of stoppage after the second half that is so common it practically seems written in the laws of the game. They call for referees to be more strict in adding time, stopping their watches for penalties, goals, injuries, red and yellow cards, substitutions, and marking off 10 yards. In their opinion, this wouldn't require a change to the laws of the game.

GK holding the ball for 6 seconds

They are calling for this to be called more strictly. I think a lot of fans would love to see keepers get the ball back in play quicker, but I feel like more often than not when fans complain about the 6 seconds and you actually keep track, keepers do a pretty good job of sticking right to the limit. My understanding is that the main reason refs don't like to call this infraction is that managing an indirect free kick in the box is a huge pain in the ass.

Substitutes must leave the nearest boundary line

This would require a change to the LOTG but I don't know that it would help a lot. I think we'd just see substitutes looking to waste time by playing dumb about where the should exit the field. It seems simpler to just caution them if you think they are wasting time and I don't think that would require any changes to the LOTG.

Clock stops every time the ball is out of play

This seems more speculative (listed as "for discussion") but the idea would be pretty radical--starting and stopping the clock every time play stops. They list one alternative to only stop the clock like this for the last 5 minutes of the 1st half and last 10 minutes of the 2nd half.

Goal kick position

Also listed as "for discussion", this would require that the goal kick to be taken on the same side of the goal area that the ball left the field--similar to the current rules around corner kicks. I think this would be reasonable as seemingly every GK with a lead will always waste time by re-positioning to the opposite side.

ABBA order for penalty shoot-outs

This is already being tested in youth FIFA matches, and I think it makes sense as some studies have suggested that for pro games, the team which kicks first wins the shootout around 60% of the time.

Allowing defenders to play a goal kick inside their own penalty area

The thought here seems to be that it would encourage possession play and discourage teams from punting the ball toward midfield. I don't know why they think this would stop time-wasting, but one advantage they don't list is that it could decrease the number of aerial challenges in the game and therefore could be good for player health.

Potential changes to handling

Red card for players who deliberately score a goal by handling. I feel like this is a no-brainer--if you send off players for denying goals with their hands it seems appropriate to send off players for trying to score goals with their hands.

A keeper handling a backpass in the area could be a penalty rather than an indirect free kick. This seems to barely happen, so I don't know that it's really a problem worth addressing, but indirect free kicks in the box are always difficult for the ref to manage, so maybe this makes life a bit easier.

Allowing a ref to award a goal if a defender stops the ball by handling on the line. This would be a massive change in that it would be the only time a ref could award a goal without the ball crossing the line, but I think in conjunction with VAR it could be a worthwhile change. If a defender knows the goal will count anyway and he will get sent off additionally by handling the ball to stop a goal, then there is a much bigger incentive for him to not do it in the first place.

Eliminate the potential for encroachment on penalty kicks

Listed as "for discussion" is the possibility of making all penalties equivalent to a penalty kick--the kicker either scores or doesn't score, just like in a penalty shoot-out. I kind of like this idea at first glance--for me, it's more annoying that encroachment is called inconsistently than it's worth having a scrum for the few kicks that are deflected into areas where they can be played.

There are a few more suggestions on the site, but those are the ones that strike me as the biggest potential changes. What strikes me overall about these suggestions is that if many of these suggestions had come from an American, we'd be accused of trying to Americanize the sport. But since this is coming from the IFAB in partnership with FIFA, many of these things may actually be implemented, at least on a test basis.

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