Die Spielregeln, English

Law 12: Fouls and misconduct

In this article the development of the foul play and other misconduct are described. This includes

  • the unfair, violent and dangerous conduct – thereof separated fouls on goalkeepers, the back-pass rule and DOGSO (Denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity) – and
  • the handball – thereof separated the handball of goalkeepers.

Unfair, violent and dangerous conduct

Year (Source) new or changed laws (proposing club/association, if known)
1856 (Cambridge University) Holding, charging, tripping, intentional kicking.
1857 (Eton Field Game) Holding, charging, tripping, intentional kicking.
1858 (Harrow Football) Holding, charging, tripping, intentional kicking.
1858 (Sheffield FC) The first draft of the Sheffield FC Rules allows a player who performs a place kick (but not a goal kick) to be charged during the kick. This passage was deleted in the published Sheffield FC Rules. Holding and kicking a player was forbidden.
1862 (Blackheath FC) Holding, charging, tripping, intentional kicking, except attacking an opponent while running.
1862 (The Simplest Game) Holding, charging, tripping, intentional kicking.
1862 (Eton Field Game) All fouls with arms and hands. (With legs and feet allowed.)
1863 (Shrewsbury School) All fouls with arms and hands. (With legs and feet allowed.)
1863 (Cambridge University) Holding, charging, tripping, intentional kicking.
1863 (FA) Charging, tripping, intentional kicking, holding, pushing.
1867 (Sheffield FA) Pushing, kicking, tripping.
1869 (FA) Attacking of a player from behind (Upton Park FC)
1871 (Sheffield FA) Attacking of a player from behind.
1874 (FA) In case of an infringement of the law, the opponent awarded an indirect free kick from the point of the foul (Harrow Chequers).
1877 (FA) Players may be sent off because of their illegal play and may not be replaced.
1878 (FA) Whoever stands with his back to the opponent and hinder him/her can be charged (Reading FC).
1880 (FA) Jumping on opponents (Darwen Club).
1888 (IFAB) Charging to opponent is prohibited only if he does not consciously turn his face to the goal to wilfully interfering with his opponent.
1892 (IFAB) The law is supplemented so that not only because of impeding, but also to cause an injury, no one may be wilfully turned his back.
1898 (IFAB) It is added that pushing or acting in any manner likely to cause injury is always forbidden and not just by wilfully turning his back (FA).
1904 (IFAB) It is specified that when charging from behind it is enough to impede and that besides only intentionally, no longer wilfully. The opponent no longer has to turn his head away.
1905 (IFAB) The law is supplemented so that charging is basically allowed, provided it is neither violent nor dangerous (FA).
1914 (IFAB) To strike is supplemented as an ungentlemanly conduct (FA).
1938 (IFAB) It is specified that intentionally practicing an offence is sufficient to be punished. In addition, being charged from behind is sufficient, only deliberate to obstruct and the referee should prevent any behaviour that is considered dangerous by him.
DFK: Kicking, striking, jumping on, tripping, holding, charging in a dangerous or violent way or pushing an opponent, handball, carrying the ball as a goalkeeper by the defending team outside penalty area.
Penalty kick: Kicking, striking, jumping on, tripping, holding, charging in a dangerous or violent way or pushing an opponent, handball, carrying the ball as a goalkeeper by the defending team outside penalty area.
IDFK: 1) Carrying the ball as a goalkeeper in his own penalty area, 2) kicking, striking, jumping on, tripping, holding, charging in a dangerous or violent way or pushing an opponent, handball, carrying the ball as a goalkeeper by the offending team in the opponent’s penalty area, 3) charging the goalkeeper and dangerous play, independent if inside or ouside of der penalty area.Caution: 1) Joining his team after the kick-off or returns to the field of play while the game is in progress without reporting to the referee, 2) Persistently infringes any of the Laws of the Game, 3) shows dissent by word or action from any decision given by the referee.
Send-off: 1) Persisting in misconduct after having received a caution, 2) violent conduct (i.e., using foul or abusive language or if, in the opinion of the referee, he is guilts of serious foul play).
1939 (IFAB) In addition, carrying becomes an ungentlemanly conduct. The misdemeanours are first described as “ungentlemanly manner” in the laws. The law is changed so that charging the goalkeeper is only penalized within the penalty area with an IDFK. Furthermore, every offence, not only those against opponents, will be penalized with a dismissal (FA).
1948 (IFAB) Attempts to kick or strike alone are considered ungentlemanly conduct, as are persistent infringement of the Laws of the Game and showing dissent by word or action from any decision given by the Referee and charging fairly without the ball in playing distance. In addition, the attempt to kick the ball when it is held straight by the goalkeeper is mentioned as an example of dangerous play (FA). It is generalized that at each ungentlemanly conduct an IDFK is awarded to the opposing team. In addition it is added that if a player enters the field after the start of play without the permission of the referee, the player will be cautioned, and if the game has been stopped, it shall be restarted by the Referee dropping the ball at the place where the infringement occurred, but if the player commits a more important offence he shall be penalised according to that portion of the Law infringed (FIFA).
1951 (IFAB) It is supplemented as an ungentlemanly conduct to obstruct an opponent intentionally when not playing the ball, i. e. running between the opponent and the ball, or interposing the body so as to form an obstacle to an opponent (FIFA).
1967 (IFAB) The law is supplemented so that not only in serious foul play but also in violent conduct the opinion of the referee is decisive (FA).
1972 (IFAB) It is added for the completeness that this punishment applies only if no other more serious infringement of the Laws of the Game was committed (FIFA). The law is changed so that – if the offence which was the direct cause of the caution – is awarded a DFK instead of an IDFK (SFA).
1978 (IFAB) It is added that – when a player commits an infringement in his opponent’s goal area – the free-kick shall be taken from a point anywhere within that half of the goal area nearest to where the offence occurred. It is added that – when a player commits an infringement in his opponent’s goal area – the free-kick shall be taken from a point anywhere within that half of the goal area nearest to where the offence occurred (FA).
1980 (IFAB) To spit at an opponent is supplemented as an ungentlemanly conduct (FIFA).
1981 (IFAB) The law is changed so that the referee’s opinion is also decisive in the assessment of abusive language and persisting in misconduct (FA).
1987 (IFAB) Supplement that when taking a free kick after an infringement, the general conditions for free kicks from Law 13 apply (FA).
1995 (IFAB) It is made clear that tackling without contact to the ball is considered an ungentlemanly conduct. “intentionally obstruction” -> “impeding the progress”. In addition, handball is now forbidden, provided it is deliberately performed, not intentionally (SFA).
1996 (IFAB) The law is amended so that the offences need not be intentional in order to be punished (FA). It is made clear that tackling without contact to the ball is considered an ungentlemanly conduct. “intentionally obstruction” -> “impeding the progress”. In addition, handball is now forbidden, provided it is deliberately performed, not intentionally (SFA).
1997 (IFAB) Jumping at, tackling and spitting an opponent is no longer mentioned as ungentlemanly conduct. As caution-worthy offences are supplemented: delaying the restart of play and failing to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a corner kick or free kick. As sending-off-worthy offence is supplemented: spitting.
2000 (IFAB) The law is supplemented so that not only abusive language, but also abusive gestures are punished with a field reference (FA).
2001 (IFAB) Additionally, a player who has been sent off must leave the vicinity of the field of play and the technical area. The law is supplemented so that only a player may be shown the yellow or red card (FIFA).
2005 (IFAB) Additionally, the Referee has the authority to take disciplinary sanctions, as from the moment he enters the field of play until he leaves the field of play after the final whistle (FAW).
2008 (IFAB) Jumping at, tackling and spitting an opponent is again mentioned as ungentlemanly conduct. The cards are added to the Laws of the Game and generally explained that the yellow card is shown for warnings, the red card for field references. Additionally, It is added to the passage that a player, substitute or substituted player who has been sent off must leave the vicinity of the field of play and the technical area.
2019 (IFAB) It is added that all verbal offences are penalised with an IDFK and also kicking of an object after someone is awarded by a DFK.

 

Handball

Year (Source) new or changed laws (proposing club/association, if known)
1856 (Cambridge University) Any handball is prohibited.
1857 (Eton Field Game) Stopping the ball with the hand is allowed.
1858 (Harrow Football) Any handball is prohibited.
1858 (Sheffield FC) Holding and picking up the ball with the hands while it was bouncing on the ground is allowed. Pushing and bouncing the ball with hands is prohibited.
1862 (Eton Field Game) Catching the ball is allowed.
1862 (The Simplest Game) Catching the ball is allowed.
1862 (Sheffield FC) Any handball is prohibited.
1862 (Blackheath FC) Any handball is prohibited.
1863 (Cambridge University) Any handball is prohibited.
1863 (Shrewsbury School) Catching the ball is allowed.
1863 (FA) The last draft still allows handball (for discussion about hacking and handling see here (only German)), the published FA Rules forbid any handball.
1870 (FA) Any handball is prohibited whether the touch was intentional or unintentional (Upton Park FC).
1874 (FA) If the law is infringed, the opponent awards an indirect free kick (Harrow Chequers).
1878 (FA) If the handball happens near the own goal (no goalkeeper handball) and the referee considers the the ball would otherwise have went into the goal, a goal is obtained (Finchley, Old Harrovians).
1882 (FA) “Near the goal” is defined as 2 yd in front of the goal (Sheffield FA).
1897 (IFAB) “wilfully”: Only handball which is wilfully committed, is forbidden.
1898 (IFAB) “intentionally”: Only handball which is intentionally committed, is forbidden (FA).
1938 (IFAB) Definition of handball changed to: “Handles the ball, i.e. strikes or propels it with the hand or arm”. An offence is punished with a DFK instead of IDFK.
1949 (IFAB) Supplement to the definition of handball: “carries”. Further supplement that this provision does not apply to the goalkeeper’s handball in his own penalty area. If an infringement is committed, a DFK is imposed instead of an IDFK (FIFA).
1995 (IFAB) “deliberately”: Only handball which is deliberately committed, is forbidden (SFA).
2019 (IFAB) The decision as to whether a handball is involved is no longer made simply on the basis of deliberation, but also on the basis of consequence. A goal must never be scored or prepared by hand. In addition, it has been specified when a handball is usually played and when it is not.

The Fair Catch

Until the beginning of the 1860s, the Fair Catch was known in the codices of Blackheath FC, Shrewsbury School and the Football Association. The Fair Catch was only discussed in 1863 in the FA Rules, but remained until 1871. It also remained valid in the Sheffield FA Rules (from 1867) until 1871.

It was obtained by catching the ball which had not previously bounced on the ground. The catcher has to possibilities: 1) carving a mark with its heel into the ground after catching the ball and getting a free kick or 2) running with the ball (and can be charge roughly). The free kick was a direct free kick in Cambridge and in the FA Rules, and indirect free kick in Sheffield FA Rules.

 

Handball of goalkeepers

Year (Source) new or changed laws (proposing club/association, if known)
1871 (FA) The player closest to his/her own goal is allowed to handle the ball to protect his/her own goal (Upton Park).
1873 (FA) The goalkeeper must not carry the ball (Queen’s Park).
1874 (FA) The goalkeeper may not be changed in a flying manner. If the goalkeeper moved too far out of  his goal, he/she could not simply be replaced by another player in order not to risk a goal (Maidenhead FC, Gitanos FC). But “too far away” was not regulated by that law.
1875 (FA) The passage “to protect the goal” is replaced by “to defend the goal” (Harrown Chequers).
1875 (FA) The goalkeeper may throw and hit the ball (Vale of Leven FC).
1875 (Sheffield FA) The player closest to his or her own goal goal may handle ball to protect his or her own goal.
1876 (Sheffield FA) The goalkeeper may throw and hit the ball with his hands in case of defense, but may not carry it.
1882 (FA) The goalkeeper is allowed to handle the ball in the own half. Previously it had not been limited in the laws.
1887 (IFAB) The allowed goalkeeper handball is limited to the own halves of the game.
1888 (IFAB) The goalkeeper may pick up the ball to protect his goal.
1901 (IFAB) It is emphasised that although the goalkeeper may hold the ball in his own half with his hands, he may no longer carry it (FA).
1912 (IFAB) Further restriction of the goalkeeper’s hand game, now to the own penalty area (SFA).
1924 (IFAB) The unauthorised handling of goalkeepers outside their own penalty area will be removed from this passage (FA).
1931 (IFAB) The goalkeeper is allowed to carry the ball again (as before 1901). At the same time, the goalkeeper is allowed to increase the number of steps from two to four with the ball in his hands in his own penalty area. [The restriction to two steps was already laid down before 1886 in the definition of “carrying” (FA).
1937 (IFAB) Restriction of goalkeeper handball by changing the goal kick law and free kick law in his own penalty area: The goalkeeper may not touch the ball with his hands in goal kicks, corner kicks and free kicks even in his own penalty area. In addition, the goalkeeper is forbidden to carry the ball, as was the case between 1901 and 1931 (FA).
1938 (IFAB) The goalkeeper may again touch the ball with his hands in his own penalty area during goal kicks, corner kicks and free kicks. After bouncing the ball it is possible for him to take four more steps.
1949 (IFAB) If the goalkeeper wasted time, is/her team is penalised with an indirect free kick to be taken at the point of infringement (IFAB).An offence against this law will be punished with an IDFK (FIFA).
1967 (IFAB) Change: By bouncing the ball on the ground the goalkeeper is not allowed to take another four steps, nor by throwing the ball in the air and catching it before the ball touches another player. It is also forbidden to commit time wasting by the allowed hand play (IFAB).
1978 (IFAB) It is added that – when a player commits an infringement in his opponent’s goal area – the free-kick shall be taken from a point anywhere within that half of the goal area nearest to where the offence occurred (FA).
1987 (IFAB) Supplement that when taking a free kick after an infringement, the general conditions for free kicks from Law 13 apply (FA).
2000 (IFAB) Instead of taking four steps with the ball, the goalkeeper must now bring the ball back into play within 6 seconds (IFAB).
2001 (IFAB) Removal that time wasting by the goalkeeper is punished with an IDFK (FIFA)
2019 (IFAB) The goalkeeper has the same restrictions on handling the ball as any other player outside the penalty area. If the goalkeeper handles the ball inside their penalty area when not permitted to do so, an indirect free kick is awarded but there is no disciplinary sanction.

 

Leaving and entering the field of play & exchange of the goalkeeper

Year (Source) new or changed laws (proposing club/association, if known)
1897 (IFAB) The fact that no more than one goalkeeper per team are allowed to play at the same time is now self-explanatory. It is added that the change of goalkeeper may only be carried out after informing the referee.
1938 (IFAB) If, without notifying the Referee, a player changes to goalkeeper during the game, and then handles the ball within the penalty area, a penalty-kick shall be awarded. Any player leaving the field during the progress of the game (except through accident) without the consent of the Referee shall be deemed guilty of ungentlemanly conduct. A penalty kick shall be taken if a goalkeeper not permitted by the referee plays a handball in the penalty area. In addition, any player who plays in the progress of the game (except through accident) leaved the field of play without the permission of the referee, is deemed guilty of ungentlemanly conduct.
1939 (IFAB) The law is added so that leaving the field without registration with and permission from the referee is also considered ungentlemanly conduct (FA).
1949 (IFAB) Addition concerning players who intentionally enter the field during the game without permission: If the game must be restarted by the Referee dropping the ball at the place where the infringement occurred, but if the player has committed a more important offence, he shall be penalized according to that section of the Law infringed (FIFA).
1965 (IFAB) It is added to the passage that these requirements also apply to substitutes and substituted players (IFAB).
1967 (IFAB) Amendment that a named substitute may also take the position of goalkeeper (IFAB).
1972 (IFAB) Supplement that when a goalkeeper is replaced, the general procedure of replacement must be observed, because in this case the referee’s permission is required, not just information to him (SFA).
1973 (IFAB) It is added that if the goalkeeper is changed, the referee must first give a signal. It is further added that after caution the player the game will be restarted with an IDFK (SFA).
1975 (IFAB) The remark “except through accident” is specified and generalized to “unintentionally or because of injury” as it were (FIFA).
1976 (IFAB) The IDFK is not performed at the scene of the offence, but where the ball was when the game was interrupted (FIFA).
1978 (IFAB) It is added that if the free-kick is awarded to a side within its own goal area it may be taken from any point within the half of the goal area in which the ball was when play was stopped. The passage is completed so that the two players are cautioned as soon as the ball is out of play. It also adds that for any other infringement of this law, the game is stopped, the player is cautioned, and the game is restarted with an IDFK for the opposing team (FA).
1980 (IFAB) In addition, as with any substitution, a substituted goalkeeper may not participate in the game again (FA).
1986 (IFAB) In addition, as with any substitution, the substitution shall be deemed completed when the substitute enters the field (SFA).
1987 (IFAB) Supplement that when taking a free kick after an infringement, the general conditions for free kicks from Law 13 apply (FA).
1993 (IFAB) The law is supplemented so that the yellow card is shown in addition to the caution.
1997 (IFAB) In the event of an offence against the regulations, the players involved will be cautioned in the next stoppage and shown the yellow card.
2006 (IFAB) It is added in general that only a player, substitute or substituted player may be shown the red or yellow card and that the Referee has the authority to take disciplinary sanctions, as from the moment he enters the field of play until he leaves the field of play after the final whistle. The passage about the goalkeeper change is deleted. It is summarised: Caution und yellow card of a player, if he is guilty of unsporting behaviour, shows dissent by word or action, persistently infringes the Laws of the Game, delays the restart of play or fails to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a corner kick or free kick or throw-in. Caution and yellow card for a substitute or substituted player, if he is guilty of unsporting behaviour, shows dissent by word or action, delays the restart of play. Sending-off and red card, it he is guilty of serious foul play, is guilty of violent conduct, spits at an opponent or any other person, uses offensive or insulting or abusive language and/or gestures, receives a second caution in the same match (FIFA).
2008 (IFAB) The addition that the yellow card is shown as a warning is deleted.
2016 (IFAB) The passage of what happens if a player changes the goalkeeper’s position without the referee’s permission before the change is made is deleted. Reintroduction of the passage: If a player enters the field of play with permission, the referee stops the play, but (not immediately if the player does not interfere with play or a match official or if the advantage can be applied and subsequently caution the player. If the referee stops the play, it is restarted with a direct free kick from the position of the interference or with an indirect free kick from the position of the ball when play was stopped if there was no interference. It is added that a player who crosses a boundary line as part of a playing movement, does not commit an offence.

 

Fouls on goalkeepers

Year (Source) new or changed laws (proposing club/association, if known)
1892 (IFAB) Playing in a dangerous manner is any action that, while trying to play the ball, threatens injury to someone (including the player themselves) and includes preventing a nearby opponent from playing the ball for fear of injury. (IFA).
1897 (IFAB) Impeding the progress of an opponent means moving into the opponent’s path to obstruct, block, slow down or force a change of direction when the ball is not within playing distance of either player.
1901 (IFAB) All players have a right to their position on the field of play; being in the way of an opponent is not the same as moving into the way of an opponent (FA).
1902 (IFAB) A player may shield the ball by taking a position between an opponent and the ball if the ball is within playing distance and the opponent is not held off with the arms or body. If the ball is within playing distance, the player may be fairly charged by an opponent (FA).
1938 (IFAB) Intentionally joining the team after the game has started or returns to the field of play while the game is in progress, without reporting to the referee, is considered an ungentlemanly conduct.
1949 (IFAB) Charging the goalkeeper except when he (a) is holding the ball; (b) is obstruction an opponent; (c) has passed outside his goal-area, is caution by an IDFK (FIFA).

 

Back pass rule

Year (Source) new or changed laws (proposing club/association, if known)
1992 (IFAB) On any occasion when a player deliberately kicks the ball to his own goalkeeper, the goalkeeper is not permitted to touch it with his hands. Otherwise, the match will be restarted with an IDFK from the place where the offence occurred for the opposing team (FIFA).

 

DOGSO

Year (Source) new or changed laws (proposing club/association, if known)
1992 (IFAB) On any occasion when a player deliberately kicks the ball to his own goalkeeper, the goalkeeper is not permitted to touch it with his hands. Otherwise, the match will be restarted with an IDFK from the place where the offence occurred for the opposing team.
1993 (IFAB) If a player pass the ball to his own goalkeeper for a deliberate trick in order do circumvent Article 5(c) of Law XII, the player will be guilty of ungentlemanly conduct. The game will be restarted with a IDFK from the place where the player committed the offence.
1997 (IFAB) The law is added so that the same applies if denied by a deliberately handball an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.
2001 (IFAB) It is added to the passage that the preventing player is also shown the yellow or red card (IFAB).
2005 (IFAB) It is emphasized that the referee has the authority to take disciplinary sanctions, as from the moment he enters the field of play until he leaves the field of play after the final whistle (FAW).
2006 (IFAB) It is added to the passage that the requirements apply to substitutes and substituted players (FIFA).
2008 (IFAB) It is added to the passage that a player who is sent off must leave the vicinity.

 

Cards for team officials

Year (Source) new or changed laws (proposing club/association, if known)
2019 (IFAB) Introduction of cards for team officials including penalty catalogue.