The IFAB clarifies the rules of the hands: not all should be sanctioned

After a troubled season with the issue of how hands are sanctioned within the area, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the body in charge of determining football rules, has decided to simplify its regulations in relation to this point.

The IFAB introduces a new point and remarks that “not all contact of the ball with the hand or arm constitutes an offense”. In addition, it leaves three assumptions about when hands can be sanctioned, taking a step back and simplifying the rule.

One of the last controversies was at Athletic – Real Madrid





“A player who:

• voluntarily touches the ball with the hand or arm, for example by moving towards the ball with these parts of the body;

• touch the ball with the hand or arm when the hand or arm is positioned in an unnatural way, causing the body to take up more space. A player will be considered to have made his body occupy more space in an unnatural way when the position of his hand or arm is not a consequence of the movement of his body in that particular action or cannot be justified by such movement. By placing his hand or arm in this position, the player risks the ball hitting that part of his body and this constitutes an offense;

• scores a goal in the opponent’s goal (directly with his hand or arm – even if the action occurs accidentally – including the goalkeeper; or immediately after the ball touches his hand or arm, even in a accidental)”.

Thus, the IFAB eliminates the exceptions in the hands (such as rebounds) and affects the willingness or not of the player when penalizing the infraction.

Arm parts and offside

What does not change is what part of the arm is considered hands or not. Therefore, it is maintained that the lower part of the shoulder is a valid resource, while if the ball is touched with another part of the arm, an infringement may be indicated.




IFAB Rules on Hands in Football

In relation to this point, things change when determining whether a player is in an offside position, since the hands and arms of the players will not be taken into account and the armpit will be taken as a reference to throw the line. .

“In order to clearly determine the offside infractions, the upper limit of the arm coincides with the lower point of the armpit,” he uses in point 1 of the offside rule.

The change in regulations will take effect from July 1, but competitions that start in June, such as the Eurocup, may apply the new rules if they so wish.