Five Rule Changes That Would Immediately Improve Soccer

Since its start in 1863, soccer has undergone many rule changes and additions. There once existed a time where the sport had no crossbars, no corner kicks, and no referees. In an unfathomable world, there was actually a point where the goalkeeper was allowed to use his hands anywhere on the field– not just in the 18-yard box.

However, though the game we all know today has become wildly recognized and holds the title of being the most popular sport in the world with an estimated 3.5 billion fans, it still has room for improvements. Therefore here are five rules that can further enhance the beloved sport.


Stop Time When the Ball is Not in Play

This would result in preventing players from wasting time and also ensure that the viewers get a full 90 minutes of soccer. There are so many situations where a player will take their good ole sweet time throwing in the ball or walking off the field during a substitution as to run the clock since their team is in the lead. Goalkeepers are notorious culprits for wasting time whether it be setting up a goal kick or standing in the 18-yard box with the ball at their feet waiting until an attacker from the other team puts on pressure. Whatever the case may be, the halves should be a mandatory 45 minutes of play.


Only Captains Can Speak to the Referee

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There are moments in the game when players can get out of hand or crowd the ref with anger and insults after disagreeing with a call. During these situations, the captain should be the only one responsible for speaking with the ref. It avoids confusion, chaos, and establishes an overall better form of communication on the field.


Required Post-Match Referee Interviews

The referee has a lot of responsibility in dictating the outcome of a game. In doing so, the referee makes many calls which can result in much questioning and controversy. Instead of leaving the match confused and angry with commentators speculating over what the referee was thinking, just ask. This allows the referee the opportunity to defend or explain his/her decision and it also provides the players, coaches, and supporters with an answer.


No Punishment for Celebrating

Goals do not occur that often in soccer, so when they do it’s a reason to celebrate. Unfortunately, an excessive celebration including a player taking off their shirt can result in an immediate yellow card. However, players celebrating their goal not only amps their team up, but it also excites and engages the crowd more. It creates an overall exhilarating atmosphere that unites the cheering supporters with the players.


Increase the Number of Substitutions

Under FIFA’s laws, there are only allowed three substitutions per game, but if this number were increased a more interesting match could ensue. Instead of having tired players towards the end of the game, the additional subs would provide fresh legs and therefore, a quicker paced game. Not only that, but it allows the coach to have more control over the game in terms of team performance. This rule would also lead to more bench players being able to get field time.


The rules of soccer have and will continue to change. With the additional use of technology including, goal-line technology and video assistant referee (VAR), the future of soccer is being viewed with new and different perspectives. Despite the inevitable changes, the full-spirited fans, devoted coaches, and tenacious players allow the core of the game to persist.

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