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VAR, handball and subs: Premier League rule changes for upcoming 2021/22 season.

VAR, handball and subs: Premier League rule changes for upcoming 2021/22 season.

From thicker lines being used to modish handball rules, Premier League fans will have to accustom themselves to new rule changes for the forthcoming 2021/22 season.

There were lots of disputes due to VAR settlements last season, and the FA have tried to fix some of the criticisms made by fans throughout the season in a new set of VAR rules for the season ahead.

With less than three weeks to go until the beginning of the new season Sports Dias have chosen to take a look at the most notable rule changes prior to the beginning of the campaign.

New handball rule

One of the first rules to be adjusted is that an accidental handball in the build-up to a goal will no longer be considered an offense.

Both Manchester clubs saw handball rulings go against them during the term that would now be left to stand under the new rules, and the change will be seen as resolute by fans and players alike.


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The new language says: “A player is considered to have made their body unnaturally bigger when the position of their hand/arm is not a consequence of, or justifiable by, the player’s body movement for that specific situation. By having their hand/arm in such a position, the player takes a risk of their hand/arm being hit by the ball and being penalised.”

The law no longer defines that particular positions are inherently unnatural (i.e. the removed language of “the hand/arm is above/beyond their shoulder level,” which codified specific movements as unnatural by default) or that particular movements are always not an offence (i.e. the removed language specifying that it should not be an offence if “when a player falls and the hand/arm is between the body and the ground to support the body, but not extended laterally or vertically away from the body”).

VAR interpretation of offside

The Premier League will use thicker lines next period to determine offsides.

After several controversial decisions when determining marginal offside situations, the Premier League are set to tackle complaints by introducing thicker lines.

The aim is to eliminate situations where a goal is ruled-out due to a players’ toe being offside.

For now it’s unclear how thick the lines will be or what model the Premier League will follow with the International Football Association Board (IFAB) having not set requirement on how thick offside lines need to be when using VAR.

But the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) have struck an agreement and fans should have more clarity once the season begins.

After some controversial decisions in the Premier League involving players’ armpits being offside, the rules have also been interpreted as to where a player’s body should be circumscribed to be offside.

According to FIFA, only the bottom of the armpit should be classed as offside from now on which may reduce future debate from supporters and the Premier League are expected to adhere to the new rule.

How many substitutions are allowed

The Premier League are yet to establish whether teams will be allowed 18- or 20-man matchday squads after amending the rule midway through last term.

However, the three sub-rule will likely remain with EFL clubs reverting to three substitutions per match after doing five substitutions last term.

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VAR, handball and subs: Premier League rule changes for upcoming 2021/22 season.

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