Law 8 : Start and Restart of Play
- The team that wins the toss may choose to take the kick-off.
- Dropped ball – ball dropped for goalkeeper (if play stopped in penalty area) or for one player of team that last touched the ball at the location of the last touch; all other players (of both teams) must be at least 4m (4.5 yds) away.
- Recent Law changes have made the kick-off more dynamic (e.g. a goal can be scored directly from the kick-off) so captains winning the toss often ask to take the kick-off.
Law 9 The Ball in and Out of Play
- Dropped ball if the ball touches the referee (or other match official) and goes into the goal, possession changes or an attacking move starts.
Law 10 Method of Scoring
- Goalkeeper cannot score by throwing the ball into the opponents’ goal.
Explanation for Law 8 & 9
- The current dropped ball procedure often leads to a ‘manufactured’ restart which is ‘exploited’ unfairly (e.g. kicking the ball out for a throw-in deep in the opponents’ half) or an aggressive confrontation. Returning the ball to the team that last played it restores what was ‘lost’ when play was stopped, except in the penalty area where it is simpler to return the ball to the goalkeeper. To prevent that team gaining an unfair advantage, all players of both teams, except the player receiving the ball, must be at least 4m (4.5 yds) away.
- It can be very unfair if a team gains an advantage or scores a goal because the ball has hit a match official, especially the referee.