If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

That's what we've been taught since we were old enough to know what it meant.

But apparently these rules don't apply to football, where the laws appear to be changing every minute of every game.

Goalkeepers and club officials have been hit hard with the new set of rules released by the Scottish FA.

READ MORE: Neil Cameron: Referees play by the rules and it’s time fans did the same

Changes regarding penalty kicks and substitutes are sure to be widely talked about.

So let's dive right in to the pile of changes for season 2019/20.


Attacking players are no longer allowed to stand near a defensive wall with three or more players defending the kick.

The SFA have ruled that the forward disrupting the wall is "against the spirit" of the game and mostly in use in a bid to waste time.

Attackers must stay at least one yard away from the wall or risk being penalised with an indirect free-kick against them.


The SFA has accepted that "greater clarity" is needed for handball situations but have outlined a number of offences that would lead to a free-kick for the opposition - even if accidental.

READ MORE: Scotland tops the UEFA coefficient chart for this season - but what does it actually mean?

If a player scores with an accidental handball, if they create a goalscoring opportunity as a result of an accidental handball or if the player's body is unnaturally bigger as a result of the handball - that's when the whistle will blow for a foul.


The teams that win the coin toss before the clash will now be allowed to choose either which side they want to attack in the first-half OR which team takes kick-off.

The SFA's rules confirm this is because teams are able to score from kick-off in a bid to make the start of a game "more dynamic".

Penalty kicks

Goalkeepers are not allowed to touch the goalposts, crossbar or the nets before a spot-kick is taken.

This is to prevent any aspect of the goal shaking which would give an unfair disadvantage to the taker.

Stoppers must also have at least part of one foot on/in line with the goal line when the kick is taken; they cannot stand behind the line.

READ MORE: Are Celtic a busted flush? Do Rangers hold all the aces? The new league season promises to deal us drama

This rule is to allow referees the chance to identify whether or not the keeper has both feet on the line.

Players can also take a 'stutter' in their run-up to hit the penalty, therefore it is acceptable for a goalkeeper to take one step in anticipation of the kick.


A player who is subbed MUST leave the field of play from the closest point on the touchline goal line.

This is to prevent time wasting.

Team officials

An official of any club in the SPFL can be booked or sent off from the dugout at any given moment for their behaviour.

However, in an unusual twist, if the team official cannot be identified by the referee, the most senior member of the technical staff - more often than not the manager or head coach - will receive the card.

And there's more - that you can find on the Scottish FA's website HERE.