We have seen a number of rule changes in football over the past few years. Some have been big ones, such as the introduction of Video Assistant Referees. Others, such as the removal of the requirement that kick-offs go forward, have been less impactful.
This one could fall somewhere in between. It will be helpful for some teams, while it will have little to no effect for others.
For the upcoming season, goal kicks will no longer have to leave the box to be in play, meaning outfield players will no longer have to be outside their own penalty when their goalkeeper restarts the game.
In theory, this should encourage more teams to pass it out from the back. It will lessen the impact of opposition teams pushing high on goal kicks, as they will not be able to enter the box. This should allow defenders more time to play the ball out from the defence.
We saw the rule in action during today's friendly clash between Inter and Juventus. Inter showed the influence the rule change could have, launching a very impressive attack straight from the goal kick.
— Calciomercato Inter (@InterCM16) July 24, 2019
While we know this change is good for the game, something about it just feels wrong. It is incredibly strange to see outfield players standing in the box for goal kicks, although we're sure we will get used to it soon enough.
Other rule changes this season include removing attacking players from walls at free-kicks, the removal of contested drop balls, and stricter rules on handballs.