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Rulebook Change Proposals Result

Aug 2, 2022 | News

This year, the IQA started a new process to update the rulebook.  As part of this new process, the Rules Team creates and debates proposals for changes to the IQA rulebook.  Their proposals are then released publicly and forwarded to the full Rules Committee made up of the Rules Team, NGB representatives from participating NGBs, and at-large rules committee members.

Last month, the Rules Teams Proposals were shared with the public. The rules committee has since discussed and debated the proposals in three phases.  

Major changes were automatically nominated for further debate.

The second phase consisted of further debating those proposals that were nominated for further debate.  There were 9 such proposals.  The rules committee could pass, block, or send the proposal back for further revision.  If neither passing or blocking received a majority of the vote, revision was declared the winner.

In the third phase, proposals that were sent back for revision were then revised and returned to the rules committee.  The committee then had an instant runoff vote of three options: the revised proposal, the original proposal, or blocking the change entirely.

Below are the results of the proposals featured in the original announcement.  A list of the results for all of the proposals, including the vote totals for the 9 proposals that were nominated for further debate can be found here.

The results of the committee process are being announced here.  The full rulebook text will be released in August.

  • Shin Guards: Passed with Revisions

Plastic shin guards will no longer be subject to the knock test.  This means that the more common hard plastic soccer shin guards will be allowed.

This proposal was revised during the committee process to specify that only plastic shin guards will get an exception to the knock test.  Carbon fiber shin guards, and items made of other materials, such as metal, shall not receive an exception.

  • Metal Cleats: Passed

Metal cleats are no longer strictly banned.  However, there are a few caveats and restrictions.  The cleats must not be sharp, and they are subject to additional shape restrictions.  These restrictions are in line with those found on cylindrical cleats in World Rugby.  Additionally, if an event occurs at a venue that doesn’t allow metal cleats, metal cleats will be treated as illegal for that event.

  • Expanded Bench Areas: Passed by Insufficient Objection

Event directors will have the option to extend the bench outside of the player area up to a total width of 7 meters, so long as this expanded bench area is restricted from spectators and others who are not allowed in the player area. Substitutes shall have full unrestricted access to this expanded bench area, providing players with a place outside the player area for their extra equipment, bags, and other items.  It is an optional expansion, which prevents this rule from expanding the area needed for a pitch when space is limited, but event directors are encouraged to expand the bench when the space is available.

  • Elimination of the Single Resetting Action Exception: Passed

When a single resetting action causes the quaffle to travel backwards across both restrictor lines, this shall count as two resets, and will result in a quaffle turnover.

  • 20 Minute Seeker Floor: Passed by Insufficient Objection

The seeker floor will be extended to 20 minutes.

  • Extra Breaks During High Heat and Humidity: Passed with Revisions

When the heat index (a combination of the temperature and humidity levels) is predicted to be at or above 32 degrees celsius during any portion of an event, additional breaks will be required at 15 minutes into the game, and every 5 minutes after the seeker floor expires.  A table will be included in the rulebook appendices to show heat and humidity levels that trigger the rule.

This proposal was revised during the committee process to allow for a “feels like” temperature to be used when humidity data is not reasonably available to the event director.

Additionally, in the original announcement, the length of the breaks was incorrectly reported.  When this rule is activated, the break at 15 minutes will be 4 minutes long, and the remaining breaks will be two minutes long.

  • Contact From Behind After Coming to a Full Stop: Passed with Revisions

If a player comes to a full and complete stop (their feet are set, and all momentum towards their opponent is stopped) they shall have a limited exception from the contact from behind rules.  After setting their feet and stopping their forward momentum, they shall be allowed to lean towards or step towards their opponent to initiate contact from behind, but the contact must be initiated before the contacting player’s back foot is picked up or otherwise moves from where it was previously planted when their forward momentum was last stopped.  

This proposal was revised during the committee process to prevent this contact from behind exception from being used to contact a player who is not in possession of a ball.

  • Specific Rules on Beats to the Head: Passed by Insufficient Objection

Limitations on head beats are proposed penalizing beats to the head thrown from less than 5 meters away from the targeted player.  Not all such beats are restricted, as the player’s position, whether they have a ball, and whether the ball hits the front or back of the head are taken into account.

  • Stalled Quaffle Procedure: Passed by Insufficient Objection

If the quaffle is not significantly moving toward either set of hoops, and the quaffle is either possessed by a grounded player who is in contact with an opponent, OR the quaffle is jointly held by multiple players, and one of those players is grounded, the head referee shall start a 10 second count.  If the conditions last for 10 seconds, the quaffle will be declared stalled.  A stalled quaffle is treated as out of bounds at the nearest boundary point, and will be inbounded by the team that was on defense before the quaffle went to the ground.  This will generally occur without play being stopped.  There is a limited exception for giving it to the keeper of the receiving team instead in limited circumstances.

MAJOR CHANGES: The following two changes are considered “major changes.”  These changes were automatically nominated for further debate and were voted on.  Because this is not a “major change year” these must get the support of 75% of non-abstaining rules committee members to pass.  As with the above proposals, the vote totals for these proposals can be seen in the full list of changes.

  • Two Arm Wrapping and Tackling: Passed with Revisions

Players shall be allowed to use two arms when wrapping an opponent, including during tackles.

This proposal was revised during the committee process to add penalties to two actions. Initiating a push, body block, charge, or wrap after becoming dismounted will result in a yellow card.  A player who dismounts after initiating contact, who then adds force to their contact that knocks their opponent down shall receive a blue card.  Unlike current rules, there shall be no exceptions for players who dismount immediately prior to these actions.  This shall not change the rules around players who are beat just before or during contact.

Additionally, it should be clarified that this proposal shall make it legal to reach around an opponent to steal a ball while wrapping them with the other arm.

Two arm PUSHES remain illegal.

  • 3-Max Gender Rule: Failed to Pass

This proposal would have changed the gender rule so that each team could only have a maximum of three players of the same gender on the field at the same time when there was no seeker in play.