The Dutch Second Division Want To Trial A Host Of New Rules From 2023/24 Season

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The Dutch football association are keen to trial a host of drastic new rule changes in the second tier of Dutch football.

KNVB want to experiment with five ‘adjustments’ to the game –– throw-ins become kick-ins, a five minute penalty after a yellow card, dribbling at a free kick is allowed, unlimited substitutions and a clear playing time of 2×30 minute halves.

Jan Dirk van der Zee, who is the director of amateur football within the KNVB, believes the changes should make the game “faster, sportier, fairer and more attractive”.

Jan Dirk van der Zee, who is the director of amateur football at KNVB. Image credit: Alamy
Jan Dirk van der Zee, who is the director of amateur football at KNVB. Image credit: Alamy

He added: “The aim is to realize a pilot for the Kitchen Champion Division in the 2023-2024 season.

“In this, the adjustments will be tested in consultation with the clubs and the International Football Association Board (IFAB).”

Image credit: Alamy
Image credit: Alamy

The above rule changes have been tested in amateur football since 2017 and van der Zee thinks the idea is promising.

“If you come into football with these kinds of ideas and want to innovate, you will have to deal with two kinds of fans: the football romantic, who prefers to leave everything as it is and is guided by nostalgia and sentiment, and the football fan who is open for changes to make the game more attractive and fairer,” he says.

“The football romantic in particular is recognizable in UEFA and FIFA, who are known to have a tendency to go with their heels in the sand when changes are made. That is why there will still have to be a lot of lobbying before the pilot can start in the Kitchen Champion Division.”

Image credit: Alamy
Image credit: Alamy

If the ball is over the sideline, you can now shoot or dribble it in. The same applies to the kick-off, a corner kick or goal kick. All actions that take at least fifteen minutes of playing time in a match in the current set-up.

On average, almost 11 percent of the playing time per game is lost to taking free kicks. Those interruptions take the speed out of the game, but also feed one of the biggest annoyances for spectators and players: time wasting. This is largely avoided with the self-pass, which allows you to dribble immediately after the ball has been stopped by the ref.

Another major annoyance in football is the hassle of getting yellow and red cards. Where yellow has an image problem, because you now take the first card for granted, because of the lack of a direct consequence. With the 5 minute penalty, that is a thing of the past.

This measure also provides more speed and spectacle, because you can change players without limitation with so-called ‘flying substitutions’, which means that the game is no longer stopped.

In 2020, an average Champions League match consisted of just under 60 minutes of clean playing time. With these new rules, football matches are shortened to two times 30 minutes.

Plans to pilot the rule changes have been set for the 2023/2024 campaign, although the project is not yet a foregone conclusion.

Thoughts on the possible rule changes? Let us know in the comments.

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