27 May, 2022
New Rulebook Proposals
This year, the IQA has started using 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. The proposals they approve 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.
For this year, the rules team has finalized their proposals and it is time to release the proposals to the public. While these proposals have been approved by the Rules Team, they are not yet final changes to the rulebook. The Rules Committee shall review each change, may suggest adjustments, and has the final say over whether the proposed changes are adopted or not.
With a few exceptions the changes being proposed are being presented by the change to play, not the specific rulebook wording. However, in some cases, the wording is highly important to understanding the change, and a link to that wording has been included.
While the full list is now posted for the public to see here, the most notable change proposals are listed below. These are the proposals that either have the most significant anticipated impact, or the ones that the rules manager anticipates will be of significant interest, even if they may not impact the game significantly. Without further ado, here are the highlights from the change proposals.
There are two notable proposed changes to personal equipment. The first is that 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.
The second notable equipment change is that 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.
Event directors will have the option to extend the player bench up to 7 meters outside of the player area, 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.
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.
The seeker floor will be extended to 20 minutes.
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 12 minutes into the game, and every 5 minutes after the seeker floor expires. These times may be adjusted if the seeker floor extension is approved.
Limited Contact from Behind
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.
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.
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.” Because this is not a “major change year” these must get the support of 75% of non-abstaining rules committee members to pass.
Players shall be allowed to use two arms when wrapping and opponent, including during tackles.
During the seeker floor, and during OT, a team may not have more than 3 players who identify as the same gender in play at the same time.
The gender rule proposal is unique. While all of the other proposals were passed explicitly because the rules team believed they would be improvements to the game, this proposal was put forward because they believe it deserves the chance to be debated by the rules committee before a decision is made. At this time the rules team is not for or against the rule change, and the rules committee will decide on its potential implementation.