The Dutch Second Division wants to try out a large number of new rules from the 2023/24 season

The Dutch Second Division wants to try out a large number of new rules from the 2023/24 season

The Dutch Second Division wants to try out a large number of new rules from the 2023/24 season

The Dutch football association is eager to try out a large number of drastic new rule changes in the second tier of Dutch football.

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

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

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

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

“The adjustments are 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 up with ideas like this in football and want to innovate, you have to deal with two kinds of fans: the football novel, who prefer to leave everything as it is and are guided by nostalgia and sentiment, and the football novel fan who is open to 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 for having a tendency to dig in when changes are made. Therefore, a lot of lobbying will have to be done before the pilot can start in the Kitchen Champion Division.”

Image credit: Alamy
Image credit: Alamy
  • Throwing in is getting in

When the ball is over the sideline, you can now shoot or dribble into it. 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 format.

On average, almost 11 percent of the playing time per match 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: a waste of time. This is largely prevented 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 switch players unlimitedly with so-called ‘flying substitutions’, so that the game is no longer stopped.

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

There are plans to test the rule changes for the 2023/2024 campaign, although the project is not yet a foregone conclusion.

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