VAR in Premier League 2021-22 Season
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The Premier League has announced substantial modifications to their use of the VAR system, inspired by the success at the Euro 2020.

For the 2021-22 season, the Premier League has indicated that it will make a number of changes to its VAR implementation.

The Premier League has been motivated by VAR’s performance during the Euros, where it was generally a smoother and more efficient procedure, to act and try to improve their own use of the technology.

But, exactly, what can we expect?

Thicker Offside Lines

Offside was one of the greatest difficulties with VAR last season. There were several questionable rulings where the smallest margin was used to flag a player as offside, resulting in several complaints from both players and supporters.

VAR offside Rule Line
The VAR offside Rule

The Premier League will ‘thicken’ the lines used to divide the defender and attacking player, similar to the Eredivise. This is to make sure the player will only be labeled as offside if there is ‘natural light’ between the line tracking the defense and the line tracking the forward.

Its implementation should result in a significant reduction in armpit and toe offsides, where players are flagged for the slightest of margins. But until we see it in action, it’s impossible to say how well it’ll function, how thick the lines will be, or how big of an advantage the attacker will receive.

The Handball Rule & VAR

Handballs are the second point of contention that has engulfed the football world since the advent of VAR.

The regulation has been changed and tweaked again in the aftermath of a string of absurd handball verdicts in which players who were not even facing in the right direction were penalized for the ball brushing their arm.

We’ve finally returned to sanity, stating that arms in an awkward posture would be penalised. But without referring to a specific body shape or stance. As a result, other situations involving handball should be eliminated.

Other handball scenarios, as a result, should be eliminated. “A player is judged to have made their body unnaturally larger when the location of their hand/arm is not a result of, or justifiable by, the player’s body movement for that specific situation,” according to the revised technical guidance.

The Armpit Offsides

However, the dreaded armpit offside, which determines whether an area of the body a player can play onside, still exists.

Arms are not considered in the application when determining offside. So the body must start somewhere to determine where a player stands in respect to the defense or forward.

As a result, it’s been established that lines will be drawn from ‘the bottom of the armpit’ to finally determine whether a player is on or offside.


By Clive Banda

Football Dialogue is the Home to Football News & Content that is both instructive and timeless.

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