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The new handball rule will differentiate between the arm and the shoulder

The International Football Association Board (Ifab) has approved that the English leagues can now use the new handball law when the season resumes.

This includes using the “T-shirt line” to differentiate between the arm and the shoulder for handball decisions.

The “T-shirt line” or armpit – essentially where the sleeve on a T-shirt ends – will become a key marker on the player’s body for match officials, with anything below that being handball.

The handball law had previously been changed so that a handball would be given against a player if their arms extended “beyond a natural silhouette”.

New laws automatically in place on 1 June for the start of the new season.

However, because of the suspension due to coronavirus, leagues will be allowed to implement them for the rest of this season.

“Competitions which have been suspended because of Covid-19 have the option of completing the competition using the Laws of the Game 2019-20 or adopting the Laws of the Game 2020-21.

“Friendly/practice/warm-up matches in preparation for the restart of the competition are permitted to use the version of the Laws that will be used when the competition restarts.”

The change to the handball rule was the most significant alteration to the laws of the game that came out of Ifab’s annual general meeting (AGM) in February.