ONE new word has made it into the Laws of the Game this season, although it has been in common use in the game for many years.

This is the ‘Wall’, formed, of course, by numerous defenders lining up in front of a free-kick, outside the penalty area but close to their goal.

Attacking players will try to defeat the challenge of the wall in various ways.

One is obviously practising free-kicks which will go into the goal, over or around the wall, which must be at least 10 yards away.

This was immortalised by that enjoyable film ‘Bend it like Beckham'.

For many referees, this type of free-kick is known as a ‘ceremonial’ free kick.

Compared with other free kicks it has a certain amount of ceremony, particularly in the professional game, with the use of vanishing spray.

The referee will step out 10 yards with his whistle held high to indicate there can be no quick free-kick and everyone must wait for the whistle.

Referees will also often illustrate to the defenders to keep their hands down, for if they raise them above the head and it deflects the ball, there will be another free-kick or if they are in the penalty area, a penalty.

One other tactic by attackers and a less commendable one is to try and disrupt the wall in some way.

Perhaps by standing in front of the wall or alongside it, sometimes to push the defenders away or breaking away hoping to form a gap for the ball to pass through.

This sort of behaviour often leads to petty skirmishes and this is where this seasons change has come.

The Law now says if the wall consists of three or more defenders, attacking players must remain at least one metre/one yard away from those defenders until the ball is kicked.

If they fail to do this it will destroy their chance of a goal from the kick as it will result in an indirect free-kick being awarded to their opponents.