The new season is upon us, and as always, there are a fresh set of laws which football fans everywhere need to examine carefully before the first ball is kicked. Some of these laws are simple: tweaks to the handball rule, or players being allowed to start in their own penalty area when a goal-kick is being taken. But there is one rule which is being introduced at grassroots level which could change football drastically. The ‘sin bin’ as used in rugby, is a temporary expulsion from the pitch, after committing a serious foul. In football, it is to be used in cases of dissent towards the referee, and the player will be forced to leave the field for ten minutes. If it proves effective at a lower level, it could change the sport forever. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some whacky laws from other sports which would change the way football is played, for better or for worse. Replace Referee Whistle With a Starting Gun The blowing of the whistle represents a lot in football: kick off, a foul, a penalty, half-time, full time, or even a referee frantically trying to stop the flying handbags between opposing players. But what if we used a starting gun instead of a whistle? The tension before the 100m sprint at the Olympics is palpable, and with the bang of a gunshot, the whole stadium erupts. This could definitely bring a bit more excitement to the beginning of a Premier League match between Newcastle and Brighton, and it may help the referee to arbitrate the big matches with a bit more control and good behaviour from players, ruling with an iron weapon. The Scrum Rugby is a confusing sport if you’re not sure of the laws, but every now and again a big group of players link arms, bend down, and then charge head-first at the opposition. The ball is popped into the middle of the circle and the players push against each other and gain ground up the pitch until the ball squirms out of the scrum. Now, we all think the drop-ball rule could be improved, don’t we? Who wouldn’t want to see Arsenal going head-to-head with Burnley in a heavily contested scrum; James Tarkowski driving his side over the halfway line whilst Mesut Ozil and co. crumple and collapse in a sorry heap. That’s something we could all get behind. In the crazy world of motorsport, the size of a team’s support can actually have a say in the race’s outcome. Formula E fans can take to Twitter and ‘mention’ their favourite driver, or vote on the Formula E website. The three drivers with the most votes get a five-second electrical power boost during the race, which they can only use once. Football fans have become disillusioned with their sport as there is a growing feeling of disconnect between themselves and the players on the pitch. But what if the two sets of fans voted for their team on a pre-match Premier League twitter poll, and the winning side had a five second advantage, in which the opposition must stand still until the allotted time ends? Use it wisely, and your attacking prowess will make the opposition look like statues. It’s the World Cup final in 2022. England are holding on to a brave 1-0 lead against a marauding Qatar side. The Alamo was a picnic compared to this barrage of pressure. With 90 seconds on the clock, and the England defence about to give way, a single shout is heard from the touchline. “TIMEOUT!” Screams Gareth Southgate. The England legend then has an extra 100 seconds to organise and galvanise his troops, whilst the Qatari players twiddle their thumbs, losing all of their momentum, and handing England the greatest trophy on Earth, Sounds ridiculous, right? We can thank basketball for this one. Tennis is a peculiar sport. The athletes train day in, day out and hone their skills with hours of endless practise. They repeat their serves, over and over and over again. When it comes to the real thing, they can’t get it right, and smash the ball too long or into the net. Luckily for them, the umpire allows them another bite of the cherry. To a viewer with little knowledge of the sport, this may seem a touch ludicrous. So what if we allow a penalty taker to have another crack at his pressured kick if he puts the ball wide? We all want to see a goal, or the keeper making a brilliant save. Give the people what they want! Unfortunately these possible laws are yet to be brought in by our FA committee, but we can only dream of the day we see Mike Dean wielding a pistol next to his vanishing spray, or Southgate becoming Qatar’s public enemy number one, due to his unsportsmanlike timeout behaviour. Until then, let’s make do with the real laws, and enjoy not understanding them for an entire season.