Guardians of the Laws of the Game
DECISION MAKING PROCESS
The work of The ISAB is a continuous and comprehensive process. Changing the Laws of the Game involves interaction with the world’s subbuteo community and conducting constant research and analysis with the help of expert bodies.
At The ISAB, we are subbuteo enthusiasts and our goal is to protect the core values of the game, particularly its fairness and integrity. We maintain a healthy balance between “what subbuteo wants” and simplicity of playing the game. This is why the changes to the Laws follow a clear decision-making process, and are always made with a single goal in mind: to benefit the game.
Our strategy is that all potential changes to the Laws of the Game are considered in the light of three key areas:
Fairness and integrity – any change must preserve or enhance the fairness of subbuteo and the integrity of each match; this includes respecting referees and the decisions they make
Universality and inclusion – as far as possible, Law changes must be applicable to every subbuteo match, from children playing in a small village to the FISA World Cup™ final. Every Law change must help and attract as many people as possible to become involved in, and enjoy, subbuteo regardless of their background or skill
The growth of technology – subbuteo cannot ignore technology. The Laws of the Game must help subbuteo embrace technology when it benefits the game and take measures to protect the game where it represents a threat
The decision-making process is always the same, irrespective of the topic, and is never-ending as the Laws must be dynamic and ready to adapt to changes in the way subbuteo is played today.
SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS
Any subbuteo association can make a proposal or a recommendation relating to the Laws for consideration by The ISAB, by forwarding in writing the suggestions or proposed alterations, requests for experimentation and other items for discussion to the Secretary of The ISAB not later than 1 November.
Subsequently, these items are considered by The ISAB’s technical experts and may then be presented to the Annual Business Meeting (ABM) before potentially being submitted either for approval at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), experimentation or further deliberations by the advisory panels and other expert bodies.
Once approved at the AGM, changes to the Laws of the Game come into force on 1 September, unless specified and communicated otherwise. Competitions which have started before 1 September may:
delay implementing the changes until the end of the competition or
implement them as soon as they have been officially announced and circulated.
CONSULTATION WITH SUBBUTEO STAKEHOLDERS
We regularly consult with SUBBUTEO associations, leagues and competitions to understand their needs and gather proposals to improve the Laws of the Game for the benefit of the game at all levels throughout the world. These proposals are thoroughly discussed with different expert teams within our organisation.
The research programme is a testing ground for new, sometimes radical Law changes. The Technical Subcommittee (TSC) and other bodies thoroughly analyse a proposal’s feasibility and, where appropriate, oversee experiments to test its viability. This process can take many months as there are usually unforeseen impacts of the proposed changes, which may be positive or negative, but nearly always lead to refinements and adaptions of the original proposal.