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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 15071

Law 2 - The Ball 3/29/2007

RE: travel Under 14

ken Teevens of lansing, michigan America asks...

hey im a player that is going to start reffering in the summer and i was wondering in one of my games right in the middle of the game the oppenet team changed the ball from the orginal we put in! i was shocked becuase i thought they cant do that?? am i right or not?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

One team could complain too soft too hard and ask but only the referee can decide if the ball is suitable or not.
LAW 2 The Ball
Replacement of a Defective Ball
The ball may not be changed during the match without the authority of the referee Cheers

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

The original game ball goes sailing far behind the visitor's bench, across the ditch and into the pricker bushes. The visitor's coach offers his game ball so we don't have to wait 5 minutes to locate the original ball. I check that it's suitable, and off we go. Ten minutes later this sub ball is out of play, and the original ball has been retrieved. We will switch back - even if the team still wants to use "their ball".

I've seen a variation, where the ball gets kicked right into the bench area. The player going to take the throw-in "mistakenly" picks up the wrong ball. Nope, I'm not going to allow that kind of monkeybusiness. We play with the ball we started with, unless it becomes defective.

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Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

Check three footballs before the match and leave two with the coach of the team providing them. When one flies a long way away the coach throws a new ball in and sends someone to get HIS second football. That way he has two and you have just the one.

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Answer provided by Referee Steve Montanino


The only ball(s) that may be used in a football match are ones that meet the standards of law 2 and they must also be approved by the referee. So long as any ball being used in the game has be OK'd by the referee, it's perfectly acceptable.

Of course, there could be some league rules that specify who provides the game ball. Or you might be playing in a tournament that is being sponsored by a certain equipment manufacturer, in which case you will be asked only to use balls made by their company. However, no matter what special circumstances you run into, the requirements I list in the top paragraph still apply.

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