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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 21153

Law 2 - The Ball 4/19/2009

RE: Under 17

Alexander Dyomin of Kursk, Russia asks...

Dear Sirs,
I have a question regarding the Law 2.
The Law adverts to the matter of what to do when "the ball bursts or becomes defective"
But when the ball becomes defective? How a ball can become defective except when it bursts? When the ball may be considered defective?
P.S. Thank you very much for the great site!

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Balls may become defective if they have slowly gone flat, if they have slightly split seams that allow it to pick up and retain water making them too heavy, if they are out of round and lopsided.

In most of these cases, the problem would be spotted and then checked when the ball is out of play. For instance, the sound when the ball is kicked is too mushy; the ref would inspect the ball at the next stoppage and have it replaced if it has gone soft.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

If it goes flat. If it goes out of round. If it becomes heavy by taking on water. I'm sure there are others.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Alex,
glad you enjoty the site!

If a seam or scuff mark allows a weaking in the surface skin, the bladder could pop through.
Some balls are made of leather that absorb water and can become miss shapen or extremely heavy.
Slow leak through a puncture or where the plug is.
Loose stitching around the panels.

A ball that visably can be seen to be out of round or a loose panel flap from poor stiching or a ball that is losing pressure the players will complain if the referee fails to spot the the problem .

Generally we will examine the ball during a stoppage and switch it out then.

I have seen balls pop and explode in various ways from being fallen upon by heavy set players, off a car fender, off a corner of the bench in a technical area and off post and crossbar.

Some balls will simply go soft and you can see in the uneven ball flight or even hear it in the kick as a splat!

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Answer provided by Referee Steve Montanino

Something a simple a pannel falling off the ball is enough to make it defective. Safety of the players is our paramount concern and sharp or rough edges on a ball can result in cuts or bleeding. Also, the flight of the ball can be greatly altered by something like this.

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