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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 23561

Law 2 - The Ball 6/27/2010

RE: Competitive Under 13

Mike of Norton, MA USA asks...

In a state championship semi-final game earlier this morning, a team scored directly from the opening kickoff. When the keeper retrieved the ball from the goal, he discovered it was a size 5 and not the prescribed size 4. He mentioned this to the referee prior to the ensuing kickoff, yet the referee simply replaced the ball and allowed the goal to stand.

I have scoured your site the Advice to Referees but have not seen any discussion of this issue.

What is the resolution and what would be the proper restart??

Love the site....enriches our experiences as referees.

Answer provided by Referee Ben Mueller

WOW! The referee meesed up by allowing the size 5 ball. One of his duties per law 2 is to check the ball prior to the match. With that said..I agree that the goal stands and the information must be recorded in the match report sent to the league.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Mike
It is not part of the Laws of the Game but rather a competition rule and as such a matter for the competition organisers. The referee should be provided with the competition rules in advance of the game and indeed I suggest that in a SC game that he should be provided with a regulation match ball that meets the competiton rule.
Someone provided him with a match ball and it was probably one of the teams?
In the circumstances I believe that all the referee can do is allow the goal, restart the game with a proper sized match ball and report it to the competition organisers. If presented with this situation in an appeal I would deem it to trifling and disallow it.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

Oh, for heaven's sake! Is the team going to complain it was harder to catch a bigger ball? Really.

The referee should have checked ahead of time on the size of the ball, but it was a trifling mistake, and does not disallow the goal. It should go in the referee's game report, and the game should be restarted with the correct size ball.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

The proper resolution for the referee would be to allow the goal, find a properly sized ball, and restart with a kickoff. The referee (who should have checked the rules for the correct ball at this age group) should include the incident in the match report. The league officials can then decide whether it matters.

Our local league recently dealt with this issue by ruling that if one team brings the wrong size ball, the other team may insist on the correct sized ball only if they provide it to the referee before the game begins. (I think the league never wanted to address ball size protests again.)

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