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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 29948

Law 2 - The Ball 11/29/2015

Cigal of anywhere, North America asks...

Can footballs be placed around the field of play for use during the game? We see ball boys all the time.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Cigal
Yes. Many competition Rules allow for the use of the multiple ball system. The referee or 4th official inspects all the footballs to be used before kick off so that there is no difficulty about their use.
In certain instances the referee can deem that it is not working correctly and revert to one match ball or that the ROCs do not allow it.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

In youth and amateur play this is less common; we seldom see ball boys/girls there.

At certain fields I would ask the home team to have an extra ball available - the field with a long hill down behind the goal, the field with brambles and bushes and a ditch along the touch line, the field with a fence to the adjoining tennis courts - you get the picture. Be prepared if it appears there could be delays in retrieving a ball that is out of play.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Cigal,

It is helpful for extra balls to be placed around the field. Usually these will be left at halfway so the bench can send the ball on as required. If there are more, then leaving one behind the goals is often helpful.
Referee's should always be familiar with their competition rules as they may require teams to supply a certain number of balls.
All balls should be inspected by the referee prior to the match.

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