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Question Number: 32494

Law 9 - The Ball in and out of Play 6/7/2018

RE: World Cup Professional

Derek of Cary, IL USA asks...

Fox Sports will have a CableCam system at the World Cup, similar to what we see in the NFL.

What would happen if the ball in flight touches the CableCam system?
I assume it would be the same as an overhanging tree; it's part of the field, keep playing.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Derek
It will be covered by a local competition rule.
In the WC in Germany one of the grounds the Commerzbank Arena Frankfurt had a display high overhanging the field of play. In one game between England and Paraguay a punt by the England GK actually hit it.
The referee stopped play and restarted with a dropped ball.
I recall in a particular game many years ago there were electricity cables running high above the field of play. There was no local rule yet I told both captains at the coin toss that if the ball struck the wires I would go with a DB. In the second half a punt struck the wires and it bounced down unbelievably favourably for the opponents as the defenders had all pushed out for the punt. It would have been totally unfair to have allowed play to continue in the circumstances.
I can live with the ball hitting a branch of an overhanging tree at the side of the field of play either keeping the ball in play or knocking it out of play.

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