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Question Number: 26149

Law 2 - The Ball 4/6/2012

RE: Comp. Under 19

Lon of Roseville, CA US asks...

My son and I recently A/R a tournament in Reno, NV (Sagebrush), after the game a guy approached us asking us to produce the game balls. Are the Refs responsible for the game balls after the game has ended?
He was a very angry little man....(typical)!

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Lon
If the referee and crew are entrusted with the match ball/s by the competition organisers, before the start of the game, the onus is on the referee to return same when the game is ended.
In most games the team provide the match balls so then it is not the responsibility of the referee. Teams look after their own equipment including match balls as one would expect.
In a tournament setting with perhaps multiple games it is very easy for match balls to go missing particularly when no competition officials is available to take responsibility, hence the need for the referee to carry out the task.
Simply put if someone gives the referee a match ball he expect the referee to give it back at the end of the game.



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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

This is why you never end the game when the ball has sailed far beyond the touchline, through the pricker-bushes and into the mosquito-infested creek. Wait until a team member retrieves it, and then end the game a few seconds after the throw-in!

But yes, I typically retrieve the ball, or at least make sure that it got back to the team that supplied it. At a tournament, if the ball entered the field with the ref it should exit the field with the ref.



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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

The referee should be responsible for one match ball. As you will notice in international play, the referee walks onto the field with the match ball, retrieves and exits with it at halftime, and at the conclusion of the match.

The referees have too much to do to monitor the happenings of all the back-up balls that exit the field. Watching the match ball, however, is a normal part of the game.


It never ceases to amaze me, however, why someone would bring a $150 ball to a U10 match tournament, and then lose track of what happens to the ball. Sometimes the anger is misdirected.



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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

The referee usually picks a match ball or one is provided for him. That one he's responsible for. Any extra balls, usually not



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