- Soccer Referee Resources
- Ask a Question
- Recent Questions
RSS FEED Subscribe Now!
- Q&A Quick Search
- The Field of Play
- The Ball
- The Players
- The Players Equipment
- The Referee
- The Other Match Officials
- The Duration of the Match
- The Start and Restart of Play
- The Ball In and Out of Play
- Fouls and Misconduct
- Free Kicks
- Penalty kick
- Throw In
- Goal Kick
- Corner Kick
- Common Sense
- Kicks - Penalty Mark
- The Technical Area
- The Fourth Official
- Attitude and Control
- League Specific
- High School
- Common Acronyms
- Meet The Ref
- Contact AskTheRef
- Help Wanted
- About AskTheRef
- Panel Login
Question Number: 28921
Law 2 - The Ball 10/29/2014
Ramon Janeiro of wilmington, de usa asks...
Can a coach challenge the referee or should the referee had not allowed, before a free kick, to change the ball for the taking of the free kick, that had been in play for at least five to ten minutes? (the player taking the free kick asked the bench for a harder ball and used it, giving that team an advantage, and scored a goal)
Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham
A coach has no right to challenge the referee's decision as to the fitness of the ball. It would be appropriate for a team to ask the referee to check the ball, and if the ball had inadequate air pressure, for the referee to have it replaced.
But, the ball should not be changed simply because one team wants a ball that is harder.
Read other questions answered by Referee Dennis Wickham
View Referee Dennis Wickham profile
Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson
A coach has the right to act responsibly within his technical area. A competent referee should be aware the ball in use was initially correct in law to be used as a match ball. To switch the ball at the taking of a free kick, that ball can no longer be considered as a match ball, because something has occurred to damage it! A leak or a skin patch bulge developed and it was only NOW it is being noticed. To ask for a harder ball is NOT a reason to switch. Often if a ball is HARD it is overinflated, which causes the ball to be very dangerous to head and hurt like blazes to be hit by it or strike it incorrectly. ALL match balls should be identified prior to kick off if more than one is going to be allowed to facilitate quick restarts I know at the pro level the balls are all the same type, inflated to the same pressure, prior to kick off! If the referee switches balls because the ball IS defective then he should check the new ball is recognized as one complying with LAW 2 and inflated correctly. Cheers
Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson
View Referee Richard Dawson profile
Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh
Match balls have a recommended inflation pressure. Generally it is written near where the inflation needle is inserted.
Now most times referees use the thumb squeeze test to determine that the ball is inflated properly. It is a guesstimate yet it does work. I have a pressure gauge which I use, not all of the time, yet I find that my guess of the pressure is pretty close when checked using the gauge.
Now if a player comes to me during the game and complains that the ball is soft I will make a determination of that at the next stoppage using the thumb pressure method. If I find that the ball is soft I will ask for a replacement.
Some times the match ball can be replaced during the game without the referee checking the ball and if there are no complaints about the ball the referee allows play to continue. The perfect scenario is for the referee to check every ball before kick off. That rarely happens at the recreational level and lower levels of the game.
I would also point out that it has been shown scientifically that the increased pressure of a soccer ball has not been shown to greatly affect its performance. It is unlikely that changing the ball created any real advantage.
Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh
View Referee Joe McHugh profile
- Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 28921
Read other Q & A regarding Law 2 - The Ball
- Soccer Referee Extras
Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.
Enter Question Number
If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer
Offside Question?Offside Explained
by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef
This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.