Date: 23rd August 2011 at 9:32am
Written by:

Rotherham United, along with all the other league teams this season, have had to do without the multi-ball system, after the league changed the rules at the start of this season.

I suppose as rule changes go this isn’t one that will affect that many clubs – not as much as the new ‘only five subs’ rule or the ‘Financial Fair Play’ rule – but it’s one that makes the ‘Don Valley Experience’ just that bit slower.

The system was introduced to quicken the game up where a number of match balls are held by ball boys around the edge of the pitch. When one ball leaves the field of play, the nearest ball boy will release another ball to a player, allowing the game to resume immediately.

It seemed to work and I can’t see why anyone would object to it, although Gary Megson, when he was at Nottingham Forest and Ian Holloway have had a bit of a moan about it in the past – Megson was once reported by a referee after his team won and the ‘supply of balls around the pitch tended to dry up.’

OK, if there’s a big crowd at a football ground then they tend to throw the ball back (even if it is passed around a bit first!) and at smaller grounds it might not be needed, but I certainly think its something that’s needed at Don Valley.

I liked the multi-ball because it keeps the game flowing and makes it worthless for players to hoof the ball into the stands when they are a goal up in the last few minutes. Maybe the FL should have let each club make it’s own mind up about his subject as long as it was agreed between both teams and officials before the game then surely that would be the answer? Or, is that much too simple…

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