Premier League set to make ball boy and girl rule change to prevent incidents

Premier League set to make ball boy and girl rule change to prevent incidents

While Coventry City beat Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup quarter-finals, the talking point after the game was around Coventry City boss Mark Robins. Wolves boss Gary O’Neil criticized the Championship side’s manager after he reportedly hit out at a Wolves assistant. Robins allegedly taunted a ball boy at Molineux as well when the youngster took too much time to return the ball.

This reportedly happened on more than one occasion during the game and while Coventry won the clash, fans were unhappy. That’s because this has happened in the past as Manchester City, Manchester United and even Liverpool have reportedly instructed ball boys and girls to make them a part of their gameplans. It has led to the Premier League implementing a new rule change which will change the situation now.

Ball boys and girls will no longer be able to hand balls directly to players

The Premier League has confirmed that ball boys and girls will no longer be allowed to hand footballs directly to players in the Premier League. This comes as the league is looking to shut down various methods, outside football, that teams are using to gain advantages after several incidents this season.

The report has indicated that ball assistants won’t be allowed to have direct contact with players and have been instructed to place footballs on 14 plastic cones placed around the field. Not only that, thanks to the new rule, two footballs will be placed behind each goal as well as five along the longer side of the pitch, and players have to take a new ball from there.

The Daily Mail has reported that the Robbins incident was not the major reason for the change but it did prove to be the catalyst for the English top tier to decide to make the change. The rule amendment to Rule L.35 of the Premier League’s handbook has been updated to reflect the change.

“Ball Assistants are only allowed to retrieve match balls and replace them on the vacant cones and are not permitted to return a ball directly to a player,” reads Rule L.35.

Also Read: What does the Man City vs Arsenal Clash Mean for the Rest of the Premier League Season?