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What is the Premier League’s new multi-ball system for 2022/23?

In an attempt to ensure more minutes of play in the biggest league on the planet, the EPL will be bringing in the system for the new season.

KIRKBY, ENGLAND - JULY 07: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Premier league 22/23 match ball during a pre-season training session at AXA Training Centre on July 07, 2022 in Kirkby, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
Andrew PowellGetty

Are you unhappy with less than an hour of play in when you paid for 90 minutes of action? Well, the organisers of the Premier League are introducing a new system which could make your viewing experience a little better, speeding up play and reducing attempts by players to time-waste when the ball goes out.

Multiple balls coming to a Premier League game near you

The Premier League, the top flight of English football and regarded by most as the strongest league in the world, will introduce a multi-ball system for the 2022/23 season that is almost upon us. In total, there will be ten official match balls in use for each game, with strict guidelines already agreed.

One of the balls will be the main ‘in-play’ ball, while eight others will be situated at key locations spread out around the pitch, including behind the goal* and along the touchline, perched on top of cones for easy access. The other ball will be kept safe by the fourth official.

*Note that those behind the goal will be placed in a way that they don’t interfere with the Hawk-Eye goal decision system.

The clubs of the EPL have been advised to use at least eight ball assistants (aka ballboys and ballgirls) and they have been told that they should make eye contact with the player who will be restarting play before throwing the new ball to them. The guidelines also state that they should return the ball at the same speed to both teams i.e. don’t provide an extra few seconds’ delay when your side is a goal up with five minutes to play!

So, there you have it. More balls, clear guidance to ballboys and ballgirls, and a happier watching public. Oh, that is unless more play just means your team gets battered by an even bigger margin by their opponents!