I've noticed that often after a ball goes out a different ball is used. Also I don't know if the same ball will be used for both halves (plus extra time). So how many balls are used during a typical FIFA World Cup 2014 game?

2 Answers 2


This article from The Guardian says that:

In total 3,240 balls were used throughout the tournament (2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil), 20 for each match

Generally, FIFA Laws of the Game Law 02 - The Ball: 3. Additional balls only states that:

Additional balls which meet the requirements of Law 2 (technical requirements) may be placed around the field of play and their use is under the referee’s control.

Side note:

The accepted answer incorrectly references to Law 02 - The Ball: 2. Replacement of a defective ball.

The ball may not be changed during the match without the referee’s permission.

The following statement applies only to defective balls, as it is written under "Replacement of a defective ball section", and it doesn't apply to any balls.

E.g. if suddenly a player realizes that the ball he was playing with is defect, he has to notify the referee first and then change the ball, but if he changes a normal ball during throw-in, there's no need to notify the referee.

  • You should probably refer to the correct IFAB laws yourself, if being critical of others.
    – Nij
    Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 21:29
  • I was (before the edit) and I am referring to correct IFAB rules.
    – gdrt
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 16:24

FIFA's laws continue to state that 'The ball may not be changed during the match without the authority of the referee.' However as you may have seen during the FIFA World Cup as well as other competitions, many associations have accepted the Multiball system. So it is hard to find a documented maximum number or an average number of balls per match. But as per the wikipedia entry on the Multiball system, generally about a maximum of 7 balls are used per game.

Also, I read here that Adidas manufactured and tested 20 balls for the Final World Cup game between Germany and Argentina.

A lot of people are against this system because home teams, specially in England use it to their advantage and ask the local ball boys to waste time during away throw-ins, etc.

  • 3
    @gdrt94 - are you suggesting the quote is wrong, or it is missing the correct reference? I looked in Law 2, and the quoted text is contained there, word for word. The reason there is no link is because in 2014, FIFA published the Laws as a cumbersome PDF. Since this user hasn't been seen on the site for ~18 months, if you want the answer updated to reference the current laws, you're probably best off doing it yourself. Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 22:22
  • The quoted text is the same as in the rule, but it is used in incorrect place. 'The ball may not be changed during the match without the authority of the referee' applies to defect balls only, as it is written under 'Replacement of a defective ball section'. E.g. a player doesn't need the authority of the referee when he changes a ball during throw-in.
    – gdrt
    Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 22:33

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