The English Football League has introduced new rules and regulations for 2023-2024, which state that using towels to dry balls before throw-ins will be outlawed next season. With it, the players drying the ball before launching it to their opponent’s penalty area will soon become a thing of the past as clubs have voted to ban the use of towels before throw-ins.
At their annual meeting on Thursday, the EFL clubs voted to approve the rule amendment. And, as the new regulations come into force in the next season, Wrexham captain Ben Tozer will be required to change his long-throw routine. With this rule, the players won’t also be allowed to use clothing items offered by fans after a similar situation arose in November. During a game, a Rotherham United fan gave defender Wes Harding his jumper to wipe the ball before the throw-in. The EFL, on Thursday, confirmed, “Clubs will no longer be permitted to use towels or other articles, including items obtained from spectators to dry footballs during matches.”
Players have been using their shirts to dry the ball, which gives them a better grip and the chance to further launch in the penalty area. The proposal to ban the towels claimed to be an effort to speed up play of the game. It was unanimously backed by 72 clubs in the Football League. Meanwhile, the EFL also confirmed the introduction of a multi-ball system in all competitions for the 2023-24 season.