Football: League see the light with new yellow balls

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The Independent Online
FLUORESCENT YELLOW balls are to be used in all Nationwide League matches over the winter months in a bid to brighten up matches for players, referees and spectators.

The Mitre Ultimax Fluo Flare balls contain a fluorescent yellow pigment designed to make them more easily visible in poor light, mud, fog or snow. They will be used in all Nationwide League games from 20 November, starting with Mansfield's home game against Barnet in the Third Division, up until at least 27 February.

Trials with the new balls have already taken place at three clubs - Luton, Swindon and Crystal Palace - in training sessions and friendly games, and Football League officials say that they have been praised in "glowing terms".

Mitre says the fluorescent colour gave players a three-millisecond advantage in spotting the ball during a match and was useful on muddier grounds with worse floodlights in the Nationwide League. The company, who have developed the new balls over the past three years, maintain that they appear to "glow" in bad light.

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