Rules FAQ

Rule 21

When Permissible to Clean Ball

Q. Can you list the situations when a player is permitted to clean the ball?

A. A player may clean his ball at any time when it has been lifted, except for when it has been lifted under Rule 5-3 (Ball Unfit for Play), Rule 12-2 (Identifying Ball), and Rule 22 (Ball Interfering with or Assisting Play).

Decision 20-1/0.7 (Lifting Ball to Determine Application of Rule) further stipulates that the ball may not be cleaned when it is lifted to determine if the player is entitled to relief under a Rule (e.g. whether the ball lies in an abnormal ground condition or is embedded in its own pitch-mark).