Ever Wondered How They Decide Seemingly Random Ball Numbers In FA Cup Draw?

Ever Wondered How They Decide Seemingly Random Ball Numbers In FA Cup Draw?

You can't beat a good cup draw. While the Champions League has overtaken other competitions in this particular facet of the game, the FA Cup version does still have that bit of magic in it.

There's nothing quite like throwing unexpectedly up a a big derby game or a potential giant-killing, and we always look forward to watching the draw for each round on TV. Of course, half the craic in the FA Cup draws is that you don't actually know which team has been taken out of the pot.

Unlike the Champions League, where names are simply drawn out of the hat, the English competition has a more convoluted system in place. Each team is assigned a number, which is then subsequently drawn against another number. It keeps us guessing for another couple of seconds even after the balls have been revealed.

But have you ever wondered how those numbers were assigned? Well, wonder no more.

BBC presenter Mark Chapman took to Twitter to reveal how teams are given their particular number, and it's actually pretty straightforward.

The numbers are assigned based on the order that the ties were drawn out of the hat in the previous round.

For example, Leicester City v Wigan was the first game drawn out for the third round, so winners Leicester have been assigned number 'one' for the fourth round draw.



The process differs slightly for the first round draw. As no teams are coming from a previous round in the competition proper, every team is ordered alphabetically. This year, Accrington Stanley were number one, and so on.

We're not sure why they don't just change to an easier to follow system, but it's all in the tradition of the cup I suppose.

Either way, the draw for the fourth round will take place before tonight's clash between Arsenal and Leeds United, who will share number '28' in the draw.

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Gary Connaughton

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