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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 32735

Law 4 - The Players Equipment 9/22/2018

RE: Local League Under 15

Paul Graham of Carlisle , Cumbria United Kingdom asks...

Nail Extensions, should they be permitted in football without any controlling criteria. I have read the answers to a recent question on this from Male referees. However, I don't believe they are experienced to make a correct judgment as they've never worn and experienced nail extensions.

I had a girl in our team who recently caused herself injury due to the extensions being quite long and bendingone back causing her real pain. I asked her dad to have them removed and he was understanding of the danger, not just to his daughter, but to other girls should she lash out an arm.

However, another girl has turned up with them and I asked our local FA for a ruling as I was concerned for her safety, they wrote back advising they was no ruling.

I asked the girls parents for her to wear gloves but they point blank refused and I am now trying to find a compromise/solution.

Thoughts please

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Paul,
as referee you are entitled to not permit the payer on the FOP if YOU believe they are dangerous. to themselves or others. THAT IS the controlling criteria what we said if we do not see them as dangerous or used dangerously we have HAD no problems. That said someone dressed like Freddie Kruger we have issues!
You need to remember not everything is exaggerated as it is with certain individuals when they go OVERBOARD in their attempt to be fashionable. I for example, have not permitted an occasional lady to play with beaded hair extensions.I have compromised at time, allowed a toque or headwear that I thought impractical & foolish but not necessarily dangerous.
The fact you have authority to say NO will no doubt cause you some agitations if they scream & holler go running to the league and the league is gutless in your support? Your gloves are not a bad compromise given you sought a way she could play but if you believe she should not play stand firm. You have the authority & hopefully the support of your association .


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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Paul
Ultimately it is up to each referee to decide what constitutes a safety issue.
The Laws of the Game tell us that ** A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous.**
So technically nail extensions are worn and if a referee deems them dangerous then they must be removed.
Now as I said on previous questions long natural nails are of no concern to referees and I would be hard pressed to decide between natural nails and nail extensions.
So the question is whether nail extensions are more dangerous than long natural nails of the same length? Personally I doubt it and as length of natural nails is not covered by Law by default I cannot see nail extensions being *illegal*. Even length of nail is subjective.
Now I have been involved in the game for a very long time and I have never witnessed an injury caused by nails. So while your concern has merit the reality is that the risk is extremely low. You have tried to deal with it as a coach and I cannot see any solution other than each individual referee preventing players from participating with long nails. I cannot see that happening.

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