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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33691

Law 4 - The Players Equipment 10/6/2019

RE: Competitive Under 15

Rylan Belopolsky of Brooklyn, New York United States asks...

Hi. I am wondering when can i start wearing my metal tiempos? I recently bought a pair of soccer cleats with metal studs. I am a 13 yr old playing u14 soccer. I live in New York and i have just found out some states dont allow metal studs. I understand that if i walk on concrete it will sharpen the studs, but i have never worn my cleats on the concrete. My position is a goalkeeper. If it is illegal to wear it at this age can you please tell me when i cant start. Thank you.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Ryan
A few years ago metal cleats got bad publicity due to certain injuries caused by the shape of a particular brand as a manufacturer moved from the traditional round to a thin long shape. FIFA ruled at the time that they were legal and that is still the position. So the Laws do not exclude the use of metal cleats. However some Leagues, venues can restrict the use of cleats. For instance a venue with an artificial surface can ban metal cleats My advice is to bring the boots along with a second pair to the next number of games. Put on the new boots and you will find out very quickly if they are allowed. If restrictions apply you will have the second pair to fall back on if asked to change.
Ultimately it is up to the referee on the day to decide.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Rylan,

Under the Laws of the Game, there is no prohibition on metal studs (cleats).

Here's what the Laws say about the issue:

''A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous.
The players must be inspected before the start of the match and substitutes before they enter the field of play. If a player is wearing or using unauthorised/dangerous equipment or jewellery, the referee must order the player to ... remove the item''

I have to say that I personally have not seen the alleged 'sharpening' of metal studs though I have seen it with the old nylon studs that used to be common at one time.

As the law says, it is up to the referee/match officials to inspect the players' equipment and if considered dangerous, ask the player to remove it.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Rylan,
there is NOTHING in the LOTG that prevent the wearing of normal metal studs versus hard plastic ones. The only stipulation is they are not dangerous. You alluded to a possibility where they might be considered as such by a referee in the equipment check. That said they can be sanded down to rounded quite easily.

You can not wear TRACK spikes or baseball cleats as they are not designated soccer footwear but the composite of soccer studs is not a LOTG matter. If the state associations have designated specific requirements or exemptions that would be a local bylaw but it is not a FIFA directive. The referee of the match would likely be aware if any specific bylaws otherwise just ensure they are in good shape when on the pitch. Of course the artificial fields are not suitable for long studs and there indeed may be a field use directive in place banning certain types of footwear. It is good to have a second set of boots or replaceable studs in hand. Have fun, watch yourself a keeper is a tough position, you have my respect!

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