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Question Number: 21538

Law 4 - Players Equipment 6/14/2009

RE: Under 17

Priya of Melbourne, Victoria Australia asks...

I play for an under 16 girls B league team. When the ref normally comes over and checks our uniform he didn't mention anything about me wearing leggings underneath my soccer shorts. Then 10 minutes into the game he called me over and told me to get off the pitch and that I was not allowed to play until I took them off. Are you allowed to wear leggings?
Also two of the girls on my team were yellow carded for having bobby pins in there hair, what is the rule about hair clips and bobby pins?

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

There is no written rule regarding wearing leggings. Some referees may feel that leggings give a player an extra advantage, for instance when slide tackling, and so would not allow them to be worn especially if weather conditions do not warrant it. Given that the temperature in Melbourne seldom goes below freezing, he might have a point. Waiting until 10 minutes after the game started is a little strange, but perhaps he thought you'd be taking them off before play started, so he didn't say anything beforehand.

As for clips and bobby pins in the hair, they can do some damage to the player if they are struck by the ball just so. It would be wise not to wear them on the field. If the ref had already informed the girls that the bobby pins had to come out and they failed to remove them, it could be viewed as a form of dissent.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Leggings are generally allowed and I don't understand why the referee would allow you to start the game with them on but then make you take them off. Law 4 mentions that if they are worn they should be of the same color as your shorts. It can be inferred from this that they are allowed.

Anything hard such as bobbie pins are potentially dangerous and are not allowed. The only reason I can possibly fathom a yellow card being shown for bobbie pins is if the player(s) refused to remove them if instructed.

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