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Question Number: 24481

Law 4 - Players Equipment 1/12/2011

RE: comp Under 13

Bob of la mirada, cal usa asks...

This question is a follow up to question 22799

In questin # 22799 the question was 'should' the shirt be tucked in answer should be YES. 'Does it' the answer is NO

Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Well Bob, for absolute sure 100% since you are in California, the answer is shirts MUST be tucked in. Not should be. MUST be. That's per USSF ruling and you playing under USSF rules MUST have your payers tuck their shirts in whether you be a referee or a coach. From current Advice To Referees 4.1

Players' jerseys must remain tucked inside their shorts, socks must remain pulled up, and each player must wear shinguards under the socks.

The question was not from the USA but I think the LOTG still REQUIRE shirts be tucked in. No, it's not in the current LOTG but neither is that a player receiving a red card has to sit out the next game. When the Laws were rewritten in 1998 much was left out based on the belief that it was assumed everybody knew it. This, IMO, is one of those things.

In the original question, Ref Maloney brought this point up and it's valid.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Bob
The questioner was from the UK and there is no requirement in the Laws for the shirt to be tucked inside the shorts in that region.
If a competition rule or a national association advises that it is a requirement then referees are obliged to ensure that is implemented. The one certainty is that socks must be pulled up to cover the shin pads and that is part of Law 4.
One of the greatest player ever to play the game was George Best. Any photo or TV coverage of GB playing the game shows him with the shirt outside the shorts.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

The LOTG in 1997 (the last version of the Laws published with all the information which has since been moved into the Q&A, then the 'new' interpretations, and/or was considered so much a part of the game that 'everyone knew it' so it could be dropped from print, but not from practice) included Additional Instructions for Referees and ARs on how to properly implement the Laws.

The last entry in the 1997 Additional Instructions is #23 Players outfits, which says:
(a) The referee shall ensure that each player wears his clothes properly and check that they conform with the requirements of Law IV. Players shall be made aware that their jersey remains tucked inside their shorts and that their socks remain pulled up. The referee shall also make sure that each player is wearing shinguards and that none of them is wearing potentially dangerous objects (such as watches, metal bracelets etc.).

This is the source of the language in the Advice to Referees referenced by Ref Contarino above. While this requirement is not strictly enforced all of the time everywhere, it still exists. You will note all players at the start of any professional game have their shirts tucked in. What happens after that varies with the referee.

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