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Question Number: 26804

Law 4 - Players Equipment 9/19/2012

Brian Auer of Pittsburgh, PA USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 26760

I handle ref development for my club. I am also the coach of a U10 team with our club's new Tabela 11 jerseys, obviously cut to be worn out, not tucked.

So I'm interested in this not only for myself but for the edification of my club's 40-odd referees.

As a coach, the 2011 Ask a Referee answer seems like the sane approach to modern jerseys, to me.

As a ref/ref development guy, I thought I'd look to see what ATR said about this. The latest version (copyrighted 2011, although .pdf now has an August 2012 filename) at in section 4.1 still says 'Players' jerseys must remain tucked inside their shorts,...'

I don't know when in 2011 that ATR was edited, so the Ask the Ref guidance may have updated it. But as I see it we have guidance that few referees know to look for, contradicted by guidance that still fewer referees know to look for.

And now Ask the Ref isn't even official guidance, any longer...

Think this might make its way into a future Memorandum?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Brian
As the question was posted on the Askasoccerreferee site and all replies to technical questions posted in the column between February 23, 2000, and April 16, 2012, were coordinated with and approved by the U.S. Soccer Federation's National Referee Program. you can take it that the answer has the approval of USSF
To quote the Q&A

September 16, 2011

It appears that during the 'regular' season there are only a handful of referees that still require a player's shirt to be tucked in at the beginning of the match. Virtually all matches at higher levels do not seem to worry at all about this. I feel almost alone in this area ? why do we still require this if so many (the majority) don't give it a second thought?

USSF answer (April 5, 2011):
In the past custom, tradition, and safety required that players keep their shirts tucked in and their socks pulled up and generally maintain a professional appearance. However, nowadays the uniforms are cut differently by the manufacturers and the jerseys are clearly meant to be worn outside the shorts. It is time for us referees catch up with modern fashion and learn to live with it.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

US Soccer stopped publishing the Advice To Referees and so it is no longer up to date.
USSF appears to be moving toward posting interpretations through the web, but information still flows slowly from USSF to the state referee committees to instructors at local associations. Unfortunately, the referees who need the latest information may not be attending association meetings or reading the newsletters.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

I can't find the reference at this moment, but there was either a position paper or a Q & A answer a while back that made it clear if the jerseys were manufactured to be worn outside the shorts, then that is the way they are worn. If not, then they should be tucked into the shorts.

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