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Question Number: 29338

Law 4 - Players Equipment 4/20/2015

RE: High School High School

William White of Fruitport, Michigan USA asks...

What regulations does a knee brace have to conform too. If the knee brace was actually from the family doctor will this not be questioned?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi William
High school (NFHS) rules have changed over the last few years regarding knee braces as modern braces have been introduced. The rule 4-2-1f permits a knee brace as long as it has not be altered. Knee braces that are unaltered are legal and do not require any additional padding.
So a knee brace approved by a family doctor may suffice. The doctors responsibility though will be to ensure that the brace meets the requirement of the injured person not what affect it could have on an opponent in soccer. The referees responsibility is to ensure that the player nor opponents are at risk from any equipment that is worn and that is used as expected by the manufacturer. For example a doctor might prescribe a strong brace with metal sides that are protruding for medical reason. That would not be acceptable in a soccer situation particularly if can be used in a manner that poses a risk to an opponent in challenges.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi William,

The Laws of the Game state that a player cannot wear anything that is dangerous to themselves or an opponent - and it's up to the referee to decide what's dangerous. The fact that it's approved by a doctor isn't of concern to the referee, just like the Laws of the Game aren't a concern to the doctor.

If it has any hard edges I'd expect the referee to not allow it on the field.

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Answer provided by Referee Ben Mueller

A few questions to consider: Is the brace placing any player in danger? is the brace placing the player wearing it in danger? If the answer to any of these questions is yes. Then he does not play with it. Always check the league policies and state policies as well.

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