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Question Number: 30059

Law 4 - Players Equipment 1/28/2016

RE: Intermediate Under 13

Phil of Tarzana, CA United States asks...

This question is a follow up to question 30049

This comes up in AYSO all the time. By the way, they happen to sell soft studs (clear) on & probably other places. I doubt that a removal for 1-1/2 hours would cause the piercing to close. My daughter played soccer for years with pierced ears & we always took them out just before the game. We brought Bactine with us & cleaned them before putting them back in.

It's very hard to say 'No' sometimes. Last season a mother came up to the referee tent & was hysterical. Her daughter had just gotten her ears pierced & was prevented from playing unless the studs were removed. She said that she never heard of such a rule (it's in the handout for AYSO parents).

Sadly, she explained that her husband (the girl's father) had died of a heart attack a few months earlier & that the girl was so despondent that she wouldn't socialize at all. The mother finally convinced her to play with AYSO & now said that those hopes were dashed. We tried to explain that it was a safety issue to no avail.

Sometimes it's not fun to be a ref.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Phil.
I despise leagues that make the referee the bad guy for doing what he is asked but they are not out in front stating it to coaches, parents and players. I agree taking them out for a brief time should not be a huge deal but then I have seen some adorned with MANY and then there are the belly, toe and nether regions that remain unsighted to go with the eyebrow nose and ear studs sigh.

If you tell me I taped the holes and you removed the studs I will NOT peel off the bandages. I am not a meat inspector but if the bandages fall off and expose the studs still there, I have no issue asking you to exit to fix them. Trust and integrity and common sense can not set aside the LOTG or a lie even if they might cover it up.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Phil
Thanks for sharing the scenario and not an easy one to deal with given the circumstances. As Referee Dawson says our role is to enforce the Laws not to be inspectors. A player can have piercings unseen to the referee and unless that it becomes visible then it is not up to the referee to deal with it. Should it arise and if asked the referee simply says that he did his inspection and he did not see any jewellery or that he was told X
In the EPL a player called Ricardo Fuller played for Stoke City
The amount of questions, comments about his wearing of *earrings* was alway significant. He replaced the diamond ones with soft ones during games. It always looked like he was wearing earrings and the questions posed were about how that was allowed.

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