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Question Number: 30379

Law 4 - Players Equipment 5/3/2016

RE: Rec Under 17

Kevin Bradburn of Fairfax, VA USA asks...

During the game I informed the AR a girl was wearing a nose ring (exposed stud). He said he would look into it at halftime. After half the girl play with a band aid on it. I asked if she took it out he said yes. After the game I asked again he said yes so I said she just put a band aid on it. He told me he was not going to ask her to remove the band aid to prove she removed it. What should have happened in the game.

Coach Kevin

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Kevin
The referee and AR completed what was required of them. The referee crew asked that the stud be removed and the player confirmed that she had done so. The player would be advised that taping in not acceptable. She may have put a band aid over the hole to prevent possible infection. It is also highly unlikely that a nose stud would cause any injury to any other player other than the player herself. If the player was asked to remove the stud, she said that she complied with the request with nothing visible to the contrary then that is far as the referee can go. However should the band aid fall off and reveal that a stud was still present then the referee would caution the player for USB and ask her to leave the field of play to remove it. Should it be repeated the player should be dismissed.
BTW the referee by asking that it is removed and confirmation received that it was has done has completed what is required of him. Going beyond that to remove band aids etc is not in the referees remit. For that matter a player could have a piercing elsewhere on the body and that is of no concern to the referee. We only deal with what we see and the information we are given.
I guess it could point to a poor pre match equipment inspection by the referee crew or a player being smart by concealing it with say a hand as she was being checked. If the removal was being done during a stoppage the referee or 4th official or AR could observe it being removed if it was done in public in the technical area. Otherwise if it is done elsewhere in private then the referee has to deal with what he sees and the confirmation he gets.

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Answer provided by Referee James Sowa


Once you made the initial remark to the AR, your concern on the issue is over. The AR clearly told the referee and the girl made an adjustment before coming out in the second half. Whether or not she actually removed the stud is now a burden of the referee team and they must deal with any consequences which may arise. If for some reason the band-aid came off and there was still the stud underneath, the player should have been cautioned and sent off to fix the equipment. The better question I would ask as an assessor would be how the stud was not removed prior to the game during check-in

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Kevin,
Asking players to remove bandaids and such to check what is underneath is beyond what the referee should be doing in most cases. If he can clearly see the outline of the jewellery underneath then I believe he would be justified in doing so. There are referees out there who would disagree on both those points. As my colleague states, she may have removed it and placed the bandaid to protect the hole.

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