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Question Number: 32733

Law 5 - The Referee 9/20/2018

RE: Under 17

john of los angeles, CA usa asks...

Is it a problem to use colored whistles? The rest of my uniform is completely standard (black shoes, black hat if needed) but my collection of whistles are neon colors like orange, yellow, green, pink. I do this to be able to easily locate them in my bag or especially if they were to get dropped on a field they stick out like a sore thumb on grass

I feel black may be a more professional color but actually a negative vs. bright whistles for detection

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI John,
there are no restriction on the colour of whistles nor is basic black the ONLY referee jersey colour. Historically the B&@%#s in black might be our eloquent moniker but the colours we now where are many and varied! I carry several whistles looking for more at the sound differences when in around other matches in multiple field settings.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi John
No issue on whistle colour. It can be any colour the referee wants. The important part is the sound quality.
As to kit colour referees now in many associations have access to a number of colours. Many associations though specify the type and colour of the referee kits. The important part is that the referee kit does not clash with the teams including the goalkeeper.
The FA in England continue to demand that referees use the tradional black at lower levels of the game and that teams cannot use black as a team colour. The history there is that in early days referees wore a white shirt and black blazer with a crest.
Progress in materials, design etc resulted in the development of a black jersey with a white collar.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi John,

No problem with coloured whistles - you'll find many whistles have a variety of colours in their kit. Some (who referee in areas that allow them to use different coloured jerseys) like to match the whistle to the kit. Some make sure they choose brighter colours in night games (or muddy fields) in case they drop it (There have even been glow-in-the-dark ones available).

As for the red and yellow whistles, I preferred not to use them - sometimes as an AR I've heard the confusion that a glimpse of red or yellow can cause on the sideline, even had people start shouting out when the referee calls a player over, thinking the card is in the referee's hand when it's just the whistle!

Plenty of referees use those colours, but that's just been my experience.

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