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Question Number: 3416

Law 4 - Players Equipment

RE: High School Competition High School

Steve Michaud of Clive, Iowa US asks...

First, I would like to compliment you on this wonderful website. I have been a CR for a little over a year and find the information you provide to be an extremely valuable resource. I visit your site almost daily and recommend it to parents, coaches, and fellow refs...My question involves shinguards. I have been working mostly U10 games and have had no problems with regards to shinguards; however, I have talked with coaches and parents of players at the high school level and they have commented on games where the refs had to deal with players with inadequate or worse no shinguards during the game. I asked them if the ref had inspected the players' equipment prior to the game. They replied that the ref had inspected the equipment but the players either switched to very small shinguards or took off the shinguards altogether prior to the game...The refs handled the situations by asking the players to step off the field and correct the equipment; however, the refs did not always notice the inadequate or missing shinguards until well into the game. In some cases, the deficiencies were pointed out by opposing coaches more as a tactical ploy than a genuine concern for the safety of the opposition players...Since I have not been faced this particular set of circumstances, I just wanted your recommendation for handling this situation.

Answer provided by Referee Stacy Kalstrom

Thanks for your kind compliment and thanks for using our site. The best you can do is check the players prior to the game. If then after the game is under way and you see that a player is not wearing shinguards which provide a reasonable degree of protection, you ask the player to step off to correct the equipment. Now his/her team must play a "man" short. If the referees are consistent about dealing with this, the coaches will get the message. Most teams don't want to play down. You can also speak with your fellow officials and know who the chronic offenders are. We had a local player last year in both club and high school who used postage stamp sized shinguards. He tried to get away with it, but when asked to replace them, always had an appropriate size to wer in his bag. We talked about this player specifically at our meetings and pretty soon, we put the kabosh on his tiny shinguards...Players, coaches, our own children, will try to get away with anything they can. Once they realize they aren't going to they quit trying...have fun on the pitch.



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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Thanks for nice comments. There is no hard and fast rules in LOTG as far as shin guards go.A "reasonable" amount of protection is up to the referee. However, what we did was go to the league Board and get a ruling as to what that meant. Our league decided that 1/2 the shin must be covered. I have heard of other leagues mandating 2/3. Whatever, it will help to have some uniformity. Talk with your assignor and see if this is feasible. In the meantime, do just as my colleague says. I doubt you'll have this trouble at U-10 but one never knows.



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Answer provided by Referee Dawson

Hi Steve.Yes indeed, thank you from all of us at ASKTHEREF.COM for your positive views. :o) We are only too happy to share our love and passion and hopefully our practical knowledge of this beautiful game. Cheers



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