What not to wear when you're playing soccer

Yeah. Don’t be wearing any of this when it comes time to play soccer.

Yeah. Don’t be wearing any of this when it comes time to play soccer.

Soccer players — perhaps more than other athletes, we’d wager — tend to stretch the rules a bit. If you’ve got a kid who plays soccer, or if you’ve ever stepped foot on the field yourself, you likely know exactly what we mean.

There are some rules, however, that we just have to stick to — even at the rec level. A big one we deal with, not just each and every season, but each and every game, has to do with jewelry.

If it’s anything more than a basic hair tie, it needs to come off.

Eyeglasses, however, are just fine. We’d recommend a strap of some kind, though.

This means rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, Fitbits, toe rings, nose rings — whatever your player is wearing besides cleats, socks, shin guards, shorts, and a jersey, is probably not allowed.

That said, there is leeway for things like beaded hair that can’t easily be undone. But that’s an exception, not the rule.

And one last thing: Wait until the end of the season before getting any ears pierced. There’s just not enough time for them to heal during the season — and earrings cannot be worn during practices or games.

Speaking of rules, here’s the exact wording taken from the Laws of the Game. (Soccer doesn’t merely have “rules.”)

The players’ equipment


A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous. All items of jewelry (necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, leather bands, rubber bands, etc.) are forbidden and must be removed. Using tape to cover jewelry is not permitted.

The players must be inspected before the start of the match and substitutes before they enter the field of play. If a player is wearing or using unauthorized/dangerous equipment or jewelry, the referee must order the player to:

- remove the item

- leave the field of play at the next stoppage if the player is unable or unwilling to comply

A player who refuses to comply or wears the item again must be cautioned.*

* In soccer language, “cautioned” means “yellow carded.”

So, do your coaches, teammates, and referees a favor — leave the jewelry at home, or at least on the sideline.

Phil Nickinson