It’s in the Law 4 of the Game of soccer (FIFA/High School/Club) that NO body jewelry of any kind is allowed on the soccer pitch. Simple. Plain as day. This includes necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, hair beads, leather bands, rubber bands, etc., which, again, are strictly forbidden and must be removed to play. The guiding principle is player safety and the integrity of the game.
Year after year, I see players disregarding this law. Oh, they try to get away with it almost every game, but good referees catch the infraction, hopefully, before a tragic accident could occur. Say for instance that a goalkeeper has an earring way up high on her ear. She is getting pounded in the goal with the ball. What if an errant ball kicked with such force hits that keeper in the side of her head where the earring is located and that earring goes right into, or through, her head. Or a forward that has a nose ring (covered with a band-aid, mind you) and gets hit by a defender that blows out the not only ring, but half her nose too. Would she, or the parent, after the fact blame the center referee for “allowing” that earring/nose ring to be worn in the first place?
Why would anyone one, referee, player, parent or coach want to let a player wear anything that is dangerous to him or herself or another player? That is my burning question every single time I see a player trying to get away with this Law.
Someone once said to me that it’s almost like the referee needs an attorney on the sideline to help enforce the Laws of the Game and protect all the referees on the pitch. I couldn’t agree more.
Frankly, I’ve resorted myself as the jewelry police on the pitch. I hear in practically every match that the previous referee “allowed” play to continue with the wearing of jewelry. My response to that is, "I’m not that ref." I then go on to say, "you do not have to remove any jewelry, but you cannot step onto the field of play and enter the match.” I typically get snide remarks, eye rolls and sighs of exasperation. I take it all in stride because I know I am protecting them and all players on the pitch no matter how much they pitch a fit.
"The Best Daughter" who played soccer from age 5 through college lost more jewelry by taking it off before each practice and match because she would forget where she stored it. By the time she was in her late teens, she didn’t wear a lick of jewelry because it wasn’t worth trying to remember the “safe space” she hid it. It’s only in the last couple of years that she has started to wear jewelry once again, at 29 years old. Some habits die hard.
Be safe out on the pitch! Tell you kids and grandkids, neighbor kids and nieces and nephews. You will save a lot of potential injuries.