High School Equipment Inspection

Discussion in 'Referee' started by david58, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. david58

    david58 New Member

    Aug 29, 2003
    Oregon
    Disqualifying statement: This comes from former ref & current coach.

    Folks, just got my big poster from NFHS and FoxSoccer that shows the rules revisions for HS soccer this year.

    No, the referee no longer is required to do an inspection of equipment.
    coupled with
    Any "improperly equipped" player earns his coach a yellow card.

    What is improperly equipped?
    • Nonmatching underarmor?
    • An earring or necklace?
    • Shin guards too high?
    • Untucked shirts?
    • Shorts that don't match (think jv squads here)
    • A keeper whose shirt matches the ref's or the opponent's?
    • Hair ribbons for decoration?
    • Socks that are different (again back to jv, or the senior that brain-f*rted)
    I really hate this new rule...I wonder just how this pulls the ref out of liability, since regardless of a pregame inspection, he is still responsible to notice and penalize unsafe (improper) equipment.

    As a coach, do I request an inspection? Or refuse one?

    I have never picked up a card as a coach in high school. I expect to get them this year, since the word "improper" is a martinette-referee's dream. Actually, I have warned my jv coach, so that he will be prepared. Often that is first where we see rule-book-refs show up - new to the game, they only know the letter without understanding the spirit of the game.

    I love HS soccer, I just hate the NFHS HS rules.:mad:
     
  2. refereejoe

    refereejoe New Member

    Aug 20, 2007
    Bay Area - Cal North
    I don't see where the issue is.

    The coach is liable for ensuring the player is equipped properly, and for any injury to a player not prevented as a result of improper equipment.

    The referee is liable only for ensuring the coach is punished should he or she notice a player equipped improperly.

    As a coach, you can enlist the help of the referee in ensuring the players' equipment is proper, but the referee in no way shares the liability after providing that assistance.
     
  3. Yellowshirt

    Yellowshirt New Member

    Aug 21, 2007
    The rationale behind this change was to add accountability to the coaches responsibility to ensure his/her players are properly equipped.

    The NFHS has it's rules changes and each state can modify accordingly.

    Here in NJ, referees will continue to inpect the players equipment as we always have and we will continue to check with the coach prior to the match that he/she has seen to it that their players are properly equipped.

    Only AFTER the match is started may the coach be cautioned for an improperly equipped player. Improperly equipped players do NOT include a player whose equipment may have become "improper" during the course of play-----for example if a player losses a shin guard during play he is sent from the field for repair and the coach is NOT cautioned.
     
  4. intechpc

    intechpc Member

    Sep 22, 2005
    West Bend, WI
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think the author's problem is that the term "improperly equipped" is never defined and as a result subject to interpretation. Therefore, punishment for Improper Equipped players is still ultimately at the referee's discretion. This means that what is good enough one week may get the coach a caution the next week. I can see his/her point to some extent. And this is the problem with over doing it with rules, each one you add leads to three more that have to be added to clarify it. Look at the NFL rulebook sometime, it's a joke.
     
  5. refereejoe

    refereejoe New Member

    Aug 20, 2007
    Bay Area - Cal North
    My understanding is that the high school rulebook defines the player's equipment very precisely, so that any equipment falling outside the specifications in the book are considered improper. Granted, I haven't done high school soccer in about 5 years.
     
  6. Yellowshirt

    Yellowshirt New Member

    Aug 21, 2007
    With regard to intechpc's comment:

    This is why here in NJ we will still inspect equipement BEFORE the start of the match. If everyting i Ok at that time it should be OK when the match starts...unless the layer changes equipment.

    For example the player has proper shingurds at team inspection but then changes the shin guards before taking the field.

    Indeed there are a lot of knucklehead referees out there. THose that would "let something go" until the match starts and the cards the coach does not exercise any management of the match.....I can only imagine what some Rule Nazi Referee like that might do during the match.
     
  7. david58

    david58 New Member

    Aug 29, 2003
    Oregon
    EXACTAMUNDO!!!!

    As both a ref, and now as a coach, the game to game variation is maddening.

    Each has an opinion, and now a yellow card to go with it.

    This should be an interesting season. I always thought I earned my cards, now I have help! (never having been cautioned as a coach, but having handed out cards aplenty as a ref -- I know the magic words, I just swaller em).
     
  8. Tarheel Ref

    Tarheel Ref New Member

    May 3, 2007
    Chapel Hill, NC
    One of my favorite things to do when discussing the LOTG/NFHS rules differences with friends who are or have been players and never seen EITHER of these is to whip them out for a direct comparison.

    FIFA LOTG: 17 Laws covered in about 30 to 35 pages with each Law covered in 1 - 3 pages.

    NFHS "Rules": Now 17 "rules" (to be fair, a step in the right direction) spanning over ninety pages with numerous sub-clauses etc. utilizing extremely small typesetting.

    I find I get a lot of raised eyebrows.

    As for the new enforcement aspect penalizing coaches for improperly equipped players, I've found that making a joke with the players during my pre-game inspection/instructions gets the point across without being threatening or aggressive about it. "Hey, guys, make sure your equipment is right so we don't have to finish the match without your coach. Practice tomorrow probably won't be much fun for you if we do...." OK, maybe a little threat thrown in there. Also, before or afterwards, a quiet word with the coach that we're not looking to make an example of anyone so "PLEASE make sure your team is properly equipped."

    That's worked for me so far (two weeks) this season and I have no cards although if I was out to throw them around I probably could have (trifling stuff so far...I took a tiny little rubber band off a player's wrist today...not dangerous and I really didn't even want to know why he would have put it on during halftime).
     
  9. intechpc

    intechpc Member

    Sep 22, 2005
    West Bend, WI
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yes but go back and look at the author's comments in the OP. None of those items is excplicitly allowed under the definition of proper equipment, yet how many here are going to keep a player from the game or card a coach over it? The NFHS rules define the required equipment, however it would be impossible to list out all the items of disallowed equipment. However, the subsequent rule regarding "Improperly Equipped" players leaves open to interpretation the inclusion of these items as OK or Not OK.

    Again IMHO this is a case of being too granular with your rules.
     
  10. ref2coach

    ref2coach Member

    May 27, 2004
    TN, USA
    Tarheel 1st I wish NFHS used TLOG.
    Your "Comparison" is a least disingenuous. A national instructor at a USSF re-cert clinic, stacked up TLOG, The ATR, The Guide to Procedures, Instructions for Referees & Assistant Referees, Copies of "Fair Play", Copies of "Memorandum" copied from the USSF website, making the point that ALL the documents on the table have the force of law for referees in the US.

    Though I find many of the NFHS changes are silly, I find no fault with them for their rule book which is bound togeather in 1 book as opposed to USSF's "multi-document" approach.
     
  11. Tarheel Ref

    Tarheel Ref New Member

    May 3, 2007
    Chapel Hill, NC
    You're right that by adding all of the various memoranda, guides, instructions, etc. from FIFA/USSF does add a significant amount of paperwork.

    My point is that the Laws by themselves are remarkably straightforward and simple. Like I do on my tests sometimes, reading too much into them creates more problems than they solve.
     
  12. david58

    david58 New Member

    Aug 29, 2003
    Oregon
    You're right that by adding all of the various memoranda, guides, instructions, etc. from FIFA/USSF does add a significant amount of paperwork.

    My point is that the Laws by themselves are remarkably straightforward and simple. Like I do on my tests sometimes, reading too much into them creates more problems than they solve.


    And the ATR, Procedures, etc, all want to make a "thinking ref" out of us (IMHO). NFHS rules want to take anything other than mechanical stimulus (I saw such and such) and response (rule 123.2.a.3.c.4.4.5 says so and so) out of the head of the referee.

    My lecture from the referee before my jamboree matches today was to be careful that all equipment issues are addressed, since they "shall" show me the yellow if the equipment is improper - specifically pointed out their lack of flexiblity in that rule. Apparently my guys - today - didn't like the cloud of coach retribution for any of them earning me a card.
     
  13. andymoss

    andymoss BigSoccer Supporter

    Sep 4, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    Club:
    Manchester City FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    I take a common sense appraoch and as I'm watching the teams warm up - info gathering - who is the leader, who has skills, who is fast, is the keeper vocal and strong, etc., I'll check for the obvious stuff and mention it if required.

    At the Game Administrator meeting with coaches and captains I'll ask the coaches if their players are properly equipped.

    Anything dangerous after kick-off, I'll probably caution the coach.

    Trivial stuff, I'll have the player leave the field to fix it. And keep them off for a little extra time. If the coach complains, ask if he'd rather have the card.

    Seems to work for me.
     
  14. spectre013

    spectre013 Member

    Sep 5, 2007
    Colorado
    Our instructor during the high school class basically put it this way, unless a coach directs a player to change his equipment to be illegal they would still card the player for the infraction rather then the coach.

    I do understand what they are trying to do with this rule but they need to realize this can cause a lot of trouble for a coach. What happens if they players are really un-happy with a coach and this rule was followed to the letter? 2 different players at two points in the game have removed their shin guards, now if you enforce this to the letter the coach is gone. This coach now has to deal with administrators as to why the players are not equipped properly.

    Not to mention the path the game would take after the coach getting ejected for what the players and specters would see as nothing.
     
  15. USSF REF

    USSF REF Member

    Red Bull NY
    United States
    Nov 6, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Don't forget that if a player's equipment becomes illegal while they are in the game and a caution must be issued, then the PLAYER is to be cautioned not the coach. This means that a player can't take it upon themsleves to somehow make their equipment illegal while they're in the game and away from their coaches ability to inspect them before they go in.
     
  16. DerbyRam54

    DerbyRam54 Member

    Apr 26, 2005
    You have a good point there. I've been trying to work out how to deal with this new situation and I think I'll go over with the coaches the things that will get my attention on the field (for example, jewelry) and things that won't attract my attention (the fashion faux pas type of stuff). I'll still wander round and look at the players (not required but you are apparently still permitted to do this) and try to be proactive so as to avoid issues.
    If we can set the adversarial business aside, surely coaches and refs both have safety as top agenda item? I know there some gotcha refs in HS (not that USSF is immune from that either), but I think it's worth trying a cooperative approach. A display of commonsense from the ref might make a coach with hothead tendencies behave a bit better, so this could turn out to be a good change!
     
  17. chrisrun

    chrisrun Member

    Jan 13, 2004
    Orlando, FL
    Club:
    Orlando City SC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This may be true, but the coach knows what equipment is "questionable". Just look at the list in the first post. I'm sure there are other equipment issues that will come up as well that you know some refs might have a problem with. So before the game starts, ask the ref if any of the "questionable" equipment is allowed or not. Coaches should be doing this anyway. Now there is a possible yellow card if they don't. I don't see why this is such a big deal.

    I guess a coach might forget to ask sometimes, and end up with a silly yellow. If a coach is smart, he'll have players run laps if they are the cause of the yellow, and the players will start checking with the refs before the game as well.
     
  18. intechpc

    intechpc Member

    Sep 22, 2005
    West Bend, WI
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Chris I see your point but at the same time is it so much to ask that the coach be given a clear definition of what is allowed and what isn't. I mean as a coach, the time before the game is when you want to be getting your players warmed up and work on a few last minute drills; not chasing the referee around to make sure whether what was good enough last week is still ok this week. I have to admit there are things on the original list that in my mind would be a no brainer OK, but I've seen other referees demand be removed before a match.
     

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