Time for a rule on players with glasses

Discussion in 'Referee' started by njref, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. njref

    njref Member

    Mar 29, 2003
    New Jersey

    15 months ago (in the thread copied above) +90% of the contributors to this thread on glasses stated that they would allow players with "street" glasses to play. Recently, in the "Ask the Ref" forum, Gil Weber's self-discribed "rant" argues that referees should only allow "sports" glasses, while the two other contributors seem sympathetic to that position.

    As I stated 15 months ago, I allow players to play with street glasses, as do the vast majority of referees. I don't want to rehash the safety arguments right now (although feel free if you want to). The problem that I see is that this issue arises very frequently, probably in over 75% of my youth games. If referees are inconsistent on this issue, it will get people very aggravated at referees in general, and have other bad effects.

    It seems to me that this everyday issue is not a good issue to leave to the discretion of individual referees. The risks poised by wearing (or not wearing) street glasses are pretty much the same for every player, and do not require individual consideration. I understand that AYSO, to their credit, has given binding guidance to their referees to allow street glasses. I think that USSF and/or state organizations should also come out with definitive guidance so that this problem is not dumped in the lap of the individual referees.

    The current USSF non-position seems to leave referees on the hook if something bad happens, makes referees the brunt of abuse if they decide to bar a player with glasses, and leaves coaches, parents and players at the mercy of a referee's seemingly arbitrary decisions.
  2. ref47

    ref47 Member

    Aug 13, 2004
    n. va
    this is like the nfhs shinguard rule - it just ain't going to happen. to ask thousands of kids to get something special for their eyes, other than their normal glasses, is a non-starter. higher level players (travel leagues) get to this decision on their own. lower level (less competitive and rec) will quit if forced to get additional eyewear.

    consistency would be nice, but there is always someone out there that will go his own way, even if ussf was more exacting, which they can't be because there are glasses out there that are more dangerous than most.
  3. NHRef

    NHRef Member+

    Apr 7, 2004
    Southern NH
    The way our society is, I would much rather allow a kid to play with glasses on the risk he gets hurt wearing a "normal" thing to correct a physical defect. Than to FORCE a kid to either not play or play without correction for a physical defect. With my luck his Dad would be a lawyer and I'd be in court for violation of some disability code :rolleyes:
  4. campbed

    campbed Member

    Oct 13, 2006
    New Hampshire, USA

    Little Jimmy cracked his cheekbone on the post because you impaired his vision by not letting him wear his street glasses.


    Little Jimmy cracked his cheekbone on the post because you allowed him to play with street glasses.

    Insert lawyer in either case?
  5. NJ Ref

    NJ Ref New Member

    Jan 28, 2005
    Central New Jersey
    I do not discriminate against those who are visually impaired.,,.just like those who are auditorily impaired. If a kid (or really the parent) wants to potentially break a pair of “regular” glasses, that’s their business. However, I have done tournaments that do require that string thing on the back of the glasses to hold them to the head.

    njref, do you realize that there is a state law that requires sports glasses in NJ. My opinion: Any coach that objects to an opponent playing wearing regular glasses, I tell them to call a cop because I have not been deputized to enforce the laws of NJ….only the laws of the game.
  6. act smiley

    act smiley Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Leicester City FC
    I thought non-sports glasses counted as jewelery, or something?
  7. spectre013

    spectre013 Member

    Sep 5, 2007
    Ever since I could remember as long as they were prescription glasses they were allowed.
  8. njref

    njref Member

    Mar 29, 2003
    New Jersey
    Space, I moved from new jersey a couple of years ago and did not know this. It seems similar to the NJ law against self service gas stations, which I believe is also unique to NJ. The big supporter of the no self service law through lobbying and campaign contributions is the gasoline retailer association. While the law is ostensibly for "safety" reasons, a cynic might also observe that the law prevents competition by convenience stores. I suspect that the drivers of this protective lens law are the optician and eyewear industries. I also suspect that the prospect of thousands of players buying sports glasses at $150-200 each could motivate support of such a law, as much as "safety." Coincidentally, I see that 2 NJ assemblymen were arrested yesterday for corruption....

    I wonder how many rec player parents think that $200 is a lot of extra money to pay so that thier player can play 8 rec games a season, and how many rec players with glasses would drop out if this rule was enforced.

    How are NJ leagues and referees dealing with this new law? To the extent that individual referees are making thier own decisions, you again have this potential problem of referees seeming arbitrary and taking abuse for trying to enforce what they believe is the rule.
  9. NHRef

    NHRef Member+

    Apr 7, 2004
    Southern NH
    Jewelry has not functional value, glasses allow a player to actually see. There are also exceptions for jewelry, medic alert and religious exceptions already exist.
  10. Funkfoot

    Funkfoot Member+

    May 18, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    I wear regular glasses when I ref, I don't see why kids can't wear them when they play.

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