Safety concerns ...

posted Apr 3, 2018, 7:14 AM by Terry Irish
I know that some of you work many games in the offseason so I wanted to put out a quick reminder about safety and I will start out with a question I received.

Question: In the Monday men's league there is a new team with a player who has braided hair. First week of the season it was in a bun so there was no issue. Last night he wore it as a pony tail. There is no metal or plastic involved. His hair length stretch down his back and ended below the back of his knees. There were braided countless strands.


While being guarded, the player spun his head around and this massive amount of hair hit the defender in the face and knocked him backward.  What is the call that you would have made, why and is there a rule to back you up and if there is what rule is it in our rule book?

AnswerRule 3.7 “Safety Concerns”: The referee shall not permit any team member to participate if in his/her judgement any item contributes a safety concern, such as, but not limited to, a player’s fingernails or hairstyle.

In this case,  the official would simply blow the whistle and tell the player to leave the game until the hair was taken care of to his/her satisfaction. There would be no penalty.

And lastly Rule 3.5.7: Jewelry is prohibited. Religious and medical-alert medals are not considered jewelry. A religious medal must be taped and worn under the uniform. A medical-alert medal must be taped and may be visible.

It does not matter what the AD, site coordinator, coaches, players, spectators or your fellow officials say ... if you deem something to be a safety issue, have it "rectified" or walk away. Do not give in.