Opening Day this Saturday
LAW 4: PLAYER'S EQUIPMENT
Nothing that is considered by the referee to be dangerous to another player may be worn. General prohibitions include: rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, watches, barrettes (unless soft), casts or braces for arms or legs if made of any hard material. Glasses or sunglasses are permitted if they are prescription lenses. Any player may wear athletic safety glasses.
Uniform: shoes, shirt, shorts, socks and shin guards required. Shoes must be sneakers, or sport shoes with cleats specifically designed for soccer. Shin guards must be manufactured for the purpose and must be worn under the socks. The clothing of the goalkeepers must distinguish them from all other players on the field. Opposing keepers may wear the same colors.
The uniform must be worn in the manner in which it was designed. Shirts must be tucked in all the way around at all times. Socks are to cover the shin pads completely at all times. Shoes are to remain safely tied throughout the game.
Shorts worn under the team shorts are permitted as long as they are no longer than the team shorts. They should be the same color as the team shorts, i.e., black.
Head Gear: Head (sweat) bands (and soft wrist bands) are permitted. Bandanas are not permitted. The goalkeeper may wear a soft brim, baseball-type hat.
LAW 5: REFEREE
Authority: From the time the referee arrives until the referee leaves the area of the playing field his/her authority is absolute. His/her decisions are final and may not be challenged unless a rule has been clearly and improperly cited. Players or coaches may never question "Judgment calls".
The final say on safe player equipment or interference by spectators or coaches rests with the referee. A Field Representative will determine safe field conditions and unsafe weather conditions. The referee has sole discretionary power to caution (yellow card) or eject (red card) any player or coach for serious or persistent infractions of the rules.
Whistles: The referee stops the game for an infringement of the rules by blowing a whistle. Most referees carry the whistle in their hand instead of in the mouth. This is to prevent blowing the whistle in anticipation of an infringement or by accident. It also allows the referee a second to analyze the results of an incident and perhaps to cite the "advantage rule". The sound of the whistle will always be after an infraction, not at the same time. It is better to have a late whistle than an early whistle.
Advantage Rule: the referee may allow play to continue following an infringement if stopping the game would give an advantage to the offending team. "Advantage" is a privilege, not a right. Once given, the referee may rescind the advantage and call the foul if the advantage is lost immediately after the advantage was signaled. For example: a player is tripped but retains possession of the ball. The referee indicates "play on" with the arms and the player then falls. The fall is the direct result of the trip so the referee may now signal "trip".
LAW 6: ASSISTANT REFEREES (LINESMEN)
Assistant Referees help the referee in making calls. The Assistant Referees are not referees. They may not stop the game for infractions of the rules. They indicate to the referee that a foul has occurred by means of flags. They raise the flag to indicate:
Some referees prefer to limit what calls the Assistant Referees may make during the game. As a result the referee does not signal many apparent infractions seen or indicated by the linesmen.
The referee in the middle has final say on all issues. He may at any time ignore or overrule the signal flag of the Assistant Referees if he/she disagrees or if he/she opts to cite the advantage rule.
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