Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Showing my first yellow card

My second year/third season as a referee and finally had to show my first yellow card. One of my former players of course, and she should know better... Asked her to remove her earrings before the match started, noticed in the second half she still had them in. Which was weird not to notice earlier, but she was playing defence on a team of 11 vs a team that only had seven show up, so I didn't get close enough to notice until she was moved up to forward for the second half. Yellow for USB.

Jewelry is one of those things that is starting to annoy me. It is on the registration forms that no jewelry is permitted. Its in the laws of the game, and the intention is to prevent injury to self or others. Before every single game I have to tell players to remove jewelry, I tell the coaches to remind their players that they can't have jewelry, and yet every game I'm sending players to the sideline to take off earrings or watches or bracelets or necklaces. Which makes me the mean old referee. There is the usual litany of excuses. "I've always worn it before", "The other referee lets me" (unfortunately, this one is true), "I can't take it out/the hole will close over", "They are only little ear/nose studs". I even had a coach ask me what could be done to change the rules. I told him to appeal to FIFA.

I was getting lukewarm support for my 'strictness' using the argument that someone could get hurt. So now I use the magic word "liability". If someone gets hurt I get sued, you the coach gets sued, you the player gets sued, the player's parents get sued, and the league administrators get sued. Since none of the above have liability insurance (even if we did it wouldn't matter because the laws clearly say no jewelry) that argument worked.

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