By Joe Manjone, Ed. D.
The rules change necessitating home team jerseys and socks to be solid white that was passed by the high school soccer rules committee four years ago will finally go into effect in the 2013-14 high school soccer season. In addition to this home team uniform rule, the soccer rules committee passed an additional uniform rule in its recent January rules committee meeting held in Indianapolis. This additional rule which also goes into effect in the 2013-14 season requires that tape applied to the socks cannot change the basic color of the socks.
Rule 4-1-1c states: Both socks shall be of the same color, the home team socks will be solid white and the visiting team socks must have a single dominant color, but not necessarily the color of the jersey. If tape or similar material is applied externally to the socks, it must be of similar color as that part of the sock to which it is applied.
Wearing tape that is not of similar color to the socks is illegal, and a player entering the game with illegal taping is to be cautioned or if it is the team’s first caution for illegal equipment, the coach it to be cautioned. In either instance, the player will have to leave the game and remove the illegal tape. This player can be substituted for, but cannot enter until the next legal opportunity to substitute.
Socks with wrong color tape affixed can easily be observed during a pre-game cursory inspection of the teams. If illegal tape is noticed during the pre-inspection, as a means of preventive officiating, the player and coach should be notified so that the player can remove the tape and not enter the game with illegal equipment. Also, this new rule might be mentioned in pre-season meetings with the coaches and early in the season during the pre-game conference with coaches and captains so that players are aware of what tape can be used on the socks.
Following the above rule and recommended procedures in every high school game you work and making certain your partners do the same will provide the required consistency and make each game a better experience for all participants.
Please contact Joe Manjone at [email protected] if you have any questions about the above or any high school soccer rule.
Dr. Joe Manjone is the former chair of the NFHS Soccer Rules Committee.