My U10 daughter is a type 1 diabetic and needs to wear a medical braclet. What is the rules about wearing jewelry or medical braclets. Can she wear a nylon band braclet with the standard round metal medical tag?
USSF answer (May 19, 2008):
Law 4 – The Players’ Equipment states very firmly in its very first paragraph: “A player must not use equipment or wear anything which is dangerous to himself or another player (including any kind of jewelry).” This means that all items of jewelry are normally considered dangerous. There are only two permissible exceptions to the ban on jewelry: medicalert jewelry that can guide emergency medical personnel in treating injured players and certain religious items that are not dangerous and not likely to provide the player with an unfair advantage. Anything that is decorative or possibly dangerous to the player or to others is not permitted, but no referee should refuse to allow a medicalert bracelet to be worn if it is properly taped.
While jewelry is not allowed, there are two permissible exceptions to the ban on jewelry: medicalert jewelry that can guide emergency medical personnel in treating injured players and certain religious items that are not dangerous and not likely to provide the player with an unfair advantage.
For further information on the requirements of the Law for player safety, see the USSF National Program for Referee Development’s position papers of 7 March 2003 on “Player’s Equipment” and 17 March 2003 on “Player Equipment (Jewelry).” These papers are available at the ussoccer.org website via the referee home page.
One solution to your dilemma might be the nylon band bracelet you suggested yourself, with the standard round metal medical tag (provided it was not considered to be a danger). Another might perhaps be a tennis armband with the words MEDIC ALERT on it and the actual bracelet beneath it.
The U. S. Soccer Federation cannot give blanket permission for any item of non-standard equipment. This band would still have to be inspected and approved by the referee on each game in which your daughter plans to participate. It is our position that jewelry worn solely for medical purposes may be permitted but only if, in the opinion of the referee, the item is not dangerous. Such items can often be worn safely if appropriately taped. If the referee does not approve the band, because it does not appear to be safe for all participants, then your daughter will not be able to play. As stated in Law 4, the decision of the referee is final.