I’m stumped. I’m a new referee and during my training class two items came up that have recurred in subsequent games that coached and refereed.

1) I know the “tucked in jersey” rule is a USSF one and not a FIFA law. What is the appropriate penalty to a player who’s jersey has come out? The referee in our game told my player to leave the field to fix his jersey.

2) I can’t find a specific rule as to when you can play the ball while you’re on the ground and when you can’t play it.

USSF answer (June 2, 2008):
1) There is no penalty or punishment for a player whose jersey has come out. The player is expected to replace the jersey and to look professional. If the player doesn’t do it on his or her own, then the referee should instruct him or her to do it on the field. There is no need for the player to leave the field to accomplish this arduous task.

2) There is no rule against playing the ball while on the ground. The only rule is that the player on the ground must not place him- or herself or other players in danger by remaining on top of the ball or having the ball between his/her legs, particularly if this is clearly deliberate.

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