While doing  a pre-game inspection of players prior to a game, I noticed that one of the boys was wearing shin guards that were totally inadequate to protect more than a few inches of his shin — they were about the size of a mens’ wallet. I told him that I would not allow him to play until he found some larger ones, and lo and behold, he did. I later mentioned this to the referee,but he told me that I had no authority in the matter, and if the player wanted to risk his legs, so be it. I disagreed, pointing out that the law prohibits a player from wearing anything that presents a danger to himself, or others, but the man doing the center replied that this referred to items other than mandatory uniform.
Does the U.S.S.F have any guidance as regards this?

p.s. I think that laws or no, I was right- I want no broken legs on my watch!

USSF answer (April 14, 2008):
USSF guidance follows Law 4:
– are covered entirely by the stockings
– are made of a suitable material (rubber, plastic, or similar substances)
– provide a reasonable degree of protection

If, in the opinion of the referee, the shinguards do not “provide a reasonable degree of protection,” then they should not be allowed.

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