Soccer by the Rules – Illegal Equipment Penalty Changed

By: Joe Manjone, Ed. D.

The coach is to be cautioned when the first player on a team is found to be illegally equipped.  In the 2010 – 2011 National Federation High School Rules, this first player found to be illegally equipped could re-enter during a dead ball. Thus, if the player could make all equipment legal, he/she could re-enter the game prior to its being started when stopped for the illegal equipment and the cautioning of the coach.

This will not be the case starting in September, 2011.  The National Federation High School Rules Committee, at their January Rules Committee meeting, changed this rule so that the player with the illegal equipment will have to leave the game and not re-enter until the next opportunity to substitute. Of course, when the player re-enters the game, he/she will have to report to an official who is to be satisfied that the player’s equipment and uniform are in order.

This rule was changed, because the committee felt that the player is responsible for being illegally equipped and should be penalized, and not being allowed to re-enter until the next substitution opportunity was the decided penalty.

As in the past, the second and subsequent player on a team to be found illegally equipped, is to be cautioned, and is not allowed to re-enter until the next substitution opportunity.

If you have any questions about this rule or any high school rule, please contact email me at [email protected]