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Proper Player Dress & Equipment

Overview Of Player Dress Code
  1. Each player must wear:
    • the issued uniform: jersey (tucked in), shorts, and socks (covering shin guards completely)
    • shin guards (completely under the socks)
    • soccer shoes, tennis shoes, or sneakers (with or without rubber cleats). 
      • Soccer shoes with cleats are strongly recommended for all games and practices. 
      • Screw-in cleats must be in good condition, with all cleats installed.
      • Baseball-type metal cleats are not allowed.
      • Shoes with molded plastic cleats that have a toe cleat may be used only if the toe cleat has been completely removed (cut off, with no sharp edges remaining), or have been inspected and deemed safe by the Referee.
  2. Players may not mark their socks, either with tape, or by wearing socks different from the team's socks.
  3. Players may not wear anything that is dangerous to any player, including themselves. This includes, but is not limited to splints, casts, metal bracelets, rings, earrings, wristwatches, and hair barrettes. The Player Equipment list below describes detail policies for the Referee. The Referee's decision on the legality of any player apparel is final.
  4. Long hair must be tied back with a rubber band or other soft retainer. Prescription eyeglasses should be secured. Sunglasses are not permitted. Only goalkeepers are allowed to wear a cap and it must be a soft-billed cap. Goalkeepers may wear "warm up" pants.
  5. The AYSO uniform should be worn only for games or sponsored events.
  6. Additional clothing, such as shirts and long pants, may not be worn over the uniform while a player is participating in a game. Sweatshirts (hood must be tucked completely inside the uniform shirt) or "bicycle shorts" may be worn under the uniform if their color matches the uniform.  
  7. Players not attired in proper uniform will not be allowed to play, until properly dressed.

Details of Player Dress Code

Region 26 has made the following specific rulings on player equipment allowed under Law 4. Items listed here as prohibited may not be worn. Any exception, for medical, religious or other extraordinary reasons, requires a written waiver signed by the Regional Commissioner, which must be shown to the Referee on the field. Referees may also refuse to permit other items not listed here if, in their opinion, those items are dangerous to any player.


  • NO metal hair barrettes or hard fasteners (beads, combs, etc.).
  • NO "pony tail holders" with hard plastic balls.
  • Plain elastic fasteners, rubber bands, Scrunchies (cloth-covered elastic) are OK as long as they do not contain any hard objects.
  • Headbands (cloth only) are OK but no message is permitted.
  • Long hair should be tied back or up.
  • Glasses -- prescription only; retaining straps are strongly encouraged but not mandatory. Safety or sport glass are strongly encouraged; metal rims are discouraged.
  • NO sunglasses, even if prescription. (Photochromic or variable tint lenses are allowed if the player only has that one type of glasses.)
  • NO external head or neck gear. (Goalkeeper may wear a soft-billed cap; Referee judges acceptability).
  • NO dental retainers with protruding wires (must be removed before match begins). Molded retainers without wires are OK. Orthodontic braces are OK. A protective mouthpiece is encouraged (but you will rarely see it).


  • Team jersey must be worn.
  • Another shirt or sweatshirt (long or short sleeve) under jersey is OK. Cannot be the same color as other team's jersey. Referee judges if color is acceptable. If sweatshirt has a hood, the hood must be tucked completely inside team jersey.
  • There should be 5 different jersey colors, and only 5 colors, on the field: 
    Team A goalkeeper, everyone else on Team A, Team B goalkeeper, everyone else on Team B, and Referee (generally gold, black, red, or blue).
  • NO message T-shirts or sweatshirts.
  • NO jerseys with sponsorship or product logos.


  • Non-regulation shorts are OK, but only if the color matches the team's shorts to the Referee's satisfaction.
  • "Bike pants" (compression shorts) may be worn under regular shorts if they are of the same color as the shorts and end at least one inch above the knee. If they are a different color than the shorts, tell the player s/he must roll them up so they don't show.
  • NO long pants (unless for valid religious reasons) except Goalkeeper.
  • NO knee pads except goalkeeper (soft pads only).


  • Team socks must be worn and be of the correct color. New to the 2012 Laws of the Game: If tape or similar material is applied externally to the socks, it must be the same color as that part of the sock it is applied to. A tactical consideration that can spill over into gamesmanship, considered unsporting, is for a player to wear a sock color that stands out from his own team, or is close to the color of the opposing team's socks. If the color stands out from his own team, it may be a way to unfairly help players identify a designated player, or if too close to the color of the opposing team, it can be a way to confuse the opposing team.
  • Shin guards are required and must be completely covered by socks. (This means players must first put on their shin guards and then put on their team socks. Players should not put on their team socks first, then their shin guards, then pull their socks down over their shin guards. Watch for this primarily in the younger age groups. To prevent chaffing by shin guards, you could suggest that players wear thin socks under their shin guards.)
  • No anklets or ankle bracelets.
  • Knee braces are permitted, provided the brace is adequately covered and padded so as to eliminate the possibility of causing injury to other players. A player wearing a knee brace must provide a written statement from his/her attending physician certifying that the player may participate, and the coach must have the statement at the field and produce it upon the referee's request.


  • Shoes are required. Cleats or turf shoes are recommended. Sneakers are OK. Cleats must not have an unsafe cleat at the toe (i.e., metal baseball cleats are not allowed; baseball/football shoes with unsafe toe cleat are illegal unless modified by removing the toe cleat). Screw-in cleats are permitted if they are complete and properly installed, and have no sharp edges or protruding metal cores.
  • Metal cleats are not allowed on synthetic turf fields.
  • In the younger age groups (Under-10 and below), remind players to tie their shoes and suggest double knots.


  • NO earrings! The only exception: soft, flexible rubber temporary studs with no metal. Sob stories about holes closing up when earrings are removed should fall on deaf ears. Earrings must be removed before the child can play -- padding/taping over earrings is not an acceptable substitute. Give the player the choice: remove the earrings or don't play.
  • NO necklaces.
  • NO bracelets (metal, plastic, beads, leather, anything that could cut, bruise, or catch a finger). Medical Alert bracelets should be securely covered by tape that allows the information to be read. Cloth or string ("friendship") bracelets and "LIVESTRONG" type bracelets must be removed.
  • NO rings or watches.
  • NO pins or pin-on buttons.


  • NO elbow pads, thigh pads, or hip pads.
  • NO casts or splints, at all, even if taped or wrapped in foam rubber, bubble wrap, etc. This applies even to plastic and Velcro strap-on casts or splints.
  • NO gloves (except goalkeeper), except in unusually cold weather.
  • NO dangerously long fingernails (referee judgment; can be taped over).