RefSix

The Wearing Of Non-Sports Glasses

#1
I am not sure if this topic has been covered before but was looking for peoples opinion on the wearing of non-sports glasses for playing in.
I have had two situations already this season in open age matches where there have been players who were intending to wear standard glasses to play in and one of these, a ladies game, the player was in fact the goal keeper. I noticed this in the warm up and decided to discuss the issue with the manager rather than the player on the basis of a safety issue not only to herself but potentially other players whilst challenging for the ball especially from corner kicks.

In the conversation that ensued I advised that as I deemed them to be a safety issue if worn, they would have to be removed if she was going to play. As the conversation progressed I was then told that I was being unreasonable as I was the first referee all season to stop her from playing. I had the same situation in a county cup game where the centre half deemed it acceptable to play in "Buddy Holly" style glasses and after I advised that I would not let him play in them again I was told I was the first referee to stop him playing.

Whilst I take this at face value it seems to me that the LOTG make no specific reference to glasses other than to say that non dangerous protective equipment is acceptable and refers to sports glasses in this paragraph so assume then than non-sports glasses are deemed as dangerous.

In youth football it has been said that the wearing of glasses is at the referees discretion but surely the same safety issue prevails and could be deemed to be at a higher
level. I cannot understand why it should be left to the referees discretion as surely it is either a safety issue or not and should therefore be unequivocal. That said, I also understand why players should not be excluded and after the ladies game I was actually accused of being discriminatory.

Would it be better if the LOTG were more specific in regards to the wearing of glasses?
 
#2
IMHO (and others will differ) this is a non-issue. The players (both the visually impaired players and those around them) are safer with the glasses on than off. Yes, it would be smarter to have sport-specific glasses or contacts, but any remote danger from "regular" glasses is, IMHO, clearly offset by the vision need. (Frankly, to the extent the glasses are dangerous to others, I don't think sport glasses change that--if anything the sports goggles tend to be bigger and more likely to hit someone else. The biggest danger is to the glasses themselves, as ordinary glasses are more likely to fall off and more likely to get damaged.) Glasses today are almost never made of glass, but of polycarbonate--at least in the US, it is almost impossible to get ones made of glass.
 
#3
I've just done my ref course and the instructor made a big deal that players should definitely not wear 'normal' spectacles as it is a massive safety issue and if the player is allowed to play in them and it injures the wearer or opponent then it falls on the referees head and is almost impossible to defend
 

Big Cat

RefChat Addict
#4
'Spectacles' are very commonly worn by younger players (say... U11 and below) in youth football
Personally, I think its more a case of bad parenting than anything else. I frown upon it heavily (I don't referee mini-football however), but the risk is low at these ages
I've not come across such nonsense with the bigger lads and wouldn't allow it if I did. No way Jose
 

Kes

I'll Decide ...
#5
If adults are required to wear shin pads and appropriate footwear for safety reasons and jewellry isnt permitted for the same reasons, then for me, it's a no brainer that a player can't be allowed to play with a piece of hard plastic balanced upon his ears and across his nose. Need em to see? Tough **** matey, get some contacts, sports glasses or take up poker or something... :stig::stig:
 
#8
See? I said others will differ!

As best I can tell, what I wrote is pretty much in the norm in the US. Sports glasses and/or straps get recommended by not required (some leagues will mandate straps). As the responses note, there seems to be a different view across the pond. We all have to deal with local expectations, and ultimately it is the judgment of the referee as to what is safe equipment.

I've reffed in hundreds of games with players wearing "normal" glasses and played (including in an adult rec league) or watched many more. I've never seen an injury from them. And I've never heard of one--let alone heard of litigation arising from it. (I have seen glasses damaged, but that's different.) (And I thought it was the US where we ran scared from litigation all the time! ;))
 

afronaut81

Well-Known Member
#9
My instructor said no to players wearing glasses and the CFA have brokered a deal with a supplier to get cheap(ish) sports glasses to mitigate issues.

If I had this I would not permit the player to participate with them on and then report this to the League and CFA. If other refs are allowing this they can investigate.

^Nb I wear normal glasses myself when officiating and the CFA are fine with this as I am never trying to play the ball.
 
#11
I've reffed in hundreds of games with players wearing "normal" glasses and played (including in an adult rec league) or watched many more. I've never seen an injury from them.
Well, I've certainly seen people get injured by non-sports glasses when playing - the prime example being myself. I've twice been hit in the face while wearing regular specs, playing in 'kick-around' style games. Once when I was a kid at school, once in a training scrimmage. On both occasions I was left with blood streaming down my face from cuts on the bridge of my nose and on the second occasion I needed stitches to close up the wound.

Now, because I've never, ever allowed players in games I was officiating to wear non-sports glasses, I've obviously never seen a player in one of my games get injured in this way but I can personally attest to the actual and real danger that this poses.

Given that player safety is (or at least should be) paramount in my opinion, I can't see any excuse for allowing players to wear equipment that I know for a fact, can cause injury. Sports spectacles or goggles are readily available and no more costly than a good pair of regular specs - there's no excuse for anyone who plays regularly, not to get a pair.

This reminds me a bit of the discussion about wedding rings - yes it's relatively rare for people to actually lose a finger to a ring avulsion injury but there are enough examples of it happening that for me, it's just not worth running the risk.

In the end, I think it comes down to a fairly simple proposition. Law 4 says that:
A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous.
Since I know, for a sure and certain fact, that non-sports glasses are dangerous, then I can't see a way, in all good conscience, that I could permit a player to wear them in a game I control.
 
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#12
Taken from FA guidance on glasses (from 18/19 though):

FA guidance for players playing with glasses 2018/19

Referees should check each player’s equipment prior to kick off, or the player entering the field of play as a substitute.

Law tells us... A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous. All items of jewellery (necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, glasses/ spectacles, leather bands, rubber bands, etc.) are forbidden and must be removed. Using tape/ straps to cover items is not permitted.

All players must be inspected before the start of the match and substitutes before they enter the field of play. If a player is wearing or using unauthorised/ dangerous equipment or jewellery the referee must order the player to:  remove the item  leave the field of play at the next stoppage if the player is unable or unwilling to comply

A player who refuses to comply or wears the item again must be cautioned.

If a player is wearing glasses, the referee should check that they are sports glasses/ goggles, which do not; contain glass, have a metal frame or have metal as part of the internal structure. This is for the safety of the player wearing the item and the other players in the match, as per the Laws of the Game. Any player wanting to wear glasses which are deemed to compromise safety of any players should remove the glasses or not be allowed to play until so.

Linky
 

Ben448844

RefChat Addict
#13
Sheffield and Hallamshire released upto date advice yesterday (should be on their website I assume). In a nutshell, wearing of sports glasses is fine. The lenses are almost unbreakable. For kids football be a bit more lenient on glasses. If they have sharp edge etc and you think it's a safety risk then you can ask that they be removed, but use common sense.
 

OIREF!

RefChat Addict
#14
I'm a bit surprised by the differences of opinion in this thread. In my experience it has long been accepted by referees and players alike that non sports glasses are a complete no-no. In 20 years refereeing I've never seen anyone wearing non sports glasses.
 
#15
I'm a bit surprised by the differences of opinion in this thread. In my experience it has long been accepted by referees and players alike that non sports glasses are a complete no-no. In 20 years refereeing I've never seen anyone wearing non sports glasses.
I'm from the other side of America as socal lurker, but he isn't the only one with a dissenting opinion/experience. Here kids wear glasses, nobody makes a fuss, and I have never heard of a single incident of anyone getting hurt by them (although I've seen a couple pairs break). Once you get to a certain level the players stop wearing them on their own, so it simply isn't an issue, but for low-level youth/amateur games you'd be hard-pressed to find an American ref that would tell a player they couldn't wear glasses.
 
#16
Taken from FA guidance on glasses (from 18/19 though):

FA guidance for players playing with glasses 2018/19

Referees should check each player’s equipment prior to kick off, or the player entering the field of play as a substitute.

Law tells us... A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous. All items of jewellery (necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, glasses/ spectacles, leather bands, rubber bands, etc.) are forbidden and must be removed. Using tape/ straps to cover items is not permitted.

All players must be inspected before the start of the match and substitutes before they enter the field of play. If a player is wearing or using unauthorised/ dangerous equipment or jewellery the referee must order the player to:  remove the item  leave the field of play at the next stoppage if the player is unable or unwilling to comply

A player who refuses to comply or wears the item again must be cautioned.

If a player is wearing glasses, the referee should check that they are sports glasses/ goggles, which do not; contain glass, have a metal frame or have metal as part of the internal structure. This is for the safety of the player wearing the item and the other players in the match, as per the Laws of the Game. Any player wanting to wear glasses which are deemed to compromise safety of any players should remove the glasses or not be allowed to play until so.

Linky
Unless I am mistaken the word glasses is not used in the LOTG in the 2018/19 or the 2019/ 20 versions. The only reference to glasses is made under the statement as outlined in my original post
 
#17
Unless I am mistaken the word glasses is not used in the LOTG in the 2018/19 or the 2019/ 20 versions. The only reference to glasses is made under the statement as outlined in my original post
Correct. It falls under ITOOTR on safety. And as set out in the comments here, there is a huge difference in how those opinions fall out in the US vs. England. (And perhaps some of that has to do with development of views over time--soccer largely expanded in the US along with non glass glasses, becoming standard, and glass is certainly a different risk.) I'm not persuaded it belongs in the LOTG, any more that writing specs on what shin guards have to be made of, etc.
 
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