Tom Bobadilla Explains Law 4 & Law 5

Safety is our first priority at AYSO.   We follow the same guidelines as many other contact sports to ensure the safety of our players.  Being a referee is fun and exciting, but at times it can be very challenging.

AYSO follows the Laws set by Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).

Law 4 addresses the Players’ Equipment including what can and cannot be used while on the field.   It states, “A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous.”

This pertains to any adornments that are hard on the body or in the hair like jewelry or hair adornments.  These include, but are not limited to: hair pins, beads, clips or barrettes. Players also may not wear rings, earrings, metal retainers or bracelets.

Although, some may not feel these items may be dangerous, they can cause harm to both the player wearing them or to other players on the field.

Law 5, The Referee, states, “Each match is controlled by a referee who has full authority to enforce the Laws of the Game in connection with the match.”

These are usually tough decisions, but the referee’s ultimate responsibility is to look out for the physical and emotional safety of all players on the field.

The International FIFA Law of the Game, or rules, make the safety of the player the primary objective and as such, Law Four specifies ‘a player may not use equipment or anything that is dangerous.’ And Law Five gives the referee the authority to enforce the Laws of the Game, including Law Four.”

For all your safety concerns, please look to  If you have a concern, please use this form on our website to reach out to the National Office.


Tom Bobadilla, National Referee Program Administrator