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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jan 28, 2002, 11:37am
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Rule 3 Section 5

The referee shall not permit any team memeber to wear equipment or apparel which, in his/her judgment, is dangerous or confusing to other players or is not appropriate. Examples of illegal items include, but are not limited to: Art. 1...A guard, cast or brace made of hard substance - even though covered with soft padding - when worn on the elbow, hand, finger, wrist or forearm.

We had a referee make a player take off a knee brace this last weekend before a boys Varsity contest. The Coach said he had been playing with it all year. The kid said, "that's ok, I don't really need it anyway" and he took it off.

My question is this:
What are the guidelines for a knee brace being too dangerous to play with? Is it in the judgement of each individual referee? What are the liabilities if an official makes a kid take off his brace and then he blows his knee out as a result? (After he had been "legally" wearing it all year, in the judgement of another official)

These questions made for some interesting discussions at the local watering hole the other night. Districts are coming so it would be nice to have this clarified before they start. (The guys asked me to ask this forum)

Thanks for your input,

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jan 28, 2002, 11:43am
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I see knee braces all the time. Hard surface. no problem. good point about possible kid blow out a knee. I would want this law suit.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jan 28, 2002, 11:48am
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If there is hard material or exposed metal on it, you make them pad it. Otherwise, unless there was a screened on playboy centerfold on the side, how on earth can a knee brace be illegal, confusing, or inappropriate?

What did the brace look like?
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jan 28, 2002, 11:55am
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Originally posted by RookieDude
Rule 3 Section 5
RookieDude, for "complex" issues, go to other officials (like here), consult the Rulebook (which you did), and also ALWAYS consult the Casebook (if NF): 3.5A says that knee braces are allowed IF properly padded, no sharp edges, ect.

[Edited by Slider on Jan 28th, 2002 at 11:39 AM]
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jan 28, 2002, 12:01pm
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Most knee braces are made to be used in athletic competition - you'll see the usual velcro straps, plastic pieces instead of metal.... but there are others that were made to hold the knee in place for walking and NOT designed for athletic competition. These often have exposed metal clips etc.

It's a judgment call of course, but I'd be more worried about my liability of an opponent getting hurt (because I allowed a dangerous brace to be worn) than the kid playing without the brace. 80% of the knee braces I've seen are fine "as is" and another 10% were fine with a little tape. However, if the brace can't be taped so that it's safe to the opponents, I do not allow it. If the kid decides to play anyway without the brace, that's a decision for him (and the parents I suppose) and not my problem.

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Old Mon Jan 28, 2002, 04:19pm
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Thanks for your replys.
Especially you Slider...I appreciate the Case number you gave me. That pretty much explains it. I'll have to remember to check the Case book.
Thanks again,
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