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The Kickaround: A rule about tape?

03/02/2013, 5:33pm CST
By ERIC ANDERSON

Soccer players, coaches and fans probably could come up with a laundry list of issues that the sport's governing bodies should address.

But this offseason, one rule in particular seems to keep popping up: The color of the tape on players' socks must match the color of the socks.

The National Federation of State High School Associations will implement the rule starting in the fall with the 2013-14 school year, and the WIAA also added the policy to its rulebook. Meanwhile, the National Premier Soccer League made its adult teams aware of the same new rule during its annual general meeting in January.

Madison 56ers general manager Cristian Brei said 56ers coach Jim Launder was amused that NPSL team executives spent time discussing the topic.

"Jim was like, 'That's what you go there for, to vote on things like that?' " Brei said.

Interestingly, the NFHS, WIAA and NPSL are simply bringing their codes in line with FIFA's Laws of the Game.

At the 126th annual general meeting of the International Football Association Board on March 3, 2012, in Surrey, England, Law 4 (The Players' Equipment) was amended to address the topic. This paragraph was added: "Stockings – If tape or similar material is applied externally it must be the same colour as that part of the stocking it is applied to."

According to FIFA, the amendment was necessary because the addition of tape that isn't the same color changes the look the sock, and referees sometimes look at socks to help determine who last played the ball before it goes out of play.

For the 56ers, it will end up leading to a lot of red tape – literally, since the team usually wears red socks.

"So we'll have to buy a bunch of red tape," Brei said.

What do you think of the tape color rule? No big deal? Too much micromanagement? Important for referees? Could this become a sticky stuation? Log in and kick it around in the comments below.

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