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Jewelry, jewelry and more jewelry...when does it end?


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My brothers...this business of players in NFHS games wearing jewelry needs to end.

Varsity game tonight, plate meeting, "Are all your players legally and properly equipped and all of your equipment conforms to Federation rules...to include jewelry?" Both managers respond yes.

2 minutes later the leadoff batter for the game comes to the plate wearing two diamond studs. I send him back to the dugout to take them off. He comes back...with them taped. I call my partner over, we agree to let it go and call the manager over and tell him to please check his players for jewelry. We go on to say by rule, religious and medical jewelry may be taped, everything else must be removed or the players will be ejected. The manager apologizes profusely. The player with the taped studs removes them at the half inning and we go on to finish the game without further jewelry incidents.

I never wore jewelry when I played because if I did, I knew my coach would have me running laps at practice until I "remembered" to take it off.

I'm grabbing jewelry infractions nearly every game. It's a complete nuisance. Why is this such a problem? How do we solve this as a sport and what is working for you guys out there?

~Dawg

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6 minutes ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

My brothers...this business of players in NFHS games wearing jewelry needs to end.

Varsity game tonight, plate meeting, "Are all your players legally and properly equipped and all of your equipment conforms to Federation rules...to include jewelry?" Both managers respond yes.

2 minutes later the leadoff batter for the game comes to the plate wearing two diamond studs. I send him back to the dugout to take them off. He comes back...with them taped. I call my partner over, we agree to let it go and call the manager over and tell him to please check his players for jewelry. We go on to say by rule, religious and medical jewelry may be taped, everything else must be removed or the players will be ejected. The manager apologizes profusely. The player with the taped studs removes them at the half inning and we go on to finish the game without further jewelry incidents.

I never wore jewelry when I played because if I did, I knew my coach would have me running laps at practice until I "remembered" to take it off.

I'm grabbing jewelry infractions nearly every game. It's a complete nuisance. Why is this such a problem? How do we solve this as a sport and what is working for you guys out there?

~Dawg

It's a problem because the rules have made it a problem. Get rid of the rule.

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5 hours ago, Matt said:

It's a problem because the rules have made it a problem. Get rid of the rule.

Have to agree with Matt on this one. They can wear jewelry in NCAA and MLB so it isn’t really a safety issue.  And even if it is, what’s a stud earring going to do?  If you get hit in the ear by a pitch it’s gonna hurt more?  Pretty sure you’re already toast anyways.

I can get on board with no “dangly” stuff that can get snagged or caught during a tag or slide, but a non-dangly earring, a necklace that isn’t all dangly and loose and flopping around...who cares?

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From the 2018 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (section 3.5, p. 32):

Players, especially pitchers, will not be allowed to wear distracting jewelry of any kind. This prohibition also applies to pins and other items being attached to any portion of the uniform (including the cap) or playing equipment.

2019-2020 NCAA rule 9 Pitching Violations

SECTION 2. The pitcher shall not:

h. …A pitcher shall not wear jewelry or clothing items that a batter or umpire considers distracting (e.g., chains, white logos, wrist bands, loose lacing on glove). Tattoos on a pitcher's body that a batter or umpire considers distracting must be legally covered.

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7 hours ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

My brothers...this business of players in NFHS games wearing jewelry needs to end.

Varsity game tonight, plate meeting, "Are all your players legally and properly equipped and all of your equipment conforms to Federation rules...to include jewelry?" Both managers respond yes.

2 minutes later the leadoff batter for the game comes to the plate wearing two diamond studs. I send him back to the dugout to take them off. He comes back...with them taped. I call my partner over, we agree to let it go and call the manager over and tell him to please check his players for jewelry. We go on to say by rule, religious and medical jewelry may be taped, everything else must be removed or the players will be ejected. The manager apologizes profusely. The player with the taped studs removes them at the half inning and we go on to finish the game without further jewelry incidents.

I never wore jewelry when I played because if I did, I knew my coach would have me running laps at practice until I "remembered" to take it off.

I'm grabbing jewelry infractions nearly every game. It's a complete nuisance. Why is this such a problem? How do we solve this as a sport and what is working for you guys out there?

~Dawg

We have met the enemy and he is us.

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The pain is no different in LL. 

Watches and necklaces are typical, more prevalent in the towns that hold out their pinkies when sipping tea, but still everywhere.

 

My UiC tells me his 1st game this season 1st batter he looks and asks kiddo #1  "Hey what time is it?" kid looks down at his watch and tells him the time.  He then said go back to the dugout and remove that please.  

Sigh..

 

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Taping is a crock!

A long time ago, when I first started umpiring, there was a softball game where a player took a line drive against her TAPED ear stud.  The force punctured her Eustacean tube and allowed unsterile fluid to leak into an area of her cranium that was supposed to be sterile.

Two days in ICU on antibiotics.

Good reason for the rules.  If I counsel a player for ear studs, he/she will comply.  Otherwise, bango!

 

Big lies:  I'm from the Government and I'm here to help you!  The umpire last game said we could tape our ear studs.

Mike

Las Vegas

 

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3 hours ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

Ok, @Thunderheads...we've clearly solved this problem...feel free to lock this up at your convenience.

Sorry for wasting everyone's time...my games are about to get much shorter with the coming crop of jewelry ejections...good times.

~Dawg

We haven't solved it. We've answered your questions.

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15 hours ago, SH0102 said:

Have to agree with Matt on this one. They can wear jewelry in NCAA and MLB so it isn’t really a safety issue.  And even if it is, what’s a stud earring going to do?  If you get hit in the ear by a pitch it’s gonna hurt more?  Pretty sure you’re already toast anyways.

I can get on board with no “dangly” stuff that can get snagged or caught during a tag or slide, but a non-dangly earring, a necklace that isn’t all dangly and loose and flopping around...who cares?

They can wear it in NCAA and MLB because the players are adults, not minors who are legally incapable of waving liability and accepting that risk. 

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11 minutes ago, scrounge said:

They can wear it in NCAA and MLB because the players are adults, not minors who are legally incapable of waving liability and accepting that risk. 

They can and do also wear it at every practice, or rec, or travel game, not covered by the rules and not prohibited by their parents or coaches at the practice who I guess are accepting the risk. I'm not looking at every player's back of the neck. If something hangs out front I'll tell him to lose it when he get's back to the dugout. They always do.

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I can understand the religious items being exempt although I still don't believe it needs to be worn in sports...

But I cant see the huge objection players, coaches, parents have about jewelry. IMO its all because they see (insert name here) on tv wearing it and have the me too entitlement. 

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1 hour ago, Umpire in Chief said:

I can understand the religious items being exempt although I still don't believe it needs to be worn in sports...

But I cant see the huge objection players, coaches, parents have about jewelry. IMO its all because they see (insert name here) on tv wearing it and have the me too entitlement. 

In my 27 years as an umpire I have yet to see a player, coach or parent object to jewelry.  Not once.  

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I see a lot of younger players (USSSA) 14U and under that wear jewelry (mostly necklaces), wrist bands, and a fit bit here and there, etc..

By the time they get to HS they have been wearing it (jewelry) for years...then for 4 years of HS they can't wear them...then they can wear them going forward (taking into consideration Sr. Azul's note).

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As recently as the 2018 baseball season the NFHS had its jewelry rule as a Point of Emphasis. Here’s what it said then—

The NFHS Baseball Rules Committee and the NFHS Board of Directors believes there are areas of the game of interscholastic baseball that need to be addressed and given special attention. These areas of concern are often cyclical, some areas need more attention than others, and that is why they might appear in the rules book for consecutive editions. These concerns are identified as “Points of Emphasis.” For the 2018 high school baseball season, attention is being called to: Sportsmanship (Bench Jockeying Celebrations, Negative comments between opponents), Jewelry Rule Enforcement, Administration of NFHS Rules, and Proper Pitching Positions. When a topic is included in the Points of Emphasis, these topics are important enough to reinforce throughout the academic year because they are not being given the proper attention.

2018 Baseball POE Enforcement of NFHS Jewelry Rule

Items that are attached except medical appliances/devices are considered to be jewelry. The primary cause for the restriction of jewelry is primary for risk minimization for the wearer and for their opponent. Earrings and various other piercings can be problematic for a player if the piercing gets caught on equipment and torn away from the body. Obviously, if a physician has provided documentation in support of a particular piercing, the local state association has the latitude (with proper justification) to make a special accommodation for the player. We need to be more vigilant to protect our players and their opponents.

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While researching this issue I found a blog written by a jeweler about athletes wearing jewelry. I could not find a name or date so the only attribution I can provide is the web address--

1. Contact Sports

When it comes to contact sports, kids and jewelry do not mix. A contact sport is defined as any game in which physical contact between two players is accepted as part of playing the sport. Some people differentiate between high-contact and low-contact sports, but if your child is playing any game where there is the potential for them to be colliding with other players jewelry is probably a bad idea.

Why No Jewelry?

First, it can injure either your child or another child on the field. Imagine your child is running down a soccer field and accidentally collides with another player, their arms hitting each other before they separate. If your child is wearing a chunky bracelet or ring it could bruise the other player’s arm where it hits. Your child could also be hurt from the pressure of the bracelet being pushed into his or her own skin.

Earrings are also a bad idea and potentially painful if worn during sports. If a ball hits the side of the head just right this can sometimes rip an earring out of an earlobe, or at the very least drive the earring into the side of the neck behind it, which can be very painful.

If you watch rugby players, they often tape their ears down to decrease the chances of them being ripped off or damaged while playing. Imagine how much more dangerous it would be to wear earrings while playing a sport like that!

There is also a risk of jewelry being broken or damaged during contact sports, which is another reason playing with jewelry on is a bad idea. It’s best to just leave it off so there is no risk of damage to the jewelry or to the players.

 

https://quickjewelryrepairs.com/articles/kids-and-sports-when-to-

leave-the-jewelry-at-home/

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I wonder if Physical Education teachers force their students to remove all jewelry before their class? A dodgeball to the ear stud sounds as bad, if not worse, as a baseball to the helmet ear flap w/ stud underneath. But that’s just me, I’d hate to get caught up in parallel examples that get different standards, because......wait, what were we doing again? :rantoff :sarcasm


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No need to wonder any longer, Mr. Catch18. All you need do is search your local school district’s website to find out their policy. When I searched your question I immediately found the following for an elementary school in Sachem (New York, I think)--so it would appear our nation's school districts do consider things like this.

Dear Parents,

Welcome back to another school year!  We would like to take a minute to remind you about some of the guidelines of our department to ensure your child has a safe and enjoyable physical education experience…

JEWELRY
Our main issue is with JEWELRY!  Sachem policy is that jewelry is not permitted during physical education class. Our suggestion is that your child does not wear jewelry on days they have physical education class.  Often times they take off a piece of jewelry, forget it, and then it ends up getting lost.  If your son/daughter must wear jewelry to school, we ask that they leave it in their classroom. Again, this is so they do not lose it in gym.

We understand that this is difficult for young children to take their earrings in and out.  If this is an issue with your child, they are permitted to bring in BAND-AIDS and cover their POST earrings.  We ask that you send them to school with a carton of small band-aids that they can leave in their desk.  Hoop earrings, no matter the size, are not allowed to be worn because they become dangerous for both your child and the children around them.  If your child comes to PE with earrings in (and they are not covered), and they cannot be taken out unfortunately, they will not be allowed to participate that day
.

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@SeeingEyeDogis absolutely correct on this.  Maybe the rule is 'stupid' or 'needs to be changed'.  But it hasn't and at the HS level here's why:  Teenagers are idiots. Imagine, if you will, what symbols, slogans, offensive items etc., would be dangling from someones neck. Go ahead and let your mind wander...now up Flavo Flav.

So we get rid of the rule and now we have another job, instead of no jewelry, period, now we have to make sure the jewelry is appropriate and not 'offensive' and knowing FED is the correct size (so make sure and bring a tape measure in your ball bag) and color.

I respectfully suggest the question should not be why isn't it allowed...it should be why the heck do you need it while playing baseball.

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No need to wonder any longer, Mr. Catch18. All you need do is search your local school district’s website to find out their policy. When I searched your question I immediately found the following for an elementary school in Sachem (New York, I think)--so it would appear our nation's school districts do consider things like this.
Dear Parents,

Welcome back to another school year!  We would like to take a minute to remind you about some of the guidelines of our department to ensure your child has a safe and enjoyable physical education experience…
JEWELRY
Our main issue is with JEWELRY!  Sachem policy is that jewelry is not permitted during physical education class. Our suggestion is that your child does not wear jewelry on days they have physical education class.  Often times they take off a piece of jewelry, forget it, and then it ends up getting lost.  If your son/daughter must wear jewelry to school, we ask that they leave it in their classroom. Again, this is so they do not lose it in gym.

We understand that this is difficult for young children to take their earrings in and out.  If this is an issue with your child, they are permitted to bring in BAND-AIDS and cover their POST earrings.  We ask that you send them to school with a carton of small band-aids that they can leave in their desk.  Hoop earrings, no matter the size, are not allowed to be worn because they become dangerous for both your child and the children around them.  If your child comes to PE with earrings in (and they are not covered), and they cannot be taken out unfortunately, they will not be allowed to participate that day.

If you can demonstrate how band-aids will prevent injury, I’ll believe you that this policy does anything for safety.


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1 hour ago, aaluck said:

@SeeingEyeDogis absolutely correct on this.  Maybe the rule is 'stupid' or 'needs to be changed'.  But it hasn't and at the HS level here's why:  Teenagers are idiots. Imagine, if you will, what symbols, slogans, offensive items etc., would be dangling from someones neck. Go ahead and let your mind wander...now up Flavo Flav.

So we get rid of the rule and now we have another job, instead of no jewelry, period, now we have to make sure the jewelry is appropriate and not 'offensive' and knowing FED is the correct size (so make sure and bring a tape measure in your ball bag) and color.

I respectfully suggest the question should not be why isn't it allowed...it should be why the heck do you need it while playing baseball.

If that was the case, why does that not happen in summer ball?

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7 hours ago, SH0102 said:

so it isn’t really a safety issue.

It's not so much a safety issue alone, more like a "safety and liability" issue. Schools districts, and by extension the NFHS who represents them, are terrified of litigation. 

 

58 minutes ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

my games are about to get much shorter with the coming crop of jewelry ejections

Wait, why?! Your "solution" to this is to eject more participants and more often?! Oh that'll improve your game's management, sure thing! 

Look, I was going to address this in your other topic thread: 

... but I'll address it here, too. It appears or reads like you're seeking out... not outright problems... but to complicate your management of that game. 

We've discussed at length (and levels of nausea) how a plate meeting should best be conducted to make it brief, effective, and set the tone for the game to follow. Umpires who trot out any mention of "sportsmanship" are just wasting their breath. Even more maddening is to go through the whole rigamarole of "If you don't agree with a call, then call (or ask for) Time and approach the umpire who made the call. If we need to get together... blah blah blahhhhhh". This nonsense only accomplishes 2 things, neither of which are what you'd intended when you "just had to" get that word in: 1) for those coaches that do know "how this works", you've just insulted them, and 2) for those coaches who don't know "how this works", you've just encouraged them to challenge you (and your partners) on everything they don't like! 

Jewelry – especially being so confrontational about it – is in that same vein. I've worked for/within dozens of baseball organizations / tournament series / leagues across the country, and I can count on one hand the number that actively prohibit "jewelry" being worn by its participants. Furthermore, even if a league or organization or event prohibits jewelry, only one – NFHS (actual sanctioned High School games) – codifies an additional penalty of "Restricting the Head Coach (to the dugout)". For the life of me, I can't figure out why, and how this is effective game management. 

A none-so-insignificant number of high school coaches here in Arizona are former Major League, Minor League, or NCAA participants (players, coaches). Do you really think they want to be lectured about jewelry and sportsmanship at a plate meeting? Furthermore, do you really think that they should be restricted to the dugout simply because one of their teenaged players is being a forgetful dumbass and is wearing a "religious" necklace, untaped-down? Again, the only reason that the High Schools (the educational system) is so stringent about this is the liability and litigation. And why do (we) umpires get so over-involved and pedantic in enforcing the exact minutiae of these rules? Because we don't want to be sued / conjoined in a lawsuit!!!

Right. Understandable. But there is something to knowing the conditions and context in which you're working! Is this a high school scrimmage? Then we don't really need NOCSAE SEI-High baseballs. In fact, most amateur baseball tournaments and leagues supply their own baseballs (and in two memorable cases, one uses Badens, while the other uses Wilson A1010 Blemishes). On any given weekend, we'll have three different tournament series going on across the valley. One definitely uses OBR as the core ruleset, another uses NFHS as its core ruleset, and the third?... Could be either, or both mashed together. The point is, the catchers in these tournaments are under no obligation to wear a One-piece NOCSAE -certified helmet-mask, nor a NOCSAE -certified CP with tags present. The batters can wear a helmet that has a loop of tape holding the ear-jaw pad in since the adhesive is long gone. If the tournament has a Drop-3 bat rule, and the kid steps in the box with a Drop-5, then we get it corrected. If he bats his way on base with that Drop-5, and the defensive team points out that it's in violation of the tournament rules, we call the Batter-Runner Out, and prohibit the use of that bat for the game any longer. If the kids wear those silicone bracelets, or those breakaway-rope necklaces, are they really going to imperil the kids' lives? Point is – we're not holding up the game, we're not scrutinizing all these points, we're not showing off how in charge we are, and we're not restricting or ejecting anybody! 

Safety is important. Under the age of 12, where these kids fling bats and the catchers have this bad habit of turning their head on a pitch... well... anywhere near them, then absolutely they should wear a HSM! And, at that age, they really shouldn't wear metal necklaces that could choke the wearer during a tag or a slide. But for these older kids, if we're spending an exorbitant amount of time and energy in "checking every box on the checklist", we're just going to embroil the participants against us. 

Even in a varsity High School game, am I really going to stop everything cold, warn the coach and restrict him, just because his starting F1 trots out there with a necklace on? No, there's easier, less abrasive, more discreet ways of getting a solution. 

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