Here is a note of clarification from Rex (our Ref Admin) regarding players who wear ear rings.
It is NEVER okay to wear any jewelry during soccer, practice or game. The AYSO Safe Haven training is very specific on this matter.
A soccer ball moves very fast, and a ball strike on the ear can either tear the ear, or the stud can scratch/be poked into the neck area. Either one makes a really bloody (and painful) mess, and you'd never want that to happen on your watch.
And reassure your parents, holes do not close up in one or two hours, so just take them out for the duration of the game or practice and put them back in. If they refuse, they will be asked to just sit out that game/practice/week. Period. All of the referees have also been instructed to be very strict on this, and yes, I know parents will tell you it's not a big deal, but AYSO is very strict on this. (See for example the AYSO Guidance to Refs, Coaches, and Volunteers).
The only jewelry allowed during play is a Medic-alert bracelet, which must be taped down so that a finger can't get under it (to get hurt) but so that the alert is still viewable.
For some religious items, such as prayer strings, if not removeable these must be secured with tape so that a finger cannot get under them.
Oh, one more thing for the legally minded. The Volunteer Protection Act only protects you from liability when you are trained and follow that training. Protection with AYSO legal and Insurance coverage for our volunteers is only guaranteed when we follow our stated rules such as Safe Haven training rules. (I hate to bring that up, but sometimes that can be used to convince otherwise unconvinced parents)
Let's keep the game (and practices) Safe, Fair, and Fun, and see you on the pitch!
Region 35 Referee Administrator