Can Soccer Referees Wear Hats (Legally?)

Every professional sport has a range of regulations that players and referees should abide by. The attire of referees is one of the subjects regularly scrutinized to provide better clarity and achieve uniformity. The soccer federation also evaluates the use of hats by soccer referees. 

Can Soccer Referees wear hats?

Soccer Referee Without A Hat
Soccer Referee Without A Hat

Soccer referees can wear hats that are safe and leave the focus and performance of referees unaffected. These hats should contain no endorsement or grand designs. The color needs to match that of the jersey and socks. 

The US Soccer Federation approves the use of hats until it does not put the safety of players or referees at stake. The authorized uniform of a soccer referee does not include a hat, but it is not denied either.

Wearing hats is known to protect the heads of referees from extreme temperatures and other rough environmental conditions.

What type of hats can soccer referees wear?

Soccer referees can wear hats that are made of soft materials and protect their skin from extreme weather conditions. 

The US Soccer Federation recognizes wearing hats as a preventive measure to avoid vulnerability to skin cancer and melanoma. 

The rule of thumb with wearing hats is to ensure that the brim faces forward. This promotes uniformity among referees and gives clarity to other players on the movement of referees. 

Here’s a range of sun hats suitable for soccer referees:

In What Conditions Do Soccer Referees Wear Hats?

Soccer referees can wear hats only for hot/cold temperature conditions. Furthermore, wearing a hat to protect the head is another acceptable condition. 

After various reports by referees about their lack of skin protection and the development of skin cancer and other conditions on the scalp, the US Soccer Federation acknowledges the usage of hats. Perhaps, this practice is widely encouraged to prevent damage. 

Are Soccer Referees Required to Wear Hats?

Need For Soccer Referees To Wear Hats
Need For Soccer Referees To Wear Hats

Soccer referees can wear hats if they want to protect their skin from rough weather conditions. As it does not fall under the uniform code, it is optional. 

The soccer federation does not deny using hats and finds it safe to protect the skin. 

Does US Soccer Allow Referees to Wear Hats?

US Soccer About Referees Wearing Hats
US Soccer About Referees Wearing Hats

US Soccer Federation has recently updated its regulation granting soccer referees to wear hats after several referees report damages to the scalp and skin in the past. 

An article by Youth Soccer Insider reports stories of skin cancer dilemmas experienced by referees as hats were not part of their uniforms. As referees generally work at least 2-3 matches per day, their scalp and skin get exposed to the sun at all times. Their schedules are sufficient to mandate the use of hats. 

Sunil Gulati, the US Soccer President, has also passed a notice to encourage referees to wear hats as preventive measures. 

Can Soccer Referees Wear Sun Visors?

Sun Visors For Soccer Referees
Sun Visors For Soccer Referees

Sun visors are allowed to wear by soccer referees as long as they don’t misuse the safety of other players and remain uniform with other aspects of the attire. 

Further, it is important to use black sun visors to align with their uniforms. The United States Soccer Federation also insists on wearing during games that are held in the early morning or late afternoon when skin gets excessively exposed to rough conditions.

Can Soccer Referees Wear Headbands?

Soccer referees in the Olympics wear headbands, but the United States Soccer Federation prohibits the use of headbands unless otherwise essential to protect from the sun. 


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