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Date:         Wed, 16 May 2001 13:15:26 -0400
Reply-To:     [log in to unmask]
Sender:       Discussion of Topics for Soccer Referees <[log in to unmask]>
From:         Brian Smith-White <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:      sartorial questions
Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII

Yesterday I waxed something or other about ref attire. That was somewhat a consequence of my intellectual peregrinations this weekend. I did my part to keep the economy afloat - I purchased some running shoes. In this process I was exposed to basketball shoes. Why basketball? Well, this past year a couple of soccer shoe companies introduced boots with a lacing mechanism initially introduced in basketball shoes during the late 1980s and early 1990s. So, in an effort to see what might be the future for soccer boots, I studied current basketball shoes. Some observations. First, is a shoe closure system composed of a zipper (plastic teeth and plastic slider) to be considered as unsafe - and thus barred from the field? Sure the structure is functionally stupid if placed on the top of the boot upper, as is for current basketball shoes. But the closure could be placed on either side of the boot upper - and would this placement influence the decision as to whether permitted or barred? Surely the current device with a ridgid planar implement to impart motion to the slider is unsafe, but that ridgid implement could be replaced with a short segment of woven fabric - as is currently found on some outer garments for camping/hiking. Second - there is a shoe system which is fundamentally different than current shoe construction. The shoe is a stretchable cloth fabric attached to the sole of the contraption and the mechanism for maintaining the shoe upon the foot is not an integral part of that part of the shoe which covers the foot. The mechanism for maintaining the shoe upon the foot is a bit of plastic strapping attached to the sole at or near the instep and the same general location on the other side of the foot which is tied together with a lace arrangement over the top of the foot. Is a boot system similarly constructed permissible or prohibited? Does the extent of the use of the strapping influence the decision? [i.e. if all the straps are involved in the lacing there is no problem but if some of the straps are not involved in the lacing do these pose a safety risk to other players] Regards, Brian Smith-White

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