Can you Wear Earrings and Other Jewelry in Softball?

can you wear jewelry in softball?
Let’s face it, although we’re more concerned with game play, it would be nice to wear jewelry on the field as well. This is especially true for those who head to practice or games after school or work. It would be nice to be able to wear some of your jewelry all day instead of having to take it off, store it, etc.

So can you wear jewelry in softball? Yes and No – depending on the organization. According to several rulebooks like ASA and USSSA, jewelry which includes items like earrings, bracelets, and necklaces are legal. That being said, the umpire has full authority to request a player remove exposed jewelry that is deemed to be dangerous. Other organizations such as the NHFS prohibit jewelry completely. In college softball for the most part it is left to the discretion of the coach.

Despite limited rules in place, the next question you may want to ask yourself is if wearing jewelry on the field is actually worth it. In the sections that follow, I’m going to outline some other considerations you should make before wearing your bling.

What Jewelry could be Dangerous?

As mentioned in the beginning of this article, the umpire has the final authority on what jewelry can and cannot be worn. This is normally judged by how dangerous the jewelry could be for player safety.

So what are some examples of dangerous jewelry?

  • Earrings
  • Bracelets
  • Necklaces
  • Other Rings (i.e. nose, eyebrow, tongue, etc)

Let’s look at these in more detail.

Earrings – Studs and Hoops

Let’s take a look at hoop earrings first. As you can probably imagine, these not only would get in the way while playing softball, but can also be dangerous under certain circumstances. Fingers could get stuck in the middle, your glove could get caught, and more. I’m sure the last thing anyone wants is a portion of their ear being pulled. No thank you!

But what about stud earrings? After all they are much less likely to get caught by an errant finger.

Although I do agree that studs are much more safe than hoops, they can still pose injury risk – especially those that are a bit larger. Regardless if you are at bat, running the bases, or playing defense, there is always potential for accidents to happen. A sharply hit liner may hit you, you might collide with another player, there are many random events that could occur. Now imagine the backside of the earring as it comes in contact with your skull. Another no thank you!

Smaller studs don’t have as much risk, but as alluded to earlier, the umpire in most cases has final say and if they deem the earrings to be dangerous then they should be removed if you want to continue playing.

Bracelets

You might be wondering how bracelets could cause injuries on the softball field. I had to think about that as well to be honest!

However when you think about it a bit more, dangling bracelets are very similar to earrings described in the previous section. Most of these bracelets would have some sort of clasp, and can leave quite a bit of an opening which could get caught in someone’s uniform, hit someone right in the eye, and more.

Now the next obvious question that I’m sure you are wondering about is with the plastic bracelets such as the “LiveStrong” brand. Although I sound like a stuck record, it is ultimately up to the umpire to decide if these types of bracelets are permitted. Personally I don’t see an issue, but do realize there is a chance that someone could get a finger caught inside as well.

Necklaces

Necklaces can come in many shapes and sizes, and can be made from different material. I know when you watch professional baseball and softball players play, you’ll notice some wearing some large necklaces which honestly look pretty cool.

At the professional or advanced levels, this may be permitted by some league officials as the players on the field know the proper way to play the game. However at younger levels I am fully supportive of not permitting necklaces to be worn.

One of the major reasons for not allowing necklaces is the potential for a player to get choked inadvertently. As with the same argument as bracelets, it is quite possible that an errant finger could grab onto a portion of the necklace. Now imagine that scenario being played at full speed. That would hurt no matter who you are!

There are some leagues and organizations that will allow players to tape down their necklaces to avoid these scenarios. However, in my opinion, that would be uncomfortable and would make me think whether or not it would easier just not to wear it in the first place.

Other Rings (Nose, Eyebrow, Tongue)

Although I’ve already covered hoop and stud earrings, there is another subset such as nose, eyebrow and tongue rings that I have not mentioned at all.

The reason for this is because they follow the same rules as regular earrings in that there is nothing “official” that prohibit their use, but is left up to the umpire to decide if they pose any danger. I have heard of some players getting by using bandaids to cover these items, but I’m not entirely sure how much that helps avoid danger.

Could you imagine having someone catch onto your nose or eyebrow ring and pulling it? Wow, would that ever hurt!

Tongue rings in particular are a whole other can of worms. I can’t imagine anyone that would play with one as any line drive or hit in your mouth area could cause extensive damage. Although you might get away without an umpire seeing it, I really don’t think it is a great idea.

Medical condition specific Jewelry

So far this article has focused on jewelry that is considered more useful for aesthetic reasons over anything else. My belief is jewelry often gets in the way and takes my focus away from the game, but everyone is different.

However one classification of jewelry that is often forgotten is the medical alert type. This type of jewelry comes in either a bracelet or necklace form and is used to identify specific medical conditions that a player may have in the event they are unable to help themselves.

So can medical alert bracelets and necklaces be used in softball? The answer is Yes. In general, medical alerts are not considered to be jewelry, and therefore do not follow the same rules around necklaces and bracelets discussed earlier in this article.

You might be wondering at this point if medical alerts pose the same dangers as regular jewelry, and the answer is that they absolutely do. As such, most softball organizations have implemented a rule or policy which states that when required the player must tape the alert to their body with all medical information visible. This ensures that some of the earlier issues are less likely to occur while still being able to assist a player in the case of a medical emergency.

Religious Jewelry

Another important type of jewelry you might be wondering about are religious symbols that show a players pride in their faith.

This jewelry follows the same rules as Medical alerts in that they are permitted, but must be taped to the body to ensure that incidents don’t occur like they would with regular jewelry. If this fits your scenario, my suggestion would be to discuss this with your coach so that they can notify the umpire properly before a game. After all, being prepared is much easier than having to explain things later on!

What can a Softball player use in their hair?

The last part of this article that I wanted to focus on is related to the items softball players are permitted to wear in their hair. In previous sections I mentioned that jewelry, though nice to look at, might not help your performance on the field all that much.

However when it comes to hair, having some extra accessories to hold it in place is an absolute must. This is especially true for those of us with longer hair! Thankfully hair accessories are permitted in softball, but for the most part have to fall into the following categories:

  • Bobby pins
  • Barrettes
  • Other Hair Clips under 2 inches in length

Conclusion and My Opinion

As you can see from this article, there are still quite a few differences around when you can and cannot wear jewelry on the softball field. In general, any high school and under league should go into a game knowing that jewelry is not permitted and therefore should find alternatives for storage.

For travel teams following the ASA or USSSA regulations, the use of jewelry is completely decided by the umpire for the game. Personally, I am not a big fan of this stipulation as it leaves a lot of interpretation on the umpire. I’ve heard of cases of players and parents getting angry when forced to remove certain jewelry before being allowed to come back onto the field. Not having a consistent rule in place leaves things up in the air and makes for animosity instead of what softball should be – fun.

I’ve mentioned this a few times in this article, but although I can wear some jewelry when playing, I personally choose not to. This is more of a comfort thing for me, and I find it too distracting and I don’t want to find myself in the position of having to leave my belongings unattended either.

Is it easy to forget? Absolutely and I’m guilty of that as well. But I do try my best to remember on game days to keep my really big jewelry at home where it is safe.