A few of my college teammates had belly button piercings, and so did former USWNT player Sydney Leroux. While I certainly know players who had many different piercings, including belly button rings, none of them played real games with the jewelry.
Soccer players interested in getting a belly button piercing may wonder if they can play soccer with one.
Today, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about belly button rings and soccer including:
- The laws of the game
- Piercing risks for soccer players
- Healing time and playing safely
How can you play soccer if you have your belly button pierced? Is it a smart piercing for soccer players? Here’s what you need to know.
Can You Play Soccer With a Belly Button Piercing?
You are not allowed to play official soccer matches with a belly button piercing. FIFA Laws of the Game ban jewelry, as it’s considered dangerous.
All items of jewellery (necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, leather bands, rubber bands, etc.) are forbidden and must be removed.The FA Law 4: The Player’s Equipment
Referees should examine players before any game to check for jewelry. Jewelry is not allowed, and this includes everything from braces and necklaces to nose piercings and belly button rings.
The referee can ask you to remove any jewelry prior to the game. If you refuse, you are not allowed to play.
If the referee notices that you are wearing jewelry during the game, he can stop the game and ask you to remove it. You may also receive a yellow card for playing with jewelry.
To be clear, taping over the jewelry is not allowed. While some refs may let you get away with it, the laws of the game state that covering jewelry with tape is not permitted.
You are not allowed to wear jewelry during a game, but what about training? Technically, your coach may allow you to wear jewelry during training or scrimmages. You could also wear it during pick-up games.
In these cases, there is no referee to enforce the rules. However, that does not mean it’s smart to ever play soccer with a belly button piercing.
Risks of Playing Soccer with a Belly Button Piercing
So, if nobody is checking, should you wear a belly button piercing to play soccer? Even if your coach allows it, you should not wear any piercing (including a belly button piercing) during soccer.
Here is why you should not wear jewelry during soccer:
Risk of Injury
Simply put, wearing jewelry during soccer is a personal hazard. This is especially true for belly button rings.
The ball and other players are commonly quite close to your stomach area. It’s very easy to get hit in the stomach, which could cause the piercing to puncture you.
The piercing could also catch on your uniform or another player could accidentally rip it out. This would be incredibly painful and could lead to long-term damage.
Safety of Other Players
Jewelry is not just a concern for the person wearing it, it also poses a safety hazard for other players. The piercing could inure other players by scratching or puncturing them.
Playing soccer with a belly button piercing also puts it at risk for infection, especially if it’s newer.
It’s often hard to find enough time in your schedule to let a piercing heal. For this reason, many players try to play without taking out the piercing.
However, sweat, friction, or any injury can also cause infection.
Can You Exercise After a Belly Piercing?
There have certainly been soccer players with belly piercings. In fact, I had a few on my college soccer team.
Clients don’t need to completely avoid exercise after a new piercing, they just need to exercise with careJaneese Brookes, Head Piercer at Stone and Strand via Byrdie
Ultimately, yes, you can exercise and play soccer if you have your belly button pierced. However, you still must take care to let it heal. And you should not play soccer while wearing your belly piercing.
While you may be able to safely do non-contact exercise with your new belly piercing, you should wait to play soccer until it’s fully healed. This is so you can remove the piercing safely.
But, how long does it take for a belly button piercing to heal?
Healing time is different for everyone, but on average belly button piercings take 9 to 12 months to heal!
This is quite a long time for healing. As you might imagine, this is a huge reason why it’s so hard for soccer players to safely get a belly button piercing.
Can Soccer Players Get Their Belly Buttons Pierced?
For most other piercings, players tend to opt for the end of the season, when they have a bit of a break. But, most soccer players never have 9-12 months off.
If you do suffer a long-term injury or other life circumstance that you know will keep you out of the sport, then you may consider a belly piercing at that time.
Otherwise, you must understand that you will not be allowed to play with the piercing, even while it’s still healing. You may have to remove it for games before it’s ready, which can cause pain and infection.
Before getting any piercing, make sure you understand how to care for it and how soccer may affect that process.
For most piercings, you can work around healing, but for belly piercings, it’s quite difficult.
How Do You Protect Your Belly Button Piercing During Sports?
Despite the long healing time, many soccer players have or had belly button piercings. Regardless, you should never wear it while playing or practicing soccer.
Here are some tips for how to protect a belly button piercing during sports:
- Remove the piercing for all contact sports (including soccer).
- Avoid clothing that’s too tight.
- Allow the piercing to heal fully before playing.
- Brin extra piercings in case you lose it.
- Store piercings in a sealed case to keep them clean.
- Opt for a design that’s quick and easy to remove.
- Follow all cleaning and care instructions.
Whether you have a belly button piercing or other piercings, bringing a carrying case can help you keep them safe while you play.
This makes it easier to remove for play and put back after. We recommend this affordable travel jewelry case to store your jewelry while you play.
In the end, you can have your belly button pierced as a soccer player. However, the laws of the game ban all jewelry. On top of that, these piercings take up to a year to heal.
Whether or not you should get a belly piercing is a personal decision, but as a soccer player, it’s quite difficult to do safely.
For many soccer players, getting a belly button piercing is a great hassle. Make sure you understand the responsibility associated with this piercing.
It may also help to let your piercer know you play soccer and get their advice before getting one.