The dress code of the A.B.S.C. is as follows and no concessions to this code are allowed except by means of a doctor’s certificate stating why certain items can or cannot be worn and with those certificates renewed or updated as dictated by the A.B.S.C.
10.1. Formal attire shall be worn in all sessions of all the matches. Long sleeve predominately plain coloured shirts buttoned at the wrist, bow ties, dress trousers and dark colour dress shoes must be worn for all matches, waistcoats to be worn for Knock-Out stages onwards. When the conditions are hot, the Championship Committee may waive certain dress requirements.
10.1.2 Women’s Dress Code Predominately plain coloured shirts with sleeves below the elbow, dark trousers or dark skirts, no shorter than kneecap must be worn for all matches, waistcoats to be worn for Knock-Out stages onwards. Dark coloured ladies’ dress shoes shall be worn to all sessions, and may be open or closed toe. No sports style shoes, sandals, or boots will be allowed. Any female playing in a gender free event will be subject to the Men’s dress code. (i.e. Ranking or Open Tournaments)
It is the responsibility of the individual match referee to enforce the dress code for all A.B.S.C. ranking and sanctioned events although the Tournament Director and/or the Director of Referees will certainly say something if anything is seen to be amiss before those matches commence.
The dress code at the moment for games played under the control of the V.B.S.A. is as follows.
For all pennant finals matches in Premier & Reserve leagues, competitors shall conform to the following acceptable dress combinations: Dark coloured dress slacks or trousers, black leather dress shoes, a shirt of the type that would be worn with a tie or bow tie. If a waistcoat is worn, then wearing a bow tie is optional.
For all Finals matches: Dark-coloured dress slacks or trousers, a plain-coloured, long-sleeved, collared shirt; black leather dress shoes; matching socks; waistcoat and/or a bow tie. Players must present themselves in a neat and tidy manner at all times during the match. E.g. the shirt must be tucked in and the bow tie, if worn, be worn correctly.
This code is now under review but whatever changes are made, or if none are made, players must conform to the code as it stands when playing any match and will risk forfeiture if seen to be improperly dressed.
It is the responsibility of those players acting as referees in pennant matches to enforce the dress code and the responsibility of the team captains to inform the V.B.S.A. of any breaches of the code that are not rectified prior to the start of any match.
It is also the responsibility of match or roving referees to enforce the code during finals matches and during any other V.B.S.A. tournaments not covered by the A.B.S.C. dress code.
With that kept in mind and especially the admonishment that long sleeves must be buttoned at the wrist, there is the consideration that some players may feel it necessary to roll up a sleeve when playing a stroke that otherwise might mean committing a cuff foul. As long as the referee is aware prior to the stroke and that the player re-adjusts at the completion of it, then any objection to this would be unfair. If one also considers that the referee would not disturb a player in the execution of a stroke if the shirt was not tucked in, but would wait until the stroke was complete before asking for a re-adjustment, or a player wearing a waistcoat and tucking the points of that waistcoat into the front of the trousers or skirt to play a difficult stroke without fouling, would not try to stop that player from doing so. To ask a player to play a stroke uncomfortably, or with an increase in the possibility of fouling, or to force a player to play a different stroke than the one preferred is surely not in the spirit of facilitating play and assisting the players. The reason for the dress code is to uphold the fine traditions of our game and not to handicap the players.