Originally Posted by Casey Raiford
If, as the SI article strongly suggested, he (probably) did see the bracelet on the girl's first attempt at the vault, then the more genuine act of good sportsmanship would have been to let her or the other coach know about it and the rule.
This is the part that bothers me - and it may come from the journalistic bias as the coach claims he did not actually see until after the jump.
As other posters have pointed out, rules come in only 2 forms; 1) prevent competitive advantage 2) safety of the participant.
That's it. There can be no other justification of a rule on the HS level.
Obviously the thread did not provide a competitive advantage so we can conclude that the intent of the rule is to protect the participant. In fact, another poster pointed out just how dangerous jewelry can be in a competitive event.
So if this friendship thread did actually cause a safety risk to the girl and the coach did see it before the jump (that is a big if) that means the coach placed his teams victory ahead of the girl's safety. That is a dangerous mind set, particularly for high school sports.
If you say, "Now let's not get ridiculous. That thread clearly didn't put the girl at risk." Then the rule itself can not be justified.