The NCAA limits jersey numbers with a rule that makes sense until you think about it | Weird Rules

The NCAA limits jersey numbers with a rule that makes sense until you think about it | Weird Rules

– If you were picking out a jersey number for your sport of choice, what do you think you would go with? – [Will] I would avoid
the obvious selection and instead go with number 68. But legally change my last name– – [Ryan] Okay, I appreciate that. – to Add-One-To. – [Ryan] So it would be
Will Add-One-To number 68. – [Will] Yes. – [Ryan] And your jersey would read Add- – [Both ] One-To 68. – [Ryan] Okay, good. – 69 – I got it, and I’m really glad we got that out of the way at the beginning of the episode. Thank you, I appreciate that. – Gotta get one in. – It does also connect to the rule that we’re talking about
because the NCAA maybe- – Ooo, sexy rule. – Mmmm, not quite. I think
they got a little ahead of you. You cannot use the digits
six, seven, eight, or nine on a college basketball jersey – Really? – Under the NCAA, yes. – In either spot? – In either the tens or the ones spot. Anything above 55 is out,
and then anything below that if the second number is
six, seven, eight, or nine it’s not available. – [Will] Interesting. – You have zero, you have double zero, a choice of one of the two, and then 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, so on. – But not like 63? – No 63. In your lifetime you have never seen a college basketball
jersey with the number six, seven, eight, or nine on it. – I’m pretty sure I have, but… – Name one. – [Will] 27. – [Ryan] No. – [Will] 49. – [Ryan] Wrong. – [Will] I’m pretty sure
I’ve seen a 72 though. – [Ryan] Hmm, incorrect. – [Will] I’m pretty sure. – You probably should
just take my word for it. – Well, okay, sure. – The crazy thing to me is it’s actually in the rule book for the
game, so all of the other rules for the game are included in this. This is not just like– – Like the one of how to play basketball – Right, the standard ones,
like how to score a point and what the floor looks like. – Need a net. – It’s rule 1, section
22, article 7, clause B.2 and it basically just says, the following numbers are legal and then it lists them out. It doesn’t even say don’t use these digits it says you can use zero,
zero-zero, one, two. – Because the rule book
was written by a frustrated parent who was just trying
to cut off their young child from asking follow-ups. – Right. – But 27 is in there. – 27 is not in there, no. – I’m pretty sure I’ve seen 27. – Do you know the numbers and
the order that they go in? – Most of them, yes. – Okay. The whole reason the rule exists, is because when a referee
whistles a foul on a player they flash a hand signal
to the scorers table with that player’s number
but because you only have five fingers on each hand and you need one hand for each digit of the number, neither of those digits
can be greater then five. – (Chuckles) – That is the reason
that this rule exists. So… – I understand the words. I understand (laughing) what it means. – It’s a thing where
the logic makes sense, but it also doesn’t make sense. The crazy thing is, the NCAA doesn’t know exactly what the impetus
was for this rule. They know that they enacted it sometime in the mid 60’s, but they don’t have a clear record of when that exact wording went in to. So I don’t know if there
was a specific instance where this was a problem
and they had to make a rule. – [Will] They don’t
have logs of the meeting where they were going through like, yup, well, the two point shot. – [Ryan] Mmm-hmm, right. – [Will] Yup, yup, we’ll have free throws. – [Ryan] Yes very good, very good. – [Will] And then what
about those big numbers? – [Ryan] Oh my god the numbers! Anything more then five? Forget about it! Look at these! What am I supposed to do with these? – Maybe there’s just one
dunce on the committee that everyone was like– – Fine. – God damn it Gary, whatever you want. I don’t know why but that makes me so mad. – It’s a thing where it
doesn’t effect the game but it’s also such a non-issue that it doesn’t make sense changing it. – Sure. – Because its already in the book so might as well just leave it. – Why bother? – Right. – [Will] Yeah, it’s like
the Texas State Constitution I’m pretty sure still says
if a man steals your horse you can kill them. – [Ryan] Right. – Maybe they’re not, they
don’t want to verbalize it because they don’t want
the players to know they’ve called a foul on them. – So they don’t embarrass anybody? – Yeah just like, there’s so many people came out to this game. – Sorry who made that foul? (both mumbling quietly) – Number 17. – It was number 17 but shhh.
– Shhh… – Well, wait, 17? The NBA doesn’t have a problem with this. They, you can use any
number from zero to 99. – That’s where I saw 27. – You probably saw it in the NBA. – Okay. – FIBA had a very similar
rule for a long time. – It makes sense for them though. In international play
I understand you wanted to rely on fingers for signals. – There’s a little bit less communication happening because of the
language barrier, sure. Their rule was you can’t
use one, two, or three because again, those
are reserved for fouls. But you can have the next twelve digits. You can have 4-15, for a 12 man roster. – That a better way to do
it instead of being like, we’re giving you a choice, with
extremely limited options. – Sure. – [Will] It feels a lot
like in Pee Wee football when there’s just a barrel of jerseys that are just thrown in, it doesn’t matter, QB can be number 40 like, just as long as it fits. – [Ryan] Yeah, sure. – The thing I find most
fascinating about this for such a stupid rule, I think I’m hearing this right this means that I have never seen, in college basketball, six…
– Correct. – Seven…
– Right. – Eight- – In your lifetime, no. – Nine. – Correct. – 16.
– Right. – Or 17
– Yup. – 18.
– Okay. – 19.
– I think, I’m just gonna- – 26, 27, 28 even. – Yep, no you’ve got it. – 29, 36. – It’s this way, right? – 37. 38. Line?

100 thoughts on “The NCAA limits jersey numbers with a rule that makes sense until you think about it | Weird Rules”

  1. This logic doesn't make sense because they could just point their fingers down which kinda universally adds 5 to whatever number is shown

  2. 1. Too bad that there is no technology nowadays that would enable the refs to talk to other people thorugh some kind of electronic device
    2. In China there are designated signals for numbers 6-10 that are specifically designed to be shown with one hand, couldn't they have come up with a similiar system, too?

  3. thankfully, more cerebral heads of the nba do NOT follow this arcane rule.
    it is not difficult for a ref to show…say an 8. hold up all 5 fingers with one hand then rotate that hand holding 3 fingers.
    just off the top of my head
    bill russel 6
    hondo 17
    dave cowens 18
    don nelson 19
    rondo 9
    kemba 8

  4. The weirdest thing is that NCAA lacrosse does allow any number, and the NCAA solved the issue there by making the refs make the same sign but sideways, so 1 is 1 finger held up, and 6 is 1 finger held to the side, 2 is two fingers up, 7 is two fingers held to the side etc.

  5. Highly doubt this is a reason but my grandfather has one arm and he has officiated all sorts of sports including basketball.

  6. When I went through referee classes I always found this rule to be so stupid yet understandable. The hand signals need to be crisp and clean and when you go to the report the number that’s important too.
    With that said it’s stupid as hell and honestly over the top unnecessary

  7. I don't THINK you guys have done it, but it's possible to score a 1 point safety in college football. It has happened twice in D1. One was Texas and Texas A&M, the other was Oregon and Kansas.

  8. I’d be willing to bet that the reason this rule came about was because at some point someone got a foul incorrectly logged in a loud gym when the scorekeepers couldn’t hear the official.

  9. Jersey signals to the scorer's table are given with one hand traditionally because using two hands could lead to a misinterpretation. For instance the scorer could see 12 instead of 21. So with one hand you have 6 options with a closed fist being 0. Also with correct form you pull your hand towards your body in between numbers so it's clear even on double digit numbers (00, 11,…).

  10. Are you sure you don't want to turn this prized pony into a real drama. I mean think of what an amazing tourist attraction it could turn into.

  11. It might makes sense when the reason behind the rule was other than that reason. It doesnt make sense cause referees could just do the numbers sequentially (do the tenths place first then the ones place).

    But it also wouldnt make sense to change it cause it has never been a problem anyways.

    But it just limits the freedom for players to have a wide variety of jersey number choices.

  12. When I was in elementary school all the numbers on the basketball team jerseys corresponded to size. So the biggest jerseys had the biggest numbers. The smaller kids had to take 1-9 and being one of the bigger kids I ended up with 32.

  13. I think you'll find that the NCAA rule was born out of the FIBA rule that was originally put in place, which were designed to be independent of spoken language.

    4-15 was used for tournament play where squads of 12 were involved (take a look at the 1992 Dream Team).

    Affilliated leagues adopted a slightly more open approach – 4-15, 20-25, 30-35, 40-45, 50-55, as they had to cater for team squads, retired numbers, jersey sales, etc

    0, 00, 1, 2, 3 were all banned due to conflicts with other signals (foul shot, field goal, 3 seconds, foul signal, etc). This has been relaxed over the years.

    Number signalling mechanics varied, but in short, refs were taught various methods over the years.
    4-10 was signalled in whole digits over one or two hands (based on one finger per digit)
    20 upwards was signalled using one hand – (20 was two fingers followed by a fist for the 0)
    11-15 was the strange set – two hands – a right fist for the ten (left as the scorebench saw it), with the remaining digits on the left hand in unison.

    But the whole thing has gone to pot now – I half expect to see a player with 3 $ signs on their chest as a legal number in the NBA one day!

  14. Basketball presenters should be embarrassed to admit they didn't know this. It means they have never actually played organized basketball on even the high school level.

  15. Could just do the way the military does 1 – 10 on a hand.
    1 through 5 is normal with you hand facing up, and then 6-9 is just, you turn your hand sideways. 1 finger pointing up is 1. 1 finger pointing to the side is 6, and so on.

  16. Clearly the referees and coaches need to learn binary. With binary you can count to 31 on a single hand, so this rule would no longer be necessary

  17. NFHS (High School) also has this rule for the same reason. It's too make it less confusing for the scoring table while everything is going on.

    As a referee I'm happy it's there.

  18. The rule actually makes sense because, especially in loud environments, "verbalizing" is complicated; not to mention that players may have the same surname, and even the same first name. The combination of verbal and signal makes it easier. The NBA has no problems because they want to sell (and retire) jerseys 😉 I like SB Nation, but this video is waaaaaay dumber than the rule itself 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *