High School Soccer by the Rules – Jersey and Socks Color Requirements

By Joe Manjone, Ed. D.

 Beginning in the fall of 2013, high school home teams shall wear solid white jerseys and solid white socks. There have been many questions concerning this rule, especially why this rule was passed and what does “solid white” require.

The NFHS soccer rules committee passed this rule after several years of responses to the annual questionnaire indicating that the current rule that requires the home team to wear light colored jerseys was a problem.  This apparently was because what was light color to one school was a dark color to another school, and color conflict problems resulted.  In the same questionnaire, respondents overwhelmingly indicated that the rule should be changed to require the home team to wear white jerseys.

In considering changing to white jerseys, the soccer rules committee was advised by rules committees from other sports to adopt a solid white rule, because having something less than solid white such as white with trim, white with stripes, or white body has resulted in numerous interpretation problems for that committee.

The rule that goes into effect in the fall of 2013, therefore, requires the home team jerseys and socks to be solid white.

The only additions to the jersey that do not have to be white are the numbers, the manufacturer’s logo which may not exceed 2 ¼ square inches, an American flag not to exceed 4 square inches, the name and/or logo of the school, and the player’s name.

The socks also must be solid white, but a manufacturer’s logo of not more than 21/4 square inches may appear on both sides of the socks. Also, since this question often arises, team captain bands may not be worn over the socks. Captain bands must be worn on the upper arm.

Visiting teams must continue to wear dark jerseys and socks, where dark is considered any color that contrasts with white.  Striped jerseys are permitted for the visiting team as long as the predominant color is not white.

Also, another rules change reminder concerning jerseys is the requirement that effective in the fall of 2012, the goalkeeper’s jersey must have a number on the front and on the back of the jersey.  This number is to be different than any of the field player’s numbers or numbers worn by other goalkeepers on the same team.  This rule change was made to assist in the identification of the goalkeeper.  This number is to be included on the team roster.

If you would like to suggest a high school soccer rules change or if you have any questions about this rule or any high school rule, please e-mail me at [email protected]

I hope that you have a very successful fall season.