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Old Sun Jul 15, 2018, 01:16pm
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Numbers on Officials Uniforms

I have noticed that many professional sports officials wear numbers on their uniforms. This is also the case for NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL, and their respective minor leagues (G-League, MiLB, etc.). Why would officials do that? Is this so league observers can more easily identify the officials working the contest that day (For instance, if you see an umpire wearing 25 in Major League baseball, you know that it is Fieldin Culbreth, 21 is Hunter Wendelstedt, etc.)?

By contrast, amateur officials do not usually wear numbers (college baseball is an exception, probably because of TV coverage at the Division I level). Is there a reason for officials wearing (or not wearing) numbers on their uniforms? I'd be curious to hear your takes, especially if you are in an association that uses numbers.
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Old Mon Jul 23, 2018, 04:31pm
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Originally Posted by ilyazhito View Post
I have noticed that many professional sports officials wear numbers on their uniforms. This is also the case for NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL, and their respective minor leagues (G-League, MiLB, etc.). Why would officials do that? Is this so league observers can more easily identify the officials working the contest that day (For instance, if you see an umpire wearing 25 in Major League baseball, you know that it is Fieldin Culbreth, 21 is Hunter Wendelstedt, etc.)?

By contrast, amateur officials do not usually wear numbers (college baseball is an exception, probably because of TV coverage at the Division I level). Is there a reason for officials wearing (or not wearing) numbers on their uniforms? I'd be curious to hear your takes, especially if you are in an association that uses numbers.

I do not recall seeing any NJCAA, NAIA, or NCAA baseball umpires having numbers on their uniforms.

With regard to NFHS, I do not know of a single state that allows official/umpires to have numbers on the uniforms.

With regard to the NJCAA, NAIA, and NCAA softball umpires I have not ever seen umpires with number on their uniforms and I am pretty sure that their are not allowed because Mark, Jr., works college softball and no one wears numbers on their uniforms.

When it comes to summer softball, it depends upon the sanctioning body. USA Softball and USSSA do not allow numbers on their uniforms. When it comes to summer baseball it is more like the wild west. Mark, Jr., and I have one set of shirts which have numbers on them and the numbers have special meanings to us.

I hope that did not add to your confusion, LOL!

MTD, Sr.
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Old Mon Jul 23, 2018, 10:52pm
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I know that Champions Officials Group (a lacrosse and football association in Anne Arundel County, MD) and some football associations in Virginia wear numbers. I know that most professional leagues wear numbers, and was curious about their significance. Numbers are not common in NCAA baseball, but they do exist at the D1 level (my baseball association is both a high school and college association, and the head of my association assigns umpires up to the D1 level (he is the coordinator for the CAA and MEAC). The D1 staff umpires in the MEAC and CAA wear numbers.).
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Old Tue Jul 24, 2018, 06:31am
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In Ohio there are 3300 football officials, I don't see how you would set up a numbering system. I guess by local associations but some have over 100 members, would you want 3 digits on your back?...
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Old Tue Jul 24, 2018, 07:33am
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Originally Posted by Tom.OH View Post
I guess by local associations but some have over 100 members, would you want 3 digits on your back?...
It's good enough for this league.
https://operations.nfl.com/the-offic...nfl-officials/

To answer the OP. Like you suggested, I've always assumed the numbers were there for league officials and evaluators to correctly identify the officials in the video they were reviewing. I suppose with more and more video being used and shared by everyone, one could make the case that assigners and evaluators might find this useful at lower levels. I don't expect it to become the norm any time soon though. Too many officials work for multiple associations and assigners. I could only imagine if you had to wear a different number depending on the league you were working that night.
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Old Sat Aug 04, 2018, 08:32am
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Originally Posted by Mark T. DeNucci, Sr. View Post
I do not recall seeing any NJCAA, NAIA, or NCAA baseball umpires having numbers on their uniforms.

With regard to NFHS, I do not know of a single state that allows official/umpires to have numbers on the uniforms
MTD, Sr.
All SEC baseball umpires wear numbers. All college umpires in Alabama wear numbers. HS umpires in Alabama are allowed (but not required) to wear local association numbers. Numbers are not worn during State Finals games.
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