Offbeat — 12 July 2013


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Why do referees wear stripes

A game is worth watching only when we know that it is being played under the strict observation of a good referee. A referee ensures that there is no duplicity in the game and the players behave themselves. In the beginning there were no referees and disputes were discussed and sorted by the two opposite team captains. This used to put unnecessary stress on the captains. The team captains then started bringing umpires with them who would oversee the game from a neutral perspective. Later on the presence a third party umpire, uninvolved with both teams, became necessary. The game of football in America is played under the cautious and experienced supervision of the referee and his team.

To distinguish the referees from the other players active on the field they are given a uniform that is different. Most referees are spotted wearing a stripe uniform or solid bright colors. They need to wear something that does not clash with the uniform of the playing teams on the field. There is a story behind the stripes worn by referees. The idea of the striped uniform was conceived by Lloyd Olds of Ypsilanti, Michigan. He was himself a referee of a college in Michigan. While playing his part of a referee in the Michigan State-Arizona football match he decided that the referee should not wear solid color tee that matches the color of the teams’ garb.

On that day he was wearing a white tee shirt. Unfortunately the color of his official uniform and the color of the Arizona team’s uniform was the same. This created confusion and mistakes. Olds went on to design the white and black striped uniform for all referees with the help of a friend who had a sports goods store, George Moe. Olds started wearing the black and white striped uniform himself and soon it became popular with other referees as well.

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Written by Anupam Jolly

With a bachelor’s degree in technology and over five years of experience in online content generation and distribution, Anupam Jolly has been creating and editing content spanning across a variety of domains. An avid environmentalist, Anupam Jolly believes that if humans can degrade the environment, they can save it from disaster too.

About Author

With a bachelor’s degree in technology and over five years of experience in online content generation and distribution, Anupam Jolly has been creating and editing content spanning across a variety of domains. An avid environmentalist, Anupam Jolly believes that if humans can degrade the environment, they can save it from disaster too.

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