msubulldog

Your favorite uniforms worn by referees, umpires, etc.

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I had totally forgotten about that grayish beige MLB look. For MLB umps, I like what they wear now. Plain and simple, I've never been a fan of the blazer look.

For NFL refs, I liked the sleek update they made to the shirts ten or so years ago, but I hate the black sweatpants look. I wish they would bring back the classy white pants with the striped socks.

I like what most of the pro leagues refs wear today, they look more a athletic rather than proper, which I can get why people would like those looks more

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I don't have a pic, but I liked what the NFL officials wore during the 1994 75th anniversary games. The pants were knickers and I don't know the name of the hat, but hipsters wear them.

243305320_77c9b6fac7.jpg

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Is this your first post that isn't a massive bump?

Was this necessary?

Wait, no, don't answer that; I'll do it for you: no, it was not.

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As a 3-sport official, here are my offerings...

Baseball

When I started working baseball, we wore the light blue button-down dress shirts. Not very comfortable, as they don't stretch. Easy to show sweat stains. When the MLB went to the navy/red look, most local organizations followed. My group still wears that style to this day. The current mesh jerseys are super comfortable, and even the pullover jackets allow more freedom of movement than a sport coat.

Colors: navy or light blue jersey, gray pants. Occasionally I'll wear the red jersey, as it's nice to throw out there now and then, especially if both teams wear blue. Some leagues allow cream/light gray jerseys in the really hot games, and I might invest in one.

Not necessarily a fan of the black/gray/powder blue look. While it goes together, it feels like baseball is trying to copy other sports. Baseball always had blue, and some red trim. Players and coaches yelling "c'mon, blue!" at an umpire wearing black just feels awkward. And my association uses navy blue hats exclusively, so a black shirt or jacket with a navy hat/logo does not look right.

Basketball

Nothing much has changed. The basic black/white striped jersey has served us well. Let the NBA have gray.

Football

I'm torn. For most of my time as a football official, we wore the black/white striped shirt, black hat, knickers, and striped socks. I love the socks, they really scream "official". In recent years, starting with the NFL on down, we switched to the black pants. While they may look more sharp and modern than the knickers, I don't "feel" like a football official. I feel like a basketball official on a football field. Even with lighter-weight fabric, it's uncomfortable to wear long pants in the late summer in a position that requires lots of running. When the NFL switched up recently, it kept the knickers for warmer weather games, but eventually got rid of them entirely.

Supposedly the long pants allow for more range of motion than the knickers, and also make it easier to wear more layers in cold weather. I don't see much of a difference with either setup.

In the NCAA we went to the 2-inch stripe for the jerseys, and I think it looks better than the 1-inch stripe. Hopefully it will spread down to the lower levels too. The smaller stripe should remain for basketball, thicker stripe for football. I don't mind that the NFL uses its own proprietary striping pattern, because it's still familiar enough to know it's an official's uniform.

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nfl-orange-referee-uniform.jpg

This was an awesome look for throwback games. My only negative about this look is that the numbers aren't the most legible in this format. I don't remember when the NFL went to the format with white numbers/position in a black box, but although it would not have been accurate, I think it could have been an acceptable tweak to make the officials' numbers more legible.

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Are the officials' numbers that terribly important?

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Are the officials' numbers that terribly important?

No, which is why I think it is better to look historical than legible.

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Are the officials' numbers that terribly important?

In the grand scheme of things, no. But like in any sport, it's a good way to identify one official from the other, especially in case of a rules discussion with the coach. I think with sports that have officials rotate around depending on the location of the play, one should always be able to identify a specific official covering a specific area. With football, there's no real repositioning of the officials, but it's easier for coaches (and commentators, I suppose) to identify an official by position. Everyone knows the referee, because he signals and announces the penalties and fouls.

But if you're looking at a play without commentary, and you can't always see the field markings, you can tell how far downfield a play is by identifying the nearest visible official.

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I don't have a pic, but I liked what the NFL officials wore during the 1994 75th anniversary games. The pants were knickers and I don't know the name of the hat, but hipsters wear them.

243305320_77c9b6fac7.jpg

The best throwback items in that photo are the football Reebok Pumps.

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It was (or it's close to the real thing).

215px-Al_Clark_1992.jpg

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This is probably my least favorite umpire look, at least of the "modern era". What was up with the beige?

2002-angels-game6-spiezio.jpg

To me the "beige" looks more gray. ISTR Tim McClelland regularly wearing that color when he had the plate.

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nfl-orange-referee-uniform.jpg

This was an awesome look for throwback games. My only negative about this look is that the numbers aren't the most legible in this format. I don't remember when the NFL went to the format with white numbers/position in a black box, but although it would not have been accurate, I think it could have been an acceptable tweak to make the officials' numbers more legible.

The NFL went to the white numbers/black box shirts in 1960. Before that, from 1947-1959, the NFL refs had red numbers sewn right onto the backs of the ref shirts.

The AFL actually dropped officials numbers entirely from 1961 through 1964.

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nfl-orange-referee-uniform.jpg

You beat me to it.

referees-2009-nfl-hall-fame-game-buffalo

Of course, everyone knows the best-looking referee jersey of all time is the one being worn by Ed Hochuli.

IFWT-Ed-Hochuli-.jpg

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