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

  • Published: 16 March 2019
  • I, for one, am sick of numbers and how dang big they get. For that reason, I give endless thanks to the NCAA and their rule about basketball jersey numbers. By restricting numbers to digits you can count with five fingers, my life has been simplified and I am sleeping better. They didn't even waver when the NBA solved the issue! They just kept saying "Zero to five only." Sure, maybe they don't "remember" when this rule became into existence because it isn't a "big deal." But the important part is making sure players have limited options and therefore can't pick a number that would help them become an individual. Reuse, reduce, recycle numbers in college basketball.

    Written and produced by Ryan Simmons and Will Buikema
    Shot and edited by Joe Ali and Jiazhen Zhang
    Animations and graphics by Philip Pasternak


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Comments • 826

  • LimeWire ⓿
    LimeWire ⓿  9 hours back

    They don't have big numbers because they can't count that far.

    • Aaron Ives
      Aaron Ives  18 hours back

      We signaled nubers higer than five on one hand in boot camp just by turning our hand sideways (no fingers mean, 3 fingers means 3 or 8, 2 means 2 or 7 etc)

      • Roy Lapreze
        Roy Lapreze  4 days back

        It looks like jiles from Buffy and Shawn from boy meets world talking sports lol

        • Crack Den Ken
          Crack Den Ken  4 days back

          Hows this man have such a hefty upper body but such skinny legs?

          • William Brennan
            William Brennan  1 weeks back

            There are obvious ways to deal with this: for instance, the ref holds his hand upside down to indicate "add 5 to what I'm showing". Bam, you can do 6-9.

            • 93RubixCube
              93RubixCube  1 weeks back

              How do refs make 00 with their hands

              • Reeo Reeo
                Reeo Reeo  2 weeks back

                Legend has it Will put add-one-to the jersey number 0 then the 00 was born

                • Selfish Stockton
                  Selfish Stockton  2 weeks back

                  I wonder what number Kobe would have worn in college

                  • Keven Gillett
                    Keven Gillett  2 weeks back

                    Teach refs sign language cause you can count to 99 with one hand.

                    • Ryan Willard
                      Ryan Willard  2 weeks back

                      FRED TAYLOR OF THE Ohio state University wore number 27

                      • Music guy
                        Music guy  2 weeks back

                        My Jersey Number is 23 because of Michael Jordan and because it's the birthday of the girl i like 😂😂😂

                        • Tea Cup
                          Tea Cup  3 weeks back

                          Use asl it would be better

                          • Antwan Harris
                            Antwan Harris  3 weeks back

                            It's the same rule in high school

                            • Global Atheist
                              Global Atheist  4 weeks back

                              Yeah it's not like they have some other way to communicate to the guy at the table what number the player that committed a foul is wearing. Wtf

                              • DOUBLE D3VO
                                DOUBLE D3VO  1 months back

                                Rudy Gobert is number 27....

                                • Music4life 47
                                  Music4life 47  1 months back

                                  I like anything with the number 4, 5, or 7

                                  • Decent HAWKK
                                    Decent HAWKK  1 months back

                                    Rj Barrett wore 5 tho

                                    • Charlie Bultman
                                      Charlie Bultman  1 months back

                                      Before even watching it I feel like it would just make since to limit the jersey numbers because you' could just sell the jersey's you made from the year before. Most NCAA stuff doesn't have player names on it and just numbers. That's just my theory. Less overhead on production

                                      • Ry Po
                                        Ry Po  1 months back

                                        Rypov Porterwitz was always #69 in the 2k college hoops series. So that's probably what Will was remembering, my create-a-player

                                        • Lil Drezzy
                                          Lil Drezzy  1 months back


                                          • Lil Drezzy
                                            Lil Drezzy  1 months back


                                            • Michael Avril
                                              Michael Avril  1 months back

                                              Didn't Antoine Walker wear number 8 while playing with Kentucky?

                                            • nmarkert01
                                              nmarkert01  2 months back

                                              In the NBA they have to ask permission from the league to wear numbers over 55.

                                              • Josh Henry
                                                Josh Henry  2 months back

                                                These guys have great chemistry

                                                • Alex Bayoff
                                                  Alex Bayoff  2 months back

                                                  But what about a ref with 6 fingers, eh

                                                  • Johnwall24
                                                    Johnwall24  2 months back

                                                    These conversations can be so cringeworthy

                                                    • DrezzyDrew
                                                      DrezzyDrew  2 months back

                                                      I swear I saw 18 before

                                                      • Jerry Z
                                                        Jerry Z  2 months back

                                                        College rules are applied to tournaments (unlike NBA) where refs may have to relay calls, or report calls far away, to the score table to keep the games moving. A sign language 7,8,9 is hard to see at distance and according to most coaches all refs are blind anyways, so this can be a problem. In all seriousness it actually is a good rule that seems silly.

                                                        • Isaac McDonald
                                                          Isaac McDonald  3 months back

                                                          As someone who referees basketball, I can appreciate this rule

                                                          • Richard Smith
                                                            Richard Smith  3 months back

                                                            This is a rule for all basketball but NBA. It's for ref communication

                                                            • loganbaileysfunwithtrains

                                                              I think the law in Texas carried over from horse to automobile, but that might just me my interpretation so I’ve got an excuse to kill a man

                                                              • Moss Man
                                                                Moss Man  3 months back

                                                                If the number one recruit in the country ever said “yeah if y’all won’t let me wear 7 I’m gonna skip a year and go the the league” they’d change the rule so fast your head would spin.

                                                                • faysal kadir
                                                                  faysal kadir  3 months back

                                                                  Damn. Ryan is so gay that he hates talking about 69ing between a guy and a girl. That dude needs to get off the air man.

                                                                  • Angus Olaes
                                                                    Angus Olaes  3 months back

                                                                    When he said obvious number I thought he was talking about 23😂🤦‍♂️

                                                                    • lil silky
                                                                      lil silky  3 months back

                                                                      On my middle school team my qb wears 77

                                                                      • Sam Woods
                                                                        Sam Woods  3 months back

                                                                        Having worked the scores table before, I’ll say that this rule definitely helps but it’s really dependent on the refs for whether or not it’s necessary. The good refs will say the numbers as they flash them so you’ll see them go “one, five” when the foul is on number 15. But the bad refs will just briefly hold up their hands. And I worked an AAU game where a team had a 15, a 51, and a 6, and one of the refs wouldn’t mouth the number when he flashed it which honestly was a disaster if I didn’t see who the foul was on myself.

                                                                        • Max Aguirre
                                                                          Max Aguirre  3 months back

                                                                          I am 10000000% sure i’ve seen a 7 in a college game

                                                                          • Tasman Millen
                                                                            Tasman Millen  3 months back

                                                                            What if there was a ref with 6 fingers? Would they allow you to change it for one game?

                                                                            • Atticus Shadowmore
                                                                              Atticus Shadowmore  3 months back

                                                                              They do ASL exists right? They have single handed signs for 1-99

                                                                              • Robert Gollnick
                                                                                Robert Gollnick  3 months back

                                                                                The NCAA is a really lousy organization

                                                                                • Derp Shire
                                                                                  Derp Shire  3 months back

                                                                                  Same thing in my last basketball league for high school, before that though in my high school before that I wore number 8

                                                                                  • Sparky Shore
                                                                                    Sparky Shore  3 months back

                                                                                    If I could pick my number, it’d be a tough choice between 37 and π.

                                                                                    • Nicolás Souto
                                                                                      Nicolás Souto  3 months back


                                                                                      • Iona Mortimer
                                                                                        Iona Mortimer  3 months back

                                                                                        But the reffing rules for presenting numbers had changed now?? Like you flip your hands?

                                                                                        • IST ICE
                                                                                          IST ICE  3 months back

                                                                                          Bro this is bull im number 26 going into college damn that mad gay

                                                                                          • Joel Farrelly
                                                                                            Joel Farrelly  3 months back

                                                                                            Ooohhhh... Because like sex-stuff. I get it. I have that ALL the time.

                                                                                            • Mr. Money
                                                                                              Mr. Money  3 months back

                                                                                              Speaker: And now presenting our starter line-up:
                                                                                              At Foward, Andy Roberts, number 10
                                                                                              At Center, John Francis, number 21
                                                                                              At Point Guard, Steve Peters, number 24
                                                                                              At Power Foward, Ben Stevens, number 33
                                                                                              [Silence] [lights go off]
                                                                                              *[Sirens and Airhorns intensifies]*

                                                                                              Speaker: AND NOW, STANDING 6 FOOT 1 INCHES, AT SHOOTING GUARD:
                                                                                              *"THE MAD LAD" WILL ADD-ONE-TO, NUMBER 68"*

                                                                                              • Robert Mills
                                                                                                Robert Mills  3 months back

                                                                                                If only we had sign language for 6 through 9. Darn