NCAA to Allow Athletes Opportunity for Social Justice Statements on Uniforms

Local Sports

FAYETTEVILLE — On Thursday, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved rules to allow student-athletes in all sports to wear patches on their uniforms for commemorative and memorial purposes, as well as to support social justice issues.

Players will be allowed to replace the name on the back of their jerseys with messages or names, as approved by each conference. Current rules in some sports did not allow patches, while the rules books for several other sports do not address the topic.

Student-athletes in all sports will also be allowed to wear a patch on the front of their uniform This was previously allowed in most sports but not all. As authorized by the school or conference, may be a commemorative/memorial patch (names, mascots, nicknames, logos and marks) intended to celebrate or memorialize people, events or other causes.

The patch must not exceed 2¼ square inches and must be placed on the front or sleeve of the uniform. All team members aren’t required to wear the patch, but the ones who do they have to match.

The second location is on the back of the uniform where the player name is traditionally located and, as authorized by the school or conference, will allow names/words intended to celebrate or memorialize people, events or other causes. The names or words may vary by team member.

In addition, the coin toss prior to the game will be different. It will be limited to two officials and one captain from each team. Previously, a team could have four captains and even an honorary one participate in the coin toss.

Another new rule is the sidelines for each team will be expanded to the 15-yard lines. It’s currently the 25.

In men’s and women’s soccer, players ejected for spitting at an opponent will have to serve a two-game penalty. The current rule called for an ejection and a one-game suspension.

In women’s volleyball, the teams will remain on the same bench during the entire match rather than switch benches after each set.

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