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 • 738

  • jakevideos0826
    jakevideos0826  5 days back

    They could just use ASL for numbers

    • White Fang
      White Fang  7 days back

      It makes perfect sense to me.

      • Kelly Tam
        Kelly Tam  1 weeks back

        I wouldn’t say it’s a stupid rule. A referee holds up the number 6. Is the foul on number 15, 51, or 6?

        • Braden Lipgens
          Braden Lipgens  2 weeks back

          Omg when I was in 7th grade I was QB #40 (5:09)

          • pakkmann
            pakkmann  3 weeks back

            NFHS (high school) works under these same rules. Makes even more sense when you are dealing with many scorekeepers who are often volunteer students, parents, or staff. Unless you are involved in HS basketball, you'd be surprised how often there are communication issues between officials and the table. One final note - under NFHS rules, you can have 0 or 00, but not both on the same squad. cheers

            • ROZAY RASTA
              ROZAY RASTA  3 weeks back

              At first i was like this a dumb rule then when they explain the hand i was like damn that makes sense

              • Nathan Tagg
                Nathan Tagg  3 weeks back

                *Holds up a 1 and a 5* "It was number 17"

                • Milo Kusnir
                  Milo Kusnir  3 weeks back

                  When people who dont watch sports complain lol the casual fan should have no say on rules.

                  • Kayleigh Lehrman
                    Kayleigh Lehrman  4 weeks back

                    I feel like when Will was hired he was only like vaguely aware of what sports were and he's been slowly learning as he fakes it for all these years.

                    • David Miller
                      David Miller  4 weeks back

                      Base 6 numbering system. Makes perfect sense to me.

                      • heyandy x
                        heyandy x  4 weeks back

                        "But 27's in there?"
                        "No. ...Do you know the digits, and the order that they go in?"
                        "Most of 'em"

                        • heyandy x
                          heyandy x  4 weeks back

                          Shout-out to #68 in your programs, starting at small forward, Will Add-One-To.

                          • Naz Fride
                            Naz Fride  4 weeks back

                            Now we have jersey number snowflakes.

                            • Darren Wilson
                              Darren Wilson  1 months back

                              You can tell these dudes never played ball in their lives, it's because the refs do the numbers on their fingers after a foul.

                              • Andy Bruinewoud
                                Andy Bruinewoud  1 months back

                                I didn't know FIBA had changed its rules. Being only allowed 4 through 15 is why only John Stockton wore the same number on the Dream Team that he did in the NBA.

                                • jrworthy42
                                  jrworthy42  1 months back

                                  Late to the party here but the likely reason the rule was put into place was so that the refs could communicate with the official score keepers without having to worry about not being heard or even miscommunication. Using hand signals eliminates the need to speak.

                                  • Burden82
                                    Burden82  1 months back

                                    in finland whe have same thing but numbers 1,2 and 3 are also banned because you could mix them up with 1,2 or 3 points but 6,7,8 and 9 are okay because you can use 2 hands making them

                                    • Dan Rose
                                      Dan Rose  1 months back

                                      Orange shirt dude put me to sleep

                                      • Michael Mitchell
                                        Michael Mitchell  2 months back

                                        Seems weird that I can tell my dive buddy I have 1800 psi left in my tank with one hand underwater, with little light, and at around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but they can’t sign 66 on a basketball court.

                                        • Kitchener Leslie
                                          Kitchener Leslie  2 months back

                                          It's actually to rig games

                                          • Galv
                                            Galv  2 months back

                                            You know other countries have hand systems that go way past five, right? Adopt that. It'll make your refs look cooler and more cultured too.

                                            • dddiop
                                              dddiop  2 months back

                                              My HS told us about this rule when we were ordering our jerseys and said we couldn't do it, but I still just wrote down "#91" (Rodman) and ended up coming in, wore it all season with 0 complaints from refs or anything and it all went peachy.

                                              • Isaiah Hagans
                                                Isaiah Hagans  2 months back

                                                False. Josh Harrelson wore #55 at University of Kentucky

                                                • Billy Bob
                                                  Billy Bob  2 months back

                                                  Had to turn this crap off twenty seconds into it.

                                                  • David Wilson
                                                    David Wilson  2 months back

                                                    Will is awesome

                                                    • James Cooper
                                                      James Cooper  2 months back

                                                      maybe it's for refs who only have one hand

                                                      • 「 」
                                                        「 」  2 months back

                                                        Loophole would be to use >69

                                                        • engineman02
                                                          engineman02  2 months back

                                                          So, this means the refs have to have 5 fingers on each hand, discriminating those who have had amputations or birth defects.

                                                          • Aiden 66
                                                            Aiden 66  2 months back

                                                            Fun fact: 69 is banned in the nba because Dennis Rodman tried to wear it

                                                            • salvatore_12
                                                              salvatore_12  2 months back

                                                              i rly hate this series why do i keep watching it lmaooo they not funny but the rules are interesting

                                                              • Mirza Ahmed
                                                                Mirza Ahmed  2 months back

                                                                How do you flash the number 00?

                                                                • RainbowOwl78
                                                                  RainbowOwl78  2 months back

                                                                  68 is my favorite number

                                                                  • JTR
                                                                    JTR  2 months back

                                                                    I knew that this was a rule but for some reason I thought it effected the NBA as well. It's weird that it's a rule in one and not the other.

                                                                    • TRaxxxProductions
                                                                      TRaxxxProductions  2 months back


                                                                      • Luis Fernando Araiza
                                                                        Luis Fernando Araiza  2 months back

                                                                        But there’s ways to use 6,7,8,9 and 10 with one had. American Sign Language does that

                                                                        • Leo Xu
                                                                          Leo Xu  2 months back

                                                                          Too bad they don’t have one-hand signs for 6, 7, 8 and 9 like the Chinese

                                                                          • Alex Krause
                                                                            Alex Krause  2 months back

                                                                            37^^ second choices would be 3, 7 (espiacially if its sth like soccer where there isn't higher numbers), 21, 12, 73 and a bunch of others. I dont really care I guess.

                                                                            • Brook Bickley
                                                                              Brook Bickley  2 months back

                                                                              The NBA does have a similar rule, but they have a process to request other numbers. For instance Dennis Rodman had to specifically request the number 91 and apply with valid reasoning to be allowed to wear it. His number 10 was retired by the Bulls prior to his time with the Bulls so he appealed for the 9+1=10 and was allowed to wear it. The NBA allows 0,00,1-9 then follows the NCAA regulations unless someone applies for an exception. One other notable exception was Andrei Kirilenko whom applied for the number 47. Andrei Kirilenko (AK) 47.

                                                                              • Jr Madden
                                                                                Jr Madden  2 months back

                                                                                The xfl allowed anything on the back of your jersey...

                                                                                • matthew galer
                                                                                  matthew galer  2 months back

                                                                                  I’m upset that this makes sense

                                                                                  • Caabooose
                                                                                    Caabooose  2 months back

                                                                                    sign language is a thing lol

                                                                                    • Jeyson Williams
                                                                                      Jeyson Williams  2 months back

                                                                                      Yo my football number in middle school was 69 omm

                                                                                      • Landon Winstead
                                                                                        Landon Winstead  2 months back

                                                                                        But you can use sign language for one hand to do all numbers 1 through 10

                                                                                        • Gurnawaz Gill
                                                                                          Gurnawaz Gill  2 months back

                                                                                          The NCAA discriminates against 6-fingered refs

                                                                                          • Patrick Doyle
                                                                                            Patrick Doyle  2 months back

                                                                                            lol "...line?"

                                                                                            • Mario Lopez
                                                                                              Mario Lopez  2 months back

                                                                                              Ron artest n Dennis Rodman had weird numbers

                                                                                              • LukeTheNuke23
                                                                                                LukeTheNuke23  2 months back

                                                                                                I wear 8 :(

                                                                                                • Project Overturn aka RareBeeph

                                                                                                  you MUST have your jersey in base 6.