Baseball Uniform Rules
When it comes to baseball uniforms, guidelines exist to help ensure that players remain safe and comfortable during the game, while also matching their teammates. While some basic elements of the uniform remain the same from t-ball to the major leagues, other elements differ depending on the age of players and the level of play.
In Little League, the uniform rules are relatively simple and somewhat relaxed compared to the rules governing older players. Players are expected to wear a shirt, pants, tall socks, and a hat, but umpires are often lenient when it comes to all team members matching each other exactly.
The simple uniforms are mostly designed to protect players and inspire a team bond through uniformity. All parts of the uniform must be free of polished metal or glass buttons, to prevent injuries. Shirts may be sleeveless, have short sleeves, or have elbow length or full length sleeves, but all options must have a Little League patch displayed on the chest or sleeve of the shirt.
Like Little League, High School level baseball leagues require players to wear pants, a shirt, tall socks, and a hat. However, the uniform rules for high school players are more detailed than that of younger leagues. Uniform shirts must be without tears or frays. Each must have a number, and numbers cannot be used twice within the same team. An American flag may be worn on each piece of the uniform, along with a manufacturers logo, but nothing else can adorn the front of the shirt. The only exception are commemorative or memorial patches, which can be added at the discretion of the state regulators for the state in which that high school resides.
Individual positions, including pitchers and catchers, have even more restrictions in terms of uniform. Pitchers’ undershirts, if visible below the sleeves of the uniform shirt, cannot be white or gray. Pitchers and catchers may not wear distracting items or clothing on or around their wrists. Pitchers may wear compression sleeves, but they must be of a solid color, without pattern.
The uniform regulations for college teams is even more detailed. To begin with, both players and coaches must wear matching uniforms. Each team is required to have two uniform jerseys. Usually, one uniform is worn for home games and one for away games, but when a team is visiting another, they are responsible for wearing a contrasting color, regardless of whether that is their home or away jersey. Coaches on the bases during a game are required to wear the game jerseys as the players do. They may wear a team jacket, but only if all base coaches wear the same jackets.
Team players may wear a jacket or wind shirt, but it must bear the team’s official logo and follow the same color pattern. However, the jacket cannot be worn while batting or running the bases, except by the pitcher. Pitchers are also permitted to wear neoprene sleeves, as are any other players, but they must be covered by an undershirt.