Basketball Rules and Regulations

Basketball Uniform Rules

Many of the rules regulating uniforms for basketball players are similar across all age groups. However, specific uniform details may change as players get older.

Youth Hoops

Players at the youth level are expected to wear gym shorts and a uniform shirt. While the shorts need not be uniform shorts or of a matching color to the jersey, they cannot be made of jean or other non-athletic material, and players may not wear sweatpants at any time.

Jerseys must have numbers on both the front and the back. The number can be any between 0 and 99, but no two players on one team can have the same number. Depending upon the youth league, teams may have both a home and an away jersey, which are often classified as one white and one dark jersey.

Players are also required to wear non-marking or white-soled shoes. Jewelry, including earrings, necklaces, or other adornments, and hair clips are not allowed to be worn during games. These rules are in place to protect players from injury and to help prevent damage to basketball court floors.

What Are The Standard High School Basketball Regulations

Uniform rules change quite a bit at the high school level of play. Rather than choosing any number between 0 and 99, players are given one of thirty-seven numbers between 00 and 55. The torso of the jersey can only be a single, solid color, while other areas of the jersey may be other colors. An American flag can be placed anywhere on the jersey, as long as it is not larger than two inches by three inches and it does not distract the player in any way.

As in youth leagues, proper shoes must be worn that will not leave marks on the court floor. Depending upon the league, uniform shorts may also be required. If they are not, athletic shorts must be worn, usually in a color that matches or is coordinated with the jersey and school colors.

Collegiate Hoops 

At the collegiate level, basketball uniforms are far more regulated. Players must wear both game pants and a game jersey. Teams may also choose to wear warm-up uniforms, but they must be removed before the game and are not considered part of the standard uniform. During a game, the visiting team must wear jerseys of a contrasting color. Players must tuck their shirts into their shorts during game play. Warnings may be issued to players who do not tuck in their shirts. Repeated warnings may lead to a player being forced to leave the game for a period of time.

If uniforms have several colors, the color of the neutral area, which is the area between the base of the shoulders and the hem of the jersey, will determine the main color of the jersey. The only markings or symbols permitted on the jersey are the name of the institution or mascot, the player’s number, an American flag, a conference or institution logo, and a commemorative or memorial patch, if the school or league chooses to include one.