Tuesday, June 10, 2014

2.7.5 Each skater participating in a game must visibly display their number on each sleeve or arm. Numbers must be of high contrast and easily legible. Handwritten numbers on the arm are acceptable.

Today’s rule comes from the Uniforms section of the rules. It provides a means for officials to identify a skater by their number without looking at the back of their uniform. The range of acceptable sizes for each character (2-4” / 5-10cm) is set by rules 2.7.5.3 and 2.7.5.4.

There are several popular methods for meeting the requirements of this rule including writing numbers in ink, wearing arm bands, and using temporary tattoos. Each method has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Numbers written with ink can and do blur as the skater sweats and takes hits, which potentially sets up the player for a Uniform Violation penalty should the number no longer meets the “easily legible” or “high contrast” requirements of this rule. Some referees will warn players between jams to fix the number, while others consider that a form of coaching. Contrast and legibility can also be problematic for skaters with dark skin tones and/or complex tattoos. I’m told that silver metallic ink pens work well for these individuals, but have never seen it in use.

It is worth noting this rule does not specify that a number must be horizontal. It is perfectly legal for a player to vertically display their number. Indeed, this may be a good idea for skaters with thin arms or four characters in their skater number.

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