Got two interesting notes over the weekend, both of which call for reader input. The first came from Ryan Burns, as follows:
I’m going to be president of my local lacrosse officials’ association next year. One of the common complaints is about our uniform. The uniform is black shoes, white socks with black tops (the width of black part varies widely, which drives me nuts), white shorts, black belt, black hat with white piping, and a shirt.
The shirt is supposed to have black and white stripes, black collar and cuffs, ¼-zip, pocket, and, for our high school, no patches. The reason for no patches is that for college games you’re supposed to have an American flag above the pocket, a sleeve patch, and a number on the back (that’s a whole other story) and the feeling is that if you have any patches in a high school game and your partner does not, then you would be showing him up. Here‘s an example of proper dress, but you can see black snaps on the back (for a number) and sleeve (for a patch). And here’s me. My numbers and sleeve patch attach by Velcro, but my flag patches are sewn on, so I wear them even though I’m not supposed to.
Some people complain about the high socks, some complain about black hats (heat), some complain about white shorts (get dirty easily), some complain about patch restrictions and having to separate shirts (both long and short sleeve) for high school and college games. I’m thinking we should have the black and white spiral instead of vertical stripes and have advertisements all over, or else button-down shirts with bow ties. But short of that do you have any ideas on how we could improve our uniforms?
First and foremost, Ryan: Don’t change those socks. Love the color block look.
I’m kinda fascinated by the whole snap-on number and patch thing — didn’t realize such a thing existed. And I’m always amazed by the ongoing cross-sport ubiquity of zebra stripes (the origins of which are discussed here).
As for the rest, what say ye, Uni Watchers? Any suggestions for our lacrosse officiating brethren?
But wait, before you deal with that, check out the note I got from Brent Marcus, who contributed the following:
Don’t know if you’re familiar with the show “Ninja Warrior” (airs daily on G4 TV). Massive, ridiculously difficult obstacle course. Competitions are filmed in Japan and the contestants are incredible amateur athletes.
Anyway, here’s the relevance to Uni Watch: Some of the best athletes show up dressed in their everyday work garb. For example, there’s a gas station manager who shows up in his gas station manager’s uniform [you can see him in this video clip]. His choice of khakis and polo shirt has no obvious impact on his performance. … You’d think these athletes would wear [performance clothing that would] allow the greatest flexibility, range of movement, etc. But they don’t. They wear corporate clothing and street attire, to no ill effect.
I’m sure this is just one example of non-uniform athletics, but to be honest, I couldn’t think of many others. I thought an overview of sports where there are no uniforms at all might make an interesting topic. I’m sure there must be several other examples. Historically, there are plenty — before we entered an age of Lycra and breathable mesh.
Interesting topic. Not sure it has legs, but I’m willing to open the floor to discussion. Your thoughts..?
Membership Update: The first batch of Uni Watch membership cards and fridge magnets went out in Saturday’s mail, so members should watch their mailboxes. Unfortunately, my printer chose Friday to go on the fritz, so I wasn’t able to enclose a cover letter with each card/magnet shipment, as I’d originally intended to do. If I’d been able to enclose such a letter, it probably would’ve looked something like this.
If your uniform number isn’t yet clickable on the membership roster, it means your card hasn’t been designed yet. We’ll get started on the second batch during the next week.
Incidentally, it has been suggested that we offer referee zebra stripes as the design option for the back of the card — an excellent idea that we have enthusiastically embraced. So if you’re a ref and want your card to be designed accordingly, speak up and we’ll be happy to accommodate you.
My continued thanks to all enrollees. If you’d like to get on board, full sign-up details are available here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Stop whatever you’re doing and take two minutes to watch this completely amazing video about the guy who’s in charge of the jockeys’ silks at Belmont Park (with a lifetime’s worth of thanks to Tim McLaugh). … Nice eBay find here, courtesy of Todd Krevanchi. … More eBay-ism from Mike Engle, who notes that this guy appears to have every conceivable patch for sale. … Patrick Ryan reports that the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay has a new logo (which kinda looks like a Rorschach splotch to me). Details here. … Reprinted from Friday’s comments: The Blue Jackets will unveil their new uniforms on June 22nd. … Murvin English notes that the Majestic web site includes a section devoted to National Pro Fastpitch softball uniforms — home, road, and alternate. … Fun little piece here about history’s worst Bay Area uniforms (with thanks to Brian Catlett). … Not uni-related, but reader Christopher Falvey has created a baseball-related project that’s really, really cool. Check it out here. … Rather bizarre volleyball socks here (as spotted by Scot Williams). … Odd situation in the recent college baseball super regional series between North Carolina and South Carolina, both of which wore “Carolina” across their chests (good observation by Alex Benezra). … Reds equipment manager Rick Stowe put some pretty big expectations on rookie pitcher Homer Bailey when assigning him uni No. 34. For details, scroll down to the “Numerology” item at the bottom of this page (nice find by Steven Huelskamp). … In a break with tradition, Notre Dame has announced that they’ll be wearing their very beautiful green jerseys (which in the past have been worn without any advance notification, as a surprise) against USC on October 20th. … You know those clubs that play “base ball” according to the old rules, with period uniforms, etc.? Turns out there’s something similar for golf. You can’t even use a tee. Full details here. … Interesting thread on the Chris Creamer board about team-based lottery tickets in Missouri. … Bizarre multi-tone unis — colored in front, white in back — being worn by the Harlingen South Hawks in the Texas 5A state baseball championship tourney. “Pretty much the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen,” says Nick Zajicek. … “The NHL can’t catch a break,” writes RJ Charles. “They struck a deal with Sling Media (makers of Sling Box) for a video clip sharing deal, but Sling Media didn’t use the current NHL logo on their web site when announcing the deal.” … Single-digit pitcher, of sorts, in Friday’s Marlins/Rays game. Tampa was getting blown out, so in the bottom of the 8th they put infielder Josh Wilson on the mound. … Kevin Kelsey notes that the Women’s College World Series sleeve patch was inconsistently applied by both Arizona and Tennessee, with some players wearing it on the right sleeve and some on the left, as seen here, here, and here. … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Big memorabilia sale at Lambeau yesterday, including — get this — a shitload of Packers nameplates (here’s another shot, and dig the tat on that dude’s arm!). … Matt Ryburn was at Saturday’s Dodgers/Jays game and got good pics of rookie Tony Abreu inviting a fine (and, more importantly, looking like total crap) by wearing his pants under his heels.