[Editor’s Note: Today we have a guest entry by Ticker assistant Alex Hider. Enjoy. — PL]
By Alex Hider
This year marks the first in which VARs, or video assistant referees, are being used at the World Cup. The VARs work at a production studio in Moscow and intervene with video review when the on-field officials miss a call during play.
But what I didn’t notice until yesterday is that despite sometimes being located hundreds of miles away from where the match is taking place, VARs still wear bright yellow referee’s jerseys (see above).
That got me thinking: Do off-field officials in other sports wear the same uniforms as the on-field officials?
In America, it’s extremely rare. Thanks to feature articles and league-produced videos, we know replay officials in the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB aren’t required to wear uniforms. The college football rulebook does not specify what the replay official needs to wear outside of a headset, but this story about the SEC replay center seems to indicate uniforms aren’t worn.
I discussed this a bit yesterday on Twitter, where @Univers47 pointed out that while off-ice NHL officials don’t normally wear referees jerseys, it’s not uncommon to see goal judges in stripes behind the glass in international games.
Reader Adam Obringer says he works as an NCAA basketball replay assistant and isn’t required to wear a uniform (save for wearing conference-branded gear at tournaments).
After a night of researching, I could only find one off-court official in American sports who wears a true uniform: the NCAA basketball official scorer.
It’s strange to me that the official scorer is in stripes. The NCAA goes out of its way to identify the official scorer as a member of the “home team’s faculty,” — should an official who could be deemed biased toward one team carry the authority conferred by an officiating uniform?
In any event, the college basketball official scorer is still just inches from the floor itself. They’re practically in the game. The World Cup VARs? They’re far, far away, watching the game on TV — just like the rest of us.
New DIY project: Got a note the other day from reader Thomas Fiers, writing all the way from France, as follows:
I bought my best friend one of the recent limited-edition Jordan jerseys for his birthday. Since it’s a special edition, I thought I’d try making a special a box for it, like the brands themselves are sometimes doing these days.
I made the box with light cardboard, strong glue and thin nails. I cut out the number 23 on the front and pasted it on the back. Painted it all in white. I then painted the number 23’s outline in black. Finally, I glued a transparent red binder cover in the inside of the box’s top. And voilà.
Fun project! Thomas provided these photos to show how it took shape (for all images, you can click to enlarge):
By Alex Hider
Baseball News: Indians P Mike Clevinger has batting gloves with characters from Disney’s Lilo & Stitch (from Mike Chamernik). … The Rangers presented P Bartolo Colon with a No. 244 jersey in honor of Colon becoming the winningest Dominican pitcher in baseball history (from Ignacio). … Giants P Johnny Cueto wore an awesome recursive hat and matching shirt in a recent Instagram post. Unfortunately, the image was photoshopped (also from Mike Chamernik). … The Omaha Storm Chasers will wear jerseys inspired by the video game Fortnite on Aug. 6 (from @mrmichael21). … Shaun Meulemans spotted a guy in the crowd at a World Cup match wearing a Brewers shirt. … Speaking of the Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks rookie Donte DiVincenzo got a personalized throwback Brew Crew jersey last night (from Garrett). … Military-appreciation jerseys for the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters. Fans sent in pictures of loved ones who had served or are currently serving to be featured on the jersey.
NFL News: The Browns unveiled a training camp logo yesterday featuring the original Brownie the Elf from 1946. But they didn’t stop there — they also set Brownie as the banner image on their team website (from Jarod Miller). … The New Orleans media poked fun at the Falcons for releasing a ridiculous new poster (from Russell Goutierez). … The youth football program in Kennett, Pa., is using the Titans’ logo (from Langhorne Mayor).
Hockey News: Centennial High School (Minnesota) wore these Rockies/Avalanche-inspired jerseys during a trip to a tournament in Colorado (from @teddyice13). … New numbers for the Nashville Predators’ draft selections (from Daniel W.). … Check it out: You can get an Adirondack chair made from game-used hockey sticks (from Jimmy Lonetti). … The ECHL’s newest team, the Maine Mariners, unveiled their jerseys. Here’s a closer look at some of the details.
NBA News: The Mavs are selling jerseys for their first-round pick Luka Dončić without accent marks (from our own Kris Gross). … I love this side-by-side comparison of draft day suits from 2003 and 2018 (from David Brown). … Cross-listed from the baseball section: Bucks rookie Donte DiVincenzo got a personalized throwback Milwaukee Brewers jersey last night (from Garrett).
Soccer News: The World Cup will use a new style of game ball when the knockout rounds begin on Saturday (from Josh Hinton and Jamie Rathjen). … Yesterday’s World Cup match between Australia and Peru looked a bit Color Rash-y (from Shaun Meulemans). … NYT has an interactive game where users look at World Cup action photos and guess where the ball is (NYT link). Harder than it looks! (From Mike Chamernik). … Repost: Shaun Meulemans spotted a guy in the crowd at a World Cup match wearing a Milwaukee Brewers shirt. … Josh Hinton has a few notes about kit leaks/releases: Italian club AS Roma’s away kit has leaked, French Ligue 2 club RC Lens released its new kits, and Preston North End of the English Championship release a new home kit. … Five new kits — a traditional purple home kit and four change kits to represent the four neighborhoods of Florence — for Italian club Fiorentina (from Bryan Justman). … Manchester United midfield Ander Herrera recently explained why he wears FNOB (from Griffin Smith). … Hmmm — the crest on the back of the MLS All-Star Game jerseys suuuure does look familiar.
Grab Bag: Men sponsored by Lacoste — including Novak Djokovic — will wear this outfit throughout Wimbledon, while women — including Christina McHale — will be wearing this outfit. … Speaking of Wimbledon, this piece discusses the club’s (in)famous dress code (from Phil). … This is what Team USA will wear during the Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game on Thursday. … Jeremy Brahm has a couple updates from the world of volleyball: New logos for Italian men’s pro team Lube Civitanova and Japaenese women’s team Saitama Ageo Medics. … NASA apparently presents employees who display “outstanding performance, contributing to flight safety and mission success” with a silver Snoopy astronaut pin (from @walbergLines).
Happy birthday to Uni Watch alum Mike Chamernik, who has continued to be a frequent Ticker contributor (and a good friend). Enjoy your special day, Mike!