Approved by NCAA: Rule Change To Allow Players Wear Nos. 0-99


The proposed rule change by the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Rules Committee has been approved on Thursday evening by the The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel for the 23-24 season. NCAA players will now be allowed to wear any number between 0-99.

The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Rules Committee has recently proposed a change to its longstanding rule that prohibits NCAA players from wearing numbers that include 6, 7, 8 or 9.

illustration via Andrew Lind, photo courtesy of @UConnMBB, Twitter

Under the current provisions outlined in Rule 1, Section 22, Article 7, Clause b. 2, the permissible numbers for players include 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. This arrangement facilitates the signaling of fouls by officials, as they employ their right hand for indicating the first digit and their left hand for the second digit.

The suggested amendment aims to grant players the opportunity to don jersey numbers ranging from 0 to 99 during the upcoming season. This adjustment would align college basketball with the NBA, which has been following the same regulations as the National Federation of State High School Associations since the 1960s.

While some individuals may express concerns about potential communication issues between officials and the scorer's table due to this alteration, particularly regarding the hand signals for No. 9 potentially being mistaken for No. 54, NBA officials appear to navigate such challenges without difficulty.

The rule will undergo evaluation by the NCAA Playing Rules Committee on June 8th.