Jersey Numbers

Football Terms – Jersey Number

Jersey numbers have specific requirements under the rules of the NFL. This practice started in 1952, and it became more formal in 1973.

Each NFL jersey has a number on the front and back, and “TV numbers” are also visible on the sleeve or shoulder of each player. The last name of the player is required on the back of the jersey, and numbers are also sometimes included on the player’s helmet.

The following number system was put into place by the NFL in 1973. Numbers are based on the player’s primary position on the football team.

The jersey numbers in college football are much different. Members of the offensive line who play an ineligible position must wear between 50 and 79. Otherwise, any number is possible, although lower numbers often hold greater prestige. Much of the reason for the difference is due to the fact that NCAA rules allow a college football team to carry 85 men on their roster, and the NFL numbering system would not be sufficient.

Football Terms Starting With "N"