Upcoming changes to the allowed jersey numbers

Published: 02 April 2018
Written by IQA Staff

Our IQA Rulebook Team is hard at work on the new rulebook, IQA Rulebook 2018-2020, and we wanted to take this moment to give you all a heads up on one of the coming changes:

In future, the allowed player jersey numbers will have new restrictions.

Specifically, this changes IQA rule 2.5.2.C.ii, which currently states:
"Each player must have one of the following distinct numbers, letters or symbols on the back of the player's jersey:
a. A unique integer between 0 and 999 (a team may have either a 7, a 07, or a 007, but not all three or two of the three.
b. The symbols for Pi (Ⲡ), Infinity (∞), or Number (#) (this symbol is also known as pound or hashtag).
c. One of the following single capital letters: A G H J K N P R W X Y
d. Letters and symbols may not be mixed or combined with integers."

In the next rulebook, this rule will read as follows:
"Each player must have one of the following distinct numbers on the back of the player's jersey: a unique integer between 0 and 99 (a team may have either a 7 or a 07, but not both)."
(Because the new rulebook is still being finished, the exact wording in the final version might change slightly. The essence of the new rule, however, will be as above.)

This means the previously allowed integers 100-999 will no longer be allowed, nor will the previously specified symbols and letters be allowed any longer.

We have decided on including the change in the upcoming rulebook (IQA Rulebook 2018-2020), and provide you now with an announcement of future intent, so the IQA can implement this new requirement for its future international tournaments, excluding IQA World Cup 2018. However, we fully acknowledge this announcement comes too late for us to expect teams to start the coming season with all players in possession of a jersey following the changed requirement. As such, we would like to encourage NGBs to implement some kind of grace period, in which jerseys following the old requirements will still be allowed, for their domestic tournaments for a period that they seem fit.

This change was primarily made to make it easier for referees to call out player numbers, especially in international competition where a large subset of the referees will be officiating in their non-native language.

For any questions about the above change, please contact the IQA Rulebook Team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.