NFL-Football team uniform Rules & Guidelines

Although every professional sport has a uniform code, none is as extensive and strict as the NFL uniform. The board is also super-strict and has all the teams and players follow each and every rule to the dot. The official uniform guidelines of the league cover a massive document of around five pages. Moreover, if a player violates the rules, they are heavily fined and sometimes are barred from the game. Following are the crux of NFL uniform rules.

General policy

The general policy restricts the players to remain professionally dressed under the NFL Uniform guidelines on sportsurge nfl throughout the entire game day. Moreover:

  • The league prohibits players to appear casually in front of spectators, media, and league authorities.
  • The players must wear protective gear at all times during the game.
  • All visible components of the uniform that players wear must come from the league or club. Any other source needs approval from the league authorities.

Team colors

NFL players can wear only the colors that the authorities officially assign to their clubs. Besides the restriction of colors, other colors related rules are:

  • Teams cannot wear white jerseys.
  • The lower portion of the stockings must be white.
  • All players of a team must wear the same colors.
  • The uniform color of home teams must differ from those of visiting teams.

Protective equipment and helmet

All players must use equipment and apparel that are protective and manufactured by professionals. The other mandatory points are:

  • The teams cannot alter the apparel from the approved sizes unless medically recommended and approved by the league commissioner.
  • Players can choose not to wear protective gear during warm-ups before the game. However, they must don the helmets at all times.
  • Helmets should have a white chinstrap and a facemask of a maximum 5/8-inch in diameter. The NFL prohibits transparent components in helmets.
  • Players have an option to wear transparent eye shields. Tinted eye shields are only allowed in certain medical conditions.
  • Helmets should not bear the identification of the manufacturer on the exterior. Any type of branding is allowed only in the case of a commercial arrangement.
  • All helmets must have a small logo of NFL shield logo on the backside of the helmet, at the lower left end.
  • All helmets must also have an approved label for warning on the backside, at the lower-right end.


Jerseys are the most prominent part of the NFL uniform. Therefore, a lot of rules go with them. Some of the main ones are listed in the following bullets:

  • The jerseys must cover all the gears that a player wears on the upper arm and the torso.
  • They should be tailored to stay tucked into the pants for the entire game.
  • NFL Prohibits its players to wear tearaway jerseys and mesh jerseys with big holes such as fishnet material.
  • Players’ surnames should have a minimum of 2.5” inches high letters affixed across the upper back of the jerseys. Nicknames are not allowed.
  • Player numbers should be affixed beneath the player’s surname.
  • The numerics at the back and front of the jerseys must have a particular size, i-e, a minimum of 8” in height and 4” in width.
  • There must be a small logo of NFL Equipment. The placement of this logo is at the front middle of the neck yoke.
  • The colors of the numerics should be in sharp contrast with the jersey color for prominence.
  • Smaller numbers should have the placement at the upper arm or top of the jersey shoulders. Pants or the back of helmets is another choice of placement for small numbers.
  • The jersey fabric needs approval from the League office before getting into the production process.


NFL pants are knickers i-e they are short to meet the stockings.

  • The pants must cover the knee area.
  • The NFL does not allow to cut the pants without the availability of an appropriate gusset or other devices to replace the removed part.
  • There must be a small logo of NFL Equipment on the front of the pant at the upper left end. The placement is at the middle of the fly and the ide seam, half-inch below the belt.


Players can wear many layers of stockings and tapes but under some regulations:

  • The exterior of the stockings should be a single piece, even if the player wears multiple layers underneath.
  • The lower part of the stocking should be solid white. The approved team color can adorn the upper part of the stockings.
  • Players can not alter the uniform stockings.
  • Punters and placekickers may not wear the stocking on the kicking foot.


Football shoes or sneakers have a very robust design. NFL has rules for football shoes as well:

  • Players can wear tri-color shoes, including black, white, and the approved color.
  • Each team is recommended to select the main color for its shoes. The main color and shoe style must be reported to the league a year before.
  • NFL does not allow logos or any other type of branding on the shoes without advance approval from the authorities.
  • There must be a taping to cover the logo or name approved by the NFL. Players can cut out the tape but with precision.
  • Players cannot modify the kicking shoes.
  • Placekickers and punters may not wear the shoes on the kicking leg while preparing for the kick or during the kicking plays.

Prohibited apparel and equipment

Following are the items, equipment, and apparel that the NFL prohibits in any league game.

  • Metal or any other hard object protruding from the uniform or the shoes
  • Uncovered protective pads and guards. A minimum of 3/8” foam, rubber or a soft material should cover these items from all edges
  • Aluminum shoe cleats.
  • Any material in shoe cleats that tend to fracture, chip, or may develop a sharp edge.
  • Conical cleats that have concave tips of less than 3/8” in diameter
  • Cleats that have oblong tips of less than ¼” by ¾” ends.
  • Items that resemble the football color, for instance, headgear that can confuse the opponent
  • Headwear coverings such as bandannas

Optional items

Players can wear the following items if they want under the guidelines of NFL uniform:

  • Rib Protectors under the jersey
  • White or black wristbands
  • Approved caps during the game, postgame, and pregame
  • Approved headwear only for medical purposes, determined by the NFL Commissioner. However, any portion of that headwear portion may hang out from the helmet.

Proper taping

Players can wear tapes to enhance their uniform and functionality. Following are the rules to do it appropriately:

  • Players can wear opaque and contrasting tape
  • They can also don transparent tapes or those that are as same as the background of the apparel.
  • Players can use the tape in opaque, black, white, or team color tape on arms and hands.
  • Players can wear opaque tape on shoes, but it should not reach the stocking area.

Above are some highlights of the NFL rules about the uniform that can help you buy appropriate uniforms for your team. It is crucial to select a vendor that can supply proper custom football uniforms that are made according to the NFL rules. To acquire the services of such a vendor, you must research the market to find someone with extensive experience in customizing football uniforms and Football Team Rules & Guidelines. They must be familiar with the crux of the NFL rule book.

Author Bio:

Angela George is a community manager by profession and a blogger by passion. Her love for creating video content makes her try new things.

She also loves to travel and likes to share her experiences with audiences through her blogs.