Photo via John Glaser, TexasHSFootball.com

So it is written by the UIL, and so it shall be done.

To the relief of referees and announcers with bad eye sight everywhere, the University Interscholastic League — aka the governing body of of Texas high school athletics — will enforce a rule that requires player’s jersey numbers to be clearly visible. According to UIL director Susan Elza, teams must have numbers with contrasting colors that differ from their uniform.

Schools with throwbacks, color-outs and breast cancer awareness unis — or any awareness for that matter — will be prohibited. Gone are the days of media members and scouts scrambling for their binoculars, perspiring in the Texas humidity as they struggle to identify which athlete made a specific play.

The UIL will follow rules spelled out in the NCAA 2013 rule:

a. Numerals.

1. The jersey must have clearly visible, permanent Arabic numerals measuring at least 8 and 10 inches in height front and back, respectively. The number must be of a colour that itself is clearly in distinct contrast with the colour of the jersey, irrespective of any border around the number.

2. Teams wearing jerseys/numerals that do not conform to this rule will be asked to change into legal jerseys before the game and before the start of each quarter until the jerseys are changed.

(PENALTY – Officials shall charge a team timeout at the start of each quarter the illegal jerseys are worn.)

3. All players of a team shall have the same colour and style numbers front and back. The individual bars must be approximately 1½ inches wide. Numbers on any part of the uniform shall correspond with the mandatory front and back jersey numbers.

Texas is only one of two states that follows the rules presented by the NCAA. The enforcement was originally announced in February, but confirmed at the UIL’s annual press conference during the Texas High School Coaches Association’s coaching school in Houston.

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