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NCAA allowing uniform patches for social justice calls

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The NCAA will allow players to wear patches on their jerseys to honor causes they support

New York Yankees v. Washington Nationals Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel has officially approved a ruling to allow student-athletes across all sports to wear commemorative and memorial patches, as well as patches to support social justice issues.

We’ve seen this happen in the MLB and NBA as well as across other sports also. The current rules at the NCAA level do not allow for patches on uniforms but the oversight panel has changed that for at least 2020-21.

Meeting by video conference this week, the expanded the existing rules and will now allow student-athletes to place patches on two places on their uniforms, one on the front and one on the back.

The patch on the front may be a commemorative/memorial patch and could include mascots, nicknames, logos, marks or names, and is said to be intended as a celebration or a memorial for people, events or causes. The logo patches can not exceed 2.25 square inches and are to be placed on the front or on the sleeve.

The second location on the back is said to be where the player name is usually located, and can include names and words intended to celebrate people, events and/or other cauches.

Other rule changes addressed during their meetings were specific to a few sports, and include football.

Football team areas will extend to the 15-yard line in each direction. The current rules state that players and team and staff must stay within the 25-yardline boxes, so 50 total yards. The new rule extends that 20 yards in total.

Also for football, the coin toss participants will be limited to just two officials and a team captain from each team. Currently, the rules stated that each team could send up to four game captains and additional people such as media members and also ceremonial captains and alumni.

For men’s and women’s soccer, players ejected for spitting at an opponent will also serve a two-game penalty. The current rule was just a one-game suspension.

In women’s volleyball, the teams will remain on the same bench during the entire match rather than switching benches after each set.