Third jersey

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The alternate uniform (black) of the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League

A third jersey, alternate jersey, third kit or alternate uniform is a jersey or uniform that a sports team may wear in games instead of its home outfit or its away outfit, often when the colors of two competing teams' other uniforms are too similar to distinguish easily. Alternate jerseys are also a means for professional sports organizations to generate revenue, by sales to fans. Of North American sports leagues, the NFL generates $1.2 billion annually in jersey sales, with the NBA second selling $900 million dollars annually.[1]

Extra alternate uniforms or fourth/fifth kits are not commonly used, but are sometimes required when teams' other uniforms cause color clashes, or the uniforms are unavailable to use. In cases where teams have worn more than three kits in the same season, the extra kits were usually recycled from previous seasons.

Third-choice jerseys or uniforms are used in all four North American major professional sports leagues, and in college sports.[citation needed]

Third kits are commonplace in European association football. Alternate guernseys or jerseys are common in Australia's two biggest domestic leagues, the Australian Football League (Aussie rules) and National Rugby League (rugby league).

Background[edit]

For home and away jerseys in North America, historical convention has often dictated the colors used by teams in a given league. "White home" is the convention in baseball (MLB), basketball (NBA, NCAA basketball) and college hockey. "White away" is the convention in football (NFL, NCAA football) and NHL.

The conventions are not rules, and often the home team has the first choice of color, with the visiting team forced to choose a contrasting color. Teams thus create a third jersey in a third color, to ensure that they will always have an appropriate selection for the game.

In US sports, throwback jerseys are generally only used for special team games and not for the "third" purpose. In American football a third jersey may be a throwback uniform based on designs the team used in the past. In English football meanwhile it is more commonly a radically different design.

American football[edit]

National Football League[edit]

The NFL was the last of the major professional sports leagues to adopt the third jersey rule in 2002, with the only exceptions being the 1994 season, when teams issued a throwback uniform in honor of the league's 75th Anniversary. Initially, the NFL rule stated that a team may wear their third jersey only once a year, however, after one year this restriction was increased to twice a year. There are currently no rules on wearing alternate pants. Teams are also permitted to wear alternate jerseys as often as desired in playoff games (except the Super Bowl, where teams must wear their standard uniforms); the only team to do so (other than in 1994) was the 2008 San Diego Chargers.

Some teams will generally use one of their third jersey allotments against a particular division opponent each year. For instance, the San Diego Chargers always wear their popular powder blue third jerseys at home against the Oakland Raiders, while the Houston Texans are known to wear their "Battle Red" third uniforms at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Pittsburgh Steelers are known to wear their throwbacks at home against the archrival Baltimore Ravens. The New York Giants were known to wear their red third jerseys at home against the Dallas Cowboys until the red jerseys were retired in 2009.

When wearing their third jerseys, especially if the team is wearing a throwback uniform, the team may theme the field around the uniforms. When the New York Jets, for instance, wear their 1960–1962 "Titans of New York" throwbacks at home, they will paint the field in the Titans blue-and-gold color scheme. (The Jets' current color scheme is green and white.) In addition, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers dressed the field up in Orange when they wore their Creamsicle throwbacks in 2009.

Teams will generally wear their third jerseys at home, though the Carolina Panthers are known to wear their electric blue third jerseys on the road (especially in Tampa) if the home team opts to wear their white jerseys against the Panthers and the weather is very hot. The Jets have also worn their Titans throwbacks once in 2007 against the Miami Dolphins at Dolphin Stadium in Miami.

Because the football helmet is such a significant and visible part of the football uniform, some teams also wore alternate helmets when wearing their third jersey. This was particularly true for throwback uniforms, such as those worn by the Steelers (yellow), Jets/Titans (yellow), and Buccaneers (white). The NFL outlawed the use of alternate helmets beginning in the 2013 season.

In alphabetical order, the teams that have used third jerseys heading into the 2011 season:

  • Arizona Cardinals – Introduced a black alternate in 2010.
  • Atlanta Falcons – Adopted a red alternate in 2003 when the team redesigned the uniforms. The red alternate became the primary home jersey the following season, and the black jersey was used as an alternate through 2008. In 2009, the Falcons introduced a new set of alternate uniforms based upon the ones used by the franchise in its first season of 1966, featuring red helmets, black jerseys and white pants.
  • Baltimore Ravens – Introduced an alternate black jersey in 2004. Mostly used in nationally-televised games during the night time.
  • Buffalo Bills – Have used the AFL-era uniforms as alternates since 2005, and in 2009, a white throwback jersey was introduced as part of the AFL's 50th anniversary. A red alternate, never used in a game, has been sold since at least 2001. The white throwback serves as the team's third jersey as of 2013, complete with standing-buffalo helmet decals; because only the decals are different between the third kit and the standard, it is within the NFL's rules.
  • Carolina Panthers – Introduced an "Electric blue" alternate in 2002.
  • Chicago Bears – Wore 1940s-era orange throwbacks in 2004 Thanksgiving Day game with Dallas. Popularity with the fans led to the team introducing an orange alternate of the current design in 2005. The Bears wore their alternate orange jerseys for one (two in 2011) home game per season that is closest to Halloween. This was replaced by a 1940's styled set for the 2010 season, for two games against divisional opponents at home to honor the original "Monsters of the Midway" for the anniversary.[2][3] The orange alternate was re-adopted for the 2011 season, though Chicago switched back to the "Monsters of the Midway" theme in 2012.[4]
  • Cincinnati Bengals – Introduced an orange alternate along with the redesigned uniforms in 2004. Worn during "special occasions".
  • Cleveland Browns – An orange alternate of the current design was worn from 2002–04. A throwback based on the 1950s team was worn for one game to celebrate the team's 60th anniversary in 2006 and have been worn ever since as their alternate uniform.
  • Dallas Cowboys – The Cowboys are notable for being one of the few teams to designate their white uniform as their regular home uniform. Because most other teams wear their colors at home, the Cowboys end up wearing white in the vast majority of their games; the team's early owners recognized this fact and believed it would lead to better recognition on television, and the tradition remains today. Used white "Double Star" jerseys in 1994 and navy "Double Star" jerseys in 1995. Revived the navy "Double Star" jerseys on Thanksgiving Day during the NFL's "Throwback Weekend" in 2001–2003. Since 2004, the team has worn the original 1962 navy "home" uniform designs as a third jersey, usually on Thanksgiving Day and Monday Night Football. Although the Cowboys primarily wear white at home, an alternate 1962 white jersey was made, but has yet to be worn by the team. They did use the 1960–63 away jerseys for the NFL's 75th season of 1994 for one game under mandatory league rules, but they used silver helmets.
  • Denver Broncos – Wore the Orange Crush-era "throwbacks" in a 2001 Thanksgiving game, just five years after they were retired. The team introduced an orange alternate in 2002, which became the team's new primary home jersey beginning in 2012. The navy blue jerseys, which had been the team's primary home jersey since they were introduced in 1997, switched to alternate designation in 2012. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the AFL, the Broncos wore their infamous 1960–61 uniforms (with vertically-striped socks) for two games in 2009.
  • Detroit Lions – Wore 1950s-era throwbacks on Thanksgiving from 2001 to 2004. Wore black alternates from 2005 to 2007, then returned to the throwback design.
  • Green Bay Packers – Wore 1940s-era throwbacks in 2001 Thanksgiving game with Detroit, and wore 1960s-era throwbacks in 2003 Thanksgiving game, also with the Lions. Replica jerseys were sold consisting of a yellow jersey with green numbers from 2004–06. The team wore a 1920s-style uniform (in navy blue with a yellow circle on the front with a navy number, and brown helmets [used to signify the leather helmets from the era]) on December 5, 2010 against the San Francisco 49ers.
  • Houston Texans – Introduced a red alternate in 2003.
  • Indianapolis Colts – Wore mid-1950s throwbacks in 2004 Thanksgiving game with Detroit used very early in team's history. Wore a similar jersey with a navy blue helmet in a preseason game against San Francisco in and in a regular season game against Philadelphia in 2010.
  • Jacksonville Jaguars – Wore black alternates from 2002–08. The black alternates was reitroduced in the 2012 season but became the primary home uniform while the teal uniform retained as an alternate.
  • Kansas City Chiefs – Wore Dallas Texans throwbacks in 2009.
  • Miami Dolphins – Introduced an orange alternate in 2003. The team most recently used these jerseys in a 2010 game vs. the N.Y. Jets which they lost 31-23 making the Dolphins 3-1 when wearing the orange jerseys. Miami also wore "undefeated '72 Dolphins" throwbacks in 2003 Thanksgiving game with Dallas.
  • Minnesota Vikings – Introduced alternate purple pants when they redesigned their uniforms in 2005, which were worn twice with their white jerseys in 2005, and then once with their purple jerseys in 2007, but then hung them up until week 9 of the 2010 season when the team needed a spark. They wore them once with the purple set and once with the whites. The Vikes wore 1969-1992 home throwbacks one game in each of 2007 and 2008, and twice during the 2009 campaign. The throwbacks have mostly been worn against an NFC North rival.
  • New England Patriots – Wore the "classic" Patriots throwbacks in 2002 Thanksgiving game with Detroit, which were reintroduced in the 2009 season and were retained for 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons. Wore a silver alternate (treated as a "white" jersey, against which opponents would wear colors — in fact, its first in-game use forced the Cowboys to don their "unlucky" blue jerseys) from 2003–07. An all-black alternate is sold in stores but has never been worn on the field.
  • New Orleans Saints – Wore a gold alternate (treated as a "white" jersey) in 2002 vs Minnesota and also wore their original 1967 throwbacks vs Tampa Bay in the same season. In the 2006 season, wearing black pants became widespread, both at home and away. The 1967 throwbacks were reintroduced on September 25, 2011 in a 40–33 win over the Houston Texans.
  • New York Giants – Introduced a red alternate in 2004, worn during one home game per season. The chosen game is usually a very high-profile encounter — for example, the red jersey has been worn in late season divisional games, often against the Dallas Cowboys. The red jerseys have been retired for 2009.
  • New York Jets – Have worn the 1960–62 New York Titans throwbacks since the 2007 NFL season.[5] A white Titans jersey was introduced in 2009 as part of the AFL's 50th anniversary celebration. The team announced that the throwbacks will not be worn for the 2010–11 NFL season. The throwbacks did return in the 2011–12 NFL season but were not worn in the 2012-13 NFL season and are now forbidden under the alternate-helmet rule.
  • Oakland Raiders – Wore 1963 throwbacks in 2009.
  • Philadelphia Eagles – Wore 1948 throwbacks in a 1994 game. Introduced a black alternate of the current design in 2003. In 2007, the team wore 1934 Frankford Yellow Jackets jerseys, featuring bright yellow and aqua colors, against Detroit to honor the team's 75th Anniversary (when the Eagles started the 2007 season with a record of 1–3, the one win came when they wore the Yellow Jackets uniforms, causing many to say that the Eagles should keep those uniforms on). In 2010, the team wore a 1960 uniform in commemoration of their 50th Anniversary of their last NFL championship on Opening Day (September 12) against Green Bay. The Eagles did not wear an alternate in 2011 but returned to wearing the black alternate in 2012.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers – Wore 1963–1964 era throwbacks during the 2007 season as part of the team's 75th Anniversary. Used the same throwbacks for two games in 2008.[6] They were worn on October 4, 2009 against the San Diego Chargers and the Baltimore Ravens.[7] For the 2010 season, the throwback uniforms will be worn against the Cleveland Browns on October 17 and against the New England Patriots on November 14.[8] They will be worn in 2011 as well. A different throwback uniform, this one incorporating a horizontally-striped pattern used in 1934, was used in the 2012 season.
  • San Diego Chargers – Reintroduced the popular "powder blue" Chargers uniforms from the 1960s as an alternate in 2002. Elements from the throwback uniform were used when the Chargers re-designed their logo and uniforms after the 2006 season. Now sporting a white helmet (minus jersey number) full-time, the powder blue uniform was modernized and has served as the new alternate jersey since 2007. The throwback uniforms returned in 2009, in celebration of their 50th anniversary as one of the eight original AFL teams.
  • San Francisco 49ers – Famously wore their 1955-era throwback uniforms for nearly all of the 1994 season and subsequent playoffs, including their Super Bowl victory (a fashion statement that perhaps set the stage for the throwback craze in later seasons). Team also wore "1989 throwbacks" in 2002, 2005 and 2006 (even though they were still used regularly as recent as 1995). The team wore them in their 2007 season opener vs. Arizona (with special league permission) after the death of NFL Hall of Famer Bill Walsh.[9] The 49ers bought back uniforms from the 1984 era as a tribute to the 1980s teams for the last game of the 2008 season on December 28 versus the Washington Redskins, some players also grew early 1980s mustaches for the game to finish the look. A modified version of those uniform became the full-time home and away uniforms in 2009.
  • Seattle Seahawks – Wore a neon-green third jersey during Week 3 of their 2009 season. Then-coach Jim Mora announced on December 9, 2009 that the green jerseys had been retired because "we didn't win in them." The jerseys did not return in 2010 despite the new coaching staff. The neon green jerseys reflect other business interests of the Seahawks ownership.[10] Introduced a grey alternate in 2012 with redesigned home and away uniforms.
  • St. Louis Rams – Introducing 1970s–1999 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams throwbacks in 2009, the tenth anniversary of the Rams' Super Bowl XXXIV victory.
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers – While current team ownership has wanted the Culverhouse-era jerseys erased because of the futility of the Buccaneers during that era, in 2009, for the Ring of Honor, the team officially allowed Culverhouse-era orange jerseys to be worn for such occasions. Such usage was forbidden under the 2013 alternate helmet rule. They also have a black alternate, though it has never been worn.
  • Tennessee Titans – Introduced a powder blue alternate of the current design in 2003. The powder blue became the primary home uniform in 2008, while the navy blue uniform became the new alternate (similar to what the Falcons did). They wore Houston Oilers throwbacks in 2009. The Titans did not wear their navy alternates from 2009-2012, however they returned in week 7 of the 2013 season.
  • Washington Redskins – Wore 1960s-era uniforms in 2002 as a tribute to the team's 70th anniversary that season. Despite popularity with fans and even rumors that the uniforms would stick around as an alternate (which was worn once during the 2003 season), team currently does not have a third jersey. During the 2007 season, the Redskins wore the Vince Lombardi-inspired 1970–71 throwback uniforms for selected games.

College football[edit]

Although uniforms are much less regulated at the collegiate level compared to the NFL, alternate uniforms – and even regular uniform redesigns – are generally less common due to many teams' respective histories and traditions surrounding a particular jersey color or uniform combination.

Ole Miss was one of the earliest programs to use two different jerseys, wearing the school colors of navy blue and red depending upon the game.

Recently, however, many teams have begun to experiment with alternate uniforms and helmets, especially teams whose uniforms are provided by Nike. Since the late 2000s, Nike has provided the University of Oregon Ducks with modular uniform systems consisting of as many as four color choices for jerseys, pants, helmets, socks and other components, allowing the Ducks to select a new combination for nearly every game.

One of the more famous third jerseys is that of the University of Notre Dame. The team wears either white or navy blue for most games, but occasionally special kelly green jerseys with gold numbers, evocative of the "Fighting Irish", are chosen for a major contest.

Association football[edit]

The Scotland national football team's third shirt, 2004

Third kits existed in English soccer at least as early as the 1940s. Until 1989-90,[11] the FA Cup competition rules stated: "Where the colours of the two competing clubs are similar, both clubs must change unless alternative arrangements are mutually agreed by the competing clubs".[12] Away kits were often similar as well, therefore third kits were worn in the 1948 FA Cup Final by Manchester United and the 1950 final by Arsenal.[13] Clubs sometimes needed to find makeshift third kits for their players.[11]

Man United won the 1968 European Cup Final in a blue third kit, and England introduced light blue third kits at the 1970 and 1986 World Cups.[13]

Since the 2000s, most clubs in major European leagues have used a third kit, or had one in reserve. Replicas of the kits are usually sold at club merchandise shops. Sometimes a previous season's away kit is used.

One notable incident occurred in 1996, when Manchester United changed into their blue and white third kit at half-time, with manager Alex Ferguson blaming the grey away kit for several sub-par performances.[14] Ferguson commented, "The players couldn't pick each other out.[...] They said it was difficult to see their team-mates at distance when they lifted their heads".[15]

Baseball[edit]

Major League Baseball[edit]

After decades of wearing the same uniforms, Major League Baseball teams began to experiment with numerous designs in the early 1970s, ranging from popular designs (such as the Oakland Athletics' pullover jerseys that most MLB teams later adopted) and not so popular (such as the Chicago White Sox wearing shorts, or the Cleveland Indians wearing all-red).

Among such designs that were also tested were third jerseys, to break the traditional mold that baseball teams wear white uniforms at home, and gray on the road. This began in 1972 when the A's flamboyant owner, Charles O. Finley, introduced new uniforms to the team. Taking after the lead of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the jerseys were pullover spandex that would later catch on in MLB (though this would be phased out by the early 1990s in favor of the more traditional button-down jerseys), but by going one step further than the Pirates, the A's introduced alternate gold and green jerseys. The gold jerseys, lighter in color, were considered "home" alternates while the darker green jerseys were considered "away" alternates.

Soon, many teams caught on with different colored jerseys. The Pirates even went as far as to having a rotation of which jerseys to wear, matching white pinstriped, gold, and black pants to wear with jerseys of the same color. The white pinstripes were later phased out in favor of solid white.

The New York Yankees have generally shunned the practice of third jerseys. The Yankees wore three different jerseys in 1911, 1916, and most recently in 1943 according to the Dressed to the Nines database maintained by the National Baseball Hall of Fame. In recent years, the Yankees have worn throwback uniforms for single games in 1996 and 2012.[16] Third jerseys otherwise remain popular in baseball today, either as an alternate design or as a throwback known as "Turn Back the Clock Night." The Milwaukee Brewers, for example, have worn a variation of their 1978–1993 home uniforms for every Friday home game. In 1998, the Seattle Mariners hosted the Kansas City Royals for a game where both teams wore "futuristic" uniforms meant to represent the year 2027 (what will be the Mariners 50th season). The "Turn Ahead The Clock" promotion was so successful that it was copied the next year by 20 MLB teams, this time representing the year 2021 (due to sponsorship by the real estate company Century 21), however the jerseys were roundly ridiculed and have not been seen since.

The Toronto Blue Jays change from their traditional blue and grey jersey to a red alternate jersey every Canada Day (July 1) to help celebrate the national holiday. In 2007, the Jays announced that as part of the team's popular "Flashback Friday" promotion, the team would use replica uniforms based on the powder-blue road uniforms used in the 1980s at all Friday night home games, starting with the 2008 season. To complete the look, the Jays also wore the original blue and white caps, with their traditional logo on the front of the uniform as well as on the caps. The Tampa Bay Rays wore a black alternate in the 1990s when they were the Devil Rays, and from 2003–2007 they wore green alternate jersey worn both at home and away on selected games. When they changed their name to the Rays, they introduced an alternate navy blue for home and away games to go along with their white and gray uniforms. In 2010 they added light blue jerseys to be worn only on Sunday home games. The Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves wear a red jersey for every home game played on Sunday, while the Washington Nationals wear red for all weekend home games, and in 2011 have done so for most weekend road games as well. The Pittsburgh Pirates wore a red alternate for every home game played on Friday during the 2007 season, even though red is not an official team color. Since 2009, the Boston Red Sox wore a red alternate jersey for Friday night home games and a blue alternate jersey for Friday night away games. Also since 2009, for every afternoon home game, the Kansas City Royals wear powder-blue jerseys almost reminiscent of the old jerseys they wore in the 1980s (and in 2010 introduced new powder-blue caps to be worn with these jerseys, though they have since gone back to wearing their normal blue caps). To honor the U.S. military, during Sunday home games, the San Diego Padres originally sported special camouflage-colored jerseys (with green caps to match); in 2011 the camouflage jerseys were changed to a brown/tan "desert camo" with a tan cap. The San Francisco Giants wear orange jerseys during all Friday home games. The Philadelphia Phillies introduced an alternate cream-colored uniform (with a blue cap to complete the look) in 2008 and currently wear it for all afternoon home games. Most recently the Mariners revived their teal jerseys from the mid-1990s, to be used on Friday and Monday home games. The Baltimore Orioles wear alternate black jerseys (with a cap showing the "O's" script logo) every Friday, regardless of whether they are home or away, and in 2012 they introduced an alternate orange jersey to be worn during Saturday home games. In 2013, the New York Mets introduced two different blue alternate jerseys; one has their team name on it and is used at home, while the other has their city, New York, on it and is used on the road.

In contrast, the Chicago Cubs frequently wear a blue alternate jersey, whether at home or on the road, and not according to the day of the week. This jersey is worn based on the decision of the starting pitcher (particularly when Carlos Zambrano was scheduled to start), thus explaining why it is worn more often than other third jerseys.

After the death of Harmon Killebrew in 2011, the Minnesota Twins decided to wear their cream-colored third jersey – a direct throwback of the uniforms used for most of Killebrew's career – for every home game for the rest of the year.

Among Major League teams, the Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Colorado Rockies and Minnesota Twins have the most alternate uniforms, with three. The Astros, Brewers and Twins have two alternate uniforms with the same color, with one featuring the team nickname and used on home games, the other featuring the city name and used on away games; in addition to their regular alternates, since 2011 the Brewers have, during various "Heritage" games, worn uniforms with "Cerveceros" ("Brewers" in Spanish), "Bierbrauer" (German), "Birrai" (Italian) and "Piwowarzy" (Polish); their opponents during those games would usually also have the foreign translation of their own team name on their road uniforms, such as "Piraten" ("Pirates" in German) or "Cardenales" ("Cardinals" in Spanish). The Rockies have a sleeveless pinstriped uniform with the team initials on the left, a purple alternate jersey, and a sleeveless black alternate jersey.

Basketball[edit]

National Basketball Association[edit]

In the NBA, the only teams that have a third jersey as a "home jersey" are the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs and the Indiana Pacers. Since the 2012–13 season light-colored third jerseys have been widely accepted as the "home jersey", with the exception of the Memphis Grizzlies, who continued to wear their pale blue alternates on the road. The only team in the NBA with a color jersey as an official home jersey is the Los Angeles Lakers. In addition to their usual purple (away) and yellow (home), the Lakers have a white jersey which is used exclusively for home games that take place on a Sunday or a holiday.

Other examples of third jerseys in the NBA include the Chicago Bulls, who aside from their standard white (home) and red (away) jerseys, have a black alternate jersey which is worn on the road and at home on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Bulls started wearing black alternate uniforms in the 1995–96 NBA season, the same season they won an NBA-record 72 games en route to capturing the NBA Championship. Teams in cities with rich Irish heritage celebrate St. Patrick's Day: both the Bulls and New York Knicks have special green jerseys, while the Boston Celtics use their traditional green jerseys but with gold lettering instead of the normal white. The Miami Heat have red and black away jerseys in addition to the white jerseys they wear at home; they did add an additional all-black jersey during the 2011–12 season, and an all-white ensemble for the following season. The Detroit Pistons have a red alternate jersey in addition to the traditional blue road jersey. The Orlando Magic introduced a blue road alternate jersey in the mid-1990s to accompany their white home and traditional black road jersey. A few years later, the Magic ditched their black road jersey and made the blue uniform their primary road jersey. They did not don an alternate uniform until they reintroduced the black alternate jersey in the 2010–11 season.

The Phoenix Suns have used an orange alternate jersey since the 2003–04 season, both at home and on the road. They also had a black alternate jersey during the late 1990s. The New Orleans Pelicans, back in their years as the Hornets, introudced a gold alternate jersey the same season, trimmed in teal and purple, keeping with New Orleans' Mardi Gras tradition. The Hornets usually wore their gold jersey for road games, but they also wore the jersey at home for two or three games per season. For the 2008–09 season, however, the Hornets introduced new home and away uniforms, and bid farewell to the gold alternate jerseys. They did reintroduce a gold alternate in the 2010–11 season, featuring the abbreviation 'NOLA' and pinstripes on the jersey, and were used on Friday home games. The Minnesota Timberwolves wear blue jerseys on the road and white jerseys at home, but from 1999 to 2008 and 2010 to the present, they occasionally wear an alternate black jersey for road games.

Until 2010, the Cleveland Cavaliers had an alternate navy blue away jersey. During the 2006 and 2007 NBA Playoffs, including the 2007 NBA Finals, the Cavs solely wore their navy blue jerseys at away playoff games. They returned to a deeper wine and brighter gold colors before the 2010–11 season, and added a gold alternate two seasons later. During the 2006–07 season the Washington Wizards began using a gold jersey in addition to their white (home) and blue (road). That same season, the New Jersey Nets started wearing red alternate uniforms for both home and away games in addition to their normal white (home) and navy blue (road); they dropped the navy blue in favor of the red uniforms for regular away use in the 2009–10 season. The Nets had previously worn silver alternate jerseys from 1999–2005. They solely wore these silver alternate jerseys at away playoff games during the 2002 NBA Playoffs, including the 2002 NBA Finals. The previous season (2005–06), the Sacramento Kings introduced a gold alternate to go with their traditional white and purple jerseys; previously they had a half-purple and half-black alternate, then a purple alternate. The gold jerseys were used for only two seasons. Before the 2011–12 season the Kings reintroduced black uniforms to their set. In this same year, the Boston Celtics added an alternate road jersey with black trim and black text with a different style text. The Portland Trail Blazers reintroduced red uniforms in the 2002–03 season, this time as an alternate to their classic black and white uniform sets. In the 2007–08 season, the Indiana Pacers introduced a gold third jersey. The team previously wore a gold third jersey until the 2004–05 season, when new uniforms were introduced. The Golden State Warriors became the first NBA team to wear sleeved jerseys in a game when they introduced a gold alternate jersey in 2013.

Per NBA rules, teams will only introduce a new third jersey at least two years after unveiling a new logo and uniform set.

Here are NBA teams wearing the "third jersey" through the years:

(*) – As the Seattle SuperSonics, the Sonics wore dark red alternates from 1999 to 2001 and gold alternates from 2004 to 2008.

(**) – While in New Jersey, they had silver alternates from 1998 to 2005, and red alternates from 2006 to 2009. The red alternates became their primary road uniform in their final three seasons in New Jersey.

(***) – As the Charlotte/New Orleans (/Oklahoma City) Hornets, they wore purple alternates from 1994 to 1997, gold alternates from 2004 to 2008, and from 2010 to 2013. Green/purple Mardi Gras alternates were also used from 2010 to 2013. During their years in Oklahoma City from 2005 to 2007, they had a Valentine's Day alternate, and a special edition white alternate, both featuring the name of their temporary city.

Canadian football[edit]

Alternate uniforms have been used by some teams in the Canadian Football League since the 2000s. Some clubs have designated four or five different jerseys for use, if necessary, in a single season.

Ice hockey[edit]

National Hockey League[edit]

In the National Hockey League, each team has its own distinctive sweater design (hockey tradition usually refers to jerseys as "sweaters," because hockey players actually wore sweaters on the ice until the 1960s). Prior to 1995 (save a few isolated instances), each team only had two sweaters — one for home use, and one for the road. One sweater was dominantly white (or in a few instances, a light color), and the other dominantly a dark color. The home team has first choice of uniforms from the 1917-18 to the 1969-70 seasons (the white sweater was predominantly the road sweater with the dark sweater predominantly being the home sweater), but from the 1970-1971 to the 2002-2003 seasons, white sweaters were worn at home and dark sweaters were worn on the road. Since the Third Sweater Program was introduced in the 1995-96 season, some teams wore the third sweater at home, which would have required the road team to wear its white home uniforms on the road. This was alleviated starting in the 2003-04 season, when new rules mandated dark sweaters at home and white sweaters on the road.

The first third sweater in the NHL was a gold Pittsburgh Penguins home sweater used in the 1981-82 and 1982-83 seasons, then as the only home sweater in the 1983-84 season.

With the introduction of the third sweater, teams were allowed to use a completely new style for their sweater (and in some cases, corresponding alternate socks, helmets and other uniform elements). Every team in the league except the Detroit Red Wings, the New Jersey Devils and the Montreal Canadiens have introduced a third sweater at one point since the program began. However, Detroit used a "throwback" sweater for the 2009 Winter Classic (which was used again against the Chicago Blackhawks on April 11, 2009) and New Jersey used "throwback" green and red sweater against the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 17, 2010 (which were later used in the 2014 NHL Stadium Series), including a replica helmet worn by goaltender Martin Brodeur that was made to look like the original helmet he wore in his first game with NJ back in 1992. Montreal introduced several "throwbacks" in 2009 to celebrate their centennial season. Following the NHL's lead, the NBA and NFL also use third sweaters. The National Hockey League suspended the Third Sweater Program after the 2006–07 season because of logistics problems involving the new Rbk Edge style NHL sweaters, which were unveiled at the 2007 NHL All-Star Game. An exception was made during the 2007–08 season for the AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic, where the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Buffalo Sabres wore throwback uniforms for the game. After the one-year absence, third sweaters returned to the league for 2008–09.

Usage[edit]

Owen Sound Attack's Joey Hishon wearing a third uniform in the Ontario Hockey League

Once a team has been granted permission by the league to use their new design, they will request and be allowed ten to fifteen games during the season in which they may use their third sweater. They may continue to use the third sweater in subsequent years as well. This alternate design allowed the team's appearance to flirt with radical designs which have occasionally gone on to become the new looks for some of the participating teams, though they can also be quite garish. An infamous example is a third sweater planned to be used by the St. Louis Blues: an over-the-top mix of trumpets, musical notes and staffs, it was rejected by then-coach/GM Mike Keenan, who reportedly banned the sweater from use.[17] Sales of third sweaters to fans have also provided significant additional income for cash-strapped NHL teams. For example, in 2013 the Calgary Flames introduced a third sweater in the exact same colours as their primary home sweater, but with the addition of "western styling" mixed with traditional hockey sweater features such as laces and the team name in script on the front.[18]

Chronology[edit]

Several teams have had multiple designs of their third sweater.

Rugby league[edit]

National Rugby League[edit]

In recent years the third jersey has appeared in the Australian NRL, with every team having a 'home' jersey, an 'away' jersey and a 'heritage' jersey. The NRL does not currently require third or alternate jerseys, because most clashes can be resolved with away jerseys or using modified under-20s jerseys.

  • South Sydney Rabbitohs used a white jersey (the under-20s away jersey) against Canberra in 2008, even though the NRL stated that the Souths and Canberra jerseys don't clash. They have a similar jersey for 2009 which contains tribal Aboriginal and Maori designs.
  • Parramatta Eels have adopted a home (yellow with blue designs), away (blue with yellow designs, however in 2007 this was the alternate) and alternate (white with yellow designs, however in 2007 was away) jersey scheme. They (along with Manly-Warringah and Illawarra) were one of the pioneers of away jerseys in rugby league in Australia.
  • Canterbury Bulldogs use a jersey reminiscent of their training jersey as a clash strip (also their under-20s away jersey). They also wear their Berries strip from the 1960s as a heritage strip and a similar (yet quite different) jersey (white with blue and black butcher stripes) for trials.
  • Brisbane Broncos have been known to wear a blue and aqua alternate jersey, however, it is rare to see as blue has become a colour hated by Queensland rugby league fans.
  • Wests Tigers have worn a white version of their 2008 home jersey, switching the white/orange areas, and introduced a "10 Year Anniversary" jersey, which is white with black and orange V's. They also wear modernised versions of the old Balmain Tigers and Western Suburbs Magpies strips from the 1980s.
  • Though not technically third jumpers, the Centenary of Rugby League celebrations left all teams with special jerseys for the Centenary round, and in 2009 several teams wore the same jerseys (the Newcastle Knights, however, wore their foundation strip, in 2008 they wore a Newcastle Rebels jersey, which was the first Newcastle team in the NSWRL and played in the NSWRL's foundation season. The New Zealand Warriors wore a jersey symbolising the history of rugby league in Auckland, with a dark blue jersey with 2 white V's, while the Melbourne Storm wore their 2000's light purple with white lightning bolts away strip in the 2009 Heritage Round, while in 2008 they wore their foundation jersey with V's).
  • As a result of the above point, the Sydney Roosters have used five jerseys in 2008.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Post Gazette story accessed 3 May 2014
  2. ^ Taylor, Roy. "Chicago Bears Uniform History". Bearshistory.com. Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  3. ^ "Bears to wear 1940s throwback uniforms". Chicagobears.com. 2010-04-20. Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  4. ^ "Will Bears wear orange jerseys this season?". Chicagobears.com. 2012-04-20. Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
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  6. ^ "Pittsburgh Steelers Reebok Any Name & Number Authentic Third Jersey (2007-2011) - Official Online Store". News.steelers.com. Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  7. ^ Collier, Gene (September 30, 2009). "Absence of Steelers' Polamalu palpable". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  8. ^ Bires, Mike (September 28, 2010). "Steelers Notes: Batch will start again; Throwbacks coming soon". Beaver County Times. 
  9. ^ "Niners to wear throwback jerseys in season opener as part of Walsh tribute - NFL - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 2007-08-06. Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  10. ^ "Big Seahawks news: Green jerseys retired!". Blog.seattlepi.com. 2009-12-09. Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  11. ^ a b 3 March: "Until 1989-90 the rules of the FA Cup..." HFK - News & Updates Archive 2011 Retrieved Jul 16, 2012
  12. ^ "Liverpool v Arsenal 1971 FA Cup Kits"(Menu) John Devlin, True Colours Football Kits, Oct 19, 2008. Retrieved Jul 17, 2012
  13. ^ a b Third Kits - A history of the Third Kit, John Devlin, Umbro.com, 1 Sep 2009
  14. ^ "truecoloursfootball.co.uk". truecoloursfootball.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  15. ^ Duxbury, Nick (16 Apr 1996). "United drop grey strip after black day". The Independent. Retrieved 16 Jul 2012. 
  16. ^ New York Yankees. "The curse of the Yankees' 1912 road uniforms". Nj.com. Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  17. ^ "St. Louis Blues 3rd sweater features Arch, leaves out trumpets". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  18. ^ "Flames Unveil New Third Jersey To Mixed Reviews, With Some Saying It Is "Bland"
  19. ^ Anderson, Shelly (May 29, 2010). "Heinz 'in' place to be Jan. 1". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 

External links[edit]