Talk:Number (sports)

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Football Numbers are an Australian Invention[edit]

In 1911 there was a sensational innovation at a local "Australian Football" match in Sydney when the players of both teams each wore a different number on his back. The Sydney soccer clubs Leichhardt and HMS Powerful followed suit, and in 1911 wore squad numbers on the their backs for the first time in world football history. In 1912 it was mandatory in New South Wales (Australia) for players at official tournaments to wear numbers on their backs. Therefore, wearing squad numbers on the backs of jerseys is an Australian invention – not a British one, as they have claimed since the 1930's.

Page name[edit]

Although this page was alright as Squad number when I created it, as it mostly referred to sports with squads, it's now expanded beyond that - in particular, the auto racing section really doesn't belong in an article with this title. I'm thinking of moving the page to Number (sport). Opinions? Erath 00:44, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

  • Sounds reasonable to me. Numbers worn by competitors in a sport, whether a team sport or individual sport, often bear a sort of symbolic importance within the sport. The change in name would make the article more inclusive, and thus better. Number (sport) seems OK, but I always hate using parenthetical titles if at all possible. Is there any other term that applies and is more inclusive than "Squad number?" Uniform numbers maybe? Any other ideas out there? --Jayron32 03:21, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Hockey Numbers[edit]

Gretzky 99[edit]

Gretzky did not choose 99 to distance himself from Howe. He did because 9 was already taken on his Major Junoir team the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Here is a direct quote from Wayne on the subject:

"When people ask me about my famous hockey sweater #99, I like to let them guess a bit. Some think it represents the year that I plan to retire - so I just grin. The truth of it is that i've always been a big Gordie Howe fan and #9 was his number. When I came to the Soo, I requested that number for my own. The Greyhounds rule was that if a team member had worn that number the previous year, he would have first choice on it again. Since Brian Gualazzi had #9, I reluctantly wore #19 and later #14 instead. When Phil Esposito was traded to the Rangers, he had asked for #7, however it had been Rod Gilbert's number. Thus, Phil opted for 77. That's when Muzz MacPherson suggested that my best solution was to wear double nine, or 99. The fans initially ribbed me about wearing a football number. Later the Soo Greyhounds retired my jersey with the 99 on it. It is permanently displayed , high in the rafters at the Memorial Gardens. Recalling the many friendships formed and the encouragement of the fans - despite the frigid winters - provides me with a lot of great memories of the Soo Greyhounds. I'll never forget the sound of Go Hounds Go".

From here - ALSO - a second reference

Goalie Numbers[edit]

English View[edit]

I think the artikel is very english because the number 10 is in world football the most important number (and not the 7). This number was worn from Pukas, Pele or Maradona

baseball jersey low numbers citation[edit]

see Jim Bouton's book "Ball Four" for the appropriate citation on the desirability of low numbers in spring training because high numbers denote a minor league invitee unlikely to stick the roster. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:17, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

"Arsenal and Chelsea wore numbered shirts in their left across each line the numbering was"[edit]

What does this sentence mean? -- (talk) 18:49, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Cliff Johnson[edit]

Cliff Johnson never wore 99. So says Baseball Almanac. I've removed this reference. (talk) 02:07, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

"Shirts of special significance" section[edit]

I trimmed down Squad number#Shirts of special significance, since much of the section had little to do with the topic, where certain numbers at certain clubs have special significance because they were "worn by particularly great players in different eras". But it seems silly that the first examples in the section only name one player at each club. And it's hardly a "coincidence" that great players end up wearing #9 or #10.

It seems that the section works better incorporated into the more general section about club football. --Mosmof (talk) 17:55, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Very necessary. Thankyou. Erath (talk) 18:55, 4 January 2009 (UTC)


In one paragraph, we have the sentence "If two or more players make their debut in the same match, they are given numbers alphabetically based on surname.", the phrase "first in alphabetical order amongst that England XI", and the parenthesised sentence "(If two players make their Test debut in the same match, the numbers are allocated alphabetically according to the player's surname).". Does the same criterion need stating three times? --Redrose64 (talk) 13:27, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Excessive Hearsay[edit]

To those editing this article,

For quality improvement, please avoid the following terms:

   "Some say" - Who? - "Bob at AXQ News Organization says[1]" - better
   "It is generally believed" - Overtly-general, try adding ", by the AQP Sports Organization[2]" - better

Wikipedia articles need specific citations of sources for material; otherwise the unsourced material, truthful as it may be, could be deleted, reducing the overall richness of Wikipedia due to a minor quality issue. -- (talk) 02:31, 24 August 2009 (UTC)02:30, 24 August 2009 (UTC)


In lacrosse (particularly at Syracuse University), the #22 jersey is coveted because of its association with Gary Gait and the Powell brothers. From 1987-2004, it was worn at SU by 5 different four-time All-Americans. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Theycallmebruce (talkcontribs) 22:39, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Page name[edit]

This was raised in one of the discussions above. The article encompasses examples of sports using squad numbers, position numbers and both. A more appropriate article name is needed, in my opinion. Couple of ideas I had: Sports numbering, Sports player numbers, Team sports numbering (my favoured option). Any suggestions/thoughts? LunarLander // talk // 18:18, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Rugby Union[edit]

The fullback is number 15. Number 1 is the loosehead prop. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:09, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was page moved as per counter proposal. The most significant opposition either preferred "squad" or "jersey", and most preferred a move to a neutral title. Although the counter proposal was posted very recently, it drew from the discussion and clarified. I feel that adequate consensus has been reached for this move. - UtherSRG (talk) 22:00, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Squad numberUniform number – The term people most commonly seem to use in the most popular sports around (e.g. Baseball, Football) is "uniform number." Uniform number gets 1,870,000 GHits [1]. Squad number gets 1,210,000 [2], and "jersey number" gets around that much too [3]. Hellno2 (talk) 00:15, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

  • Support "squad" doesn't work in sports where they are not called squads. (talk) 04:26, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose The Squad number article refers to numbers worn on the clothing of sportspeople, your google search of uniform number of course got more ghits as it doesn't specifically refer to sportspeople & as for your argument it is used by the most popular sports is not correct, football the world's most popular sport uses Squad number terminology. ★☆ DUCKISJAMMMY☆★ 15:24, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong support per WP:CRITERIA. "Uniform number" better fits with Recognizability, Naturalness, and Consistency. When you read the paper or listen to a sports broadcast, the term "uniform number" is used, not "squad number." Even in soccer matches, they use the term uniform number. Stedrick (talk) 17:48, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose* - While you Americans might say 'uniform' number the rest of the world speaks diferently. And I don't know how you got those numbers for the Ghits but I saw 500,000 more for Squad. Adam4267 (talk) 18:39, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose move to "uniform number" – the term seems to be used a lot for North American sports; however, most European folks either tend to use "jersey number" or "squad number", so WP:CRITERIA does not apply for all anglophone regions. If the article is to be moved, it should go to "jersey number". --Soccer-holicI hear voices in my head... 18:46, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment - I would support a move as most sports do refer to it as 'Uniform number', but only if we also move Squad number (association football) to Squad number, and hatnote between the two. GiantSnowman 18:48, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - it must be an American thing as I have never heard it called a Uniform number and football the largest sport uses Squad number. Keith D (talk) 18:52, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - It seems to be an American term uniform number. Its obviously a regional thing. To me the redirect already in place deals with this ok. A move could happen but not to that.Edinburgh Wanderer 18:59, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
  • I'd prefer something like numbering of players in sports if it is truly deemed necessary to move here. "Uniform number" certainly isn't appropriate as it is AFAICT an exclusively North American term. That's a deal-breaker. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 19:08, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Squad number doesn't apply to many sports. Where as uniform number is also often used for football. So I see this as a good step towards being the more universal term. -DJSasso (talk) 19:15, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Edinburgh Wanderer. This is already dealt with. Only better title I could imagine is player numbering in sport but I feel the current title is sufficient. Cloudz679 21:04, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose requested move. Never heard of uniform number. I used to wear a school uniform, but that was never numbered. Jared Preston (talk) 21:22, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose BUT support a move to jersey number. – PeeJay 21:40, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose – Have never heard of a "uniform number" in any context. Agree with Chris above, if a move is really necessary, "numbering of players in sports" would be better. Cliftonian (talk) 23:04, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment I go for "Whatever number (sports)" like in Season (sports)--Feroang (talk) 00:34, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment From what I get here, it seems like "squad number" is a term used very much in soccer. But other terms are used in other sports, and followers of those sports have never heard the term "squad number." A term that would encompass all sports neutrally might be a good idea, but the suggestions that have been given so far have for the most part been more than two words. As someone mentioned, not all sports have squads, so squad number is not a good term here. But "uniform number," the term most widely used in baseball and gridiron football, is opposed because it doesn't fit soccer. I have heard "jersey number" used occasionally in basketball. I had thought of "uniform" as being a good word for this because these are technically uniforms used in all the sports using numbering, and the numbers are printed on them. Hellno2 (talk) 03:38, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose I don't think that uniform number is the most commonly used in the most popular sports around. If there is going to be a move i don't think it should be this. Bobbymaestro (talk) 07:21, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Strongly Oppose Squad number is more commonly used. TheBigJagielka (talk) 13:26, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment The numbers of ghits quoted above are roughly equal for squad number, jersey number and uniform number. Claims above that any one of these is more commonly used are unsupported. And I've never heard the term squad number in many years of watching many sports in which numbers are used. It may well be a local thing. So IMO the question is, what's the most recognisable title? I suspect it's none of the above. Andrewa (talk) 14:35, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Inadequately supported, unconvincing argument in favour. Leaky Caldron 14:50, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose – I'd probably elect "jersey number" if I were starting this article, based on the most universal use of which I'm aware, but with the WP:ENGVAR issue and lack of demonstrably dominant use other than the current title, I don't see the merit in this change. I would note the limitations of Google hits here, given that probably the best title would be that most widely recognized, not necessarily that most used, thus even if a term were used only %10 of the time, but were the only term used globally, that would be the ideal choice. Alas, I'm not sure how to identify such a term. ENeville (talk) 17:15, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:VNE] Kevin McE (talk) 17:36, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
  • I think the issue is that Squad number is not universal, so opposing based on universality is a bit of a mistake. Squad number is never heard on this side of the ocean, and in fact before I came to this article I was unaware it was used anywhere. I think the proposal below is probably the best solution. Or even Number (sports). -DJSasso (talk) 11:47, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Number (sports) works well IMO, see below. Andrewa (talk) 13:55, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Counter proposal[edit]

It seems to me that none of the three squad number, jersey number or uniform number is broad enough in scope for this article as it is, as each is used in particular sports and/or localities. These two are related, as geography is a major factor in the popularity of particular sports and codes. So (and following Cloudz679 above), for this overview article I suggest Numbering of players in sport, or failing that a similar descriptive title. Andrewa (talk) 00:43, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Or Number (sports) as suggested above... in the local commentaries I've heard, they generally don't say Jersey number 20, it's far more often just Number 20. This has the advantage of conciseness, it seems accurate and well within policy in all respects that I can see. Andrewa (talk) 13:55, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Support I as the original nom am willing to accept that - I mean "number (sports)." This is simple and is neutral to the concerns that different terms are used in different sports or regions. It is the same number of words as the current title, thereby preserving the simplicity. And the lead and possibly a whole paragraph or section can go into explanation about the various terminology that is used in different sports and regions, if references for it can be found. I noticed that someone in another discussion above has suggested that very title. Hellno2 (talk) 14:21, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


Posted after the closure of the discussion and outside the archive box for that reason

The comment is made above that the new title number (sports) is as concise as the previous title squad number. Actually it is more concise, as within text it will often be appropriate to use the pipe trick [[number (sports)|]] which gives simply number when you save it. The options of linking via the redirects from squad number and the others are still there, but we now have this additional option when the context is clear. Andrewa (talk) 22:26, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Goaltender picture in ice hockey section[edit]

The goaltender shown in the image has almost never played in the NHL (played exactly twice). In fact, in that exact image he's not playing in the NHL at all. It would be nice to represent more leagues, especially those outside North America, in this section, but as it currently stands it only talks about the NHL. Makes the use of this image rather questionable to me. Zeke, the Mad Horrorist (Speak quickly) (Follow my trail) 03:13, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

Moot point now, I removed the image. Zeke, the Mad Horrorist (Speak quickly) (Follow my trail) 22:33, 5 March 2018 (UTC)