World Cup Fashion Fever!
March 17, 2006 10:37 AM   Subscribe

In soccer, why do goalies were different uniforms, if not entirely different color combos, than their teammates?
posted by bardic to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (12 answers total)
I suppose it makes a handball infractions more apparent.
posted by the cuban at 10:39 AM on March 17, 2006

Best answer: I think it's entirely because different rules apply to them, and so they need to be distinguishable. It's in the rules, I think. Here's some history.
posted by chrismear at 11:01 AM on March 17, 2006

Best answer: Because the laws of the game require it.
posted by lowlife at 11:03 AM on March 17, 2006

Also makes it easier to call offsides, I imagine. The longsleeves were pretty useful (and often would be padded at the elbows) for avoiding getting all banged up on a slide tackle.
posted by mckenney at 11:07 AM on March 17, 2006

I think also because players need to be able to quickly identify the goalie - their own, if they're defending, and the opponents' if they're attacking. You don't want to lose him is a sea of identical strips.
posted by Decani at 11:10 AM on March 17, 2006

Further to my response: yes, there are lots of reasons why having the goalie wearing a different set of kit makes good sense, for both officiating and playing the game. But you asked "why", and so the answer is "because they have to"</snark>
posted by lowlife at 11:15 AM on March 17, 2006

The goalie's the only player on the team who's allowed to handle the ball, other than when a field player takes a throw-in (hence the name touch line for the side lines), and so he must be clearly distinguished from the other players. It has nothing to do with the offside rule. The goalie doesn't have to be one of the players involved in keeping an opponent onside. Any two players from the defending team should be between the attacker and the goal line for the attacker to remain onside.
posted by TheManticore at 11:24 AM on March 17, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers. I still think there's something qualitatively different going on than in, say, ice hockey, where the goalie wears the same uni but has enough gear on to look different. I was curious as to why some soccer goalies seem to consciously dress against their team's colors, when simply wearing a plain white or black top would usually clarify who they are. So it's a rule, but also a pretty strange fashion thing, IMHO, but one that's interesting.
posted by bardic at 11:37 AM on March 17, 2006

Back in my day... goalies ALWAYS wore solid green shirts, no matter what colours their team were wearing.

I presume they'd have choosen a contrast if the actual team colour were green though, I can't think of any solid green team colours in UK/Scotland... sure I'm overlooking at least one though.

Part of this is to sell extra replica shirts, that's why they put fancy designs/colours on any shirt, to make it different to the last seasons... replica shirts are very, very overpriced.
posted by selton at 12:12 PM on March 17, 2006

selton's right. 'Keepers always used to wear solid green. However, in these days of fast changing kits and even faster changing sponsors, pretty much anything goes for a goalie. There have been some really bad ones.

And no discussion on goalkeepers is complete without this [wmv file]. God I love that goal.
posted by MrMustard at 12:58 PM on March 17, 2006

And no discussion on goalkeepers is complete without this [wmv file]. God I love that goal.

Utterly humiliating!
posted by ericb at 3:00 PM on March 17, 2006

My brother's a keeper for his soccer team, and he always has at least two different jerseys for each game to make sure he stands out from both his own team and the opposing team. And he has been told, once or twice, by the ref before the match that he has to change tops because it's not noticible enough.
posted by emmling at 11:19 PM on March 17, 2006

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