Research by researchers at the University of York found that when players have “crash” colors in their shirts or shorts, it takes twice as long to find another player of their team on the field.
The researchers conducted two experiments to investigate how different forms of costume affected teammates’ visual search. The first experiment confirmed that differentiating between players is slower when they are playing with “cross” suits, such as red shirts – blue shorts versus blue shirts – red shorts.
The second experiment showed that there was significant confusion when both teams wore shorts of the same color, and the teams’ reaction time was shorter when the shorts were different colors.
First author Liam Burnell of the Department of Psychology said: “We found that, for example, where one team wears white jerseys and red shorts and the other wears red jackets and white shorts, this affects when to find another player. The ability to quickly and accurately distinguish between two teams. Countering this can be useful in preventing missed passes and referee decisions.
The study cites examples, including the 2017 Premier League Cup final when Manchester United played Southampton whose players also wore red and white. Southampton’s goal was controversially disallowed as the assistant referee was forced to request an offside.
Liam Burnell added: “This could affect the rules of the game as the current rules do not require a uniform change unless the referee believes the teams will be indistinguishable. Currently there is no need for teams to wear different shorts and the guidelines remain quite vague.”
Preliminary studies were also carried out on the role of the different colors of the stripes on the uniforms in the possibility of detecting players against the background of the stadium to verify whether Sir Alex Ferguson’s allegations that the Manchester players (who were wearing the gray uniforms at the time) could not see each other during the 1996 match against Southampton can be carried out. have no meaning.
Investigators also cited examples, including comments from then Wales coach Chris Coleman, before the World Cup qualifier against Austria, that no one wanted to play in gray because it was difficult to distinguish between players. In 2017, Derek Adams, director of Plymouth Argyle, also commented on the dark green uniform style in use at the time, noting how to change the kit up a bit, wearing white socks to help players blend the green pattern with the color of the seats and grass.
Study lead author Professor Peter Thompson from the Department of Psychology said: “These reports indicate that stripes, including gray and dark, do not “emerge” from the background, which can be exacerbated when team lines are similar in pitch color. When playing on an empty stadium.
The search was conducted using graphic images from video games and alternating color combinations, which were then transferred to different backgrounds. The participants’ reaction time was then monitored while identifying individual teams.