NCAA permits volleyball players to place social justice messages on back of jerseys

Photo courtesy of Loyola athletics

College men’s volleyball players beginning next season will be able to display on their jerseys support for social justice causes.

The NCAA Playing Rules oversight Panel recently approved expanding current rules that will allow players in all sports to express support and voice their opinion in two places on their uniforms.

Players now have the option to place phrases or words advocating for social justice causes on the back of a jersey in lieu of a player’s last name or school’s name.

The school or conference must approve the words appearing on the back of a player’s jersey. In addition, the names or words on the back of a jersey can be different for each player.

Names or words that memorialize an individual or celebrate an event may also be worn on the back of a jersey.

Along with the name on the jersey, players can wear a patch on the front or sleeve of the jersey that supports social justice causes. The patch must not be larger than 2.25 square inches and must be approved by the school or conference.

Players are not required to wear a social justice reform patch. Unlike the name on the back of the jersey, though, players on a team are required to have identical patches if they opt to wear a patch.

Patches in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball were previously limited to commemorative or memorial patches intended to celebrate an individual.