Digital Decorating:

Tips For Numbering Basketball Uniforms

By Paul Sabatini, Contributing Writer

No matter what level team—recreational through professional—nor what sex, all basketball numbers must follow official rules. Photo courtesy of Stahls’, St. Clair Shores, Mich.

September 8, 2015

Team numbers for basketball range from traditional to modern, rounded styles. Some teams prefer a classic look, but others may be interested in changing things up and having uniforms that offer a fresh look.

For these customers, there are unique number choices available that feature narrow or longer stem heights.

The numbers that basketball players can wear is regulated. These regulations help officials and referees report players’ numbers to the scoring table. Below are the legal number ranges:

• 00, 0-5, 10, 15, 20-25, 30-35, 40-45 and 50-55
• Team rosters may not include both 0 and 00

You’ll find that recreational and elite leagues follow the same numbering rules because referees officiate at all games. Regulation basketball numbers and styles are used across the board for girls’ and boys’ teams.

“Street ball” and three-on-three teams generally use non-traditional number styles and placements. This type of decoration generally is all about the attitude or message a team is trying to present.

Going with a more unique number will elevate the entire look of a uniform. Set your shop apart by showing teams a variety of number options you have selected beforehand. Include a couple of traditional choices and then sprinkle in five unique alternatives. You also can offer the option of a three-color number without layers. This can be achieved in two ways.

Single-color heat transfer materials are applied one color at a time. By using a prespaced number style with a gap outline, you can remove the center piece of the digit and replace it with a precut number piece in a different color. Once applied, you’ll have the gap outline color with the garment color showing in between, along with the center digit color. This requires two applications — one for the outline color material and one for the center digit material.

The second method is to use digital transfer numbers. This is a one-step application offering unlimited colors because the selected pattern is digitally printed onto the heat transfer media. This provides a lightweight decorating method with only one layer. Choose from popular effects like camouflage, animal prints, sports textures and more. You also can achieve a two- or three-color digital number that is only one layer and requires only one application.

Numbers generally are placed on the center front and center back of the jersey and, in some cases, on the front left of the players’ shorts.

Common basketball number sizes for adult and youth basketball uniforms are as follows:

Youth: 2 inches; Adult: 3 inches

Front Number
Youth: 3 inches; Adult: 4 inches

Back Number
Youth: 6 inches; Adult: 8 inches

Shorts Number
Youth: 3 inches; Adult: 4 inches

With 21 years of sports industry experience, Paul Sabatini is marketing sport coordinator for Stahls’, St. Clair Shores, Mich. He is the company’s go-to guy for all things sportswear and uniforms.