Long Beach Poly headed into one of the weekend’s biggest matchups against Mission Viejo looking for a spark. As part of that effort, the Jackrabbits decided to suit up in a uniform that would make for an excellent NFL color rush edition: Dark forest green on pitch black. There was just one problem: You couldn’t distinguish the numbers from the jerseys themselves.
As you can tell from the photo above, captured by the Los Angeles Times’ Eric Sondheimer, Poly’s expectedly dark combination was so dark that it became essentially impossible to identify any Jackrabbits from a distance.
What blurs of brightness you can see on the Long Beach Poly jerseys are actually the gold bordering outline of all numbers and letters, as you can see more clearly in the photo below.
This isn’t necessarily a game-stopping issue, though it is worth noting, particularly in light of new rules in Texas that call for a team wearing monochrome uniforms like Poly’s to earn a penalty for not providing enough distinction around the digits on the uniforms. The reasoning is simple: The more difficult it is for referees to tell a player’s number, the more difficult it is for an official to correctly identify and call a penalty.
That’s not the case in California … yet … which means that Poly is off the hook when it comes to punishment for its uniform choice, no matter how much it may have obfuscated some players’ identities.