Officiating History: The Striped Shirt

This article is a guest post by Jerry Peters, an OHSAA football official. Enjoy!

Have you ever wondered where the items we wear on the field came from, specifically the striped shirt?

The striped shirt we all wear today was developed in 1921 by Dr. Lloyd Olds. Dr. Olds officiated high school and college football and basketball in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Officials wore white shirts & black bow ties.

During a college football game in 1920 Arizona was playing Michigan State. The Arizona Quarterback handed the ball to Dr. Olds by accident (Arizona was wearing white jerseys). Realizing this mistake could easily be repeated; Dr. Olds worked with a local sporting goods store to develop a shirt to set officials apart from players on the field. Thus the striped shirt was born. The idea actually came to Olds when he was watching a soccer game. They were wearing striped shirts which set them apart from the opposing team.

The stripe shirt made its debut in 1921 when Dr. Olds wore it during a Detroit high school basketball championship game.

By Jerry Peters