You see it in every underdog sports movie from Mighty Ducks to Dodgeball. Right before the big game the coach announces they have a surprise for the team… new uniforms! Nothing boosts team confidence and morale like new uniforms. In the movies they usually magically appear in a box in the locker room or dugout just in time… the reality is a lot of factors influence uniform choice.
Any type of apparel choice is going to be influenced by a variety of factors but here are a few things to consider specifically for team apparel.
The Field (Court, Stadium etc.): Will you be indoors or outdoors? If your team will be competing outdoors, what seasons and elements will they be exposed to? You may need a uniform that is very versatile. Choose a material that is ideal for both the movement of the sport and the environment in which it’s played. Moisture Wicking Polyester is a popular fabric choice for athletes competing in a warmer climate because of its high durability and comfort. For cold climates you will want to consider layers.
Durability and Comfort is Key: When it comes to fabric you should choose something that is easy to maintain and can withstand a lot of wash and wear. If possible, choose a fabric that will absorb moisture/sweat and dry quickly. Polyester Microfibers or microfiber cotton blends are good choices. Double knit polyester, commonly used by many collegiate and professional baseball and softball teams, is a good option for teams who require a highly durable fabric. Air knit polyester is another material known for durability and comfort. Popular for hockey, the material has pin sized holes that allow fabric to breathe without sacrificing durability.
Team Sponsorship and Decoration: Whether you’re coaching a little league team sponsored by a local business or choosing next year’s uniforms for a professional team, you will need to consider if a sponsor needs to be represented on your team’s uniform and if so, the size of the logo. Some sports leagues, think NASCAR, are not shy about sponsors on uniforms. Other leagues, the NFL and NBA for example, don’t allow sponsorship on jerseys (at least not yet). There are endless options when it comes to decoration itself. Screen printing is an economical choice but is likely to fade due to multiple washes and become damaged from contact sports. Embroidery is ideal for multiple colors logos and is more durable but it can be heavier and stiffer, so it’s often seen in sports with less contact.
Appearance and Fit: Being fashionable isn’t the most important aspect of a uniform, but style does count for something. You want your team to look and feel their best on the court or field. Details like fit, average shorts length, and v-neck vs round neck jerseys can matter a lot to the players… and teams ARE often judged by their apparel. A quick web search will bring up a variety of rankings of the best and worst uniforms in professional and college sports. Polyester dazzle cloth is a material commonly found in basketball and football uniforms. It consists of 100% polyester fabric that has a bright outer sheen. The fabric reflects light and looks great under the lights of an arena.
There are a lot of factors that go into choosing the perfect uniform for your team. The best way to get a quality uniform at a great price is to contact your HALO account executive.