In Rugby Union why do home teams often wear their away strip?

In Rugby Union why do home teams often wear their away strip?

In Rugby Union why do home teams often wear their away strip? 18 Jul

Understanding the Basic Concepts of Rugby Union

Before we delve into the nitty-gritty about home and away strips in Rugby Union, it's essential to understand some basic concepts of the game. Rugby Union is a contact sport where two teams, each having 15 players, compete to score the most points. The game is played in two halves of 40 minutes each, and the team wearing the designated home kit usually hosts the matches. The away team, on the other hand, often has to adapt by wearing a different strip to avoid confusion during the game. This practice, though commonplace, often raises the question: why do home teams sometimes wear their away strip?

Historical Context and Tradition

Traditionally, home teams wore their colors proudly as a sign of respect for their local supporters and the heritage of their club. The away teams would then wear a different strip to distinguish themselves during the game. However, over time, this practice has seen some alterations. Some home teams have begun wearing their away strip for various reasons, which we will explore in the subsequent sections of this article.

The Role of Sponsorship

One of the key reasons why home teams may wear their away strip is due to sponsorship. Modern sports heavily align with brand endorsements, and Rugby Union is no exception. Sponsors often demand that both strips be showcased in numerous games throughout the season to maximize their brand exposure. As a result, clubs may opt to wear their away strip in home games to fulfill this obligation.

Mitigating Colour Clashes

Another critical reason why home teams might wear their away strip is to avoid a color clash with the visiting team. If both teams' home colors are similar, it could lead to confusion on the field during play. Therefore, one team - usually the home team, as a sign of hospitality - will switch to their away strip to ensure a clear distinction between the two sides.

Promoting the Away Strip

Home teams may also choose to wear their away strip to promote its sale. By wearing the away strip during home games, clubs expose it to their local fanbase, who may feel motivated to buy the kit. This strategy can significantly boost merchandise sales, contributing to the club's financial health.

The Impact of Broadcasting

With the advent of color television and digital broadcasting, the importance of clear color differentiation between teams has been amplified. Broadcasters often request teams to wear contrasting kits to ensure viewers can easily tell the teams apart. In some instances, this may require the home team to wear their away strip.

Special Occasions or Causes

At times, home teams may wear their away strip to commemorate special occasions or promote certain causes. For instance, a club may choose to wear their away strip during a home game to mark a significant anniversary or to support a charity campaign. This gesture not only adds a unique touch to the game but also aids in raising awareness for the chosen cause.

Psychological Gamesmanship

Believe it or not, wearing an away strip at a home game could also be part of a team's psychological strategy. Some teams believe that wearing the away strip can throw off the opposition or break a losing streak. While this may not have any scientific backing, it can prove beneficial if it boosts the team's morale and confidence.

Conclusion: A Blend of Factors

In conclusion, a variety of factors influence why a home team in Rugby Union might wear their away strip. From sponsorship obligations, avoiding color clashes, promoting merchandise sales, to marking special occasions - the reasons are diverse and often interlinked. Regardless of the strip they wear, the spirit of the game remains the same, and that's what truly matters to the fans and players alike.

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