Can You Wear A Watch To Play Football?


Football is played by many and is the biggest sport in the US. However, one of the questions many have is if jewelry is allowed, specifically watches. Can you wear a watch to play football?

Officially, NFL rules do not allow players to wear watches. Rule 5, Section 4, Article 4 of the National Football League’s rule book prohibits players from wearing “uncovered hard objects.”. Watches worn on the wrist, can be considered as such. However, casual, unofficial matches may allow it. 

Can You Wear A Watch To Play Football

In this article, we will discuss if you should wear a watch to play football and if you should not. We also discussed if NFL players can wear jewelry while being on the field.

We also discussed wearing watches for sports such as soccer, golf, tennis, and basketball. You can click on the links to check these articles out. 

Why Do You Want To Wear A Watch To Play Football

You might want to wear a watch to play football since you still need to tell time and you want to record your fitness and activity data. Some athletes just prefer to wear a watch as well. It might be good to wear a sweatband over the watch to protect it.

YOU STILL NEED TO TELL THE TIME. If you are suited up to play a game, it will be you, the team, the open field, and maybe some fans on the bleachers. There might be the game clock and scoreboard, but chances are there might not be a clock around. 

If you wear a watch, you can quickly tell time by just flicking your own wrist. You might even help other players to tell time too.

YOU WANT TO RECORD ACTIVITY DATA. You may be taking your game seriously and want to record some data on your performance for reference. This data may be beneficial as you, and your coach can see if you are running your routes perfectly or getting tired as you accelerate slower.

Usually, you will need some kind of a fitness or GPS tracker, which often comes in the form of a watch. You will need to wear it on your wrist so that the watch can record your heartbeat, blood pressure, distance covered, etc.

PROS DO WEAR THEM. Some NFL athletes have been wearing watches while playing the game. Odel Beckham Jr. was seen wearing a Richard Mille during an NFL game. Ben Roethlisberger also has been spotted wearing an Apple Watch during NFL games. 

However, they were fined by the NFL for doing so since, technically, it is a violation of the rule book. But perhaps they judge the fine as worth it. We could speculate they were paid to wear the watch, so the sponsorship money pays for the fines. 

YOU PREFER TO WEAR A WATCH. Some of us may have good reasons to wear a watch at all times. Some of us are so used to wearing watches that it seems strange to think about not wearing one. Some even feel ‘cold and naked’ on the wrist when they don’t have one.

If you are the kind of person who only feels comfortable when wearing a watch, you should keep wearing it while you play football. 

Why Should You Not Wear A Watch To Play Football

You might want to not wear a watch to play football since it is not allowed in the NFL rule book. A watch can injure yourself and other players, and you might damage the watch. Football is a physical sport, and watches can be a safety hazard.

IT’S NOT ALLOWED IN THE NFL. Officially, players are not permitted to wear watches while playing football. This is clearly stated in Rule 5, Section 4, Article 4 of the National Football League’s rule book prohibiting players from wearing “uncovered hard objects.”. 

For NCAA Football, players are not allowed to wear “hard, abrasive or unyielding equipment that is not completely covered and padded, subject to the approval of the umpire.”

When worn on the wrist, watches can be considered “uncovered hard objects” and “hard, abrasive or unyielding equipment.” Therefore, the umpire might request a player to remove the watch. Refusing to comply may result in removal from the field.

If you are playing in a football game where the rule is taken more seriously, you may be required to remove your watch before entering the field. 

However, it might be ok to wear a watch to play in a football game. If it is covered over – consider wearing a sweatband over the watch to cover it with something ‘soft and yielding.’

IT CAN INJURE OTHERS. Wearing a watch is essentially carrying a hunk of metal on your wrist. Your hands may swing and move around while playing the game, so you are likely to injure other players.

For example, if you are an edge rusher and running full speed towards a tackle, you may raise your hand to push the tackle away from your path. There is a chance that your watch will strike and injure your opponent.

Sure, helmets protect the head, but skin injury can still happen. If your watch has a sharper angle, such as a fluted bezel, it may also cut the opposing player and cause bleeding.

YOU MIGHT DAMAGE IT. Football is a very intense and physical sport. You sprint, jump, tackle, and make regular physical contact with opposition players.

If you wear a watch, it could get scratched or nicked. If the physical impact is strong enough and occurs at an unfavorable angle, your watch crystal or bezel may be broken.

If the watch has a water-resistant strap, such as leather or cotton, it may absorb sweat and produce an odor. Bracelets do not absorb sweat, but they do trap it. It might turn into grime when sweat dries, making the watch dirty.

Can You Wear A Watch To Play Football

Are Players Allowed To Wear Jewelry In The NFL?

Players can wear jewelry in the NFL, provided they are covered and not exposed. This is written in Rule 5, Section 4, Article 4 of the National Football League’s rule book. Jewelry is considered a ‘hard object’ and must be covered by a minimum of ⅜-inch soft material.

As per the rule book, jewelry such as necklaces, rings, and watches are considered ‘hard objects’ since they do not yield and change forms when put under pressure. This means they could be a safety hazard and cause injury to players on the field. 

As a result, players must wear these items underneath some soft materials, usually foams or paddings. This explains why NFL players can wear necklaces and chains underneath the shoulder pads since it is legal as per NFL rules.

Nigel Ignatius

Nigel is the principal creator of WatchPursuits.com, a website dedicated to watches. Inspired by the dedication and effort of watchmakers now and old, Nigel has a passion for watches and looks forward to share his passion with the world.

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