Coinciding with Color Blind Awareness Day, World Rugby announced on Wednesday that it will forbid matchups between teams wearing red and teams wearing green at the 2027 Rugby World Cup.
Color blindness affects approximately one in every 12 men and one in every 200 women in the world, which could make it impossible for some viewers to differentiate between Wales and Ireland in a potential matchup of the two teams, which wear red and green kits, respectively.
That includes World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont, who is color blind and wanted to implement the rule after watching those two teams play in the Six Nations Championship – which is run by a different organization – earlier this year.
“From our perspective, if you’re potentially limiting eight percent of your male audience, that’s a huge number of people who are suddenly switching off,” World Rugby’s research, turf and equipment manager Marc Douglas told the i, a daily newspaper in London.
The terms of participation have already been agreed upon for the 2023 World Cup, which is why the ban won’t go into effect until 2027. World Rugby has encouraged teams to avoid wearing red and green kits against one another in the meantime, though.
“Hopefully by the time the 2027 Rugby World Cup comes round, this is the norm,” Douglas said. “An awful lot of people don’t realize that they’re color blind because they see what they see day to day and they don’t know that people see any different.”
Header photo courtesy of World Rugby.