Does NCAA Have a Rule Against Turf Not Being Green, But Boise State Is Just Grandfathered In?

SPORTS LEGEND: The NCAA has a rule against Division 1 teams having turf colored anything but green, but Boise State was grandfathered in.

Yes, TWO legends about Boise State’s turf! Check here for the first one.

Boise State’s blue turf in Bronco Stadium is not just odd, it’s absolutely unique.


In all of the NCAA Division I, Bronco Stadium is the only stadium with turf a color other than green.

As is often the case, whenever something odd occurs, people try to think of a reason behind it, and the reason that has popped up to explain why only one Division I school has a turf colored anything but green is the “fact” that the NCAA has banned having turf colored anything but green, but the rule only came about after Boise State already did their turf, so rather than cause a big scene making them change it, the NCAA decided instead to let them keep their turf (grandfather them in, essentially) and say no one else can do it.

That’s not the case.

There is no NCAA rule saying what color turfs have to be, the other schools just like the color green.

Here is the NCAA rule regarding Field of Play…

1.1 Dimensions

1.1.1 The field of play shall be rectangular, the width of which shall not exceed the length.

1.1.2 The width shall not be more than 80 yards [73.15m] nor less than 65 yards [59.44m] and the length shall not be more than 120 yards [109.73m] nor less than 110 yards [100.58m]; however, fields of less than minimal dimensions may be used by prior written mutual consent of the competing institutions. The optimum size is 75 yards [68.58m] by 120 yards [109.73m].

New facilities shall be a minimum of 70 yards [64.01m] in width by 115 yards [105.15m] in length.

It is the responsibility of the home team to notify the visiting team, before the date of the game, of any changes in field dimensions (e.g., greater or lesser than minimal requirements), playing surface (e.g., from
grass to artificial or vice versa) or location of the playing site. Further, it is recommended that teams agree on field dimensions before confirming contests or signing game contracts

Again, no rule about what color the field has to be.


STATUS: False.

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4 Responses to “Does NCAA Have a Rule Against Turf Not Being Green, But Boise State Is Just Grandfathered In?”

  1. […] NCAA rule against colored turf is a myth The NCAA does not have any rule against colored turf. The idea that Boise was grandfathered in to this rule is a myth. See this website: Why Blue in a Sea of Green? […]

  2. You say that the NCAA has no rule against colored turf other than green, but the rule book reads:
    Field Areas
    ARTICLE 9. a. No material or device shall be used to improve or degrade the playing surface or other conditions and give one player or team an advantage (Exceptions: Rules 2-15-4-b and c).

    A blue field the exact color of their home uniforms equates to an advantage, the same advantade EWU intends to use.
    The USA Today reports:
    Baldwin (EWU’s football coach) hopes Eastern Washington will enjoy the same home-field advantage as Boise State, which has the best home record (38-1) in the nation over the past five years.

    “Boise wears blue uniforms on their blue turf, and it seems to work for them,” Baldwin said. “We’re going to look at some different uniform options … to see if one color gives us an advantage over another.”

    He said the offense and defense will alternate wearing red uniforms at practice to learn which might have a greater edge with red-on-red.

  3. Fair enough, Colin! It’s worth mentioning that they do, indeed, have that stiplulation. But as you note, the NCAA allows the color to be used, so they clearly don’t see the same color AS giving teams an advantage (which may or may not be true, of course).

    So it should be phrased as “The NCAA does not have a rule saying you cannot color your field whatever color you like.” Agreed?

  4. NO NO NO……….

    The turf does not give a competitive advantage due to visibility or any other excuse that opposing fans want to assume.

    It’s that they can’t understand how Boise can be so good so they have to come up with stupid excuses to rationalize a fact they can’t understand.

    Boise destroyed Fresno State last year 51-0 in all orange jerseys on The Blue. Boise doesn’t need any help to beat teams, but opposing fans and coaches need something to blame.

    I’ve been on the field and it the novelty of it being blue is over after a few minutes and since players aren’t looking straight down on the field it doesn’t hinder visibility whatsoever.

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