Some team colours are difficult for the colour blind player to distinguish and if both teams play in colours of similar tones a colour blind spectator will have difficulty keeping up with the game, whilst a colour blind player might unwittingly pass the ball to the opposition.
The maroon/olive green reversible rugby shirt shown below is worn by boys at a school in Buckinghamshire, the idea being that for games lessons the boys are divided into two teams and one team wear the maroon side whilst the other team turn their shirts over and wear the green side. What a great idea, you might think, until you know that to some colour blind pupils both colours appear identical! The kits of many sports teams create similar problems, especially for spectators.
Red cricket balls can cause all sorts of problems for colour blind cricketers as the balls are difficult to pick out against a green background even if the player is standing almost on top of the ball and particularly in poor light. Some research has been undertaken which has proved this is to be the case.
Orange hockey and golf balls are often impossible for the colour blind to see against green grass, coloured buoys are hard to spot in yacht racing and snooker balls create problems too. Difficulties are experienced in many other sports too numerous to mention, but just think of canoeing as one example where a competitor would find it hard to spot red and white gates against the green and brown background of a wooded river bank.