See the dedicated Sport section in the tabs at the top of the page for more detailed information of the challenges for people with CVD of watching and playing many sports.
Some team colours can be difficult to distinguish between, so 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 was worn by boys at a school in Buckinghamshire. The original idea for the reversible top colours was that for games lessons would be divided into two teams. One team would wear the maroon side whilst the other team would 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 watching football and rugby matches on TV.
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. A particular problem was created when the night/day ‘pink’ balls were introduced into Test cricket. See more details in the Sport section.
Equipment can also cause problems. Orange hockey and golf balls are often impossible for the colour blind to see against green grass, as are red and orange training cones used particularly in football and rugby training. 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.