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What is a Redshirt?

We hear the term all the time. Watching college football on Saturdays, you will often hear the term ‘redshirt’. It is common broadcaster lingo, but what does it mean? Does it matter beyond football?

To redshirt means to sit out of competition a year. During the redshirt year, you are able to practice, but not compete. If you enter a competition for even one second your redshirt disappears.

a college athlete who is withdrawn from college sporting events during one year in order to develop skills and extend the period of playing eligibility by a further year at this level of competition.

keep (an athlete) out of college competition for a year.

Why is it Important?

When you enter college and begin practicing with a team, you have an athletic clock that begins to tick. From that point, you have four years of eligibility, total, in which you can actually compete. You have 10 semesters (five years) to complete these four years.

At small colleges, it is uncommon to receive a ‘freshmen redshirt’. The bigger and better the program, the more likely that there will be athletes on that team who redshirt as freshmen. If a coach decides to redshirt you, you practice with the team like everyone else, but you are not allowed to take part in any competitions.

What is a Medical Redshirt?

Another scenario is that a player gets injured and must miss a season of competition. If this occurs, the athlete may apply to the NCAA or NAIA for a ‘medical redshirt’. If granted, the athlete rehabs and possibly begins to practice with the team, but may not enter into any competitions during that year.

If the injury occurs in the first few games of the season, it may still be possible to get a medical redshirt for that year. If this should happen to you, the athletic trainer at your institution will walk you through the process and most likely take care of the process of applying for a medical red shirt.

A redshirt can only help expand your years to compete by one. Remember, your ten semester clock began when you entered college and came out for the first day of practice. After ten semesters, if you have only played two years, that is all you get. There are no exceptions other than the one year redshirt.

Source: http://therecruitingcode.com/what-is-a-red-shirt-2/

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