Why do quarterbacks have a green dot?

In the NFL, or National Football League, the quarterbacks of all teams play the role of the main offensive player.  Other parts of the offensive lineup typically function to support the quarterback along with the defensive lineup.  Most, if not all, quarterbacks also wear helmets that contain a green dot on the back side.  Usually, it is only the quarterback’s helmet that contains the green dot on the back.  Other members of the team wear their standard helmets with their team’s colors and logos.

The green dot on the quarterback’s helmet actually serves as an indicator for referees that this particular helmet has a radio receiver attached to it. The purpose of the radio receiver is for communication between the quarterback and the coaching staff on the sidelines.  Communication may be in the form of basic instructions or strategic offensive plays that are crucial for any part of a football game.  And in the case of the NFL, recent rules have restricted the use of radio receivers on helmets to only one player in any team. And in most cases, it is the quarterbacks that get the radio receivers, and so their helmets will contain the indicator green dots. These dots are necessary and helpful for the referees to know if both playing teams have only one member that’s communicating with the sidelines.

The rule on the radio receivers was only started in the NFL’s 2007 season after a flood of complaints from various groups wherein some teams have used more than one radio receiver in the helmets of players.  Although this technology was invented back in 1956, its use was restricted until the 1994 season came.  More than a decade later, the NFL has ruled that only one player’s helmet is allowed to have a radio receiver, and a green dot is used to identify this particular helmet.

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