Influence of red jersey color on physical parameters in combat sports

J Sport Exerc Psychol. 2013 Feb;35(1):44-9. doi: 10.1123/jsep.35.1.44.


Hill and Barton (2005) showed that fighters in tae kwon do, boxing, and wrestling who wore red jerseys during the 2004 Olympic Games won more often than those wearing blue jerseys. Regarding these results, this study investigated the effects of jersey color during a combat situation on fighters' physical parameters of strength and heart rate. An artificial, experimental combat situation was created in which the color of sport attire was assigned randomly. Fourteen pairs of male athletes matched for weight, height, and age had to fight each other: once in a red jersey and once in a blue. Heart rate (before, during, and after the fight) and strength (before the fight) were tested wearing the blue and the red jerseys. Participants wearing red jerseys had significantly higher heart rates and significantly higher pre-contest values on the strength test. Results showed that participants' body functions are influenced by wearing red equipment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Performance / physiology
  • Athletic Performance / psychology*
  • Clothing / psychology*
  • Color*
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Sports / physiology
  • Sports / psychology