What does Zebra mean in sports?

A game official, often referred to as ‘Zebra’

Zebra is a slang term often used to refer to a sports official, particularly in games like football or hockey. This nickname comes from the resemblance of the official’s black and white striped uniform to the stripes of a zebra.

Generally, this term is used in a negative context. It suggests that the official’s intelligence is comparable to that of a zebra, which is an insult. Often, this term is used when fans are upset about an official missing or making a bad call during a game.

While it’s most commonly heard in the context of college or professional football or hockey, the term can be used for officials in any sporting event. So don’t be surprised if you hear fans referring to officials as zebras in other sports as well.

In football, a typical game has seven officials on the field. These officials can hold different positions like referee, umpire, down judge, line judge, field judge, side judge, or back judge. In hockey games, there are usually four officials, including two referees and two linesmen.

So, next time you hear the term Zebra being thrown around during a game, you’ll know exactly what it means and why it’s being used. Remember, it’s not the most flattering term, so use it with caution!

Example for using ‘Zebra’ in a conversation

Hey, did you see that call in the game last night? The ref totally missed it!

Yeah, I know! Those zebras need to get their eyes checked. πŸ¦“

I couldn’t agree more. It’s so frustrating when they make bad calls.

Definitely. They should have better judgment, just like actual zebras. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ