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I understand the need to have a strip that differentiates goalkeepers from outfield players, but success in top-flight sport often depends on taking advantage of fine margins.

Surely being highly-visible gives an advantage to opposing players as they can see where the 'keeper is and aim shots / take up a position accordingly - even if the 'keeper is not in direct line of sight, there's a player's postional awareness and peripheral vision to consider.

Has there been any research comparing gaudy and muted colours?

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    Being highly visible also gives an advantage to the goalkeeper's teammates. If you're defending against a corner kick, for example, you don't want to accidentally barge into your own goalie because you didn't see them.
    – F1Krazy
    Aug 7, 2023 at 13:21
  • @F1Krazy Yep, I thought of including something along those lines in my post but couldn't seem to properly articulate the defence's cost / benefit. Thanks for the example.
    – Rick
    Aug 7, 2023 at 15:47

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The laws around the player equipment say this for clothing colours

  1. Colours

The two teams must wear colours that distinguish them from each other and the match officials

Each goalkeeper must wear colours that are distinguishable from the other players and the match officials

If the two goalkeepers’ shirts are the same colour and neither has another shirt, the referee allows the match to be played.

My reading of that is that a team cant dictate what their keeper wears. So when a team is designing their goalkeeper kit they'll cross out all the colours that clash with their home and away kit, cross out all the other teams colours, take into consideration the referee kits. You can see why you're left with the gaudier end of the spectrum.

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