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National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Lighting Requirements

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Lighting Requirements

Before any stadium or arena can play host to collegiate tournament games in the United States, there are standards set by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) that must be met. Part of the standards includes the lighting of games on the basis of the venue and the sport that is being telecast. Some requirements for some games are treated below.


According to NCAA, all lamps for basketball games must have a standard color temperature of 3,600 degrees Kelvin and a lowest color rendering index of 65. But since the venues used for the NCAA Division I tournament are different, where field houses, NBA arenas and domed football stadiums are used, the lighting requirements are not the same. Field houses with the capacity of seating about 10,000 spectators require 125 foot-candles per square foot. NBA arenas with seating capacities of between 15,000 and 20,000 require 200 while domed stadiums that can seat about 70,000 spectators require 250.

The major determinant of lighting requirements for NCAA football games is television coverage. Non-televised games require 50 foot-candles of light while games for regional broadcast require 75. If a game will be broadcast for national audience, the lighting requirement is 100 while 125 is required for championship games.


Televised standard college hockey games are lit up by 100 foot-candles but Division I’s Frozen Four and championships of lower divisions require 125.

Lacrosse and Soccer

Since lacrosse matches are commonly played on soccer fields, the lighting conditions are the same. For a standard game, 50 foot-candles of lighting is required, 75 for a regional broadcast, 100 for a national broadcast and 125 for championship games.

Baseball and Softball

These two games also use the same field which makes their lighting requirements to be the same. For standard games, the infield must be lit by 70 foot-candles and 50 for the outfield. Games that will be broadcast regionally and nationally require 100 for the base paths and 70 for the outfield grass. For the duration of championship rounds, the field requires 125 in the infield and 100 in the outfield.

Wrestling, Boxing and Volleyball

These three games use 80 foot-candles for every standard and regional broadcast, 100 for national broadcast and 125 for championships.

Swimming and Water Polo

These two games require 50 foot-candles for standard matches or meets, 75 for regional broadcasts, 100 for national broadcasts and 125 for championships.