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FIBA's Mid-Term Congress ratifies new headgear rule

FIBA's first-ever Mid-Term Congress, which is bringing together representatives from 139 National Federations, on Thursday unanimously ratified the FIBA Central Board's decision for a new rule that will allow players to wear headgear.

It was developed in a way that minimizes the risk of injuries as well as preserve consistency of the color of the uniform. It will come into effect as of 1 October 2017.

The provisions of the new rule mean that headgear is allowed when:

  • it is black or white, or of the same dominant color as that of the uniform;
  • it is one same color for all players on the team (as all accessories);
  • it does not cover any part of the face entirely or partially (eyes, nose, lips etc.);
  • it is not dangerous to the player wearing it and/or to other players;
  • it has no opening/closing elements around the face and/or neck;
  • it has no parts extruding from its surface.

The new rule comes as a result of the fact that traditional dress codes in some countries - which called for the head and/or entire body being covered - were incompatible with FIBA's previous headgear rule.

FIBA initiated a revision process of its headgear rule in September 2014, with exceptions being granted at national level as part of a two-year testing period. This past January, the Central Board received a report and, upon reviewing it, approved for the rule to be modified. It issued a mandate to its Technical Commission to come up with a proposal and this was approved by the Central Board on Wednesday.

Within that context, the Mid-Term Congress praised a historical moment that occurred in Iran on April 13, when a FIBA test game featuring women wearing hijabs marked the first time men witnessed a women's sporting event in person.


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