International basketball’s governing body, FIBA, announced today that it is cancelling a rule made around 20 years ago which forbade players from wearing religious symbols, such as a kippah or hijab, in official games.
FIBA said that, if it is in accordance with the player’s faith, he or she is allowed to wear a kippah, turban, or hijab.
Whoever wears one of these, however, is to wear only an article colored white, black, or the color of his or her team’s jersey.
An an additional limitation is that it is strictly forbidden to hide one’s face or part of it.
The change in policy came about after female Muslim basketball players had requested to play with head coverings. The original ban had been in place for security reasons.
The new rules will come into place this October. It will be interesting to see whether the change will result in more kippot on the basketball court in international games.
Several months ago, the international soccer federation FIFA similarly allowed head coverings in official games for religious reasons.