The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has lifted the ban on headgear such as hijabs and yarmulkes. Religious headgear will now be allowed during professional basketball.
According to FIBA, the ban on headgear was never intended to discriminate. They have claimed in the past that they fear the coverings falling off during a game and posing a potential risk to the players. However, with the criteria FIBA has created for headgear during games, the risk of injury due to the coverings has been greatly reduced.
In order for a head covering to be ‘safe,’ it may not cover any part of the players’ face nor may it have any protruding parts to it. As long as the equipment is secured onto the player and everything is in its place, FIBA has found there is no real risk to be considered.
Large sportswear manufacturers like Nike have worked to create religious headgear that strictly follows the requirements of sports organizations. These innovations serve as nothing but proof that the board has finally recognized these changes.
In action, the reversal of the ban is almost certain to increase the confidence of players during games. Given they will be able to play as who they truly are, their confidence will push to games that are much more competitive. More competition means better game results for the teams involved and also means the players have the opportunity to express themselves through something they love doing.