In light of the recent situation with another sport in Manitoba on the
wearing of religious headgear during competition, the following items
address the matter surrounding the sport of basketball...


In determining whether equipment should deemed illegal, two principals apply.

  1. Does the equipment present a threat to the safety of the player in question or to that of other players?

  2. Does the equipment afford an unfair playing advantage to the wearer?

Therefore, when applying the two key criteria to the hijab issue and working on the assumption that no potentially dangerous object such as a barrette-style securing device is also used, the wearing of a hijab is acceptable in basketball.

With respect to overall player equipment, this excerpt from the FIBA Rule Book on personal player equipment states…

4.4 Other equipment

4.4.1 All equipment used by players must be appropriate for the game. Any equipment that is designed to increase a player's height or reach or in any other way give an unfair advantage is not permitted.4.4.2 Players shall not wear equipment (objects) that may cause injury to other players.

The following are not permitted:

  • Finger, hand, wrist, elbow or forearm guards, casts or braces made of leather, plastic, pliable (soft) plastic, metal or any other hard substance, even if covered with soft padding.

  • Objects that could cut or cause abrasions (fingernails must be closely cut).

  • Headgear, hair accessories and jewelry.

The following are permitted:

  • Shoulder, upper arm, thigh or lower leg protective equipment if the material is sufficiently padded.

  • Knee braces if they are properly covered.

  • Protector for an injured nose, even if made of a hard material.

  • Spectacles, if they do not pose a danger to other players.

  • Headbands, maximum five (5) cm in width, made of non-abrasive, unicolour cloth, pliable plastic or rubber.

4.4.3 Any other equipment not specifically mentioned in this article must be approved by the FIBA Technical Commission.

Bottom line, the wearing of religious headgear in basketball at all levels of play is and always has been acceptable including hijabs, turbans, yarmulke or the like so long as they are securely fashioned without any hard materials (including clips) so they do not pose a safety threat to the wearer or others on the court.


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