February 5, 2021

Prep Volleyball Players Given OK To Wear Religious Headwear

Alexander Lesnitsky/Pixabay

Alexander Lesnitsky/Pixabay

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — High school volleyball players will be allowed to wear religious headwear during games without the approval of a state governing body beginning next season, the National Federation of State High School Associations announced Thursday.

It was part of a rules package approved by the board of directors of the national governing body, which is headquartered in Indianapolis. The new rule requires religious headwear to be made of non-abrasive or soft material that fits securely and states “head coverings worn for religious reasons are not considered hair devices”

Players who wear headgear for medical reasons still must receive state approval.

The move comes after Valor College Prep, a charter school in Nashville, Tennessee, asked state and NFHS officials to reconsider the rule after one of its players was held out of a match because she was wearing a hijab.

“Our goal is always to have our athletes be able to participate as long as there isn’t a safety concern involved,” said Jo Auch, assistant executive director of the South Dakota High School Activities Association who chairs the NFHS volleyball rules committee. “It made perfect sense to relax that rule and remove the requirement for the states to authorize the wearing of religious headwear.”

Other rules changes relax the penalty for submitting a late lineup card and allows officials to wear blue or gray shirts in addition to white shirts.

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