Rule 3-5


ART. 1 . . . The referee must not permit any team member to wear equipment or apparel which, in his/her judgment, is dangerous or confusing to other players or is not appropriate.

NOTE: Each state association may, in keeping with applicable laws, authorize exceptions to NFHS playing rules to provide reasonable accommodations to individual participants with disabilities and/or special needs, as well as those individuals with unique and extenuating circumstances. The accommodations should not fundamentally alter the sport, heighten risk to the athlete/others or place opponents at a disadvantage.

ART. 2 . . . Guards, casts and braces must meet the following guidelines:

a. A guard, cast or brace made of a hard and unyielding substance, such as, but not limited to, leather, plaster, plastic or metal must not be worn on the elbow, hand, finger/thumb, wrist or forearm; even though covered with soft padding.

b. Hard and unyielding items (guards, casts, braces, etc.) on the upper arm or shoulder must be padded with a closed-cell, slow-recovery foam padding no less than ½” thick.

c. Knee and ankle braces which are unaltered from the manufacturer’s original design/production are permitted and do not require any additional padding/covering nor do the braces need to meet the color restrictions.

NOTE: A brace is defined as anything worn for a medical purpose to increase stability. In general, it is made of neoprene or elastic knit with an insert embedded to support the joint. It may or may not have a hinge and/or straps or an opening over the kneecap.

d. A protective face mask may be worn and made of hard material, but must be worn molded to the face with no protrusions.

e. Must be worn for medical reasons.

ART. 3 . . . Arm sleeves, knee sleeves, lower leg sleeves, compression shorts and tights are permissible:

a. Anything worn on the arm and/or leg is a sleeve, except a knee brace, and must meet the color restrictions.

b. The sleeves/tights, compression shorts must be black, white, beige or the predominant color of the jersey and the same color sleeves/tights must be worn by teammates.

c. All sleeves/tights, compression shorts must be the same solid color and must be the same color as any headband or wristband worn.

d. Meet the logo requirements in 3-6.

ART. 4 . . . Wristbands and headwear must meet the following guidelines:

a. Headbands and wristbands must be white, black, beige or the predominant color of the jersey and must be the same color for each item and all participants. They must be the same color as any sleeve/tights worn. See 3-6 for logo requirements.

b. A headband is any item that goes around the entire head. It must be a circular design without extensions. If worn, only one headband is permitted, it must be worn on the forehead/crown, it must be nonabrasive and unadorned, and it must be no more than 3 inches wide.

c. If worn, only one wristband is permitted on each wrist, each must be worn on the arm below the elbow, each must be moisture absorbing, nonabrasive and unadorned, and each must be a maximum of 4 inches wide.

d. Rubber, cloth or elastic bands may be used to control hair. Hard items, including, but not limited to, beads, barrettes and bobby pins, are prohibited. Hair-control devices are not required to meet color restrictions.

e. Head decorations and headwear, except those specified above, are prohibited.

EXCEPTION: State associations may on an individual basis permit a player to participate while wearing a head covering if it meets the following criteria:

a. For medical or cosmetic reasons – In the event a participant is required by a licensed medical physician to cover his/her head with a covering or wrap, the physician’s statement is required before the state association can approve a covering or wrap which is not abrasive, hard or dangerous to any other player and which is attached in such a way it is highly unlikely that it will come off during play.

b. For religious reasons – In the event there is documented evidence provided to the state association that a participant may not expose his/her uncovered head, the state association may approve a covering or wrap which is not abrasive, hard or dangerous to any other player and which is attached in such a way it is highly unlikely it will come off during play.

ART. 5 . . . Equipment which is unnatural and/or designed to increase a team member’s height or vertical reach or to gain a competitive advantage must not be permitted. Equipment and apparel must not be modified from the original manufactured state and must be worn in the manner the manufacturer intended it to be worn.

Note: Provided the shorts are not in conflict with Rule 3-4-5, no drawstring or other part of the shorts intended to maintain them in a normal position causes potential harm to the player or others and wearing of the shorts is not objectionable in exposing the anatomy, there is not restriction on folding or rolling the shorts at the natural waistband seam.

ART. 6 . . . Undershirts must be a single solid color similar to the torso of the jersey and must be hemmed and not have frayed or ragged edges. If the undershirt has sleeves, they must be the same length. Only one visible logo is permitted. See 3-6 for logo requirements.

ART. 7 . . . Jewelry is prohibited. Religious and medical-alert medals are not considered jewelry. A religious medal must be taped and worn under the uniform. A medical-alert medal must be taped and may be visible.

Source: NFHS Basketball Rules Book 2019-2020

All Rights Reserved. A Better Official 2020.

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