Iran’s U16 national team made history at the FIBA Women’s Asia Championship, becoming the first team to play with headgear under a new rule was passed in May.
Under the old FIBA statute, any headgear over 5 inches wide was not allowed, which ruled out any type of religious covering,
Under the new regulation any head covering can be now worn as long as it is in the team’s dominant colors or is black/white, and does not cover any part of the face or pose a danger to players.
The ruling was a big one for Iranian women ballplayers since headscarves have been compulsory in the country for all women appearing in public since 1979.
“This is the first time we are here for this event,” head coach Elahe Darestane told ESPNW, “Wearing the hijab makes us free and we’re happy that FIBA recognized our need.”
The Iranian women made the most of their opportunity, getting off to a rousing start by blowing out Nepal 89-32 in their FIBA Asia opener in Bengaluru, Koramangala India.
Point guard Rojin Talakoub led the way with 17 points in Iran’s historic victory, while centers Ghazal Maleki and Aida Golmohammadi added 10 points with 18 rebounds, and 10 points with 10 rebounds respectively.
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