Rules Changed After Black Softball Player Had To Cut Hair

The national governing body for high school athletics has changed its softball rules after a Black player in North Carolina was forced to cut her hair during a game because of the beads she was wearing.

The National Federation of High Schools removed language from one rule which had previously prohibited hard items to control the hair, including hair beads, a news outlet reported. In addition, head coverings worn for religious reasons will no longer require approval from state associations.

Nicole Pyles of Durham Hillside High School was told by two umpires on April 19 that she would either have to remove the beads in her hair or leave the senior-day game against in-town rival Jordan High School. Pyles chose to let her teammates cut her hair to remove the beads so she could continue playing in her team’s senior night game, which Jordan won 23-12.

Pyles called the experience “humiliating” and that her treatment by the umpires was unfair.

Head coverings worn for medical reasons will still require approval from the respective state associations.