WNBL Rule Change

December 11, 2021 | WNBL news

The WNBL has reviewed a long-standing policy relating to braids and ponytails and has made the decision to remove it, effective immediately.

The policy was:


If a player (male or female) has their hair braided, and it swings free from their head when the head is moved, it may cause harm to another player if struck by the braid. Due to injury that may be caused, players are not permitted on the court with free braids in their hair.

Plaited Ponytails

Players with plaited ponytails must roll the plait into a bun or remove the plait and play with a loose ponytail. (as long as the ponytail does not hide the player’s number).

The policy has been deemed discriminatory and inconsistent with Basketball Australia’s Diversity & Inclusion framework by the WNBL Commission.

It is also not enforced in either the WNBL, other leading professional women’s leagues around the world or international competitions such as the Olympics and World Cup.

To this end, the WNBL Commission has removed the policy, effective immediately.

Basketball Australia makes an unreserved apology for any anguish and pain that was caused by this rule.