After outrage over a fine levied against the Norwegian women’s beach handball team for competing in shorts, the sport’s international federation said it was changing its rules.
The International Handball Federation has updated its rules so that women will no longer be required to play in bikini bottoms, responding to months of pressure from female players and coaches who described the uniform requirements as sexist, the New York Times reports.
According to the new rules, which were published Oct. 3 and will go into effect on Jan. 1, “Female athletes must wear short tight pants with a close fit.” The previous rules for beach handball required women to wear bikini bottoms “with a close fit and cut on an upward angle toward the top of the leg.” The sides of the bikini bottoms could not be more than four inches.
The I.H.F., the sport’s governing body, did not provide a reason for the change.
In July, Norway’s women’s handball team was fined 1,500 euros (about $1,740) for competing in a championship game in shorts instead of bikini bottoms, a penalty that drew widespread criticism. Even the singer Pink weighed in, saying that she was proud of the team for protesting the rules and offering to pay the fine.
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