Although it's causing a stir the York-Adams basketball community, a PIAA policy restricting players from rolling up the waistbands of their shorts isn’t a new rule at all.
It’s a policy that has been in place for “quite some time,” according to Phil Miller, the York Chapter of the PIAA basketball officials’ rules interpreter, but the policy will be freshly enforced amid a growing trend to roll the shorts up at the waist.
The rule is in place for two reasons. First, it aims to prevent more than one logo from the manufacturer to be displayed — which is rule above the PIAA’s control. It’s in the National Federation of State High School Associations’ basketball rule book. Second, Miller added, the policy prevents the drawstring from hanging out, which is a safety concern with the potential of hands or feet getting caught in it.
“As styles change, players are now rolling their shorts up,” Miller said. “When they do that, it exposes a second logo on the inside of the shorts and it exposes the drawstrings. We don’t want that. We want to make sure no one gets injured. That’s a rule that has been in place. It’s just coming to everyone’s attention now with this trend.”
The only change to the uniform policy this season is a slight one regarding the leg sleeves or tights that have also become popular among players. Leg sleeves, arm sleeves, head bands and wrist bands are required to be a solid color — white, black, beige or the team’s dominant uniform color — and a given player's accessories must match. Leg sleeves also have to be full-length as opposed to calf-length. All rule changes are presented to coaches and referees during a mandatory rules interpretation meeting before the season, Miller said.
During the pregame sportsmanship meeting between referees, players and coaches, the coaches are asked if their players are properly equipped. If the referee sees an infraction with the player, including the leg sleeve and shorts policy, the players are not allowed to enter the game until they meet the guidelines.
The general consensus among YAIAA players is that this rule, new or old, is unnecessary.
"I thought it was a joke until my coach told me I really needed to unroll my shorts," said Delone Catholic senior Lilly Singleton, who added she has rolled her shorts before games for years. "I know they're getting more strict with the uniform, it's just annoying that something as silly as rolling my shorts is a rule."
Rolling the shorts isn't a fashion statement, according to Northeastern senior Jordyn Kloster: It's a matter of comfort, and leg sleeves offer protection.
"As a girls' basketball player, the benefit is that I feel more comfortable and not like I'm wearing men's shorts that are extra long and big around the waist," Kloster said. "I know leg sleeves are a fashion item for the guys and some girls, but for me they help protect my legs and knees when driving or diving on the floor for loose balls."
"I like to have my shorts above my knees because I find it much more comfortable," Spring Grove senior Liam Flaherty added. "When I was forced to play with them unrolled it was a hassle and frustrated me...I guess I understand coming from the national ranks that multiple logos can't be showing due to endorsing and such, but I think that we should still be allowed to roll out shorts and wear calf-length leg sleeves if we don't infringe upon the national logo rule and keep the strings out of sight."