Women Handball Players Will Be Allowed To Wear Shorts Instead Of Bikini Bottoms After A Team Protested The Rule

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Chattanooga, Tennessee—


Win For Women

The International Handball Federation will no longer require women to wear bikini bottoms after the Norwegian women’s beach handball team was fined over the summer for wearing shorts in protest of the rule.

The federation abandoned the sexist requirement in its updated rules handbook published on Oct. 3. The new rules state that women athletes “must wear short tight pants with a close fit.”

A spokesperson for the federation did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment on Monday regarding the reason for the change. It comes after the Norwegian players were fined 150 euros each for wearing “improper clothing” at the European championships in July.

At the time, the IHF’s rules stated that while men could wear shorts, women were required to wear bikini bottoms. Norwegian Handball Federation President Kåre Geir Lio told the New York Times that Norway had complained about the bikini bottom requirement since 2006 but the federation had done nothing about it.

In an interview with NBC News Monday, Lio said the change was “both a real and symbolic step” toward fighting gender inequality in handball.

“I think it’s good for the game, but first of all, it’s good for the women, and it’s good for how we treat each other in sports,” he said.

The new rules will take effect on Jan. 1, 2022, the handbook said.