February 1, 2008

Public Displays of Headbands

I’ve decided to use my blog to alert the masses about a controversial subject arising in women’s college basketball. First, a quick shout out to my mom and sister, and all the people who hold me down, "What’s up!"

There is a hot button topic that has become an issue of concern this year in women’s college basketball. Referees everywhere are cracking down on PDH’s this year. That’s right folks, I’m talking about public displays of headband.

Entire teams must wear the same color headband, and a color that matches the uniform. There cannot be too many logos or endorsements on the headband, and size is sometimes a touchy subject. Infuriated, players with lucky headbands tried to beat the system and wear them anyway but no player has succeeded. Stanford captains, Candice Wiggins and Jillian Harmon, are often sent back to their teammates to bear the bad news.

While they may not get all the game calls right, referees are serious about headband infractions. A few times, wild haired players like Rosalyn Gold-Onwude and Cissy Pierce play an entire game working tirelessly on defense to keep their player away from the basket and their hair away from their face.

So why the sudden fuss over head apparel you wonder? Some studies show this isn’t an overnight trend. Headwear and hairstyles are very conscious and strategic choices made by the Stanford players.

Sophomore JJ Hones always wears her hair in a neat bun in belief that a neat player plays a neat game. Center, Jayne Appel, better known for her versatile stash of drop steps and power slides, also keeps an arsenal of variations on buns, pony tails, braids, and twists. Personally, I have experimented with both braids and twists, and currently I wear a high ponytail with a broad white tie-on headband, sporty yet casual cute at the same time. Injured point guard, Melanie Murphy, another New Yorker with style, wore her headband thick and low over her ponytail. Even Jillian Harmon’s famous “woke up this morning with this bun” hairstyle is more planned than she lets on; reports claim she wears this style to both games and dress-up events.

Objective and sensible people agree, “Refs, leave the players alone!" If the players want to wear their hair and headbands a certain way, then so be it. Basketball was better when the players focused on themselves and the refs focused on their calls.

-Rosalyn Gold-Onwude


  1. Would it help if all the fans wore the same kind too? If so, just let us know which style the team prefers and we will oblige :) Great article!!

  2. that was the best blog yet... creative, well written, and insightful. way to go Ross.

  3. Well, the oficials have to go for the easy calls right off the start to bank against the lousy calls DURING the game. So glad they are being the enforcinators on this hugely important topic. Great post, Roz. Love your sense of humor!!

  4. Great blog, Ros. I love your (subtle) comments on the refs - I couldn't agree more. See you in Santa Clara. Go Card!

  5. Fun stuff. JJ's neat bun is working but Jillian's needed some work against Santa Clara.

  6. I love Jill's bun. The look enhances her amazing bone structure. I've been trying to do my hair like her for ages, but my hair always falls out when I start playing.