No more wardrobe malfunctions?

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It looks like no other team will have to endure the frustration North Lawndale’s boys basketball squad dealt with in last season’s state semifinals.

The Phoenix was assessed a technical foul before its Class 3A matchup with Champaign Centennial for having stripes on its uniforms that violated IHSA rules. Centennial hit one of two free throws and that point wound up being the difference in the Chargers’ 66-65 win.

On Thursday, the IHSA announced that it was allowing schools to request waivers for illegal uniforms now and for every season until they would normally replace the non-complying gear.

“We have no intention of requiring schools to expend additional dollars now, or in the future, to replace illegal uniforms,” IHSA executive director Marty Hickman said in a release posted on the organization’s Web site. “We fully realize there are many more pressing financial needs in our schools than basketball uniforms.”

There is a catch: Schools which have illegal uniforms – but don’t request a waiver - still will be penalized with a technical before the start of games.

Hickman said the IHSA is hoping to solve the problem by submitting a proposal to the National Federation of State High School Associations that would give schools more leeway with the design of their uniforms.

“(W)e feel that the NFHS uniform rules for basketball may be a bit too restrictive and cumbersome,” Hickman said. “We hope our proposal will be well received and help streamline those rules.”

— Mike Clark

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