The Nathaniel Narbonne High School (Harbor City, Calif.) girls basketball team has lost their place in the Los Angeles City Section Open Division finals—and has been barred from the state tournament—for wearing "illegal uniforms" in Saturday's semifinal victory over View Park Preparatory Accelerated Charter High School (Los Angeles), the Los Angeles Times reports. The team wore jerseys with pink numbers and letters, instead of their normal school colors of green and gold. According to the Daily Breeze, Narbonne didn't obtain the necessary waiver to wear pink:
According to Article 1305 in the L.A. City Section Goldbook, "Uniform colors may only be a combination of the official school colors as listed in the Board of Managers Gold Book." Penalties include probation and forfeiture of contests.
Because pink is not a school color at Narbonne, the Gauchos needed to obtain a waiver to wear it.
Narbonne coach Victoria Sanders said she didn't realize the team needed to apply for a waiver, and that the pink numbers were simply to show solidarity with the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, which hosts "Play 4 Kay" every February to raise money for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund for breast cancer research. Yow was a former North Carolina State women's basketball coach who died in 2009.
Confusing things even further, Narbonne wore the same prohibited jerseys 11 days ago in their first round playoff victory over University High School (Los Angeles). But because seemingly nobody noticed anything against the rules, University didn't file a protest at the time—they belatedly tried to do so yesterday—and Narbonne advanced.
This is the second straight year that Narbonne has been kicked out of the playoffs in a controversial manner. During last year's Southern California Regionals a player should have sat out her next game after picking up two technicals, but didn't because her coach wasn't clear whether or not she had in fact received a second technical. This ineligible player violation ended Narbonne's 2013-14 season and led to them being on probation for this one, which possibly played a role in the seemingly harsh penalty for a simple uniform violation.
Screenshot via Fox 11 Los Angeles