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Arizona Interscholastic Association

Referee call barring Native American hair buns causes uproar

The board that governs Arizona high school sports says members of a girls' basketball team can wear their hair in traditional Navajo buns after a referee's decision to ban the hairstyle at a game this week caused an outcry.

The Flagstaff High School players were expressing their team pride and Native American cultural might when they pulled their hair into the neat, low buns Tuesday and took to their hometown court. Yarn in the school's colors — green and white — wound tightly around each bun, cocooning it, and a spray of the colorful pieces dangled from the top.

The girls donned the hairstyle as they warmed up to play Phoenix's Greenway High School. But before...