Playing Basketball With Earrings Tips To Stay Safe


Surprisingly when I was in highschool piercings seemed much more popular, then they are now especially for males. I had both my ears pierced during the basketball season and one of my piercings was new. I remember that we had a basketball tournament and I had to take out both piercings for the games first thing in the morning. I forgot to put the earrings back in between games. By the time I remembered it was evening, my ear had already started to close.

We were not allowed to tape our earrings during the basketball tournament but during the regular season, we were. The tournament and regular season were in different districts in the city, which of course had different rules they abided by.

In the NBA and College levels, under no circumstances can you wear any kind of jewelry and for good reason. These players are contracted for millions of dollars and if anything were to happen someone would be getting sued, so why take a chance.

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The Safety Problem With Pierced Ears?

Having just got your ears pierced poses some problems while playing basketball and creates safety concerns on the court. Even if you tape the earring there are concerns, many times in basketball you can take a blow to the ear by accident by another player resulting in the earrings post being driven it to the back of the skin where the head and neck area is. Even with tape, there’s still a possibility that it goes through the tape and skin.

Secondly on searching for more information about the possibility of earring ripping off the ear in a basketball game and splitting the ear. I wasn’t surprised to see videos and stories of this happening. Some might argue well it wasn’t taped. I say why take a chance.

Are players Allowed To Use Tape To Cover Jewelry?

There are so many variables to this rule, it will depend on the league the level and the rules. Basically, in any circumstance, I would always err on the side of caution and flat out just take out the piercings. Now if they are brand new I can understand that a player would want to tape them. Furthermore, you may want to hold off on piercings until maybe there is a time frame in the year where you’re not playing a lot of basketball and get them pierced during that time to allow more time for healing. Then you won’t have to worry about your earrings closing or if the rules don’t allow you to tape them.

Keep in mind tape can fall off while you are playing basketball, due to sweating. That will get annoying every time you have to keep putting tape on. Now if it happens during the game and the referee notices you will probably be subbed off. Sometimes even a technical foul may be awarded to the other team for jewelry being exposed.


The safest metals for ear piercings are generally gold and titanium, which are unlikely to provoke allergic reactions or infections. It can take four to six weeks after piercing, for the ear to heal completely, so you want to begin removing earrings and cleaning the posts with alcohol or saline solution daily after that. If you have swollen or inflamed ears, consult your doctor and avoid wearing earrings until the inflammation goes away.

The following information is courtesy of and is a great guide on how to take care of earrings especially during the basketball season if you do happen to get a piercing and couldn’t wait till the offseason.

What do I Need For Newly Pierced Ear Care?

Piercing located in the ears can be prone to injury by your hair, clothing, and occasional touches. Therefore, ear-piercing care should consist of two stages: washing and sealing. For a complete treatment you will need three things:

  1. Saline
  2. Antiseptics (Miramistin preferably, a cheaper alternative is Chlorhexidine)
  3. Plaster (Adhesive dressing: Cosmopore, Micropore and Transpore)


DAYS 0-7:

A fresh piercing puncture should be rinsed 3-4 times a day. Use the saline bath to clean newly pierced ears from dried blood, dead cells, secretions, and other dirt outside.


To clean newly pierced ears:

  1. heat the saline up to body temperature;
  2. fill up a small clean container;
  3. immerse a pierced body part with jewelry into it;

Within a few minutes, the saline solution will do the job, soak the crust, and all you have to do is gently remove excess with a cotton swab (Tip: Do not peel it off with your nail and do not rotate the piercing).

Remember to rinse the piercing puncture spot with clean (preferably boiled)water to be sure that it has no salt left after the saline bath.


Now you can seal newly pierced ears:

  1. put a gauze pad on the puncture spot;
  2. secure it with a plaster or an adhesive dressing;

and go take care of your daily stuff. (Tip: Don’t place the plaster directly upon the piercing, because then it will be very unpleasant and traumatic to remove it.)

These procedures can be carried with your newly pierced ears out 2 times a day – morning and evening, and the rest of the time just use antiseptic. Since the dirt or dust can easily get into a piercing puncture, you should apply a gauze saturated with antiseptic after any contact for at least a couple of minutes (after sleeping, walking, sweating and just someone’s touch).

Swelling may appear at the piercing puncture spot in the early days. Do not be afraid, this is completely normal. However, if within a week the swelling does not disappear, it is necessary to call your piercing master and listen to his recommendations.

DAYS 8-14:

The piercing puncture should no longer be sore and deliver any inconvenience, but it is still too early to relax. We need to continue to do the bath 1-2 times a day and still need to use antiseptic, but begin to apply less seal, in order not to earn any irritation from the seal glue. You can already walk around the house without a plaster, but with clean hair and clean clothes. Seal up just before going out and bedtime. (Tip: At this time you may use contact lens solution to clean your piercings)

DAYS 15-30:

To avoid the piercing puncture overdrying it is necessary to reduce the number of bathes up to 1 time a day and use an antiseptic only when needed.


Now, if you carefully followed our instructions for your newly pierced ears and successfully passed primary healing, the swelling’s gone down, and the puncture is not a excrete lymph. You still need to continue to do preventive baths with saline a few times a week, but it is desirable to replace the primary piercing with the final short one so you don’t accidentally hook it. Certainly, it is better not to do it yourself and not be lazy to walk to your piercing master, where he will replace it with the help of special tools that will eliminate the possibility of injury.


  • Do not touch the puncture. The less you disturb the wound the faster it heals.
  • Do not rotate and especially not to remove the decoration.
  • Do not use peroxide, alcohol, or any other aggressive substances. Don’t use ointments, because of the very pleasant consistency for bacteria.
  • When visiting a bath, swimming pools, sauna, and solarium it is necessary to seal the puncture spot with plaster or an adhesive dressing.
  • Avoid getting cosmetics and perfumery into the puncture.
  • Don’t drink (or at least minimize the use of) alcohol, smoking, and taking aspirin. All of this dilates blood vessels and increases the bleeding, thereby prolonging the healing.
  • Remember that the puncture is not healed with a miracle cure, but your body. It is therefore desirable to well ensure the hygiene (wash clothes, bed linens, wash and brush your teeth) and to support the immune system at a decent level (take a combination of vitamins and minerals, good sleep, drink plenty of pure water and exercise).
This next paragraph was a forum post, that was posted by a coach in frustration to the rule of pierced ears. I do agree a lot in part of what the post says. I always wondered even if its summer league and a girl had a nose ring I’m sure the referee would make the player take it out. Would they not? And if so what’s the difference.

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