Saudi authorities refrain from allowing girls to have sports lessons in government-run schools.
Saudi Arabia still prohibits sports lessons in government-run girls' schools, and female sports clubs are banned, while a Saturday report by the kingdom's official press agency said Riyadh has recently voiced consent to the start of sports lessons in private schools.
The Saudi press agency said the decision on schoolgirls' sports activities has been taken "according to the rules of Shariah."
Saudi Arabia follows an ultraconservative Sunni interpretation of Shariah (Islamic law) known as Wahhabism.
The agency said Saturday the Education Ministry ordered private girls' schools to provide appropriate places and equipment for sports. Students must adhere to "decent dress" codes and Saudi women teachers should be given priority in supervising.
The ministry said some private girls' schools have been holding sports activities without rules protecting the interests of the students and their health.