Many people ask volleyball coaches why the volleyball shorts are so short and skimpy. It is especially true for parents that are new to the volleyball game. There are so many diverse opinions and views on this. Some people insist that it is done for gathering more spectators on the court. Others feel that it is just all about comfort.
Are skimpy shorts a fashion statement or worn to enhance comfort?
Women and girl volleyball players fondly refer to these skimpy shorts as bun-huggers. It is to be noted that the tightly and almost nonexistent shorts are the norm for women players who play on the indoor volleyball courts. However, even if the game is played outside i.e. on the sands, these shorts become even shorter.
Nevertheless, these skimpy and bare minimum sports uniforms are bound to be linked to better sports performance. If the material is less, these are less restrictive. Many players and sports experts feel that if the clothes are tighter, it is easier to move on the courts while playing the game.
A pertinent question can arise in this context in the mind of many people. If it is better to wear such skimpy clothes while playing, why do male volleyball players wear tank tops and baggy shorts? Some cynics may remark it is simply a ploy for attracting more spectators. However, many sports experts and women athletes slam this view outright.
Players are free to wear something else, which covers more skin, according to the regulations. If they cannot, then there is something problematic. However, players have a choice. They can decide what uniform they are comfortable in. Some players decide to wear longer clothes and this is allowed. As long as they feel comfortable and it doesn’t restrict their movements, it is fine. The current outfit has grown out of traditions and most players just follow these. Some players prefer to reject these and wear a wider and bigger outfit.
Uniform norms in other sports
Interestingly, in swimming, the practice is just the reverse because male athletes have less clothing as compared to their female counterparts. You will find college men to high school boys, swimming in the skimpiest of coverings. On the other hand, female swimmers have the liberty to wear fully covered swimming suits reaching up to their necks. If you look into track events at a professional level, female athletes wear small briefs and sports bras. On the other hand, male athletes wear tank tops and longer spandex shorts.
When we compare this practice to other sports uniforms, we find that most of the time, the uniforms are quite similar between both genders. It means females are found wearing slightly less or the same type of attire as their male counterparts do.
However, many female coaches empathize with all those women players and their parents who are not quite comfortable with the short volleyball shorts.
History of female volleyball shorts
The volleyball uniforms for women in the 70s resonated with the fashion of that era. Female players wore mid-length shorts and form-fitting shirts. However, the shirts were not tight at all.
However, in the late 70s, spandex, the synthetic material gained quite a lot of popularity among female volleyball players. Several women’s volleyball teams switched over to this synthetic material for their uniform choice. Globally, as well as, in the United States of America, female volleyball players were seen playing in what was commonly known as bun huggers.
Incidentally, bun huggers were a popular choice among women volleyball players for quite some time though they had an array of limitations. It was in the early 90s and late 80s when women’s volleyball teams migrated back to more traditional styles for shorts. When the late 90s arrived, the spandex shorts came in vogue once again for the female players. However, this time around, their length was a little more than in the past.
Why do women volleyball players prefer Spandex today?
Contrary to popular belief, skimpy shorts were not selected to attract more spectators. Instead, they were selected for practicality and comfort.
Firstly, the teams opted for the skimpy spandex shorts because it is easier to play with. You have to move a lot in volleyball and having a material that moves with you can make all the difference. These shorts do not restrict the range of motion of the female players.
It is particularly true for players with larger thighs who will find where their shorts wind up. Many female volleyball players have large thighs and a material that moves with them makes it more comfortable. It can be uncomfortable when they wear traditional shorts as these can move around a lot. There is not a lot of time to adjust your pants during a volleyball match so shorts that stay in place are great to wear.
Additionally, spandex features moisture-wicking attributes that have their own merits. The material is as comfy as wearing your inner-wear. Some women even claim that they feel more comfortable in these shorts as compared to their underwear.
Experienced women players who are no longer conscious of their bodies have got accustomed to the spandex material. For them, it is simply a part of the sports uniform they play in.
Last, there are many women volleyball players, who simply enjoy wearing these skimpy shorts. These players also find the shorts comfortable and fashionable. They also love shopping for new spandex shorts in bright patterns and colors for their practice sessions.
How to stop shorts from riding up
Shorts that are riding up are really annoying and you don’t have time to adjust them during a volleyball match. Therefore it is essential that you get shorts that don’t ride up. The volleyball short’s inseam is significant to prevent it from riding up and causing embarrassing moments. The real trick is to get a pair of shorts, with a longer inseam. Doing so can stop these shorts from riding up, which can reveal too much or make the player uncomfortable while playing. Getting a more expensive brand is also a great idea as they use better materials and elastics. This keeps the shorts in place instead of riding up.