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Why Are Volleyball Shorts So Tight?

author image Beth Rifkin
Based in San Francisco, Beth Rifkin has been writing health- and fitness-related articles since 2005. Her bylines include "Tennis Life," "Ms. Fitness," "Triathlon Magazine," "Inside Tennis," "American Fitness" and others. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Temple University.
Why Are Volleyball Shorts So Tight?
A woman is wearing tight spandex. Photo Credit Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images

Those skimpy shorts that female volleyball players wear aren’t just for looks, they actually serve a purpose. Similar to attire for gymnastics and track, the tight bottoms allow for better movement during a volleyball match. Women’s indoor volleyball teams tend to wear short, form-fitting bottoms and it is standard for beach volleyball players to wear bikini bottoms.

Move Freely

Usually made of a lightweight spandex, the shorts worn by female volleyball players allow for more fluid and agile movement during play. The women do not have to worry about their bottoms slipping down or becoming bunched up while diving for the ball during a critical point. Players tend to have a greater range of motion and flexibility when their uniform is not getting in their way.

London 2012

Once limited to tight bikini bottoms, female beach volleyball players are now allowed to wear shorts at the Olympics and during other international competitions. The change was made by the International Volleyball Federation in respect to the cultural requirements of some participating countries. The new regulations state that shorts must be 1.18 inches above the knee.

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