Evolution of Women’s Beach Volleyball Uniforms

When people think of women’s beach volleyball, they tend to think of very fit, tan women wearing bikinis. However, the way people view these athletes will soon change – along with the improved uniform guidelines.

Women’s beach volleyball is one of the most-talked about sport, but all for the wrong reason. While most people focus on the way the women look, the athletes are worried about beating their opponents.

After the 2012 rule change, these female athletes can compete in any uniform type they would like. These types range from bikinis to full-body suits.

With the new uniform guidelines,the Egyptian beach volleyball team
opted to wear long pants and one player even wore a hijab.

Even with the new rules, these women are still restricted as to how much skin can be covered. If the team chooses to wear bikinis, the hip (side) width cannot exceed seven centimeters. If the team chooses to wear shorts and a top, then their shorts cannot go further than three centimeters above the knee.

While the women are having to wear the smallest bikini available, the men are required to wear shorts and a tank top – with almost no regulations as to how long their shorts can be.

The men are allowed to feel comfortable in their uniforms while the women are playing in uncomfortable and unnecessary uniforms.

Some players opt for only the bikinis, like Kerri Walsh Jennings, three-time Olympic gold medalist, prefer bikinis over the more comfortable options.


Even with the new guidelines, some athletes will still choose to wear bikinis.

Jennings believes that wearing bikinis is the only realistic option, “When it comes to beach volleyball, we’re playing in 100-degree-plus weather.I think we’ve just gotta educate the public, take it with a grain of salt and make sure that we’re working hard and not playing up the sex appeal because it’s inherent anyway.” Jennings, like many other players, thinks that bikinis are the most conventional and they do not see any reason they should not be wearing them.

With the new changes, the athletes can feel more comfortable while playing. After all, it should not matter what the teams are wearing as long as they are matching and all of the uniform requirements (number, country, sponsor, etc.) are met. 

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