Girls Volleyball Uniforms Have Been a Topic of Controversy For a While
According to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) volleyball uniform regulations, girls volleyball uniform tops must all be the same color (with the exception of the libero). And must be long enough to cover the top of the shorts while the player is standing. Players are not allowed to show any mid-driff. Girls volleyball bottoms have to be the same color and must be shorts, spandex, pants or skirts. The regulations allow for players to wear undergarments or body suits. That show below the uniform as long as they are the same solid color of the uniform.
While no one seems to have an issue with girls volleyball tops, as they are relatively conservative, the bottoms are a completely different story.
Girls volleyball shorts are, well, short. And tight. The inseam of an average volleyball short is approximately 2.75” - 3.5” and made of a spandex. In the volleyball world they have been dubbed “Bun Huggers” and are essentially the booty shorts of girls volleyball. The opinion of the uniform bottoms is very mixed.
Advocates of the of bun huggers state that the logic behind the tight short-shorts is practicality.
Veteran volleyball players who have worn both looser, baggier shorts and the shorter, tighter shorts, are more in favor of the latter. Their reasoning is that wearing a form-fitting, tight short. Allows for them to move more freely without having to constantly readjust their bottoms. Players who have worn the baggier shorts claim that looser and longer fitting shorts were always falling or hitting the net. Secondary to practical reasons of liking the bun huggers, is that they are more feminine. And they work hard for their athletic bodies and are proud to show them off.
Protestors of the uniform bottoms claim that the shorts are exploitive and sexist. Many parents feel uncomfortable with their daughters running around the court in the tiny shorts. The concern is of pedophiles and inappropriate pictures being taken of their kids while wearing the shorts and bending over and squatting. For others, the uniform shorts simply do not align with their values, culture, or religion. Super protestors have put up various pages on the internet asking to ban bun huggers.
In beach volleyball, women’s uniforms are even more revealing than indoor court volleyball.
Players are often seen wearing two-piece bikinis. The logic behind the extra revealing beach volleyball uniforms is again of practicality. The weather is usually very hot and players claim that wearing a bikini is simply more comfortable than wearing a one-piece bathing suit. Players do not find what they wear to be objectifying or sexist at all.
Taking both opinions into account, the NFHS seems to be sensitive to players who choose to wear a more conservative bottom. While it doesn’t look like bun huggers will be going anywhere anytime soon. How revealing a volleyball uniform is seems to be left to the discretion of the player and their comfort level of what they wear.