If you play any sort of sport, you probably know that loose fitting or baggy clothing doesn’t make it any easier to play, and volleyball is no exception. If you play this popular sport or enjoy watching it, you may well have asked the question: Why are volleyball shorts so short? It’s all about feeling as comfortable as you can, and making it easier to play the game as well as possible.
Volleyball was devised in the United States in the late 19th century as a variation on both handball and tennis and has been popular ever since. Over the years, the rules and regulations have changed and the game has evolved; it was first played in the Olympics in Tokyo in 1964. Today, the sport is played in over 200 countries around the world and it’s estimated that volleyball in some form is played by about 13 percent of the world’s population at least once each week.
So exactly why are volleyball shorts so short? When it was first invented, volleyball was played mostly by men and only became popular with women during the 1950s, and it was another 20 years before it became a high school level sport. At that time, women’s shorts tended to be mid length and not tight, as was the trend at the time. In the late 1950s, spandex was invented and became popular with professional athletes during the 1960s. Many volleyball teams began wearing spandex shorts during the 1970s, and these were often referred to as bun huggers because of their tight fit.
Traditional shorts made a return during the 1990s, although the trend dint last long, and the late 1990s saw short spandex shorts the clothing of choice for the serious volleyball player. At first, these spandex shorts were longer than today’s shorts by a couple of inches, although anyone wearing them soon found that the longer shorts moved too much and the shorter style came back into fashion. Today, the shorter version is definitely preferred, although many school teams have the problem of the shorts violating their school dress code.
Basically, short and tight fitting clothes allow you to move more easily and more effectively, and shorts that are short won’t ride up and give the wearer that uncomfortable feeling. Volleyball is a game that requires a lot of jumping and running, and it really takes a short pair of shirts to allow that full range of motion and keep the wearer comfortable. Nobody wants to have to adjust their shorts during a game of volleyball, perhaps missing an important point, or drawing attention to themselves. Spandex also helps to reduce chafing and can prevent rashes on the upper leg. Spandex is also aerodynamic and in today’s image conscious world, spandex shorts come in a range of styles and colors. So the shorts being so short is basically all about comfort and flexibility, rather than appearance, and like it or hate it, it looks like the shorts aren’t going to get any longer.