Why do women beach volleyball players wear bikinis while men wear shorts and tank tops ?
The discrepancies between men’s and women’s beach volleyball uniforms are hard not to notice, given that women usually compete in bikinis and men play in tank tops and shorts. According to Corinne Calabro, the communications director for USA Volleyball, is pretty simple: Because that’s what the female athletes want to compete in. Women don’t have to wear bikinis — the uniform guidelines from the Federation of International Volleyball, the governing body of all international competition, allow for many different options.
“The athletes are allowed to wear long sleeves, they’re allowed to wear shorts, tank tops,” Calabro said. “But we’ve gotten a lot of athletes on record saying they prefer to wear a two-piece because there are less places for sand to hide. They don’t view it as swim wear or anything like a fashion statement. For them, that’s their uniform.”
The uniform guidelines for women changed in 2012. Previously, female players were required to wear bikinis when they competed. But in order to be more culturally inclusive, the FIVB changed the rules to allow for a myriad of different combinations. This year, Egypt’s team competed wearing long sleeves and pants, which was up to code with what the FIVB mandates.
Women have more options when it comes to what they compete in than men do, though both genders have to wear both tops and bottoms.