What clothing is typically worn for playing volleyball? We know for sure, you hardly dress to impress in volleyball! Here, things are more about dressing for the occasion (or sport) than dressing to impress the crowd that will be attending. But does that mean your style and comfort is buried under the clothes of professionalism? Not at all!
However, there are some things that you need to pay attention to when it comes to selecting the right clothing on top, for the bottoms, and even in the pair of shoes that you select. Things change when you go from playing solo to playing volleyball in a team. But what are those rules? Let’s find out!
Team Clothing Rules in Volleyball
When you play in a random team put up by friends or as a friendly match by your personal trainer, you have the freedom to decide what you will wear. However, clothing for competitive performances doesn’t let you decide your clothes. Either your coach will step in, the organization you are playing for will step in, and of course, the authoritative bodies will step in. The task of the latter is to keep things professional.
So what happens in a team game? Does the clothing have any rules? Yes. An official game means that your team will wear a jersey that will separate your team from the opponent’s. The color and pattern on the jerseys for all players need to be the same, except the libero.
Other than the jersey, you will need socks, shorts, and volleyball shoes. While the shorts need to match, too, you do have some sort of freedom in the shoes and socks.
And it is not just the official game where volleyball players are required to wear nearly-identical outfits. This is continued in the warm-up sessions as well. So when you see the players of a volleyball game warming up, you will find similarity in their jerseys, with the addition of inner garments, knee pads, and much more.
The purpose of these warm-up outfits is mostly for advertising reasons. However, it also helps to allow flexible movement in the players as they practice. Like the official jersey, the warming jerseys are also selected by the combined decisions of the coach and the club in which the team plays. You won’t find formal authorities peeping in with their guidelines here!
The Reasons Why Volleyball Player Wear Shorts or Spandex
What do you think is the reason? It is definitely comfortable! Shorts or spandex gives players comfort and freedom of movement, something that is super desirable for players that will be jumping up and down and moving side by side for a couple hours!
However, there are points that add to the comfort of wearing shorts or spandex in a game. One of them is having no pockets. These are unnecessary and, to some point, distracting. The second point is that when you wear clothes that hug your body closely, it doesn’t get in your way. This is why long, flowy clothes are avoided, and spandex is given preference for its snug tightness.
Volleyball tryout clothing
The tryout clothing for volleyball need not be anything special unless you really want it to be. Whatever you find yourself wearing for indoor sports will serve you well in tryouts. But since you are allowed the freedom, you should not exploit it at the cost of giving a bad tryout.
So if you are unsure what to wear and this is your first tryout, instead of opting for trousers and tees, we would suggest you go along the lines of a relaxing technical shirt, shorts, socks, volleyball shoes, and a kneepad. If the team wants you to have it, you can also print your name on the back of the jersey. In case you stumble (which we hope you wouldn’t), a kneepad will save you from sprains and injuries.
Since these last a couple of hours, you can also take headbands to keep sweat dripping from your hair away and a towel.
Beach volleyball clothing
Remember, wearing things for beach volleyball can go two ways. You can either play a recreational game with friends or go for professional beach volleyball.
Suppose you will be playing with friends. In that case, you can wear spaghetti strap tops and denim shorts, and nobody will bat an eye! For the guys, you can even play in your gym shorts and bare body. Nobody has a say on that!
However, if you are playing a professional game at the beach, guidelines are most likely to come, but not as strictly. You are not allowed to wear shoes. Players usually play barefoot. However, if the sand is too hot, you may be allowed to wear socks.
In terms of clothing, women can opt for bathing suits or tank tops and shorts while men wear shorts and tank shorts that have a similarity. The clothing is chosen to match the environment and the heat, and of course, the freedom of movement. This is the same reason we also got spandex if you remember!
Other than the basic clothing, players can opt for hats and sunglasses to save the sun from blinding their vision.
What Clothing is Typically Worn for Playing Volleyball: A Guide on What to Wear
The clothing part has been divided into top clothing, bottom clothing, shoes, socks, and other accessories. In each, you have options to pick from. Let’s take a look.
Volleyball clothing tops
As you know from so far, jerseys and t-shirts are allowed. But what kind do they need to be? Are there other things you could wear too? Let’s find out!
V-neck and round-neck basic t-shirts are a great choice for playing volleyball. For players that don’t like a fuss and who don’t have the restriction of wearing a team jersey, t-shirts are a standard choice.
If you are a high-school or middle school student or someone who is simply going for a friendly match or tryouts, you can opt for t-shirts.
However, if you are a person who likes tight tees to show your abs, there’s bad news for you. The game requires you to wear loose-fitting clothes that are airy and comfortable for easy movement. However, in a friendly five-a-side, nobody tells you if the fit is right or wrong as long as you are playing cool!
But you can only imagine what a tight tee will do to your ability to extend your arm and have a throw. You don’t want any ripping or tearing mid-game, do you?
But then again, too loose tees can get in your way. So opting for form-fitting tees that stay an inch or one and a half away from your body is a good way to go. If you are going to buy new shirts or use the ones at home, see if you do the spike, set, and bump positions in the tee. Try doing jumping jacks, and you’ll know what gives you better agility and support.
Conservative teams or schools may not allow you to go for tank tops. But if you do have the chance to go for tank tops, make sure they don’t make you feel uncomfortable or awkward. Any clothing should allow you a range of motions that your hands require you to do in a game of volleyball.
Also, since you will be showing more skin in these, don’t forget to dab on sunscreen!
A blend of polyester and microfiber makes dry-fit shirts best for indoor games. When there is not much ventilation, having a fabric in your sportswear that keeps away moisture and sweat is a blessing. Also, you won’t need to spring your clothes to take out all the sweat at the end of the game!
Volleyball outfit bottoms
When it comes to selecting bottoms for your volleyball game, you have as many choices as the tops. Let’s take a look at them.
This is the most common form of bottoms you will see in a game of volleyball and the type you will find yourself wearing the most too. About the length of your shorts, it really depends on your comfort, as long as there is no specification of the length in a competitive game.
In case you have trouble with the length of the shorts, you can always wear spandex bottoms underneath them. For the men, you can always find athletic gym shorts to wear.
Joggings or sports capri pants can be okay for both men and women if the weather is colder. These won’t let the weather stop you from playing! Just make sure that besides the coverage, these are lightweight, don’t pull you down, and are stretchy as well.
Also, keep an eye out for the fittin. If you need to wear knee pads, make sure there is enough room inside your capri pants to allow a layer of knee pad underneath.
While the least liked and the least worn option is long trousers or pants for a game of volleyball, you will still find people wearing them. These keep you warm in cold weather but serve another reason too.
As you know, warm-up sessions don’t require you to follow any clothing guidelines at the bottom. In those cases, you can opt for trousers. However, these do restrain your ability to spike and dive, being so baggy themselves! So if you have to keep warm, get capri pants or joggers instead of trousers or long pants.
As you would expect or not, there are sport-specific volleyball shoes for the game. You may think, why can’t I opt for my basketball or running shoes with a volleyball game?
That is because volleyball requires you to do a lot of dives and jumps and uncalled for movements that need special shoes that can bear the impact of these sudden movements.
Also, you need to do a solid landing every time. So for good traction and overall better performance, try and find and wear volleyball shoes only, with socks as you please.
You can go for knee pads, shin pads, or elbow pads as supportive wear if you think you can be susceptible to injury while playing. Wearing glasses, sunglasses, headbands, etc., are also allowed so long as they don’t get in the way of the competition guidelines.
Sneakers vs. Volleyball Shoes
When you play recreational volleyball, sneakers should help you as long as you are a beginner. But when you go up the levels, you know how they fall short of the requirements of a good pair of volleyball shoes.
Sneakers are made to give you a decent grip and forward movements.
So the focus is more on the two ends of the sole. But volleyball shoes give attention to midsoles too and have very advanced grip as you need to land well after the air time in between your volleyball throws. This is why competitive performance means you have to buy the best volleyball shoes!
What Not to Wear for Volleyball
Now you would think, could there really be things you can’t wear to a game of volleyball? There definitely is!
For example, you cannot and should not wear any sort of jewelry in the game. Wearing things such as rings, necklaces, and even bracelets are not allowed in the game. Not because the authorities don’t want you to look “bling-bling” but because they can be hazardous in the game and may cause injury to other players.
Also, if you have long, flowy hair, keeping it untied is not allowed. You have to make a ponytail or, in shorter hair cases, wear a headband to keep them from getting inside your eyes or in the way, and obviously to prevent them from getting in other’s way during collisions.
So, what clothing is typically worn for playing volleyball? For recreation games, it all depends on you. But when you are playing in a competitive game individually or in a team, you are supposed to maintain identical jerseys with your name on them if required and wear socks, shorts, and volleyball shoes.
But when you don’t play as a team, you have the option to pick from t-shirts, dry-fits, and sportswear for the top and capri pants and shorts at the bottom.
Also, stay away from shiny and non-shiny jewelry! With the right attire, you’ll be drawing the best digs in the game, that’s for sure!
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