There is some controversy with girls' volleyball shorts in that many teams prefer the very short, skintight shorts that, although they can be good for performance, are considered far too revealing for school sports. Fortunately, there are other options for concerned players and parents.
Performance-Engineered Vollyball Shorts
As with many sports uniforms for boys and girls alike, the trend has been towards streamlining for improved performance. Engineered fabrics skim the body and allow for full range of movement without impediment. They have contributed to the setting of new records in sports like swimming and running. It's hardly surprising that younger athletes want to wear these clothes so they can achieve the best possible performance from the beginning of their involvement.
Controversy Over Girls' Shorts
Professional women's volleyball shorts have been getting shorter and tighter for years, so that now they look more like the bikini bottoms worn for beach volleyball than actual shorts. The shorts worn by girls on volleyball teams in middle and high schools have also gotten shorter and tighter. Some players and parents are unhappy about this, while others take note that it can improve audience attendance.
Thus far, younger girls are still wearing more appropriate shorts and many school teams are insisting that middle school players wear them as well. While the tighter shorts can improve performance, they can also create a distraction. Spandex shorts are easier for diving and rolling, but many players compromise by wearing tight shorts underneath the looser shorts, preserving modesty while still making for an exciting game.
Finding Acceptable Shorts for Girls
Homegrown Sporting Goods Volleyball Shorts
Most shops that cater to team sports will sell longer, looser girls' volleyball shorts. At Homegrown Sporting Goods, you can choose from a number of styles, colors and fabrics. In the Teamwork section, while there are low-rise spandex shorts, you can also get three kinds of basic loose shorts.
- The Cool Mesh is made from moisture-wicking polyester, has notched sides, an elastic waistband and reinforced construction.
- Dazzle are in a heavyweight, shiny cloth ideal for a home game. They have a two-inch waistband and internal drawstring, V-notch sides and reinforced construction. You can add letters and numbers if you wish.
- Micro-Mesh is made of nylon mesh for comfort and has a two-inch waistband and internal drawstring.
The High 5 category has one pair of shorts for girls - the Essortex, a two-tone short of polyester eyelet jacquard with Essortex moisture management. They have wide panels, double-needle hems and a covered elastic waistband with internal drawstring. You can get matching jerseys. The Signature shorts, while on the shorter side, are also loose and can be personalized for team members.
Custom Ink Volleyball Shorts
Another good source for team shorts is Custom Ink, where you can order shorts and tops and have them customized as needed. They do have shorts they call "girly" but a number of the youth shorts work perfectly well for a girls' team. The Sport-Tek Mesh shorts will allow for range of movement and full comfort. For practice, you might try going with a classic, like Adidas. The Sideline Shorts come in either green or blue with white trim and the Adidas logo in white on the left front leg. They have an elastic waist, three-inch inseam and are made of polyester mesh for guaranteed comfort.
The Ongoing Debate
Increasing numbers of parents and players are expressing concern about the trend towards short tight shorts for young volleyball players. There is no reason, however, why girls' volleyball shorts should be inappropriate for their age. It should further be noted that the volleyball uniforms for boys are vastly different - much longer and often looser. It can only be assumed that the trends in girls' shorts are more for appearance sake and the hopes of attracting and holding an audience's attention. It is up to individual teams to show their audience that it's a great game, not the look of the players, that makes it worth the watch and earns the cheers.