What Every Volleyball Mom Should Know

Jane is playing volleyball these days and it’s just terrific. It’s a sport that kids come to a little later so there’s less parental involvement on the court than there is with other sports. I may have just lucked out with Jane’s particular group but the volleyball parents are absolutely wonderful. The coaches are also amazing.

As amazing as volleyball is I need every parent to know why there should be no cameras at your daughter’s volleyball matches.

These are Jane’s shorts.

Volleyball shorts

The first time she wore them she was clearly uncomfortable. She’d be tugging at them and pulling them down. To be frank Mr. G. and I were also a little uncomfortable just looking at her in them. Our daughter’s shorts were smaller and tighter than our son’s underwear. I tell myself that this is okay because she’s an athletic girl and it’s different than being the girl dancing on the sidelines while the boys shoot hoops.

I didn’t actually believe my self talk. Who would?

I’m resigned to the fact that shorty shorts are the volleyball uniform. I’m not happy about it but it’s not the battle I’m about to wage as certainly it’s not one I’m likely to win. Jane would lose.

So after a million misgivings about sexy shorts on my thirteen year old daughter I learned to suck it up and smile. Now when I look at her and her teammates I see athletic young women who sidestep around gymnasium floors and leap vertically to hit the ball with an outstretched arm. There is no mistaking a volleyball player for anything other than an athlete when she is on the court.

Unless you’re a guy with a camera.

When I log out of google (logging out matters because it won’t be a personalized search) and search the term volleyball shorts these are the images that come up.

Volleyball_Shorts

If you feel a little sick to your stomach, if you feel a little bad that clearly underage girls are objectified like that then you know how I feel.

There are entire pages of Reddit devoted to girls in volleyball shorts. If you decide to visit these pages you’ll probably feel a mix of rage and shame. If you feel excited I hope you’re a 13 year old boy and not a pedophile, the girls are… well, they’re little girls.

http://www.reddit.com/r/VolleyballGirls/

Of course a month ago Reddit had a “necessary change in policy” outlined here. It includes:

We have very few rules here on reddit; no spamming, no cheating, no personal info, nothing illegal, and no interfering the site’s functions. Today we are adding another rule: No suggestive or sexual content featuring minors.

Although noble(ish) Reddit hasn’t been able to enforce this well. Reddit is not the whole  internet, to me it is the perfect representative, but Reddit is just a tiny corner of the internet and there are sites devoted to girls in volleyball shorts with nothing but crotch shots. Fapping encouraged.

There are some important takeaways here for all the volleyball parents.

  • Do not share photos of your daughter’s volleyball team online. This includes email.
  • Do not allow your daughter to be photographed playing volleyball.
  • Talk to your volleyball club about why you don’t want your daughter photographed, do a quick google search with them and show them why.

Just yesterday the International Volleyball Federation announced that out of sensitivity to different cultures the women’s beach volleyball teams in London will be allowed to wear shorts that reach almost to the knee (yes they set a maximum length) as well as long sleeved shirts. This leaves me hopeful for years to come but for today there’s got to be a lockdown on how we’re allowing our daughter’s images to be used.

And please before anyone tries to explain that these shorts are somehow performance related I’d like to share with you an image of elite boys volleyball.

Facebook Comments

  • http://www.facebook.com/Kristidavis Kristi Morrison Davis

    Can she wear Francie Pants under them? That’s not the point, I know. I do love those Francie Pants for my 6yo. We wear them under everything. 

  • http://twitter.com/corrinrenee Corrin Foster

    I played volleyball competitively up through college and my good friend is a NCAA D1 women’s volleyball coach. I’ve watched the uniforms get smaller and smaller throughout the years and I regularly ask him why something can’t be done about it. Why can’t his team choose to wear running shorts or Spandex to the thighs, like we worn when I played? There’s no good answer. It’s a sport that’s been objectified because regulation uniforms are now underwear.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=723856406 Ann Bibby

    This is like any other objectification of young women issue. The longer we older women justify sitting out the battle to do something about it, the longer the problem persists until someday it is our daughters’ rationalizing why it’s okay to let this one thing slide.

    • Jill

      Well said. 

  • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin margolin

    My girls are years away from this, but I loathe the double standard. I hate this. But thank you so much for sharing.

  • http://www.jenspends.com/ Jennifer Roberts

    I don’t get it at all. When I was in high school (late 90’s), girl volleyball players wore loose shorts. A bit shorter than what the basketball players wore, but not like the underwear they wear now. If basketball players (and male volleyball players) don’t find it a performance issue, then what gives? I think it’s disgusting that the coaches are encouraging teen girls to dress like this.

  • Redneck Mommy

    I have been banging on this drum for more than four years now. In our club no cameras are allowed. For school volleyball my daughter refuses to wear those shorts. Too bad club regulations force it. Makes me so damn mad.

  • http://twitter.com/Leighbra Eryn

    Imagine how well they’d move if they were naked! /sarcasm

    So, I’m sorry, but why don’t the parents unite & complain to the coaches or the school admin? 

    I drove by our local school & the softball team was practicing in their sports bras. Middle school & high school practice together, so some of those girls were 11. There was a line of men standing on the fence line elbowing each other. I called the school & complained & told them what I saw. Just once. They’ve been in tank tops & t-shirts ever since.

    I know that was just one case, but if it upsets you, fricking complain.

    • Jill

      I kind of hate that the response to your complaint was to make the girls change their behavior, not the men. Ugh. 

      • Nikki

        I kind of hate that you expect the men to not stare at what the women are showing off.

        And I’m a woman.

        In high school, until we were banned from doing it, a lot of us used to practice for cheerleading in our sports bras and tiny shorts… FOR ATTENTION. Myself included. We practiced where the track runners, soccer players, and football guys could see us.

        I did the same thing in my karate classes. After I was done teaching class, I undid my uniform top and strutted around in my sports bra, because I wanted ATTENTION.

        My point is, the girls in this situation were given a choice of what to wear to practice. I’m POSITIVE they weren’t required to wear their sports bras to practice.

        It’s a different story when the uniform mandated seems to make more than a few people, including players, uncomfortable. But again, I stress that some girls may like wearing the tight short shorts… for ATTENTION. We’re talking pubescent pre-teens and teens for christ’s sake.

        • Jill

          They’re not “women.” They are GIRLS. Eleven year old GIRLS. The offenders weren’t boys of their same age, they were grown MEN.

          There is no grown man (or woman) who can justify perving on an underage girl. 

          If you like taking off your clothes for attention, good for you…I am sure you can get it if you want it. But rest assured there are women out there (like myself) who really don’t want to be leered at for wearing a sports bra when it’s too hot or a bikini when I’m on the beach. I also don’t think I should have to either cover up or grin and bear it simply because men seem to have convinced the world they can’t control themselves.

          I like dudes but I don’t leer and drool and elbow my friends in glee if I see a dude without a shirt. That’s gross, unnecessary, and inappropriate behavior pretty much all the time, but especially when underage girls are the targets.

          I’m really grossed out by your suggestion that a little kid plays sports in tight clothes to get sexual attention from grown men. I’m also pretty sure we wouldn’t like each other in real life. Trying to get sexual attention in karate class? Really?

  • Allison Mohr

    What reason does the governing body of young women’s volleyball give for requiring them to wear these shorts?  Why must young women dress like this?  Good post, thanks for writing it.

  • http://www.ooph.com/ Stefanie

    Thank you so much for addressing this. I have watched girls wear these for years and am always horrified by it. Maybe if the boys were required to wear them as well, there would be change. 

    • 罗宾汉

      And why shouldn’t boys be required to wear them? In the western world for the past 200 years, men have been publicly shamed over their bodies thanks to French Art critic Theophile Gautier. Before this man’s unfounded assertions, the natural male form was considered beautiful. Most ballet dancers were men. Men wore tights in public. Boxers wore tights. Strength athletes wore tights. If a man did sports, dance, or any form of physical culture, he wore tights. So YES, please require/allow boys to no longer be ashamed of their bodies, and let’s end this opressive 200 year thought regime.Thanks!

  • moscatomom

    When I played volleyball – some 15+ years ago now, we wore TIGHT shorts, but they were not this short… seems they keep getting shorter and shorter. 

    As for taking pictures – I agree with the comment below that we need to just unite and start complaining because honestly – I LOVE having my picture taken, and did back then as well.  Especially when I was going in for the kill or cheering and high fiving each other (hey those are big moments)  I hate to think we have to STOP taking pictures and letting our girls celebrate just because some idiot thought it was appropriate to have them play in shorts that resemble bathing suits.

    Sidenote: when I saw the title of this post I thought of my days playing volleyball and was coming to add to PROTECT THEIR WRISTS.   I was at the gym this morning struggling with weak weak wrists – and thinking of all of the MILLION serves I probably dished out.  Hahahaha

  • Mldyson3

    I absolutely agree! For this same reason I never allowed my daughter to be a cheerleader. You just want people looking at them and thinking/imagining things that they shouldn’t!
    My daughter (13) does play tennis and there’s no standard uniform (with the exception of color). If we’re not comfortable with their suggestions we’re allowed to modify it!
    I LOVE this post. It’s something I struggled with for several years now!

  • http://twitter.com/karlaarcher Karla Porter Archer

    I saw a little girl walking through the grocery story the other day and had the same reaction. I’d forgotten how short and tight those things are. It was stomach-cringing, to say the least.

    Thank you for bringing this up.

  • http://profiles.google.com/autumn.moss Autumn Moss Penaloza

    Jessica, thank you …this topic is enraging. If the response you’ve received below is any indication – I think a groundswell of support could emerge in your/our favor. I completely get what you mean by “Jane would lose”, but man, you would be the perfect spearhead for this.

    I have a 2 year old daughter and an ex-AVP husband – this is surely in our future. Thanks for the heads up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1384195891 Karen Lewis

    LOVE this. Thank you for writing about this topic. For too long, I have watched the women’s volleyball team shorts get shorter and tighter. I was a college volleyball player 20 years ago and our uniforms were bike shorts…still too tight, but at least they covered out rear ends. Glad to see parents coming out against this.

  • Mindy Stewart

    This post reminds me of the feelings I had at dance conventions with my daughter.  Nothing quite like it- dance moms yelling out to their scantily dressed daughters performing on stage “Work It!”.  Fortunately, my daughter’s  studio had higher standards.

  • http://dailycupofjo.com/ Daily Cup of Jo

    Allison Mohr’s question below is one I want answered.  We’re both athletes Jessica and we know that this has nothing to do with performance.  So why?  This IS a fight someone can win, mostly because it really shouldn’t be that big a deal.  Who’s willing to take it on?  Thanks for this post. 

  • Sara

    My 11 year old DD started Volleyball this year. When she came home saying she needed volleyball shorts I thought, what the heck do those look like? When I googled it I saw the images you saw. I was like OH no you don’t. So after doing some in store research, I was able to find some comparable ones but she too felt uncomfortable, always pulling at them. Of course, she plays for a small school so the crowd isn’t stacked with photographers, in fact sometimes I was the only parent there but if she decides to do club, I would definitely talk to the coaches about this.

    What I do for our pictures I get up on the highest end of the bleachers with my telephoto lens to try and get their upper halves playing and never share them online, not even on my personal FB. Too many pervs out there but I hope other people too try to be tactful with their picture taking when it comes to taking photos of their kids in all sports. My daughter is also on swim team and not that the swim suits are not tasteful but they cut in and obviously swim suits hug the body.

  • Jill

    What would/could happen if your daughter wore longer shorts to a game? Is it a regulation that she has to wear that?

    • http://jessicagottlieb.com JessicaGottlieb

      It is regulation. They have a uniform and she’d be out of uniform.

      Again, as much as I dislike it… this isn’t the hill I want to die on.

      • Jill

        This one is probably worth it. Kicking a kid off a high school sports team for covering up would make national news.

        What would they do with a religious person who is bound by her beliefs to cover up? Tell her she’s out of uniform? That’s actually against the law, I’m pretty sure.

        I think you should stick to your guns on this one. For once I wish I had a kid so I could help.

      • Jill

         Another question – what if she wore knee length spandex shorts and the shorty shorts over them? She’d still be wearing the uniform. Technically.

        I dunno, Jess, there’s no way I’d let this one go without a fight.

        • http://fairlyodd.net Frances Bean

          I was allowed to do this in college competitions. I guess it’s different depending on where you live. 

        • 罗宾汉

          Skintight spandex over skintight spandex isn’t any more modest than one layer of skintight spandex. What if the uniform was full length tights? It’s still skintight spandex! Longer skintight spandex isn’t any different from shorter skintight spandex in my opinion.

  • http://lifeandtimesofstella.com/ Amber

    I think this is worth fighting for. I don’t understand how Jane loses by having a  Mom who stands up for her and all girls’ interests.

  • http://twitter.com/ptaillon Patrick Taillon

    As a photographer, I don’t believe the solution is banning pictures from being taken. There are plenty of good, genuine sports photographers who simply wish to photograph the sport/game, and players. There are so many girls volleyball photographs that exemplify the sport in a very tasteful, even heroic, way. 

    That said, I completely agree with the uniform issue itself. There is no need for shorts that restrictive. There is no need to objectify women in sports in any way, and it’s one of the most embarrassing aspects of our culture (the double standards we set by genders). 

  • noraquick

    Er, you cherry-picked images from your Google search and even of the ones you picked, just as with a real image search for “volleyball shorts” they’re college girls, as in 18+. Instead of banning cameras, why not try to get the school board and other parents on board with Umbros? Also, at 13, your daughter is safe from pedophiles (pedophiles likes kids under 11, 11-15 are adolophiles, and they’re fairly rare). She has more to fear from her mom oversexualizing the context of everything. 

    • http://jessicagottlieb.com JessicaGottlieb

      Not at all. Logged out of google, searched and screen grabbed.

      Nice theory though.

      • tsimitpo

        Logging out of google doesn’t really change anything because they’ll still bias your results using your IP address. If you really want to search anonymously and without biased results you should use a proxy like Startpage.

  • http://fairlyodd.net Frances Bean

    I played volleyball in high school with an award winning team and our shorts were considerably shorter. Of course I went to a parochial school so that probably made all the difference. 

    What bothers me is that YOU chose to show pictures on here of someone’s daughter’s behind. Yes, you might not be able to see their faces, and yes you can obviously find them online elsewhere, but why add to the issue? 

    Another thing, I played volleyball well into college as well. Many of the women these guys are ogling on Redditt are college aged girls. It’s hard to tell in most of the pictures online how old the girls are of course, but it’s just food for thought. If I were you I would petition the school to buy less revealing uniforms. Those shorts are too short for high school aged girls in my opinion.

  • Redyellowblue1

    And when the school’s yearbook needs photos, and your daughter’s team is left out because you’ve banned photographers and now she has no memories of her team?

    • Redyellowblue1

       To clarify: I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I think you have to go one way or the other. Either accept it and get to know people taking the pictures so you can trust that your daughter isn’t being exploited, or challenge the uniform.

    • MattB

      Redyellowblue, couldn’t that dilemma be resolved by having photographs of the team from just the waist up?

  • Whocares?

    The girl standing in the green, has a nice Butt,

  • JR_Francisco2006

    Yeah, okay. You make some good points but where does it end? Some “pervs” like toes and feet. Are you going to stop your daughter from wearing sandals or going barefoot too?

  • Guest

    Talk about insane overprotective mom…I’ve been wearing those shorts since started at 8, get over it, they’re shorts, people can look at your daughter’s ass if she’s wearing skinny jeans.

  • leah

    Let’s all solicit coaches, owners of club ball, clothing industry companies, parents,and any person we know who can change this standard for our daughters, sisters,and all girls we care about! It has to start somewhere and it isn’t the woment getting their kicks off this!

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  • Emma

    I play volleyball and I like the way I look in my spandex and it is performance related, so suck on that

  • Cohen

    I remember very clearly, back on the very last day of middle school (eighth grade, more than a decade ago), when the entire school was made to watch the girls’ volleyball team play for our entertainment. The shorts were underwear length and hideous. You can’t tell me that they were for performance because the girls kept picking out the wedgies every second they got and pulling down on the leg openings to make them sit right, and not just on breaks; it was during the whole of mock game. That should effect the performance negatively, if anything. And were they appropriate? These were twelve-year-old girls wearing “shorts” that didn’t meet the school’s dress code on two levels: the spandex and the length. Why do the girls have to wear those, but the guys get basketball shorts? It’s gross and belittling to see this.

  • Momonamission

    My 14 yo dd plays and we have always been able to find a local team that’s not wearing spandex. I hope you’ll speak up, for the sake of the girls who don’t want to wear spandex! Some of the other parents, if not most, certainly agree with you. Also, our club team doesn’t wear them and we have parents commenting that they wish their teams didn’t wear spandex either. Parents, please be a voice for your children! They are forced to grow up much too quickly nowadays. And for those of you concerned about how well they can play in shorts that are a couple inches above the knee pads, it’s not a problem. We have won 1st and 2nd place in our first 2 tournaments so far. :)

  • volleyball

    calm down. your daughter is an athlete and guys will find a way to sexualize anything that girls do. Some men have foot fetishes but does that mean that you will make your daughter wear boots for the rest of her life? As long as you teach your daughter morals and not to wear her spands like a slore then she will be confident to be an athlete in her UNIFORM and dismiss remarks or gestures made by immature boys or twisted men. Spandex is a part of her uniform and for a parent to jeopardize her hobby because theyre uncomfortable is ridiculous. I am a volleyball player of 7 years and I would be very upset to know that my mom would try to make it impossible for me to be photographed during play. Heads up, your daughter isn’t famous so her picture isn’t worth that much. Sorry to sound rude or aggressive but this topic is upsetting to a volleyball player.

    • TardisBlue

      Why can’t volleyball shorts simply become longer? Men’s shorts are longer and looser. I don’t understand why women’s shorts have to be really short and show underbutt. The uniform itself is sexualized.

      • YouNeedHelp

        You are projecting your internal desires onto others. You seem to think young children in shorts is sexual and most of us here think you’re crazy. They are a child! Have you been to any POOL in YOUR LIFE? You need to seek help to deal with your internal conflicts. Most of us don’t see what you see when young children put on tight clothing.

      • Billy Knight

        Men have different equipment from women because men have different ‘equipment’ from women! Spandex ride up and bind on men’s parts when they move around in them a lot because a particular body part moves around a lot. Therefore the tighter shorter shorts would be more of a hindrance to men than to women. It disgusts me that you don’t realize that you are part of the problem. Apples and oranges, or in this case more like pancakes and bananas. If there was actually no advantage coaches would be working to change the uniform. They don’t want the girls to be uncomfortable or distracted. They want trophies. Trophies are what help coaches keep their jobs long term. Winning is why they compete. While there is the occasional coach who care about the thrill of victory the majority are looking for ways to make their teams better all the time.
        The only thing sexualized about the uniform is the way you personally view it. By you I mean the individual not You. I don’t see anything sexual when I am watching sports. I watch for the competition and the excitement of watching athletes give their all to win. I personally get more excited seeing Danica Patrick trackside in a firesuit than I do seeing teenage girls in spandex shorts playing volleyball. But when they are competing I’d rather watch Rachel Adams spike the ball in between two opponents than Danica finish a race in 25th. Or Rhonda Rousey knock someone’s lights out than the San Antonio Stars wipe the floor with the Indiana Fever. Not because of the uniforms but because seeing the heart being put into winning reflected in the eyes of those women is exhilarating.

    • Ken Brown

      you should be Upset;Because its Silly and Offensive.

  • Cindy

    The point is that spandex does not need to be part of a high school girls volleyball uniform. What has happened is the beach volleyball uniform-the swimsuit, has gradually been forced onto the high school girls as required to play on the team. That is not right! Not everyone feels that it is acceptable for people to parade around in public in what looks like ones underwear. It is not neccesary to their performance. It’s about wanting to be “with it” and “cool” and it is pushed on them by coaches with too much power and accepted by parents who don’t care enough to take a stand. Cheerleaders is another one that is revolting. They wear special underwear so people can see tiger stripes when they show off their privates to the public.

    • 罗宾汉

      That’s not “the beach volleyball uniform” at all! Did you ever watch collegiate volleyball 20 years ago? The shorts used to be even shorter (high-cut brief style)

      • 罗宾汉

        Here, look:

    • Jeanne

      I take great offense to the comments about cheerleaders. Most highschool cheer teams wear solid colored spandex boy shorts over their underwear and cover them with a skirt that’s hemline is longer than volley uniforms! Putting other people’s children down is how you console yourself for permitting your daughter to wear something you disagree with?!?!! I wouldn’t allow my daughter to prance around in just the spandex that she wears as an UNDERGARMENT. So yeah, If my daughter played highschool volleyball I would have a problem with the uniform.

  • StillHaveEyesToSee

    I agree with you that the shorts are needlessly short and tight. Still, proposing the banning of cameras is absurd. Just address the issue directly.

  • -Vballgirl1813

    Honestly I’m a volleyball player and in middle school we had to wear long shorts, and we all hated it. Spandex are more easy to move in and to those saying “oh they have to pick their wedgies”. Get over it it’s apart of life. Also, even if you do wear longer shorts, 1. you will be made fun of from other teams
    2. Its harder to move in
    3. and chances are teams will think that you are not good
    (trust me i know I’ve been playing for 10 years) And i love when my mom takes pictures because it shows me what i need to do and how i can get better. Also people are saying “oh girls just walk around in bras and spandex” trust me, Coaches never allow that. So quit complaining, suck it up, and finally, if you dont like what your daughter is wearing then have her do skiing or something where your covered up to your neck. (oh and if you think this is bad wait till you get to high school college because it’s their way or the high way)

    • LT

      Two out of your three points show how immature you are. Did you even understand what this article was about? You have just proven this article correct. Two out of three of your points were fashion related. Honestly, if you win who cares how you look?
      One day when you have a daughter maybe you will understand.

  • 罗宾汉

    Spandex shorts aren’t the problem. It’s the taboo surrounding them. Taboo like the ones this article is reinforcing that spandex is bad, or seeing someone in spandex will turn people in perverts, or that girls (or anyone) should feel shame about their bodies being seen in form fitting clothing.

    Let me get this straight: The strength of your argument is that when you google image search “volleyball shorts”, you get pictures of volleyball shorts, and dudes might masturbate to them? Have you seen what else is on the internet?

    I live in a country where both boys and girls and both men and women wear spandex shorts and pants for all kinds of sporting activities. Nobody makes a big deal about it because no one is sexualizing the clothing here like you did with this article.

    Also, the last point you made about the men’s team is mute. Those men in the loose shorts were not competing against men in spandex, so there’s no way to measure how much more effective the shorts might have made their performance.

    • Vic

      Her point is that people are obviously taking pictures of underage girls in tight shorts and glorifying them as sexual image. It doesn’t matter what your country does, she was just warning other mothers, because moms usually don’t like their 13 year old daughters pictures like that all over the internet. It has nothing to do with what else is on the internet. And her last point about the elite men’s team is valid. Doesn’t matter who they are playing or if they are playing, The fact is that if the tighter shorts gave any real advantage in the sport, the men’s teams would be wearing them also, so it’s obviously for fashion, not performance. Oh, and the word you are looking for is moot, not mute.

      • Ken Brown

        i hear you but hear this :
        if these SO-Called Wonderful Moms really Wanted ” BLOCK ” and ” GUARD ” against Sexual Images then Monitor there Facebook Also And stop Letting go on SnapChat Flashing there titties for KNOWN Strangers & Webcam Sites.
        #seriously I don’t Have the Patience and Tolerance for Half – the Parents in the USA. WHY too many are Regular Fuckups and then WE the People have to Pay for their Kids Problems & Daddy Issues And Mommy Issues. its Classic USA Parenting 101.
        i say ONLY half Not All. But At Least Half Of them A FuckTards & Have No business being Parents. SHAME too All Those Screwed Preteens & Teens. Sad to See What The Next Generation Of Fucks Has in Store For All Of Us Baby Boomers.

    • TardisBlue

      It’s less about the taboo. Men’s shorts are longer and looser. Meanswhile women’s shorts are tighter and shorter. The problem is not even spandex as much as it is the length. Women’s shorts are up to their crotch and show underbutt sometimes. Meanwhile men’s shorts don’t. Do you see the difference between uniforms? Women and girls uniforms are far more sexualized/shorter, for no athletic advantage. And if there was an athletic advantage, men’s shorts would be shorter and tighter too.

      • jr023

        men have a reason they need to be looser but the basket ball shorts today are hideous
        as are board shorts you might as well wear pants

      • Billy Knight

        Not true, I used to bicycle to work and home everyday and I wore spandex to do so. Spandex shorts can be very binding to a certain appendage if you move around a lot in them. But looser shorts can snag on things. Or worse, they can allow stinging insects to fly up into them while riding down the road. There is a clear advantage to wearing spandex when cycling but the binding makes them more of a hindrance in many sports.

        The spandex has a better chance not to be pulled off or ride up in the event of a slide across a gymnasium floor than looser shorts, such as basketball shorts. If you’re watching a sport and thinking about the way the athlete looks in their uniform instead of how they perform you are watching the sport for the wrong reason. Male uniforms are different from female uniforms for varying reasons and function is more of it than form. Coaches care about performance, if the uniform was more of a distraction or hindrance then the coaches would be seeking to change them.

  • ccjames

    Yea most men look up p0rn ; )

  • SJHFoto

    Someone pointed this discussion out to me. I frankly agree that the uniforms are out of hand-i wouldn’t want my wife or a sister of mine wearing them! (No matter what age they are)
    But the suggestion to ban photographers is extreme i think. I am a professional photographer and the bulk of my income comes from paying vendor fees to shoot volleyball tournaments and my employees and i sell them on site at the tournaments. We’ve done this for almost 10 years, and it is well known who we are and why we are doing this-for the money.
    I don’t think good photographers who are businessmen should be punished for what some sickos do.

  • swooten

    I have been playing for about 8 years now and its just always been a requirement for games. But you can wear work out shorts to practice if it really bothers a young girl a lot. In my opinion it is easier to play in spandex but they are not built for my body type, I have hips and larger thighs due to muscles and they are mainly for girls with really skinny legs, and of course being height of males. I love the sport, the uniforms have always been an issue with me, team mates, and my parents. They tend to get smaller and smaller the older you get. Mainly because the uniforms are made for all ages (including 9 year olds). I do not blame anyone for questioning the uniforms or not wanting pictures taken cause its pretty degrading and makes us volleyball players seem nonathletic and slutty.

  • vball123

    I understand what you are saying and I understand that your motherly instincts are kicking in, but you are assuming way too many things about every guy out there. Saying that every single person who looks at a volleyball picture can’t get over the fact that they are in spandex migh be going a little too far. Are you going to make your daughter wear swimming trunks to the beach? They cover less than spandex but are socially acceptable because everyone wears them. Most men also wear swimming trunks because that is normal. This is why men wear shorts to play volleyball. It is the same thing. 99 percent of female volleyball players wear spandex and we no longer think anything of it because if is the uniform.

  • JT

    How is this different from swimsuits that girls wear on their swim and dive teams or leotards that gymnasts wear? It’s the uniform for the sport and the gymnasts and swimmers and divers show more than volleyball but no one is arguing against the uniforms of those sports or against spectators taking pictures at gymnastic or swimming competitions. Perhaps the point you are making is that the sports I mentioned have those uniforms for practical reasons while one could debate the practical necessity of volleyball shorts designed as they currently are. Fair enough, although I still think you are being a tad overly sensitive but that’s me.

    As for the other issue regarding forbidding of anyone photographing your daughter at competitions, that will never happen. You can legally take pictures of anything that is visible to the general public whether it or you are on public or private property.
    That means you can legally take pictures of children, athletes, people on the street, beach bathers, buildings, cars, policemen, accident scenes, government officials, airplanes, airports, trains, and so on.
    You can legally take pictures when you are on private property, if that property is open to the public (e.g., a mall or office complex).
    Basically — If anyone can see it, you can shoot it.
    You do not need permission to take pictures. There are laws regarding what a person can publish but preventing someone from taking pictures from a place open to the public is generally not legally enforceable.

    • http://jessicagottlieb.com JessicaGottlieb

      It doesn’t have to be legally enforceable. I can just put my hand over the lens. It’s really not that complicated.

      • JT

        You stated three takeaways in your article:

        1. Do not share photos of your daughter’s volleyball team online. This includes email.

        2. Do not allow your daughter to be photographed playing volleyball.

        3. Talk to your volleyball club about why you don’t want your daughter photographed, do a quick google search with them and show them why.

        Regarding item #1: no issue whatsoever, although I personally have no problem sharing gymnastics or track photos of my kid’s competitions with both family, close friends, and the parents of other teammates of my daughters, but I understand your reluctance with your daughter.

        Regarding #2: how exactly do you plan to not allow your daughter to be photographed? You can ask someone not to include your daughter in a photograph, but you are merely requesting someone to not photograph your daughter, as such a request cannot be enforced. Your request in and of itself is not complicated but you cannot enforce it, so it does become complicated. If you are implying that you as the mother would cover my lense preventing me from photographing something I have a legal right to photograph, then you can bet things will get complicated very quickly. How do you know what is being captured in my camera? What about all the scores of people at an event, each with their own camera or camera phone? Maybe you assume I’m focusing in on your daughter’s rear, but maybe I’m capturing my own daughter, or the daughter of a friend, or the action as a whole, or an award, or an impressive serve or spike? Maybe I’m making a video of the match for a personal memento for my daughter. Maybe I’m capturing video of another match to show my daughter so she can look at the technique of others. I routinely do this for gymnastics and track, capturing the gymnastics routines of other girls or the high jump technique of other well known athletes so my daughter can size up competition or improve her own technique. She specifically requests that I video certain athletes. You are assuming the worst about someone else just because they have a camera in their hand and that they either are a child-molester or that their photographs will end up serving the depraved desires of those who are. You are making an assumption about my intent and my subject merely based upon having a camera or camera phone in my hand pointed in some general direction that you just assume must include your daughter. That’s just wrong.

        Regarding #3: you can point out to your daughters team and coach to your hearts content the concerns you have about photography but, ultimately you are trying to police life. What about the pool, water park, playing on the street or in a park, wearing shorts around town, etc? You cannot try to personally police and cover every camera that may or may not capture your daughter, whether deliberately or incidentally. I wish you luck but if I ever ran across someone following me around covering my lens preventing me from capturing a special event either for my daughter or including my daughter — just because you incorrectly assume that the world must revolve around your daughter and that all cameras are attached to a person up to good or may be seen or sent to someone who may be up to no good — then I will simply call the police and file a nuisance or harassment complaint against you for preventing me from capturing something I have a legal right to capture. If this happens repeatedly I will get a restraining order. The law is not on your side.

        I do understand your intent, but in this day and age, you cannot prevent pictures of your children from making their way to the internet or into the personal image collection of others, whether deliberately or inadvertently. Period. In your paranoid and obsessive quest to protect your daughter from the acts of a few, you have sadly reached the stage of assuming that every parent or every spectator with a camera is a threat to your daughter who is willingly engaging in pedophilia-like activities or knowingly or unknowingly supporting those depraved tendencies in others. You may not like it, but sadly, you cannot shield your daughter from every camera within zoom range of her. You are tilting at windmills here.. Good luck..

        • Sean

          I have to say that i agree with JT fully. I truly do empathise with your concerns, Jessica, but as a professional photographer that pays vendor fees to cover events like volleyball, if a parent asks me not to shoot their child, i would do my best to comply. If a parent covered my lens, i would have them escorted from the gym (and believe me, that actually happened once-the parent escalated it, and their child was kicked off the volleyball club team. I did not enjoy that, but if someone accuses me of wrong intentions, i must take strong legal action against them (since my income depends on my sales to parents and if someone slanders me, it could be the kiss of death for my business).

          On the other side of the coin, i do fully agree with you that the short shorts the girls wear are completely inappropriate and wish the teams would change their uniform to the baggy basketball shorts the boys wear

        • Ken Brown

          TOUCHE’
          #AboutTimeShutHerTheFuckUp
          #Swear Some People Are VeRY VERY Hyper Sensitive & Delusional. serious Behavioral Issues right There. #AussumingEveryOne Is #Creeper What A Freakn #LunaticSheIs LMFAO!!

    • TardisBlue

      somehow in every sport a man’s uniform is much longer and more comfortable. a woman’s volleyball shorts have no need to be so short. they don’t give a competitive advantage nor do they look decent. I have friends on woman’s volleyball teams and they don’t think their shorts have ever given them an advantage. I agree that not allowing photographs is crazy, instead we should make their shorts longer. Boys uniforms are long and loose, why do girls uniforms have to be so sexualized?

      • JI

        This just isn’t true. Baggier clothing is not always more comfortable, especially while playing sports. I’m a guy, and I play softball. I feel much more comfortable in tight under armor than a more traditional baggier baseball type uniform that most of my teammates wear. Why is it that when there is a difference between men and women’s uniforms people jump to conclusions about sexualization of women? Did you ever consider that playing in tight clothing is actually better and men don’t wear them because it makes them look “girly”? Why are people so quick to victimize women who don’t seem to have a problem with the situation in the first place?

        • TardisBlue

          Maybe people say it’s srxualized because people sexualize them. Log out of Google and search volleyball shorts, you’re gonna see underage girls bending over in small spandex shorts. How many times have you seen people staring at girls asses in tight short shorts? And yeah the girls on the team dont care, because young girls like looking sexy…but this is sexualizing my entire gender. Besides, this is like 13 year olds we’re talking about. And guys wear spandex under armor underneath their clothes. These uniforms require girls to wear small tight shorts that look like underwear in public while playing a competitive sport. Why can’t we just change the uniform to make spandex shorts knee length and the tshirt longer so it covers their spandex butt?

          • Ken Brown

            omy goodness he just explained this too you. LACKING Comprehension seems to be a Problem with you huh ??
            do you even Play Sports. I’m Runner & Athlete by nature and by sport and i have friends who have daughters & sons whom play tennis,volleyball,swimming,lacross and there’s MAJOR Reasons WHY there’s a difference. Most Heterosexual young males are very very Sensitive about their EGO’s & Sexuality so therefore they’re not GOING TO WEAR anything TIGHT. Tight fitting clothing is consider ” Feminine “. Please STOP try2 ARGUE over gender’s its OLD & tiresome already Mangina; please. and either you LIVE Under a ROCK or just plain FOOLISH. everyone who lives inthe Digital Age knows Sexual Images exists (not because ppl are nasty – its exists because humans are Sexual ), Google is the no.1 search engine soo yeah you going to FIND images of women,teens.preteens some tasteful some not soo tasteful. its called photography go pick up a book already dude. seriously. last thing. if you have SO MUCH problem with women being serialized then GO LIVE IN an ISLAMIC Country where WOMEN have NO Power No Voice No Recognition of there OWN Sexuality Or Ideas Or Desires. this is USA where WE HAVE RIGHTS & Human Moral Rights. those SAME RIGHTS I Used to Fight For ( while You Sat at Home Sucking your Thumbs & Nursing Mommies Tit ) .

          • tardisblue

            you know I almost dont want to reply vecause youre so ignorant. But since you lack reading comprehension let me clairify.
            Yes I do play sports. But I dress like something better than a prostitute. I wear basketball shorts and leggings. And long baggy t-shirts.
            yes heterosexual males have a big problem with doing anything they consider “femenine” because being a female is bad, right?
            Btw girls have a problem with being sexualized and not taken seriously when they are playing a compeitive sport. And if the outfits covered more they’d be more comfortable and so would their parents.
            And really you call pictures of girls in volleyball shorts porn? That just proves my point. these shorts are so sexualized that pictures of them resemble pornography. These are like 12 year old girls we’re talking about. And why do you have such a big problem with girls wearing longer shorts? How the fuxk does it effect you?

    • Kallie

      Hallelujah

    • Ken Brown

      ABOUT TIME someone Has Commonsense Wrote This. THANK YOU.
      #yes She’s WAAAAY OVERSENSITIVE too Sensitive And Lacks the Understanding Of Performance vs Comfortably

  • mr opinion

    Mom you are absolutely right – any normal guy is stimulated by the shape of a woman, even without seeing her face. Many young men nowadays or so overly sexualized and exposed to short tight fitting shorts and shape exposing leggings that women wear, that they are a bit desensitized and may not react to a girl’s volleyball game full of tight fitting shorts particularly but their sexual senses are running wild in general and they find other ways to appease there sexual desires through easily obtained pornography and sexual intercourse. I worked for a gym and would hear the personal trainers talking about the girls. If you ever are in Starbucks and are sitting by young teens, girls or boys, listen to their conversations. Society will tell you that you are crazy but many people have lost touch with common sense and good judgment.

    • Ken Brown

      okay MR.Opinon
      Thank You NoW GOOD NIGHT

  • Kacy

    I just found your blog because I was searching for products that would prevent my daughter’s spandex shorts from riding up while she is playing volleyball. The first time I saw them was years ago. I know my mouth must have been hanging open. I was shocked at how vulgar they look. I had to ask the sales clerk to help us when we purchased the first pair for my daughter because I couldn’t tell whether they fit properly or not- they all look too small, too tight, and just plain immodest. Over the years, I have become less sensitive to seeing them, however, I haven’t grown to like them any better. It seems that there should be a better choice. Looking at the men’s volleyball team, I see that clearly it’s not about performance.

  • KOB

    Watch out for the beach volleyball bottoms.

  • LT

    For all of you saying that they cannot enforce the no picture rule, I disagree. When I was in high school my parents and I both had to sign papers for every sport and every club I was in so that people could take my picture and post them to the internet. For people who did not sign it and they were in the picture, then it could not be used.

  • sugarjones

    This is the one sport my daughter is interested in. We’ve already discussed the shorts. None of us are happy about it. I wish they’d just go back to regular loose fitting shorts already.

  • HuskyLulu

    I just want to say that I am a freshmen girl who is in volleyball. My school doesn’t require spandex. I am the only girl on the team who does NOT wear spandex, I wear regular running shorts instead.

    My reasoning behind it is that God told us through Paul to keep our bodies as a living sacrifice. This means to be modest if you didn’t know.
    I’m sorry, but God doesn’t want us to wear spandex and I am not going to as long as I play.

    • Ken Brown

      THIS IS THE MOST RETARD THING I ever Heard.My Goodness your Brain Washed So Baldy You Don’t Even Realize. Wait Till You ACTUALLY LIVE IN THE REAL WORLD Hopefully You Won’t Get Fucked Over & Become Life’s Bitch Of The Moment.
      #GoodLuck #YourGonnaNeedLOTSOFIT

  • tsimitpo

    So it’s okay to let your daughter play volleyball in front of anybody who wishes to watch in living color but you draw the line at photos being taken. Perhaps a change in “focus” is in order here…

  • E-class

    I was at a volleyball tournament this weekend and I have to say I was embarrassed for some of the girls. I’m thinking don’t you know your butt is hanging out of your shorts, and how come your not doing anything about?

    I think most junior players and parents don’t know that you can buy volleyball shorts in different inseam lengths. You can find volleyball shorts that go from 2.5″ inseam(very short) to 6″ inseam(long). You’ll most likely have to find the 4″-6″ inseam shorts on your own because the short the team provides will be the very short ones.

    Have two daughters that play. Love the sport.

  • Volleyballplayer

    Hi, I am a volleyball player and will be moving to high school next school year. I used to go to practice in running shorts, which by the way are just as short. But when you get all sweaty and you are squating in a passing position my running shorts tended to ride up really bad and stick to me. I had to pull them down all the time and they were really uncomfortable. It did take a toll on my performance. In spandex you can move freely and they don’t ride up- or at least they shouldn’t if you have the right size and fit well. Spandex is much easier and more comfortable to play in. And a majority of the girls on the court with spandex riding up their butts are trying to do that on purpose or they don’t have the right size or right fit. And when the team has a game they usually send home permission slips that ask if it is ok to take picture during their game. Don’t try to ban photographers. Their pictures will also go in the yearbook. And yes if you google pictures of volleyball shorts… Oh snap! :0 ….you get pictures of volleyball shorts!

    • Ken Brown

      Good For You; However Trying To Explain To The IDIOT Blogger Is Waste Of Time

  • Kallie

    I am a volleyball player,I have been playing since I was 10. If you truly believe that spandex make children “little whores” then why is this not brought up with other sports such as swimming,wresting, and running. Spandex is equipment for volleyball just like knee pads, socks, and shoes. The reason that we play in spandex is to expand flexibility this is especially in back row. If you do not want your child to wear spandex then don’t play this sport.

  • Elisabeth

    I am a College volleyball player and I know you think men and women’s volleyball is the same, but it isn’t, spandex do have an affect on our performance. Last time I dove in shorts I had an embarrassing situation that no girl wants to go through. Also to be calling volleyball players “little whores” because they wear spandex is showing you’re paying more attention to the bodies of these players and not the skill level of these up and coming players. Also with pictures it comes down to are you just looking at her body or actually looking at her skill level?

    • Ken Brown

      Thank YOU.
      she’s Right Wing Nut Job with TOO Much Time On Her Hands. Doesn’t Even The Aesthetics Of The Sport In Itself.

  • Anonymous

    Men’s uniforms are almost always bagger. I think that yes men preform very well in the longer bagger shorts but they don’t exactly have a choice. What would you say if they were to come in with the spandex girls have on. You would shame them. How would u know that the boys wouldn’t play better if people are to hypocritical to let them where them. I have been playing volleyball for 5 years. I’ve warn the spandex for a long time. Yes I belive that the spandex help tremendously with performance but also to bust a girl self esteem. There r pro and cons to spandex just like everything else. But banning someone from taking pictures of any person playing volleyball if absolutely ridiculous

  • volleyball mom

    Instead I empower my daughter to focus on her performance and be comfortable and confident in anything and everything she wears. It’s about her athletic abilities and talent. males can where skin tight uniforms in baseball and football, no one talks about how revealing that is, which is quite revealing. Also, bathing suits on the beach show even more! As an athlete or woman, my daughter shouldn’t have to change what she is doing because there are those who can’t handle it or are pervs.. we will not live our lives conforming to society or it’s perverts!

  • airika

    it is performance related..men will not perform well in tight shorts because they have a PENIS.

  • Mike23

    I can’t watch woman’s vb because of the constant head and shoulder shots after every play. It ruins the game for the fan. Men’s vb does not use this tactic.

    • JR_Francisco

      I hear you, brother. It’s so freaking annoying. Every point is a wide angle shot followed by an above the waist shot of two or three women talking to each other. No other sport does this. We live in the U.S.A not Saudi Arabia. Women have butts and legs! Deal with it.

  • venicekazza

    Back in the 90’s when I played volleyball in HS and club (as young as 6th grade), we wore “buns” which were basically underwear (over our underwear). This is a step up!