What Clothing Is Typically Worn for Playing Volleyball?

girls playing volleyball indoor game

Bump, set, spike. As you jump, run and hit, volleyball provides you with an excellent source of exercise. Harvard Health Publications report if you weigh 125 to 185 pounds you'll burn 180 to 266 calories in 60 minutes of noncompetitive volleyball and 240 to 356 calories when playing competitive volleyball. What you wear to achieve that workout depends on the type of volleyball you play.

Indoor Volleyball

In competitive play, regular indoor volleyball and sitting volleyball players wear jerseys that display each player’s last name and number in consecutive order form 1 to 20 on the back of each shirt. Women wear snug T-shirt jerseys with tight, very short spandex bike shorts. Men often wear sleeveless jersey tops with athletic, basketball-style shorts that hit just above the knee. The players wear knee pads and lightweight athletic shoes with rubber or composite soles.

Beach Volleyball

Competitive beach volleyball players wear the uniform that matches the environment – bathing suits. Women wear two-piece or one-piece swimsuits. Men wear shorts and tank tops that match in style and color, although they do not have to be an actual uniform for play in USA Volleyball. Generally, players go barefoot, but the referee may allow socks when the sand is burning hot. To keep the sun from blinding their vision, players can wear hats and sunglasses.

Recreational Play

You don’t need to wear an official uniform to play volleyball indoors or outdoors. You need comfortable clothing that will not interfere with your movements. Typically, recreational teams wear T-shirts and basketball shorts, but you can also wear sweats or swish pants, as long as the pants are not long enough to cause you to trip. You can tape player numbers on the back of the T-shirts. Athletic shoes that provide good arch support and shock-absorbency are important.

Safety Considerations

In any type of volleyball, dressing for safety is key. You should not wear jewelry, especially rings, as the ball can smash against the rings, injuring the fingers. If you must wear a ring, wear a flat band. Women should wear supportive sports bras and secure long hair in a ponytail or other style that keeps the hair away from the face. If needed, you can wear elbow braces and wear knee braces underneath the knee pads. Volleyball is a contact sport, so be careful wearing glasses if you do not have prescription goggles.