Olympic Update – Muslim women can play beach volleyball with new uniform rules

The International Volleyball Federation has made a change to the bikini rules in beach volleyball. In a nod to Muslim countries, the uniform requirements have expanded to include short-shorts and long-sleeve shirts.

Lausanne, Switzerland – The FIVB Board of Administration approved a key change to women’s beach volleyball uniforms with immediate effect.

The Board approved to apply the modified women’s uniform rule for all beach volleyball tournaments, including the Olympic Games. This is to respect the custom and/or religious beliefs.

Previously there were two uniform choices for female players, a one-piece bathing suit or a bikini with a maximum side width of 7cm while full body suits could also be used under the bikini in cold weather. Now, there are three extra choices. Players can wear shorts of a maximum length of 3cm above the knee with sleeved or sleeveless tops or a full body suit.

via FIVB

Not to worry, though, as few players plan to make the change:

“It’s something I really feel comfortable with,” said Kerri Walsh, who with Misty May-Treanor won the gold medal in Athens and Beijing while wearing the standard beach volleyball uniform: a two-piece bathing suit. “It’s something I feel empowered by, not distracted with. I’m not a sex symbol; I’m an athlete. I want to be streamlined out there.”

Still, she applauded the change.

“I think it’s fantastic,” she said. “I don’t want anything as trivial as a uniform to keep anyone from chasing their dreams.”

via Sports Illustrated