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Leggings are the New Spandex

If you’ve watched collegiate volleyball at all in the last few years, you may have noticed players have started wearing leggings as part of their uniform instead of the usual spandex shortsFemale volleyball players have been wearing flexible, spandex shorts for roughly the last 30 years, ever since they moved on from “bun huggers” in the 1990s.   

1990 Princeton Tigresses sporting “bun huggers” as their uniform bottoms before they went out of style. (Photo courtesy of Shaw Local News Network)

In 2020, the NCAA made a plethora of rule changes, and one included players being allowed to wear leggings instead of spandex shorts, as long as the whole team is wearing the same color bottoms.   

The very next season, a few players took advantage of that rule change and started wearing leggings, one of the first being University of Florida’s T’ara Caesar.  Caesar was a key player for the Florida Gators in 2020 and helped lead them to the elite eight in the tournament that year.   

Florida Gators’ T’ara Caesar wearing bright blue leggings shortly after the rule change allowing players to wear leggings as long as all the players match bottom colors. (Photo courtesy of Florida Gators)

One of the most notable teams in the NCAA that has started wearing leggings is University of Tennessee.  Five of their six starters all wear leggings, along with a few other players on their team.   

Collegiate volleyball player at Stevenson University, Olivia Simon, thinks it will and has positively impacted the sport because “it provides alternatives… so players can choose to compete in what they feel is the most comfortable to them.”   

After talking to some of Fallston’s very own volleyball stars, Lily Allman, Grace Pfaff, and Kyra Douglas, they all agreed with Simon about how it is important for players to have options to feel comfortable when playing, but none of them personally would choose to switch.  It seems to them that wearing leggings would get far too hot, but on the plus side, especially for more defensive players, leggings are great to prevent floor burns.   

Simon later added how she thinks leggings are also great for those struggling with any pain or injuries in their legs because they can act as a compression sleeve.  She then went on to explain, “One of my teammates suffers from knee pain and chooses to wear leggings to help.”   

There are many great reasons as to why some players are choosing to make the switch to leggings; however, lots of players have decided not to make the switch because they like the breathability and flexibility of shorts.   

“At the end of the day I don’t think it matters what players choose to compete in as long as they are comfortable!” Simon closed with.   

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About the Contributor
Grace Daly, Staff Reporter
Grace Daly is a senior Staff Reporter, and it is her first year on The PrintShe is on the varsity soccer team as well as the indoor and outdoor track teams.  In addition to sports, she is a member of SGA, FCA, Best Buddies, is a Varsity Club committee member, a Morgan’s Message representative, and a part of a variety of National Honors Societies at the schoolShe is also seen Friday mornings on Fallston’s morning announcements.  This summer, Grace attended a YoungLife camp on a lake in New York.  She loves to ski and hang out with friends, and her favorite genre of music is Indy Folk.   
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