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Bikini blues -- Beach volleyball makes the swimsuit standard

vollyball player
Women's vollyball uniforms will be standardized in order to banish t-shirts and shorts

CNN's Jeanne Moos reports on much ado about very little
Windows Media 28K 56K

January 13, 1999
Web posted at: 6:37 p.m. EST (2337 GMT)

From Correspondent Jeanne Moos

NEW YORK (CNN) -- When it comes to beach volleyball dress code, some say "it," not the ball, is out of bounds. It's the itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny bikini that has some players wishing they could wrap themselves in net.

Beach volleyball has now joined the go-go girl dancing as perhaps the only two professions where a bikini is the required uniform.

If a woman wants to play under the auspices of the International Volleyball Federation, she better get out her tape measure -- women's uniform bottoms have to be two and a half inches wide on the sides.

The federation, based in Switzerland, decided the uniforms should be standardized. It says beach volleyball is played on the beach, so swimsuits are in keeping with the sun and fun atmosphere.

Left, men's uniform, right, women's uniform  

"I'm kind of bummed -- I like my tights," said the sport's most famous player, Gabrielle Reece, who is known for wearing black Lycra tights rather than a bikini suit while playing.

"You take one step, that bathing suit goes straight up," she says. "You're always yanking and fiddling."

The new rules could drive a wedge between women and men. While the male volleyball players are now required to wear shorts that fall a bit above the knee as opposed to the oversized basketball kind -- at least they don't have to wear skimpy skintight suits.

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