Volleyball may conjure up images of sand, sunshine, and summer, but an up-and-coming sport in colder climates is snow volleyball. It makes volleyball a year-round outdoor sport but isn’t quite exactly the same as what you may know. Given the cold climate, it’s important that players dress appropriately for maximum warmth and playing efficiency.
There is no uniform specifically for snow volleyball players. However, there are a few specific clothing items that are regularly worn by players to keep their bodies warm while not restricting playing motions. Generally, an outfit includes thermal underwear, synthetic t-shirts, and shorts.
Given that snow volleyball is relatively new, keep reading to get a deeper scoop on the outfits and the sport itself.
What is Snow Volleyball?
Snow volleyball is exactly what it sounds like, volleyball played in the snow. Most of the rules and regulations are the same as the beach or indoor volleyball. Each team has three hits to try and get the ball over the net and hit the ground on the other side. This leads to a rally of back and forth passing between teams trying to defend their side of the court.
The few differences include that snow volleyball teams only consist of two people and are played on a court covered in snow. The cold climate and extra clothing put extra demands on the body to successfully play the sport. But, this sport has the backing of the International Volleyball Federation as an official sport.
Snow volleyball was invented in 2008 by an Austrian man, but is not yet officially a sport. There is a current campaign to have it added to the winter Olympics, but this decision is yet to be approved by the International Olympic Committee.
The Main Outfit
The main purpose of the outfits of snow volleyball is to keep the players warm and prevent the cold climate from freezing their sweat and causing hypothermia. Thermal underwear is the main component to achieve this goal.
On top of thermal underwear, teams have jerseys that signify their teammates. The jerseys are synthetic material to help keep the sweat off the player as much as possible. Players also wear synthetic shorts for the same reason.
The real difference between beach and snow volleyball comes in the shoes. Beach volleyball is often played barefoot for the best grip. Playing snow volleyball barefoot would cause hypothermia and frostbite in minutes, plus snow can be slippery and hard to grip with just your toes. Snow volleyball players wear cleats, like those of soccer or football, to get a strong grip on the snow and ice covering the court.
Clothes to Keep Warm on the Court
Thermal underwear is the main defense against catching a cold on the snow volleyball court. The next layer of clothing should be a jacket of some sort. This helps keep the heat that escapes the underwear in your body. The top layer should be a windbreaker or vest to protect against the outer elements.
After the torso is warm and ready for play, make sure to also protect your extremities. Gloves, a hat, and thick socks are all necessary to prevent frostbite from hitting. It is recommended to bring two pairs of cleats that are both waterproof to keep your feet from getting wet and susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite.
Many snow volleyball players also wear kneepads to protect their knees when crashing to the ground to save a ball. The snow on the court is tightly packed and depending on the weather could have a thin layer of ice on top. Kneepads are a good idea.
After playing there is often a hot tub available for all the players to jump into and warm up. While the exercise can help keep the body hot, the cold temperatures can still get inside all the layers of the players and instill a chill. The hot tub fixes that right up with its high temperature.
Snow volleyball players wear clothing to keep them warm in the cold and thin climates that hold the courts. Thermal underwear, gloves, a hat, cleats, and knee pads are all essentials for players. Protecting their body from the cold is the number one goal after winning the match.