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Athletes don’t care about bikinis: that’s fine because the pants are too long

Sports whistle on the bikini
Fine, because the pants are too long

The Norwegians barely missed a medal at the European Beach Handball Championship. But this fourth place is not the reason for the huge excitement. Rather, it is about women’s clothing. You’re playing in shorts – which is too tall for the WF.

Norway beach handball players have been fined 1,500 euros after protesting at the European Championships in Varna, Bulgaria, against the umbrella organization’s dress code. In the duel for third place with Spain, the players wore somewhat longer track pants instead of the mandatory bikini bottoms. This was assessed by the European Handball Federation (EHF) Disciplinary Committee as a “case of improper clothing”.

The IHF states that men must wear shorts during beach handball matches that end “at least ten centimeters” above the knee. Athletes are required to wear tight bikini bottoms and a “maximum ten centimeters” side width.

National player Katinka Haltvik told public broadcaster NRK that changing to slightly longer pants was a “spontaneous measure”. The announcer stated that the choice had already come forward to not have to play in bikini shorts before the first match. The umbrella organization refused. As a fine, a fine of 50 euros per person and game was announced. The amount would have been 4,850 euros, which the Norwegian Federation was willing to pay. But then, before the opening match, according to Haltvik, it was suddenly said that the team would be disqualified if they competed in the shorts. So the team gave up because they wanted to play. But then he sent the signal to the EHF in the “little final” for third place. It wasn’t enough to win a medal, and the match ended 2-0 for Spain.

Beach volleyball players know this as well

There is always excitement about dressing up for beach volleyball. Here too, leggings are the norm for women, even if they haven’t been mandatory since 2012. Since then, women have been allowed to wear shorts like men, if they so desire. Unless there is a tournament in Qatar – longer clothes may suddenly become mandatory. In February, before the World Tour Championships, it was suddenly announced that players should start with knee-length shirts and pants instead of the usual sports bikini. This was also noted in the event list on the FIVB website.

Germany’s Karla Burger and Julia Sud resisted and canceled their participation in protest. “We don’t want to support that,” Burger and Sood told SPIEGEL. “It’s not about wearing little or no,” Soddy said. “It’s about the fact that we can’t do our job in our work clothes.” Burger said that beach volleyball is “very stressful,” and added, “We adapt to every country where we can. We’re also ready for it. But in the heat it drops.” In March the temperature can reach 30°C in Doha.

And only after this protest the FIVB finally declared: “They were absolutely convinced that women’s beach volleyball, like any other sport, should be judged on performance and commitment and not on clothing.” And beyond that. “Therefore, during the tournament in Doha, players are free to wear standard playing clothes if they wish.”

However, it turned out that the Handball Federation was not very foresighted.

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