Women's beach volleyball has been synonymous with skimpy bikinis, and that includes at the Olympics, since the 1996 games were held in Atlanta.
It could be speculated that the uniform may have something to do with women's beach volleyball's popularity with some of the men who are watching.
The more official reason given for this uniform has been that wearing bikinis may be more comfortable for the players in extreme heat, and maybe they find more freedom while they play. As to what the real reasoning is behind it all, you can draw your own conclusions.
There's a game changer on the way however.
At the 2012 London Olympics, female volleyball players will be given the option to wear shorts as long as 1.18 inches above the knee, and tops with or without sleeves. In cold weather, they can continue to wear body suits as in the past, if they so choose.
Modifying the dress code now is intended as a way to show respect to other countries' cultural mores, and will make room for countries who require more modest dress for the women taking part.
The rules for Olympics volleyball are laid out by the International Federation of Volleyball (FIVB). These regulations determine the size of courts, uniform specifications, and rules of play for both men's and women's games.
In the past, 23 teams for each sex were chosen according to the number of points in FIVB Olympic qualification tournaments. The twenty-fourth team was always the host country. Every country could have a maximum of two entries.
Beginning in 2012, the FIVB rankings will take just the first 16 berths. Five vacancies go to those nations that won their Continental Cup. The remaining two spots go to winners of the World Cup.
The new rule has already been in place for five qualifying competitions for the Continental Cup, where 142 countries have been involved.
The Continental Cup winners, some of whom will have already worn the modified uniforms, also have qualified to take part in the Olympic games.
The new rule makes room for these athletes to participate.