GENEVA — Most female beach volleyball players will wear their usual bikini outfits at the London Olympics. For those who prefer to cover up, that's OK, too.
Under new rules adopted by the International Volleyball Federation, players are free to wear shorts and sleeved tops.
The governing body said the move was made out of respect for the cultural and religious beliefs of some of the dozens of countries still in contention to qualify for the games.
"Many of these countries have religious and cultural requirements, so the uniform needed to be more flexible," federation spokesman Richard Baker said.
The rule, which will apply to the Olympics, has been in effect at five Continental Cup qualifying competitions involving 142 nations.
The federation has not specified which countries lobbied to be allowed to cover up in London.