Coach Yoko took us to the Tokyo Metropolitan Center today to witness 60+ high school volleyball teams compete for the inter-high school championship. Some high schools require athletes to have short hair, while others do not. But I think that's now the norm, so everyone has incredibly short boy cuts. It's crazy!
Anyway, back to my question: no, you don't have to cut your hair for volleyball in Japan.
The girls' volleyball team at Musashino High School wears their long hair in two tails at the end of the collar. Most of the boys have short hair, but some keep theirs long. Overall, it's a very male-dominated sport in Japan where only about 10% of players are female.
You can see from the picture that my teammate Haruka has short hair, while her friend Emi has long hair. They play on different teams but both are highly ranked in their schools.
I tried out for a new club this year called "Musashino Volleyball Club". We had a training session today with our coach and one of his assistants. After the practice, we went to lunch together at a buffet style restaurant.
During the training session, our coach told us that most clubs in Japan require their players to have short hair because it makes catching balls easier.
Volleyball is another sport where there are less guidelines about how participants must wear their hair. Long hair, however, should be held back so that it does not block the player's jersey number, according to Livestrong.com.
There is a common belief that women should avoid playing sports if they have long hair because it might get tangled in events related to the game. This is not true though; players of all genders can choose how they want to style their hair as long as it doesn't interfere with their ability to play their sport.
"It doesn't matter if your head is shaved or not," explains the squad captain. Baseball is frequently perceived as a very easy sport to play in American youth athletics, however this is not the case in Japan. There is a certain stigma surrounding baseball in Japan, which makes it difficult for young players to accept the sport.
The Japanese baseball organization decides on whether or not to shave players' heads depending on how well they are doing on the field. If they are playing poorly, they will be punished by being made to wear their hair long. If they are playing well, they will be given the opportunity to cut their hair before each season starts.
In Japan, there are two types of leagues that young players can be assigned to when they join a new team: high school and junior college. In both cases, they will be asked to commit to a year-round training program. During this time, their performances on the field will determine whether or not they will be allowed to keep their hair short or not.
Even though shaving one's head is a form of punishment in Japan, no players are expected to do so willingly. Instead, their parents or legal guardians must go to the manager of the team where their son or daughter is playing and ask them not to let their child shave their head.
Ponytails worn high People must have well-styled and controlled hair on the volleyball court so that it does not distract them from the ball. Taking all of your hair in the back and tying it up would be quite useful for a person to do on the sports field.
If you want to play volleyball but your hair is too distracting then why not try wearing a helmet? They are not only cool but also help protect your head from injury if you happen to bump into other players or fall down yourself.
Volleyball is a lot like basketball in that it is a sport where you need to keep an eye on the ball, move around the court freely but also know when to jump and how to jump properly. So, yes, your hair can be down on the court while you are playing volleyball.
Most males' hair is short enough that changing their hair for figure skating requires little effort. A decent rule of thumb is to trim a boy's hair on a regular basis, particularly before figure skating contests. Although most figure skating judges prefer short hair, certain guys do choose longer styles for ice skating.
The top teams in the world usually have long-haired coaches who know how important hair is to ice dancing. The coach represents the team and helps decide what kind of style will best suit his or her athletes. In fact, some people think that long hair is actually better for ice dancing because it gives the dancers more freedom of movement.
In addition to helping them be flexible on the ice, long hairs also need less maintenance than those with shorter hair. There are no chemicals used in professional figure skating so the boys need only worry about getting a good haircut.
Figure skaters often have tattoos, but these usually aren't allowed during competitions. If a guy does have tattoos, they're usually covered by a helmet when he goes out on the ice.
Some people think that cutting your hair too short can be dangerous because there might be parts of your skull showing under your hat or helmet. But this isn't true for most guys who go into figure skating as minors. At most tournaments, boys are allowed two inches (5 cm) of hair on their heads.
Today, sumo wrestlers are the only ones who still wear the samurai-style top-knot and chop it off ceremoniously when a player retires. So, in some ways, the hair-cutting ritual is similar to that of an Edo period Samurai: it marks the end of one era of someone's life and the beginning of another. However, unlike a Samurai, who would never cut their hair unless they were killed in battle, sumo wrestlers can cut their hair at will.
In Japan, cutting your hair indicates you are giving up everything to join the dojo (training hall) full-time. You also cannot be married or have children. Sumo is a very competitive sport and if you make any mistakes during practice or competitions you will be punished by having more weight than expected put on your back. As well, there is no formal education system for wrestlers so if you fail to make the grade you will be released from training to find other work.
In modern day sumo, there are only two types of people: those who have been born into a sumo family and are called bashful or "beya" (the word for "shame" in Japanese), and outsiders who try out for the dojo as young men looking for a way out.
Bashing is a huge part of being a sumo wrestler. Your sensei (teacher) will expect you to work extremely hard and give up all other activities outside of school hours.
While many volleyball players are tall, the minimum height requirement is 5 feet tall, so if you fulfill the height and occasionally jumping standards in your division and tier, you may be able to play collegiate volleyball. These qualifications differ depending on the governing board, job, and tier. In general, though, the taller you are, the better off you are.
There are three main divisions of college volleyball: small, medium, and large. Within each division are several tiers of competition. At the top level are the NCAA Division I, II, and III schools. Below these levels are NAIA, which operates primarily within the United States military academies system; NJCAA, which operates primarily within post-secondary institutions across the country; and CIS, which operates within Canada and the Caribbean countries that adopt its rules.
In terms of size discrimination in college volleyball, there is some evidence that smaller players have an advantage over their larger counterparts. Research conducted by Dr. David Greene, a professor of kinesiology at Boston University who studies volleyball, has shown that teams with more small players win more often than they should based on the number of large players they have. He attributes this phenomenon to the fact that small players are usually faster and more agile than large players, which gives them an edge when it comes to getting out positions ahead of their opponents.