It is often seen in the volleyball world that some players wear their knee pads beneath their knees.
This could seem strange to the point where you just question whether knee pads do have any utility?!
In this article I breakdown this behavior and the main reasons why players do so sometimes.
Reasons why some volleyball players wear knee pads under their knees.
The first reason is related to the style of the game. Indeed, when a volleyball player goes down low, for a pass, he effectively needs to bend down his entire leg, but the part of the leg that is touching the floor is in fact the shin bone, not the knee.
Knee pads in volleyball have the role of protecting shin bones more than the knees, that however depends entirely on the position the player, since not all positions require the same amount of low level gameplay.
Helpful Tip: Not every knee pad will help protecting shin bones. You will need specific models. For example, this knee pad model can help protect both your shin bones and knees.
The second reason is tied to the nature of the knee pads themselves. They tend to slide a little bit up when the player bends his leg to perform a low pass or a save, hence the wearing of the knee pad so low.
Third reason is related to their quality … Indeed volleyball knee pads tend to stretch over time after so many usages!
Last reason is that players tend to wear knee pads below their knees in breaks and when the game has not yet started and there is no need to be all stiffed and under full armor.
How should this kind of knee pads be?
Are there different knee pads, designed to fit specifically underneath the knees?
There are some variants of knee pads that can be utilized in that manner.
The knee pads in question are This Model …
These knee pads are easy adjustable and are basically flat, making it easier for them to adapt to the needs of the wearer. Meaning that they can easily adapt to the knees or the shin bone, hence the flatness.
Is this practice common for men or women volleyball?
Wearing knee pads beneath the knees in volleyball is common for both men and women, but it is notable that women tend to wear knee pads below the knees more often than men.
It is also worth noting that there are also many players who choose not to wear them, in order to play more efficiently.
There is also the option of wearing knee pads depending on the position a person is playing.
For an example, the position of the middle blocker there is virtually no need to wear knee pads since the middle blocker does not play defense, nor does he have such a defensive role, where he needs to go low for the ball.
However, back line positions, such as the receiver, that have a prominent role in defense tend to wear knee pads more often, that is, all the time, since they need to protect their knees or the already mentioned shin bone.
There is also the fact that women play volleyball more aggressively, but that has been proven a couple of times, and it is also a fact. Playing more aggressively means that you will need more protection, and that is why women wear knee pads more often.
One good example of a woman player that is playing volleyball with knee pads beneath the knees is Brankica Mihajlovic, a Serbian volleyball player, she plays for the team of Monza from Italy as of 2021, before that she has played for Fenerbahche Istanbul.
Brankica is a receiver and can often be seen wearing knee pads below her knees, for protecting her shin bone while diving low for the ball.
Any volleyball position that wears low knee pads?
Receivers need to wear the knee pads almost always, since they cannot predict what kind of ball will be coming towards them next second. They will always need to dive and throw themselves for the ball.
Since the receivers play a generally defensive role, they are basically obligated to wear knee pads all the time.
The second position that is somewhat obligated to wear knee pads is the libero. The libero is a purely defensive position, and is not allowed to play any offensive part in the game, as the rules state.
The libero however, can be seen often wearing knee pads below the knees in order to protect the shin from injury, since he throws himself more often and is maybe one of the most active players on the field.
By the way, you can learn about the differences between volleyball and basketball knee pads! You will find that quite interesting …
Drawbacks of wearing knee pads under kneecap.
Naturally there are some drawbacks when it comes to wearing kneepads beneath the knees, here we will list some of the drawbacks and explain what the specifics of those drawbacks are.
The first drawback is related to the injury of the knee. Sure, wearing the knee pads beneath the knee can be a tactical advantage, but there is always the possibility of injuring yourself badly.
The knee is one of the most delicate parts of the human body, and it can be injured quiet easily. However, the possibility of easily injuring your knee is not the main problem here, the main problem is the role the knee plays in your movement.
If you injure your knee badly, recovery is a lengthy and delicate process, since you will have to make it function properly in order to be able to play again. Making sure your knee is always protected is one of the main concerns you should have.
The second drawback is again the possible injuries, but this time they are related to the skin. Not wearing your knee pads properly can result in bruises and cuts. The most painful injury you can sustain are small skin burns, that are neither bruises nor cuts, but something in between, and believe me, they can sting.
Volleyball players will never slide directly on their knees, but will slide on the shin, but that does not mean however that safety comes second, especially if you are a young player, with a possible career down the road.
Final Thoughts …
Hopefully this article was quite clear and easy to understand for your …