The women’s volleyball club RC Cannes, which dominates the French league and has had some very well known players on their roster (think Logan Tom for USA Volleyball fans), each year produces a calendar. It includes “sexy” photos of players from the team (a sample cover photo at left). German club Dresdner and Italian club Pomi have done the similar sorts of things, among others.

These kind of calendars, or singular photos, are hardly new when it comes to women’s sports. Let’s face it, professional sports is an entertainment industry. This is one way these clubs chose to “entertain” their supporters. In other cases, like national teams, it’s a fund raising and/or charity activity.

At the most definitely non-professional non-national team level, the women’s team at the University of Birmingham (U.K.) did calendar photos – ones that actually feature somewhat less clothing than the professional ones mentioned above, in fact! Their calendar was for charity.

My question to you is what you would think if these were your players?

I’m not talking about the societal side of things. We can leave the discussion whether these sorts of calendars should exist for another forum.

I’m also not talking about whether certain types of teams should or should not do these types of calendars/photos. We all know, for example, that no US university would allow this kind of thing. It would be much too controversial.

And obviously we’re assuming athletes old enough to consent.

I’m just curious how you would feel if you coached a team who did this sort of thing – particularly a team of the opposite gender as you. Would you support them if they chose to do it? Would you oppose the idea? Is there an age or status where you would be OK or not OK with it?

I ask because I actually went through this one year. My Exeter women’s team posed for a photo very similar to the third one shown in the Birmingham collection. It was as part of a calendar that featured both men’s and women’s team from the school, with funds going to charity. Definitely a new experience for me. I always wondered how other coaches felt or would feel under similar circumstances.

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Talent Strategy Manager (oversees the national teams) and Indoor Performance Director for Volleyball England, as well as Global Director for Volleyball for Nation Academy. His volleyball coaching experience includes all three NCAA divisions, plus Junior College, in the US; university and club teams in the UK; professional coaching in Sweden; and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. He's also been a visiting coach at national team, professional club, and juniors programs in several countries. Learn more on his bio page.

    2 replies to "Volleyball calendar girls (or boys)"

    • Kelly Daniels

      If I was in Europe or a country that have different values I’d probably go with the flow. Yet here in the US I’d wouldn’t have a scant clothing calendar. If the athletes were in uniforms I could go with that type of calendar. I do think a calendar with our accepted values are a good idea and would do so for my team.

      • John Forman

        Two questions Kelly.

        1) Would you forbid your players from doing a calendar if it was something they decided to do on their own, or if the decision was made by the organization (club, etc.)?

        2) In the case of a calendar with the players in uniform, would you be accepting of something racy or provocative?

Please share your own ideas and opinions.