You have likely seen volleyball players wearing tape on their fingers. It’s not just a fashion statement. Volleyball players tape their fingers to protect them from getting bent backwards. In competitive volleyball, players are able to hit a ball at high speeds. Intercepting one of these balls is usually fine if the player makes contact on their wrist, where the shock can be absorbed throughout the entire arm.
When the contact is made on the finger or fingertips, one or more fingers can be bent backwards, causing excruciating pain and jamming the fingers from being able to move. This injury can last days, weeks, or even months. When playing lots of games competitively, an injury like this can ruin a player’s season.
There are at least three ways a finger can be bent back during play. The most common is from blocking an attack. After that, a player may jam their fingers by performing a volley or a set. It is also possible to bend a finger back when performing an attack, should the players miss their attack slightly and clip the ball with their fingertips.
Tape is also used to prevent drying and cracking of the fingertips. It is quite common for players who play and train to experience skin irritations.
How Taping Helps Prevent Injury
Taping two or more fingers together strengthens their hold. A single finger can bend and jam quite easily. When paired with another, it acts as a stint to hold it from bending. There is more than one way to tape a finger. Some players choose to tape over the knuckles and joints of an individual finger, giving it more range of motion and freedom. Other players will tape just the fingertips to keep them from drying and cracking.