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Volleyball Uniforms done better

The Problem

Volleyball uniforms for high school teams and clubs have traditionally been a logistical nightmare for the coaches, directors, and clothing brands or screen printers that manufacture them.

Unlike other sports that have more time between the forming of the team and the first game, Women’s volleyball teams are generally formed right before Thanksgiving. Delivery is right after New Years. That leaves around four weeks minus all the holiday days in between.  As anyone with any experience in volleyball uniforms knows, the promised delivery date is seldom met. This leaves teams with no proper uniform, which means last-minute scrambling for white tee shirts and permanent markers. Not acceptable. This brings us to what PLASTIC CLOTHING has come up with after 19 years of doing business in creating volleyball uniforms;  The Solution for Better Volleyball Uniforms.

The Steps

The first issue with on-time delivery of a volleyball uniform comes from the actual jersey (I’m going to talk only about jerseys in this article). Screen printers help you to choose from the plethora of brands out there selling blank jerseys. There are lots of cheap, misguided non-specific choices. The customer wants to see a sample in that color, in the size they can test quickly. It’s usually not possible because of time constraints- it takes at least a few days to order the jersey and get it in their hands. A few more days to get the sample fit.

The player sampled may or may not like it (more on this later) which puts us back at square one. Assuming the player that was sampled likes it, the jersey is then ordered. Since there is no way to tell what actual sizes are needed (ranging usually from youth small to adult X-Large) until the roster is set, it’s not possible for the screen printer to check stock on that color, in that style. Many, if not most of the time the style is not available in that color and style in all sizes. No company wants to have stock cooking on their shelves. Back to square one, picking a different style jersey, or another color. It’s a losing game for the screen printer, the blank jersey manufacturer, and the coach or director handling the order. There is a better way to handle it- The Solution for Better Volleyball Uniforms.

Once the correct jersey blank is located and ordered, the numbers and logos need to be screen-printed (or heat pressed- they don’t last). Screen-printing is a fairly complicated process in which the same logos and numbers in the same size are printed onto the jersey. The Youth small jerseys get the same size print as the Adult XL. If there are two different size printing sizes, the printing price jumps up quite a bit (since pricing breaks are usually around 72 pieces). Doing two runs of 36 pieces will increase pricing 25-40%.

Once printing is done, there is no printing 1-2 more pieces. The process used in screen-printing does not allow for this. The problem with volleyball is that it’s a winter sport, and there are late adds, ALMOST ALWAYS. That means the Smith, #12, needs a large jersey ASAP and can’t get it without a 50-120% markup where the screen printer, brand, and salesman actually lose money anyway. It always happens and no one is happy at the end of it, not even Smith because it was late. There is a better way to handle this using The Solution for Better Volleyball Uniforms.

The third most common problem we at PLASTIC clothing have encountered have to do with design. Most clubs are picky about their colors. Maybe they use an electric blue. What is ‘electric blue’ you ask? I always have the same question! Its impossible to duplicate a color in someone’s vocabulary to reality on a high-quality wicking polyester jersey. Clothing brands spend hundreds of thousands of dollars getting this right using specialized equipment, so to expect to get this done on the phone or from a napkin is ludicrous. Not anymore. You send us a jersey on the color you want, and we copy the color exactly in the lab.

Moving on from color, style is important. The fit. Each company has different colors and fits, and many don’t offer youth jerseys. It’s common that a customer will want a specific fit on a jersey, in a color that jersey isn’t offered in.  Once the color and fit are dealt with, the logo needs to be in a special format that the printer can work with, which most don’t have at their fingertips. The number design must be chosen, along with any outline colors and other logos. Pricing is usually based on each logo position- more logos, higher price. A graphic mock-up is then emailed for approval, and production starts once the approval is given. Lots of steps so far, with all steps leading to confusion and delay. There is a better Solution for Volleyball Uniforms.

Coach and director favoritism towards a few athletes is also a concern. Certain athletes (especially when they are teenage girls) prefer certain fit. Big girls like a different style than skinny girls. Short girls like different spandex than tall girls. Younger girls like different sleeves than the 17’s. Jersey companies usually don’t have the right color and style in stock ready to ship at a moments notice for size sampling, so they ship out a few sizes, or just one. The customer just gets one girl’s opinion, which just isn’t enough. There is a better way to handle production with volleyball uniforms.

The solution

I’ve outlined the most common issues I’ve encountered in my business while handling production and design on volleyball uniforms. I’ve spent over 30 years playing and being around volleyball, most of my friends are players, coaches, directors, or just straight out plain love volleyball… so needless to say I hear a lot about volleyball. I’ve taken all this information into account while coming up with this solution, and believe me when I tell you I take to heart making it work. As a trusted volleyball brand that’s been in the game as long or longer than my competition, I like to make things work smoothly with my job. I want people to be happy with my brand. I want to grow the business not in quantity, but in quality. Better solutions for the people that are willing to trust me with their business. Please contact me to hear the Solution! Davek@plasticclothing.com or (760)455-0401 https://kamenaoutdoor.com/contact/ 

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