“A Brief Introduction and the History of Volleyball”

William Morgan introduced the game of volleyball in 1895 while he was teaching at the Holyoke Y.M.C.A. in Massachusetts. He wanted to create a game for his classes of businessmen that would have less physical contact than basketball. He combined the elements of basketball, tennis, and handball to form the game he called “mintonette”. He borrowed a tennis net and raised it 6 feet 6 inches above the floor.

When a demonstration game was played, someone said it looked like the players were volleying the ball over the net, and perhaps “volleyball” might be a better name. The first game of volleyball was played at Springfield College on July 7, 1896. The National Collegiate Athletic Association formed rules in 1916. After World War II the sport of volleyball began gaining great popularity, and in 1947 the International Volleyball Federation was formed. Volleyball became an Olympic event in 1964, and has since become a popular international sport.

The Rules of the Game

The basic rules of the game of volleyball are actually quite simple. A team must score 15 points to win a game. However, a team must win by at least two points. Only the team serving the ball can score a point. If they score, they continue serving. If they fail to score, a “side out” is called and the other team gets the serve. The game is played with six players on a side, three in the front and three in the back. The player on the right side in the back row is the server.

Unlike other sports, in volleyball a player gets to play all six positions. Each time the team gets the ball back to serve, the players rotate one position. They move clockwise during the entire match. Whichever player moves into the right back position, gets to be the next server. The server must hit the ball either underhand or overhand with one hand from the serving area, behind the end line. The ball must clear the net and come down in bounds on the other side. It cannot touch the net, or a player on the server’s side. If the serve is good, and the other team fails to return it, the serving team gets a point and the same player serves again. If the serve is not good, or the serving team fails to return the ball, the other team gets a “side out” and also gets the serve. They do not score a point. The ball must always be hit before it lands on the court.

Each team is allowed up to three hits to return the ball, however the third hit must put the ball over the net. A player is not allowed to hit the ball twice in a row. The ball may be hit with the hands, fists, arms, or any part of the body from the waist up. Catching, scooping or carrying the ball are all not allowed. Some of the most common fouls are reaching over the net to play a ball, a player crossing the center line when the ball is in play, touching the net during play, and a player out of position on the court.

Fun Facts – Did You Know??

  • A basketball was first used to play the game of volleyball.
  • In 1995, the game of Volleyball celebrated it’s 100th birthday.
  • A volleyball court is 59 ft. 0.75 inches long and 29 ft. 6.375 inches wide.
  • A men’s net is 7 ft. 4.125 inches high, women’s net is 7 ft. 4.125 inches high.
  • A volleyball weighs between 8.75 and 9.8 ounces.
  • A volleyball measures between 25 5/8 to 26 3/8 inches in circumference.
  • In 1930, the first 2 man beach volleyball game was played.
  • In 1964 volleyball was introduce to the Olympic games in Tokyo.
  • Up until 1916, volleyball was played in innings.
  • The game of volleyball was first called “mintonette” because it looked like badminton.

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