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The History of Volleyball

In 1895, a man named William Morgan wanted to create a new game requiring less physical contact than basketball.He decided to blend elements of basketball, tennis, handball, and baseball resulting in the game of Volleyball (at the time called mintonette).Morgan took a tennis net and raised it 6 ? feet; he required the players to hit the ball back and forth over it, keeping it from hitting the ground.

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During a demonstration, someone stated that the players seemed to be volleying the ball back and forth over the net, and the new name “volleyball” was born.

The first game of volleyball was played at Springfield College in 1896. Four years later, in 1900, a special ball was designed for the sport. Volleyball was presented, in 1907, at the Playground of America convention as one of the most popular sports. In 1916, an offensive style of passing the ball was introduced; one player passes the ball high in the air to be struck by another teammate as it comes back down which is now known as “set” and “spike”. In 1920, the rule only allowing the ball to be hit three times per side was set into place.

The first YMCA national championships were held in Brooklyn, NY in 1922. It was clear that tournaments and rules were needed, so USA Volleyball was formed. Over the next 27 years, volleyball became a worldwide sport and was introduced to the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 1964. The U. S. won their first Olympic medals in 1984 in Los Angeles, the women won Silver, and the men won Gold. Two-person beach volleyball was introduced as an Olympic Sport in 1996. In 2001, Kerri Walsh and Misty May became a team.

Together, these two women competed in the Olympics 3 times. They won 3 Olympic gold metals, winning all 21 Olympic matches, only losing one set. They became known as the worlds greatest women’s beach volleyball team, holding the world record for consecutive match wins; 90 victories. The sport of volleyball has been around for 118 years, with little changes to rules and regulations. It is a young sport, but has become one of the most popular sports played all around the world.

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The History of Volleyball. (2017, May 17). Retrieved April 1, 2020, from