The sport of volleyball originated in the United States, and is now just achieving the type of popularity in the U.S. that it has received on a global basis, where it ranks behind only soccer among participation sports. Today there are more than 46 million Americans who play volleyball. There are 800 million players worldwide who play Volleyball at least once a week.
In 1895, William G. Morgan an instructor at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in Holyoke, Mass., decided to blend elements of basketball, baseball, tennis, and handball to create a game for his classes of businessmen which would demand less physical contact than basketball. He created the game of Volleyball (at that time called mintonette). Morgan borrowed the net from tennis, and raised it 6 feet 6 inches above the floor, just above the average man’s head.
During a demonstration game, someone remarked to Morgan that the players seemed to be volleying the ball back and forth over the net, and perhaps “volleyball” would be a more descriptive name for the sport. On July 7, 1900 at Springfield College the first game of “volleyball” was played. In 1900, a special ball was designed for the sport.
Volleyball can be played indoors and outdoors. It was adopted as an indoor Olympic sport in 1964 at Tokyo. In 1984 the United States men and women won their first Olympic Volleyball medals. In 1996, two-person beach volleyball was approved as an Olympic Sport. Todays NCAA Volleyball is more popular and exciting than ever. Some top collegian programs include Long Beach State, Penn State, BYU, UCLA, Hawaii and Stanford.
Some of the best players ever to play the sport include Karch Kiraly, Gabrielle Reese, Sinjin Smith, Misty May and Ryan Millar. Today the game of volleyball requires team strategies and highly refined individual skills. Outdoor volleyball, which is played with two or four people for each side, is becoming more and more popular across the nation
A typical volleyball game lasts about 25 minutes. It is a team sport played by two teams consisting of six people on a playing court divided by a net. The object of the game is for each team to send the ball regularly over a net in order to ground it on the opponents side, and to prevent the opponents from doing the same. The ball is put into play by the right back row player who serves the ball into their opponents court. The rally continues until the ball is grounded on the playing court, goes out or a team fails to return it properly. Only the team, which is serving, can score a point. The players are split into back and front row; the players in the front are usually the key hitters and the ones who will get the ball passes/set to. The players in the back row normally concentrate on defense and passing the ball to the setter who is the main person in the offensive attack.
A team wins a game by scoring 15 points with a two-point advantage; and the match by winning the best three of five games. In a deciding, fifth game, which is called a rally game, a point is scored no matter which team is serving. A team earns a point when serving and when they side-out.
A team is allowed to hit the ball three times (not counting a block contact) to return it to the opponents court. A player may not catch, lift, scoop, or throw the ball. They also may not hit the ball twice consecutively when attempting a pass or block.
In a regular volleyball game, only the serving team may score a point. A player may serve anywhere behind the backline, but between the courts boundary/side lines. A point is scored if the serving team wins the rally. If the serving team does not win the rally then it is a side-out to the other team. When the receiving team wins a rally, it gains the right to serve, and its players rotate one position clockwise. For instance, the player in the right back move to middle back, the player in left back moves to left front. Rotation ensures that players play both the front row