How did volleyball come into being?

How did volleyball come into being?

In the winter of 1895, American William Morgan invented volleyball. At that time, he was a sports coach in Hollywood, Massachusetts. The volleyball he invented was not as intense as basketball, but it also required the same intensity of physical activity. The sport is similar in composition to baseball, with more than nine innings in a game and only the serving team can score. Each game is served by one of the teams until the server loses three rounds (called outings), and then replaces the service team. After the other side lost three rounds, the two sides exchanged service rights again and started a new game.


At that time, the volleyball court was slightly smaller than the present one, with 25 feet (7.6 meters) on each side of the net (instead of 29 feet and 6 inches (9 meters) on the square side. The net was 6 feet and 6 inches (2 meters) above the ground. Players will pass the ball with their palms to other players, hitting the ball from one side of the net to the other side, and the ball should not be in a clear static state, otherwise it will be judged to violate the rules of touching the ball and thus lose the round. These rules are very similar to today’s volleyball.

Of course, there are some differences between the volleyball invented by Morgan and modern volleyball. Firstly, players can hold the ball to any point in front of the dribble line (1.2 meters in front of the net) in order to control the ball on their own court. There is no limit to the number of times a player touches the ball before hitting it on the opponent’s court. In modern volleyball rules, players can only touch volleyball three times in their own stadium.

As in tennis, if the server fails to serve for the first time, he is allowed to serve for the second time. Except for the first serve, any ball played on the net is considered to be against the rules. The team who finally touches the volleyball before hitting the net loses this round. Any line-pressing ball is considered to be out-of-bounds, but in today’s games, line-pressing ball is counted as in-bounds ball.

Volleyball, as a physical education program at Springfield College (Massachusetts) and George Williams University (Illinois), has gradually become popular.


International exchanges have brought the sport to Canada, the Philippines, China, Japan, Myanmar and India. Later, volleyball was passed to South America and Europe. According to the statistics of the International Volleyball Federation, in 1916, 200,000 people in the United States played volleyball. And the National University Sports Association also took its first volleyball rules manual for the inter-university competition.

Since the United States demonstrated volleyball at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris, international interest in volleyball has been increasing. In 1964, volleyball was officially listed as an Olympic sport in Tokyo Olympic Games. Although volleyball was invented in the United States, other countries won the Olympic championship.

In this Olympic women’s volleyball match, Japan defeated the Soviet Union and won the championship by virtue of its home advantage. In men’s games, the Soviet Union defeated Czechoslovakia and finally won the cup. The Soviet Union has won the most gold medals in Olympic indoor men’s and women’s volleyball, up to 12. If Russia’s gold medals were included after 1996, the number of gold medals would be as high as 18. Japan and Brazil were tied for the second place, with nine gold medals. The United States has won three Olympic gold medals in men’s indoor volleyball (in 1984, 1988 and 2008), while women’s volleyball has won three silver medals in indoor volleyball (in 1984, 2008 and 2012).


Although indoor volleyball has the largest number of participants, at the same time, 4.4 million Americans participate in beach volleyball. Beach volleyball, as an exhibition item of 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympic Games, formally joined the Olympic Games in 1996. Unlike indoor volleyball, beach volleyball was invented in southern California and continues to show people its top athletes.

American volleyball legend Cage Kelly won the Olympic gold medal of men’s indoor volleyball in 1984 and 1988 respectively, and won the beach volleyball championship with teammate Kent Steve. By the 2012 London Olympics, Mister Mei-Trena and Kelly Walsh had won the beach volleyball championship for three consecutive years.

Then there are lawn Volleyball Championships and leagues, volleyball championships become more diversified, with different forms, themes and venues. Morgan invented the original rules for the number of volleyball players and venues are very small, very flexible, which to a certain extent promoted the development of volleyball.

The venues of Volleyball Championships and leagues can be mud, snow, road or water, and the number of teams can range from 2 to 9. Sitting volleyball is a version of the Paralympic Games, in which athletes with lower limb disabilities compete on smaller courts using shorter nets. The way to play volleyball is limited only by imagination. Over the years, people have invented many interesting ways to play volleyball.