We explain everything about the history of volleyball, its creation and development until today. In addition, its rules and technical foundations.
The name volleyball in Spanish (and its variants volleyball, volleyball, volleyball or volleyball), derives from the English “volleyball ” and refers to a discipline of more than one hundred years of existence that was created in 1895 by William G. Morgan , director of Physical education at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in the United States.
Originally it was called “mintonette” but, during a demonstration, they noticed that the volley of the ball over the net described the essence of the game and that’s why they started calling it “volley ball”. In 1952, the North American Volleyball Association unified the words to officially call it “volleyball.”
Volleyball is a sport that is played on a court divided in half by a net, where two teams of six players each face each other. The objective of the game is to pass the ball over the net so that it touches the ground of the opposing field, without the opponent achieving it.
It is played by hitting or driving the ball and each team has a maximum of three touches to pass it to the opposite field. Players of the same team rotate their position as they earn points.
In 1870 William G. Morgan was born in Lockport, New York . During his childhood, he attended public school and worked at his father’s shipyard, on the banks of the old Erie Canal. In 1981 Morgan entered the Hermon Preparatory School in Massachusetts, where he met James A. Naismith, then a YMCA physical education teacher and creator of basketball.
Naismith was impressed with Morgan’s athletic skills and encouraged him to continue his education at the International Training School of the Young Men’s Christian Association (now called Springfield Collage). In 1984 Morgan graduated, at which point the history of volleyball began .
In 1895 William G. Morgan assumed as director of physical education at the YMCA and encountered a problem, he should provide the exercise without it being too aggressive or intense. I noticed that the basketball game, despite being very popular, was too tiring.
I wanted an alternative in which it was not necessary to give so many blows or shakes, so that it would adapt to a wider audience. Morgan took ideas from various sports , such as basketball , tennis net, the use of handballs and the concept of baseball tickets. Thus, he created a discipline he called “mintonette”.
A year later, the mintonette game was very popular and obtained an audience at the Conference of Physical Directors of the YMCA association, held in Massachusetts. There, Dr. Alfred Halstead, a professor at Springfield College, observed that the highlight of the game was the volley of the ball over the net. Therefore, he suggested to rename it “volley ball.”
In the beginning, the “mintonette” was quite different from the performance of volleyball that is known today. It was played on a smaller court, with a very heavy ball, a lower net and too many players who hit the ball an unlimited number of times.
Although Morgan probably did not imagine it at that time, decades later, volleyball became the second most popular team discipline in the world , after football .
World Volleyball Growth
In its beginnings, the volleyball game reached wide acceptance thanks to the support and dissemination of the YMCA association, encouraged by two professional physical education schools: Springfield Collage and George Williams Collage.
At the beginning of 1900 Canada was the first foreign country that adopted the game as a sport to be practiced in various institutions. Soon it was followed by Japan (1908) and the Philippines (1910), where it was included in the program of the first Far Eastern Games, in 1913. Thus began its worldwide expansion.
In 1914 he was included in the education and recreation program of the armed forces of North America. In 1916 the YMCA succeeded in making the powerful NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) contribute to the rapid dissemination of volleyball among university students in the United States, through the publication of a series of articles on its regulations.
There it was announced, for example, that the number of players per team was limited to six and later, in 1922, the number of touches of the ball per play was limited to three. However, until the early 1930s Volleyball was one game of leisure and recreation, with few competitive presentations worldwide and regulations that varied according to the country where it was played.
In 1947 the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) was created in France . This world body is responsible for regulating the rules at a competitive level and for holding meetings periodically.
At the Olympic Games in Paris in 1924, traditional volleyball was first played as a demonstration sport. But only in 1964 he became part of the Olympic specialties at the meeting held in Tokyo.
Today, volleyball is one of the most popular popular sports worldwide, with competitions such as the FIVB World Championship, the FIVB World League, the FIVB World Grand Prix and the Olympic Games . It is a competitive sport of high physical and technical performance that presents some officially accepted variants:
- Beach volleyball It is played on the sand and since 1996 is part of the Olympic disciplines, from the meeting held in Atlanta that had a stadium built especially on the beach.
- The volleyball sitting. It is especially practiced among sports of people with disabilities and in 1980 was incorporated into the Paralympic Games.
Among the basic rules of volleyball are:
- The score The best score of five game batches, also called “sets”, is disputed. The team that accumulates three sets won will be the champion, for which it must reach twenty-five points in each set and with a two-point advantage over the opponent (for example, twenty-five against twenty-three points). In case the teams reach a score of twenty-five against twenty-four, they must play until a difference of two points is achieved. Therefore, the duration of volleyball matches varies so much.
- The serve. It is the action that starts each game, it is done with the player behind the baseline and the rest of the team located in the limits of the field. If a player takes off and the opponent fails to stop the ball, the player scores a point in favor of his team. In the event that the service is unsuccessful (touches the net and falls into its own field or goes outside the area), the service turn passes to the opponent.
- Play area. It is delimited by a rectangle eighteen meters long, nine meters wide, and is divided in the center by a network that separates the two play areas. The designation of the fields for each team is drawn before the game and in each new set the areas are exchanged.
- Attack zone. The center line that is located under the net divides the playing field into two equal zones, nine meters by nine meters each. Three meters away from the center line, another line delimits the area of attack for each area, where the actions of the players are limited.
- The net. It is located in the center of the playing field at a height of 2.43 cm for the male category and 2.24 cm for the female category. If the ball touches the net, it is not considered a foul and, when bouncing, can continue with the play.
Volleyball technical fundamentals
The technical foundations of volleyball (or any other sport) are the basic principles for learning a discipline, and it refers to the motor actions characteristic of the activity. In the case of volleyball, the following stand out:
The serve. There are two types of serve:
- From below : It’s simpler and beginners use it.
- From above : It is an offensive technique and success depends on the force applied in the blow, which can be with the player stopped or with the help of a jump in place.
The posture of the player. There are three types of basic positions that differ in the degree of knee flexion (low, medium and high). This position and its variants allow players to be on alert and act quickly in the face of unexpected reception or high speed of the ball, by the opponent.
The pass. There are different types:
- Finger pass : Its main advantage is that it allows you to control the direction of the ball very well.
- Forearm stroke : Its main advantage is that it allows cushioning balls that reach high speed.
- Auction : It is the blow that is accompanied by a jump, on the top of the ball, so that it reaches the ground of the opposite field at high speed.
- Blocking : It is a jump accompanied with the extended hands, which must be done very close to the net to avoid an auction of the adversary.
Most recognized countries in volleyball
The three countries that have won the most volleyball international tournament medals in recent years are: Brazil with twenty medals, Italy with fifteen and Russia with fourteen.