By Kyra Grandall


Volleyball has been popular since its start in 1895. The popularity is still constantly growing and it is the second most popular sport in the world, following soccer. Since the beginning the sport has been changing and evolving its rules and types into the international sport it is today.


Volleyball was invented in 1895 by William G. Morgan at the YMCA in Holyoke Massachusetts. It was created because they wanted a slower game then basketball that older people could participate in. It was originally called Mintonette. This name was chosen because it was similar to badminton. Changes came quickly including the name. The name was changed because an onlooker, named Alfred Halstead, noticed it looked like the players were volleying the ball back and forth(Volleyball World Wide 2). Another change included the number of players on the court to 9, and in the future it would be changed to 6. In the beginning an infinite number of people could be on the court. The next change was number of hits on a side before it went over the net just like people it was originally no limit but it was soon changed to 3. The first official volleyball was mad in 1896 by Spalding. Soon the game was spread to the international level and became a very popular widely used sport. It also became a sport at colleges and high schools.


Originally volleyball was intended for just men and indoor use only. Today the sport has evolved drastically from that point. Volleyball is still played indoors but also played outdoors in the sand. There is also mud volleyball, blind volleyball, and many more different types. Sand volleyball was introduced in the 1940’s in California(Sports Know How 5). Soon this became popular and crowds of people would come and watch and players from all over would travel to compete in tournaments. It started like normal volleyball with 6 players but that was altered shortly. This is where two-man got its start here and the first two-man sand volleyball tournament is held here also. It rapidly became so popular that even states that didn't have beaches would bring in sand and make sand courts. Two-man was so popular that it was introduced to the Olympics and tournaments were held throughout the nation. Four-man sand volleyball started in the 1990’s and also spread fast in popularity. Volleyball was originally meant for middle aged men. They introduced it in High Schools and Colleges and had teams for men and women. This is where women gained there spot in the sport and now volleyball in College and High School is mainly for women. Volleyball is still a multi-gender sport throughout the world.


In volleyball many players have become well known and made an impact to the game. First is Flo Hyman, as it states in Volleyball Hall of Fame "It is impossible to quantify the impact Flo Hyman had on the sport of volleyball with just words. She was the most famous volleyball player of the time, not just here in the United States, but also worldwide"(Volleyball Hall of Fame 1). Flo was dedicated to her team more then herself which was unusual for this time, and this fact made her stick out. Second is Steve Timmons who had an amazing career of volleyball in college. He went to the Olympics and helped take home the first gold for men's volleyball for the USA. He also was involved in winning many famous championships and medals. Next is Karch Kiraly who is according to Beach Volleyball Database "considered the "Micheal Jordan" of Pro Beach Volleyball"(Beach Volleyball Database 2). He is the only person to get 3 gold medals for volleyball, and he is also the oldest player to compete in high level tournaments. Another important player is Misty May Treanor. She has a total of 107 wins and partners with Kerri Walsh. Together they are the only team to repeat as gold medalists. Next is Kerri Walsh who states "In 2006, Kerri became the fourth American woman to surpass $1 million in career earnings"(Kerri Walsh 4). She is also considered one of the best college all around volleyball players, and successfully played indoor and outdoor with many achievements. Last is Logan Tom, she was the youngest player to join the Junior National Team at just 16(Beach Volleyball Database 2). She also has many records set at Stanford for her many aces, kills, and digs.


The basic rules of volleyball are no more than three hits per side, only 6 people on the court, and a player can’t catch the ball. These rules are basic yet essential. Some other rules include a block is not included as one of the three hits, a player cannot jump to attack the ball in the front row if they are currently a back row player, and a player may not block a serve. Another set of rules is a player may not reach over the net to attack the ball, a player may not come in contact with the net at any time or cross underneath it, and a player cannot cross the serving line when serving until they have already made contact. The next examples of rules is if the ball lands out with no contact on the side it lands out on that team receives the point, or if there is a touch the other team gets the point. If the ball touches the antenna it is considered out, and Libero’s are only allowed in the back row are a few more basic rules(NOVA 3).


The players on the court have many jobs depending on their positions and sometimes these jobs overlap. One of the basic positions is the setter. The setter is the player who is supposed to set up the ball for the hit. Normally they are supposed to take the second contact. Another position is outside hitter. This position can be played on either the left or right side of the net in the front row. These players usually take the third hit when the setter sets them the ball. Their goal is to get a kill for the team or block the opponent’s ball from contacting their side of the court(Ana Devine 2). Next is the middle hitter, their job is to block and hit in the middle of the net. They also move to the outside to assist the outside hitters on blocking. Last is libero their job is to get the pass up to the setter. This person is selected to be specifically in the back row because of their amazing covering and passing skills. This person generally starts the play and is very important in the process. These players are not allowed in the front row, and must where a different color jersey.


Volleyball in the Olympic's is played indoors and outdoors. The teams of 6 play indoor and they have male and female teams. The beach volleyball is 2 players and they have male and female teams. They indoor play in preliminary play, quarterfinals, semifinals and medals matches. The beach volleyball teams play in a double-elimination tournament until there are four teams left. The two winner's bracket teams play for gold while the two teams in the elimination bracket play for the bronze medal. Indoor volleyball joined the Olympics in 1964, and beach volleyball joined the Olympics in 1996. The United States has controlled beach volleyball since its joined the Olympics. Winning gold in 1996, 2000, 2004 and two in 2008(Abena Edugyan 4).

Work Cited

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