History Of Volleyball

           The game of volleyball, originally called “mintonette”, was invented in 1895 by William G. Morgan, after the invention of basketball by only 4 years. Morgan, a graduate of the Springfield College of the YMCA, designed the game to be a combination of basketball, baseball, tennis and handball.

     The first volleyball net, borrowed from tennis, was only 6’6? high (though you need to remember that the average American was shorter in the 19th century).

     The offensive style of setting and spiking was first demonstrated in the Philippines in 1916. Over the years that followed, it became clear that standard rules were needed for tournament play, and thus the USVBA (United States Volleyball Association) was formed in 1928.

     Two years later, the first 2-man beach volleyball game was played, though the professional side of the sport did not emerge until much later. Not surprisingly, the first beach volleyball association appeared in California (1965), and the professional players united under the auspices of the AVP (American Volleyball Professionals) in 1983.

     During the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, American men and women took gold and silver medals in indoor volleyball competition. Four years later at the Olympics in Korea, the men once again scored gold. Starting in 1996, 2-man beach volleyball was officially introduced to the Olympics. Today, there are more than 800 million volleyball players worldwide, 46 million of them in the U.S.


  1. In 1900, a special ball was designed for the sport.
  2. In 1916, in the Philippines, an offensive style of passing the ball in a high trajectory to be struck by another player (the set and spike) were introduced.
  3. In 1917, the game was changed from 21 to 15 points.
  4. In 1920, three hits per side and back row attack rules were instituted.
  5. In 1922, the first YMCA national championships were held in Brooklyn, NY. 27 teams from 11 states were represented.
  6. In 1928, it became clear that tournaments and rules were needed, the United States Volleyball Association (USVBA, now USA Volleyball) was formed. The first U.S. Open was staged, as the field was open to non-YMCA squads.
  7. In 1930, the first two-man beach game was played.
  8. In 1934, the approval and recognition of national volleyball referees.
  9. In 1937, at the AAU convention in Boston, action was taken to recognize the U.S. Volleyball Association as the official national governing body in the U.S.
  10. In 1947, the Federation Internationale De Volley-Ball (FIVB) was founded.
  11. In 1948, the first two-man beach tournament was held.
  12. In 1949, the initial World Championships were held in Prague, Czechoslovakia.
  13. In 1964, Volleyball was introduced to the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
  14. In 1965, the California Beach Volleyball Association (CBVA) was formed.
  15. In 1974, the World Championships in Mexico were telecast in Japan.
  16. In 1975, the US National Women’s team began a year-round training regime in Pasadena, Texas (moved to Colorado Springs in 1979, Coto de Caza and Fountain Valley, CA in 1980, and San Diego, CA in 1985).
  17. In 1977, the US National Men’s team began a year-round training regime in Dayton, Ohio (moved to San Diego, CA in 1981).
  18.  In 1983, the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) was formed.
  19. In 1984, the US won their first medals at the Olympics in Los Angeles. The Men won the Gold, and the Women the Silver.
  20. In 1986, the Women’s Professional Volleyball Association (WPVA) was formed.
  21. In 1988, the US Men repeated the Gold in the Olympics in Korea.
  22. In 1990, the World League was created.
  23. In 1995, the sport of Volleyball was 100 years old.

Volleyball Info

 Basic Volleyball Rules

  • Players in the Team:

  1. Team has 6 players on the court.
  2. 3 players are front row players and 3 of them are back row players. 
  3. Team is allowed to use a libero player (back row player, defensive specialist) who wears different color shirt.

  • Contacts:

  1. Each team is allowed to have maximum of three touches before hitting the ball over the net. (EXCEPTION: block does not count as a touch)
  2. Same player can not hit the ball twice in a row (EXCEPTION I: block doesn’t count a touch.)

  • Back Row Attack:
  1. Back row players can not attack the ball front row. If they attack, they have to perform the jump behind the attack line (10 feet line, 3 meter line).
  2. IMPORTANT! The ball has to be completely above the net for it to be an illegal attack.

  • Antennas: 

  1. It is ALLOWED to play the ball off the net. It is a fault, if the ball contacts net outside antennas. 
  2. The ball has to travel between the antennas (or the imagined extensions of them) when flying to the other side of the net.

In or Out?
Referee calls the ball “IN”, if any part of it hits the lines. (Imagine the ball is painted. If the ball left a mark that touches the lines, the ball is judged IN)

   Ball is ruled OUT, if the ball lands outside the boundary lines (without touching the opponent) The ball hits the antenna any of the net or cables outside the antennas.
a referee stand or poles or the ceiling (EXPECTION: in high school, club or college volleyball in United States it is allowed to play after ball hits the ceiling)

  • Contacting the Ball:
  1. Players are NOT allowed to catch, hold or throw the ball.
  2. Players are NOT allowed to hit or block the opponents serve.
  3. Attacking ball which is coming over the net is ILLEGAL, if it has NOT broken the plane of the net. 
  4. In other words the player is ALLOWED to swing the ball when it breaks the plane of the net.

Recently changed basic volleyball rules

  • Let Serve:

    Let serve is allowed. In other words the ball can touch the net on the serve.

  • Points:

    A point is followed after each serve. (Earlier you had a chance to get a point only after your own serve).

  • Libero:

    One of the back row players can be substituted to a libero who is a back row specialist with unlimited subs. The libero can enter and exit the game between each serve without coach requesting a sub.

  • Serve:

    Server is allowed to serve the ball any place behind the backline. (Earlier there was a serving area in the corner of the court)

  • Contacting the Ball:

    Players are ALLOWED to double hit the ball on the first contact, for example when they 1) serve receive, or 2) dig the ball

    (Since this rule change passing overhead has become commonly used method to pass the ball. Earlier it was often called a false hit, double hit)

  • Kicking:
            It is LEGAL to hit the ball with any part of the body, the foot and leg included. (Earlier it was  a mistake to kick the ball.)