silhouette of people playing basketball during sunset

Volleyball has become a popular sport and has millions of fans around the world. According to FIVB estimates, 1/6th of the world’s population now participates in volleyball, either actively or as spectators.

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A brief history of volleyball development 

In the latter half of 1895, William G. Morgan, the athletic director of the YMCA in Holyoke, Massachusetts, developed a game called “Mintonette” as entertainment for the elder members of the organization. It was considered a gentle alternative to basketball, which had been introduced in Springfield four years earlier. In the mini-football competitions, there were characteristic elements of tennis and handball. 

The first rules were also written by Morgan himself. They provided for a court measuring 25 x 50 feet (7.62 m x 15.24 m) and a net 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) high. The number of players was unlimited, as was the number of contacts with the ball allowed. In case of a missed serve, a second attempt was granted, as in tennis.

At a conference of all YMCA athletic directors in Springfield in early 1896, the game was introduced, and the name “Volleyball” was proposed and adopted, which was only slightly modified in 1952. 

In the following years, the sport spread around the world through Canada (1900). It was introduced by American soldiers in Eastern Europe during World War I, where it became a very popular sport. By the middle of the 20th century, it had spread across the continent. 

Many of the techniques and tactics that characterize modern volleyball were introduced by European teams. Examples are 

  • blocking (Czechoslovakia, 1938);
  • 5-1 system, digging (Czechoslovakia, 1958);
  • attacks from behind (Poland, 1974).

The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) was founded in 1947. The European Volleyball Federation (CEV) has existed since 1963. 

World Championships have been held since 1949 (men) and 1952 (women). Volleyball has been an Olympic discipline since 1964. 

What about the rules of beach volleyball

The official rules of the FIVB are as follows.

Field dimensions

The field is a rectangle 16 meters long and 8 meters wide. Around the playing field, there is a safety strip without obstacles 3 meters wide. 

Players

The official playing field is designed for two people against two people.

Allowed shots

When the ball is in the field of play, players of the same team may make a maximum of three consecutive kicks.

Net

It is 8.5 meters long and 1 meter wide when stretched. It is placed vertically on the central axis of the court. The height of the top edge of the net:

  • for men – 2.43 meters; 
  • for women – 2.24 meters; 
  • for 16 years – 2.24 meters; 
  • for 14-15 years – 2.12 meters; 
  • for 12 years and younger – 2 meters.
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