Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules. It has been a part of the official program of the Summer Olympic Games since Tokyo 1964. Beach volleyball was introduced to the programme at the Atlanta 1996. The adapted version of volleyball at the Summer Paralympic Games is sitting volleyball.
- Volleyball is an American adaptation of an Italian game that originated in the Romantic countries back in the Middle Ages. From Italy, the sport was introduced in 1893 to Germany where it was known as faustball, and two years later an American, William G. Morgan, then physical director of the Holyoke, Massachusetts, Y.M.C.A., grafted some well-thought-out variations of his own onto the basic essentials of the German game and called his game "mintonette."
Morgan's chief innovation, and it is an important one, was the idea that the ball should be volleyed in the air and never be permitted to touch the floor. This seems to have been an entirely new feature, since in fastball two bounces of the ball were permitted. Also, Morgan's introduction of a net was new, since in the older game the ball was played over a rope.
- Harold Keith, Sports and Games (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1941), p. 258
- At the suggestion of Dr. Alfred T. Halstead of the faculty of the Springfield, Massachusetts Y.M.C.A. College, the name of Morgan's game was changed from mintonette to volleyball, and like all games, the sport has undergone several rule changes. For instance, before 1921 the ball could be played in the air an unlimited number of times. In the old days, the net was only seven feet high, there was no rotation of players, and reaching over the net to play a ball was not penalized. All these rules have since been modified although the form and spirit of the game have remained unchanged.
Y.M.C.A.s in the United States quickly adopted and promoted volleyball and soon it spread to foreign countries. Today it enjoys considerable vogue in South America, Australia, India, the Philippines, Russia, Siberia and the Orient. During the first World War the sport was widely played by American soldiers. Experiments have been conducted to improve the rules and in America today the game is played so widely on playgrounds, in school intramural leagues, gymnasiums and in recreation centers that it has been estimated that four million people now play volleyball.
- Harold Keith, Sports and Games (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1941), p. 258-259
- There are many reasons for the popularity of the sport. It is not only a good game for boys of all ages, but it is a sport a boy can play until he is seventy. Even dubs who never played it before get fun out of it. Volleyball is not expensive, for a ball and net compromise the only equipment needed. It is a year 'round game and can be played either indoors or outdoors. Since there is no personal contact, it offers very little chance for bodily injury. Not only can it be played on a small court surface, but since the ball is not allowed to touch the floor, the surface of the court doesn't need to be especially prepared. In fact, the game is played on the beach in the mild climates of Southern California and Brazil.
- Harold Keith, Sports and Games (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1941), p. 259
- Volleyball is perhaps the best sport ever devised for correcting the "student stoop" since, if the net is kept high and the two-handed return used, it compels players to keep the head and shoulders up and back, the spine straight and the chest thrust out. It is a good game for the spectator, too, since he can sit close to the small court and keep the ball in constant view, and yet it is hard for a spectator to watch it very long without acquiring a strong impulse to pull off his coat and join the players.
- Harold Keith, Sports and Games (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1941), p.