Volleyball is a game that is played by two teams, each consisting of usually six players, and the players use their hands to bat a ball back and forth over a high net.

The objective of the game is to get the ball to touch the court within the playing area of the opposing team before it can be returned to play. Before the ball even makes contact with the court surface, a player on the opposing team will hit it so that it rises into the air and heads toward one of their teammates. That teammate will then either volley the ball back over the net or hit it so that it goes to a third teammate who will volley it over the net. There is a limit of three touches that may be made on the ball before it has to be sent back over the goal.

The History of Volleyball

William G. Morgan, who served as the physical director of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in Holyoke, Massachusetts, around the year 1895, is known for inventing the sport of volleyball. It was created as an indoor sport specifically for businesspeople who felt the new game of basketball to be too difficult for their tastes. A professor from Springfield College in Massachusetts saw the volleying form of play and suggested that the sport be given the name volleyball. Prior to this, Morgan referred to the game as mintonette. Morgan was the one who penned the initial set of regulations, and they were published in the very first edition of the Official Handbook of the Athletic League of the Young Men’s Christian Associations of North America (1897). The sport quickly demonstrated that it had broad appeal for people of both sexes in a variety of settings, including schools, playgrounds, the military services, and other groups in the United States. As a result, it was later exported to other nations.

By 1916, the YMCA and the National Collegiate Athletic Association worked together to publish a set of regulations (NCAA). In 1922, in New York City, the National YMCA Physical Education Committee was responsible for organizing the first countrywide tournament to be held in the United States. The United States Volleyball Association (USVBA) was established in 1928 and is now recognized as the rules-making and regulating organization for the sport of volleyball in the United States. With the exception of the years 1944 and 1945, the United States Volleyball Association (USVBA), which is now known as USA Volleyball (USAV), has been responsible for organizing and running the annual national men’s and senior men’s (age 35 and over) volleyball championships since 1928. It wasn’t until 1949 that a women’s category was established, and it wasn’t until 1977 that a senior women’s division for participants aged 30 and older was introduced. Other national competitions in the United States are run by organizations that are members of the USA Volleyball Association. These member organizations include the YMCA and the NCAA.


The United States Armed Forces were responsible for bringing volleyball to Europe during World War I, which was also the time when the first national volleyball associations were established. Initially established in Paris in 1947, the headquarters of the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) were relocated to Lausanne in Switzerland in 1984. The United States Volleyball Association (USVBA) was one of the first thirteen nations to join the Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB). By the end of the 20th century, the FIVB included more than 210 countries among its membership.

Volleyball competition on an international level had its start in 1913 during the inaugural Far East Games, which were held in Manila. In Asia, the sport of volleyball was played on a bigger court, with a lower net, and nine players on a team from the early 1900s until after World War II. In the West, the game of volleyball was played on courts that were much smaller.

A FIVB-sponsored world volleyball championships (for men only in 1949; for both men and women in 1952 and consecutive years) led to the introduction of standardized playing rules and officiating for the sport. Volleyball was first included in the Olympic Games for both men and women in the 1964 competition held in Tokyo.

About the Game

Volleyball is a sport that can be played almost anywhere and needs just a minimal amount of room and equipment. The game is played on a court that has a smooth surface and is 9 meters (30 feet) wide by 18 meters (60 feet) long. The court is split along the middle by a center line into two equal portions, and each of the two competing teams chooses or is allocated one of those areas to play in.

During the time when the ball is in play, players are not allowed to step entirely beyond the center line. The point in front of which a player on the backcourt is not allowed to drive the ball over the net from a position above the top of the net is marked by a line that is three meters (ten feet) away from the center line of each half of the court and runs in a parallel direction to the center line. (This offensive maneuver, known as a spike or kill, is often carried out with the highest effectiveness and force by the front line of players in close proximity to the net.) Official net heights (measured from the top edge of the net to the playing surface—in the center of the court) are 2.4 meters (8 feet) for men and 2.2 meters (7.4 feet) for women in tennis.

A tightly stretched net is put across the court directly above the middle of the center line. Additional changes may be made to the height of the net for younger players and anyone who need a lower playing surface. There is a vertical tape marker that is fastened to the net directly above each side boundary line of the court. Additionally, there is a flexible antenna that extends 1 meter (3.3 feet) above the net along the outer edge of each vertical tape marker. This assists the game officials in determining whether served or volleyed balls are within or beyond the boundaries of the court. The ball that is utilized has a circumference of around 65 centimeters (25.6 inches) and weighs somewhere in the range of 260 to 280 grams (9 to 10 ounces).

A ball must go completely over the net between the antennae, and a service area that is customarily three meters long and ten feet long is defined out to the side and behind the right one-third of each court’s end line. The length of the service area was increased to 9 meters during the Olympic Games in 1996. (30 feet). The service must be provided from either inside this region or from behind it. It is necessary to have a space that is at least two meters (six feet) wide all the way around the court in order to allow for freedom of motion, remove any dangers caused by impediments, and provide room for net support posts and stands for officials. It is necessary to have a space above the court that is unobstructed and at least 8 meters (26 feet) high in order to ensure that the ball may be served, received and played without any interruptions.

Volleyball may be played by any number of people in a casual setting. Each of the competing teams has a total of six players, with three of those players occupying the forward positions in a row close to and facing the net, and the other three players occupying the backcourt positions. (The libero position, was first used in the Olympic Games in the year 2000; for more information on this role, see below.) When the right back of the team that is serving steps outside his end line into the serving area and hits the ball with his hand, fist, or arm into the opponent’s half of the court, the game is considered to have begun. The right-back is the player who is located on the right side of the second row of players.

The opposing team must make no more than three contacts with the ball before it may return it to their side of the court after receiving it from the other side. This must be accomplished without any player touching the net or entering the area occupied by the other team’s court, as well as without any player capturing or keeping the ball while it is still in play. The ball is not allowed to make contact with the ground, and a player cannot touch the ball more than once in a row. A player will continue to serve until his team makes a mistake, commits a foul, or the game is over, whichever comes first. When the service changes, the team that was receiving it becomes the team that is serving, and its players rotate one position counterclockwise around the field. For example, the right forward will go to the right back position and then serve from the service area when the service switches.

Either team has the opportunity to score, with points being awarded not only for successfully hitting the ball onto the other team’s half of the court, but also for when the other team makes mistakes or commits fouls, such as hitting the ball out of bounds, failing to return the ball, making contact with the ball more than three times before returning the ball, etc. In the event that a play is successful, just one point will be awarded at a time. If a team scores 25 points first and wins by at least two points, they have won the game. However, in the fifth set, a team only has to score 15 points to win by two points, therefore in that set, the winning team needs to score less points to win by two points.

The international sporting competition saw substantial rule revisions as a result of the Olympic Games in 2000. As a result of one of the modifications, each team now has a player designated as the libero, who acts as a defensive specialist. It is against the rules for the libero to serve or rotate to the front line, and they get to wear a different color than the rest of the team. One further significant modification to the rules made it possible for the defensive team to score, although in the past only the team that was serving was given points.

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