Volleyball History

Where It All Began

Volleyball history began in a town called Holyoke, Massachusetts in 1895. The sport was developed at the YMCA by William G. Morgan as an alternative for older men because it was less strenuous than basketball which was a popular sport at the time. In the beginning there was no limit to the number of players on a team.

Originally Morgan called the sport Mintonette. The game used a tennis net and shared combined aspects of handball, and tennis. The net was set just slightly higher than the average man’s head 1.98m or 6’6”.
The skill, set and hit (or spike) were first developed in the Philippines in 1916 and changed the way the game was played forever.

Later they changed the name of the sport to Volleyball due to the fact that players “volleyed” the ball back and forth, the sport was embraced by the US military and was played often in their free time. Soldiers stationed all over the world played Volleyball and taught the locals to play as well.

Volleyball became so popular it spread all over the world from country to country.

Volleyball was first played indoors, but it was brought out to the beach sometime in the 1920’s. There is some debate about where the first Beach Volleyball game was played, but the two most likely theories are Santa Monica, CA and The Outrigger Canoe Club in Hawaii. Organized beach tournaments were played as early as 1948, but the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) was not born until 1983.

Indoor Volleyball was added to the Olympics in 1964. Beach Volleyball was added as an exhibition sport in 1996 and immediately became the hottest sport at the games. Volleyball is one of the most popular sports in the world today.