| Initially, volleyball was a game
designed as a recreation activity for businessmen. It was first invented
in 1895 in Holyoke, Massachusetts. William G. Morgan, a YMCA physical education
director, blended elements of tennis, handball and basketball to create
the game, which he first named "Mintonette."
The first rules, written by Morgan himself, called for a net 6 feet
6 inches high and a 25 by 50 foot court. Any number of players could participate
in the game, and a match was composed of nine innings, with three serves
for each team each inning. A year later, after seeing a demonstration given
at the YMCA in nearby Springfield, Massachusetts, a businessman named Dr.
Halstead suggested the name be changed to "Volleyball" because the basic
idea of the game was to volley the ball back and forth over the net. A
few years later, in 1900, a modification of rules was suggested by W.E.
Day. He proposed that the height of the net go up to 7 feet 6 inches and
match length be set at 21 points. These changes were accepted and published
by the YMCA.
Although originated in the United States, volleyball quickly gained
popularity around the world. Canada was the first "foreign" country to
adopt volleyball in 1900. Six years later, Cuba discovered volleyball,
thanks to Augusto York, a North American army officer who took part in
the second military intervention in this Caribbean island.
Japan was the next to catch on in 1908, as Hyozo Omori, a graduate
of Springfield College in the United States, demonstrated the rules of
the new game on the YMCA courts in Tokyo. In 1910, volleyball officially
landed in China, thanks to Max Exner and Howard Crokner. This same year,
the Phillipines also got to know the new game, as it was imported by the
YMCA director in Manila. At this point, there were almost 5,000 public
and private courts established worldwide.
In 1912, the rules of volleyball were changed yet again. The court size
became 35 feet by 60 feet, and a uniform size and weight of the ball was
established, calling for a circumference of 26 inches and a weight of between
7 and 9 ounces. Additionally, two other important rules were established:
the number of players on each team was set at six and the players must
rotate before service.
With the beginning of World War I, volleyball really began to spread
worldwide. George Fisher, secretary of the YMCA War Office, included volleyball
in the recreation and education program for American armed forces in 1914.
Consequently, American soliders fighting in the First World War in Europe
brought volleyball over to the beaches of Normandy and Brittany.
Its popularity grew rapidly, but the game took root especially in the
Eastern countries, where the cold climate made gym sports particularly
attractive. The opening days of World War I also brought volleyball to
Africa, where Egypt became the first country to learn the official rules
in 1915. Volleyball continued to spread like wildfire, as in 1917, at the
Allied Forces air base in Porto Corsini, just where Ravenna's sports palace
is now located, American airmen introduced the volleyball into Italy.
In 1919, Dr. George J. Fisher, as Secretary of the YMCA War Work Office,
made volleyball a part of the program in military training camps, both
in the USA and abroad, in the Athletic Handbooks written for those responsible
for sport and recreation in the Army and Marines. Thousands of balls and
nets were sent overseas to the US troops and were also presented to the
Allied Army's sports directors. More than 16,000 volleyballs were distributed.
Also during this time period, more new rules were established. In 1916,
the score for a game was changed from 21 to 15, and it was decided that
in order to win a match, a team had to win two out three games. The net
height was raised once again, this time to 8 feet, while the standard ball
weight escalated from 8 to 10 ounces. It was also decided that if a player
holds onto the ball or the contacts the ball twice in a row, it would be
considered a foul. In addition to the new rule changes, this year marked
volleyball's official affiliation with the NCAA, the body that oversees
college and university sports in the USA.
The 1920's marked many important advances in volleyball's history. The
rules changed again at the beginning of the decade, as court size went
down to 30 x 60 feet, and the ball could be played by any other part of
the body above the waist. Another major innovation involved the rule allowing
a team to play a ball no more than three times before sending it over the
net. Scoring rules were also changed, providing that, with the score at
14-14, 2 consecutive points were needed to win. Also in the beginning of
the decade, the Phillipines developed the first kind of spike, known as
the "Filipino Bomb." Various attempt at blocking were also made, although
they were not yet codified by the rules.
At this time, volleyball also made its first official appearance in
Russia in the cities of Volga-Gorky and Kazan-and at the same time in Khabarovsk
and Vladivostok (Russian Far East). While Russia was just being introduced
to the sport, a national federation was being established in Czechoslovakia
in 1922-the first one ever. Bulgaria quickly followed and established one
of their own. The first national championship was played in the USA, in
which only YMCA teams competed.
In 1924, volleyball got its first taste of the Olympic Games in Paris,
as the program included a demonstration of "American" sports, and it was
More rule changes also came about in the mid 1920's, as two time-outs
per game for each team became the standard. There was also a change in
the scoring rules for the most hotly contested sets: at 14-14, to win it
was no longer necessary to score two consecutive points, but rather to
have a two-point advantage. Net length was set at 32 feet. Also during
this time period, volleyball was played for the first time in the Netherlands,
as Father S. Buis introduced the sport to the Sint Willibrod mission house
in Uden after having stayed at the Seminary of Techny in Illinois, USA.
The late 1920's brought about the Japanese Federation and nine men's
competitions were organized as a result. China, taking their cue from Japan,
adopted the nine-player-per-team system. At this same time, The U.S. Volleyball
Association was founded basically under YMCA principles as the organizing
body for the leisure sport. Additionally, Cuba organized the first men's
tournament according to the "American" rules at the Caribbean and Central
American Games. Between the two World Wars, great efforts were made to
give unity to the volleyball movement by establishing a single set of rules
and creating an international federation. These were just the first efforts
as nothing concrete was yet established.
In 1933, the first national championship was held in the USSR, where
there were already over 400,000 players. For Soviet Volleyball, it was
the year of enshrinement. In January, a challenge between Moscow and Dnepropetrovsk
was one of the biggest events of the year. Books published this same year
helped to diffuse ideas and information about volleyball across the world.
A book entitled Volleyball: Man's Game by Robert E. Laveaga, made an important
impact on teaching methods and scientific training techniques. Volleyball
for Women by Katherine M. Montgomery was also very useful for teaching
A year later, the first concrete steps to establish international relations
in volleyball were taken during the International Handball Federation Congress
in Stockholm. The fruits of this conference were seen a few months later
in Tashkent and Moscow, when the USSR played the first official international
volleyball matches against Afghanistan.
By the end of the 1930's, the Czechs had perfected blocking, which was
officially introduced into the rules under the concept of "a counteraction
at the net by one or two adjacent players." For almost twenty years, blocking
had been a part of the game but was not spelled out in the rules. The Czechs
were the first (and soon followed by the Russians) to attribute decisive
importance to the new skill, which facilitates the ungrateful task of volleying
The relentless and successful advancement of volleyball in the world
experienced another major boost after the Second World War. An attempt
to establish an international volleyball federation took place in Paris,
France in 1946, with success. The initiative, mainly by France, Soviet
Union, Poland, Yugoslavia and the Czech Republic, founded the International
Volleyball Federation in which fourteen other national federations were
represented. Frenchman Paul Libaud was the first President.
The American and European rules of the game were harmonized, as the
court was to measure 9 x 18 meters and net height was to be 2.43 meters
for the men and 2.24 for the women. Only in Asia, the rules were different:
the court had to measure 21.35 x 10.67 meters, and the net was to be 2.28
meters high for the men and 2.13 for the women; there was no rotation of
players and on court, there were 9 athletes arranged in three lines. Since
its founding, other nations have joined, and there are now over 120 national
federations affiliated with the FIVB.
Everywhere from the South Pacific to the Finnish front, volleyball drew
crowds among the troops engaged in the Second World War, even aboard aircraft
carriers. Volleyball was recommended by Chiefs of Staff for training troops,
believing it kept them in condition, strengthened their morale, and taught
them how to stay together as a group - something essential at that point
of the War.
In 1948, the first European Championship was held in Rome and won by
Czechoslovakia. A year later, the first Men's World Championship was held
in Prague and won by the USSR. The USSR also took first place in the Women's
World Championship, which was held a few years later in Moscow.
After the war, the rules were rewritten and clarified to make interpretation
easier. In particular, a better definition was given to the idea of blocking,
and service was limited to the right third of the back court boundary.
It was also made clear that each player had to be in his right place during
service; points scored by the wrong server were to be nullified; simultaneous
contacts by two players were to be considered one; time-outs were to last
one minute, while time-out due to injury could last five minutes; and rest
time between one game and another was set at three minutes.
The 1950's saw the birth of many new volleyball-related happenings,
as the Chinese Federation was established in 1953, the Asian conference
was founded in Manila in 1954, and volleyball was put on the program for
the Pan American Games in 1955. In 1956, the first truly globe-spanning
World Championship was held in Paris, France and included over 24 teams
from four continents. Czechoslovakia won in the men's division and the
USSR won in the women's division.
The early 1960's marked the first time ever that a World Championship
was played outside of Europe. Held in Brazil, the victories went to the
USSR, both the men's and the women's teams. The USSR continued their World
Championship domination until 1962, when the Japanese women's team was
able to oust the USSR women's team from their spot as returning champions.
Shortly after the European Confederation was founded in 1963, volleyball
made its first official appearance in the Olympic Games in Tokyo, with
10 men's teams and 6 women's teams competing. The gold medal for the men
went to the USSR and the women's to Japan.
In 1969, a Coaches Commission was established. The FIVB recognized its
fifth Continental Sport Zone Commission when NORCECA was born in Mexico,
July 26 with the merging of USA, Canada and the Caribbean countries joining
to form the North Central American and Caribbean Confederation. The five
Sports Zones Commissions (Africa, Asia, Europe, Norceca, and South America)
eventually became The Continental Confederations in 1972.
The late 1970's saw the birth of the first Junior World Championships,
which were held in Brazil. The USSR won in the men's division, and the
South Korea was victorious for the women. Also during this time period,
the women's team of Cuba surprisingly held the world title for the first
time ever in 1977 after their win at the World Championship in Leningrad.
Cuba didn't hold onto their title for long, however, as at the 1980
Olympic Games in Moscow, The USSR pulled out a dual victory for both the
men and women. This same year, at the seventeenth FIVB Congress, the rules
of the game were adopted into three different languages-French, English
New innovations in service came along in 1984, as at the Los Angeles
Olympic Games, the Brazilians (who took the silver medal) attracted attention
with their ability to make jumping serves. The idea was not new (Argentina
has already tried it at the 1982 World Championship), but no one had ever
seen it used so effectively before. These Olympic Games also marked the
last time it was legal to block a serve-it was deemed a foul from that
point forward, although referees became more permissive in evaluating defense.
In 1985, for the first time a volleyball representative (the FIVB president
Acosta) was named for an IOC Commission, which was the prestigious Olympic
Movement Commission. At this same time, Beach Volleyball received official
status by the FIVB, and the first Beach Volleyball World Championship took
place later in 1987 in Ipanema, Brazil. The first edition of the Beach
Volleyball World Series (a world circuit) followed shortly after in 1989.
In 1990, a revolutionary idea for team sport was born. The first edition
for the Men's World League debuted, with one million in US prize money.
It had professional organization and wide TV broadcasting in an itinerant
competition reaching all corners of the world. Playing formula for the
World Championship was changed.
After the qualification phase, play proceeded by direct elimination
matches right up to the finals for 1st to 8th place. Italy won the first
one-million-dollar World League in Tokyo, Japan, before a crowd of 10,000
spectators. Italy upset Brazil in Rio de Janeiro and became the first Western
European country to win the Men's Volleyball World Championship. USSR won
the women's world title against China in Beijing.
Three years later, during the 101st IOC session in Monte Carlo, beach
volleyball was admitted as a gold medal discipline in the 1996 Olympic
Games in Atlanta. Another major event that debuted this same year was the
Grand Champions Cup, which is to be played every four years in Japan, alternating
on odd years with the World Cup. Winners will be continental champions.
The first gold medal winners of this event were Italy in the men's division
and Cuba in the women's division.
The centennial anniversary of volleyball was celebrated in 1995. Having
come such a long way, it has received enormous popularity on a global basis,
as volleyball is ranked number two, only behind soccer, in participation
sports worldwide. Today there are more than 46 million Americans who play
volleyball, and 800 million players worldwide who play it at least once
a week. Clearly, this sport has become one of the biggest influences in
sports' history worldwide.
|Build A Volleyball Court
Building a Sand Volleyball Court
Net Height: Net height is 7' 11 5/8" for men and 7' 4 1/8" for women.
Co-ed competition is played on a men's height net. The official height
measurement is made in the center of the net. The height of the net at
the sidelines can be no more than 3/4" higher than the official height.
If you're playing on sand, the measurements are made with the sand raked
level, and no accomodation is made for your feet sinking in the sand. If
you're playing on grass, the measurements are made to the ground, and not
the top of the grass.
The Site: The dimensions of a volleyball court are 29'-6" wide by 59'-0"
long, measured from the outside edges of the boundary lines. In addition,
you should have 10' (more is even better) clear around the boundaries.
The result is a complete playing area of 49'-6" wide by 79'-0" long.
The pole may need to be longer in the northern climates. In northern
climates footing should be located below the frost line. Locating the footing
of the pole below the frost line will prevent "frost heave" of the footing.
Check with the local building code for the frost depth.
When planning the layout pay special attention to the direction of the
court. The court should run lengthwise North/South. If the court runs East/West,
the court will be virtually unusable in the early morning say, for the
start of a tournament and early evenings, such as playing after work. In
the morning, the team on the West side of the court stares at the morning
sun and in the evening, the team occupying the East court is blinded. The
area above the playing surface should be clear and free of all obstructions
such as tree branches and power lines.
To keep the sand in the court, where it belongs, and grass and dirt
out, there are several schools of thought. The most popular solution is
to line the perimeter with railroad ties. The railroad ties establish a
very durable boundary, keep the sand in its place, and holds back the encroaching
grass. On the downside, they pose a serious safety hazard. Some recommend
padding the railroad ties with various materials such as foam pipe insulation,
etc. I personally believe the simplest way to deal with the hazard is by
establishing a ground rule: "If during the play of the ball, or the continuation
after playing the ball, the player touches the railroad ties or leaves
the playing area, the ball is dead." This is much like an indoor rule that
prevents a player from wildly chasing a ball that enters an adjacent court.
Preparing for the excavation
In most areas, excavating to a depth of 3 feet will be necessary. The
first and foremost safety precaution is to call your local "Diggers Hotline"
and have them locate any buried power lines and utilities. Be sure to call
them ahead of time, as they may need a few days notice.
The best tool for the dig is a front-end loader or "bobcat" which can
excavate the base evenly, remove the dirt, and also haul and spread the
stone and sand. This equipment can be rented for a few hundred dollars
for a weekend. If you're not up to the task of handling heavy equipment,
a good landscaping company can be contracted to excavate and haul the stone
and sand. Excavate the playing area to the desired depth and pitch the
base to one end or corner. A drainage ditch should be dug leading away
from the court at its lowest point. Once the base is excavated you can
begin laying the drainage pipe. The closed end of the drainage pipe should
be placed in the highest point of the excavation and should zig-zag with
the open end of the pipe terminating at the lowest point. The drainage
pipe should be laid with the perforated side down. This allows water to
wick-in from the bottom and sides and be carried away. It is an extremely
good idea to wrap the drainage pipe with landscaping fabric before laying
the pipe. The landscaping fabric prevents the eventuality of sand and dirt
clogging the pipe.
Locate and dig the holes for the net standards. The holes should be
dug at least 3' deep and set in concrete. A couple of bag mixes per standard
should do the job. Some home improvement centers carry a special "post
setting mix" in which all the components for the concrete can just be dumped
in the hole without prior mixing. Once the standard is located in the hole,
plumb the standard in two opposing directions, and fasten supports so the
post cannot move as the concrete is being dumped in the hole. Repeat this
process for the opposite standard.
Filling it in
Once the poles are set, cover the base and drainage pipe with gravel
and spread uniformly. Roll out and cover the gravel base with landscape
fabric. The landscape fabric will keep the sand from filtering its way
into the gravel. The final step is to spread the sand, uniformly and evenly
throughout the playing area.
External Link: http://www.volleyball.com/build_a_court.aspx