A Short History of Volleyball

 By: Tauqeer Hassan
Volleyball is a famous ball game sport played on a court with a center net between two teams each consisting six players. A ball is punched across the net and the objective is to score points against the opposing team by grounding the ball. Each team is only allowed three contacts with the ball before it is hit to the opposite side. The net has a height of 6 foot 6 inches. However it can be lowered in case the game is played by children.

A physical instructor William Morgan of YMCA created a game called Mintonette in 1895. It was for older members of YMCA who needed a game of skill rather than strength. His friend James Naismith who featured outstandingly in the history of basketball came up with an idea of having a net slightly above their heads without requiring much jumping.

The original name given to the game was Mintonette, it was given by Morgan and was chosen as a jiggle to Badminton and this game was influential in setting rules for Volleyball. However the name was not very catchy. A spectator at that time Alfred Halstead had observed that there was a lot of volleying going on in the court and the name Volley Ball was chosen shortly. Later the name was contracted to Volleyball.

The Athletic League of the YMCA of North America published the first official rules for Volleyball in 1897. It got successful quickly after the rules were published. In the same year, Spalding made a ball having a rubber inside a basketball, it was redesigned later so that its weight was adjusted 8 and 10 ounces and the circumference was the size of 26 inches. The game quickly spread across USA and it was played in Cuba by 1905, by Japan in 1908 and by Philippines in 1910.

The rules of the game were adjusted in 1900 for removing the innings defined by Morgan. The rules of the game were once again changed in 1912 to face the realities of the game as the players were getting younger and energetic. The court size was increased and the numbers of players were set at only 6 per team.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association joined with YMCA in 1916 and in 1920, volleyball was established as a college game but not professional. When the United States Volleyball Association (USVBA) was formed, it was accepted by the YMCA and NCAA as their new umbrella organization.

While Volleyball was a popular game, it struggled to develop a league of teams. In 1930, the first beach game being played and in 1934 referees were recognized who would judge championship and inter college games. The USVBA was finally recognized by all Volleyball associations as having jurisdiction over the rules of the game. The end of World War II resulted in Volleyball receiving recognition as a global sport. Volleyball was played at international level in America for the first time in 1955 and at the Pan American Games and Olympics in 1964.

A new version of volleyball was recognized known as Beach Volleyball in the 1960s. It was similar to the regular sport although each team had two players.
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