Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Roots of a Global Pastime – Volleyball’s History #AVP

Volleyball began as a sport named Mintonette in the late 1800s. A YMCA instructor, William G. Morgan, developed the game as a sort of hybrid of basketball, baseball, tennis, and handball. In the first years of the game, it spread across the globe to Canada, Asia, the Caribbean, and South America. Two crucial organizations were developed in 1928 and 1947 respectively: the United States Volleyball Association (USA Volleyball) and the international volleyball federation (FIVB). These were responsible in part for the creation of tournament regulations and the organization of play between nations. A two-man beach volleyball tournament was held for the first time in 1948, and Prague, Czechoslovakia held the premier world championships. In 1951 there were over 50 million fans and participants of the sport throughout the globe.

Volleyball was declared an Olympic event in 1957 and debuted at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964. The National Association of Intercollegiate Sports officially designated the game as their 15th competitive sport in 1968, and the NCAA’s Executive Committee deemed it a collegiate activity in 1969. The Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) was formed in 1983 to advocate for and protect the interests of the athletes involved. In 1984 the U.S.A. took home its first Olympic medals, with the women bringing back silver and the men achieving gold.

The World League was founded in 1990 with the goal of encouraging more international level participation. The Libero defensive position was created in 1998 and rally scoring for all sets was instituted. Since the first medals were brought stateside in the eighties, the U.S.A. has continued to net numerous wins in both indoor and beach volleyball. From its primitive beginnings in the YMCA, to its global presence as a sport beloved by millions, this game has an exciting backstory.

Learn more in the following detailed infographic.


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