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Knowing the history of our sport is an important part of being an all-around player. Some of you can use this information to present a better article for a school class as well. Here is a collection of articles and facts that bring forward some of the history of our game. For more information on our sport, we also encourage you to visit the Volleyball Hall of Fame, in Holyoke, Mass., the city where the game was created in 1895. 

Rules of Volleyball: 1897

Ever want to know how we came to use the term "side out?" Did you know the game was created to be played in nine innings, and over a 6'6" net for men. This is word for word what William G. Morgan, the YMCA creator of the modern game, wrote as the official rules.

Historical Timeline 

Bullet points of the major events in International and USA Volleyball history.

History of Rule Changes

Adapted and updated to 2006, from "A Summary of Seventy-Five Years of Rules" by William T. Odeneal, which appeared in the 1970 Annual Official Volleyball Rules and Reference Guide of the United States Volleyball Association, this covers rule changes starting in 1900.

A Century of Volleyball 

This year, 1995, marks the one hundredth anniversary of the invention of volleyball. William G. Morgan, a physical director of the Young Men's Christian Association, in Holyoke, Massachusetts, had the responsibility of developing activities for local businessmen who desired organized games to play for recreational purposes after busy workdays. Basketball, invented in 1881 by James Naismith, proved to be too strenuous for many businessmen. By 1895, Morgan creatively devised an alternative to basketball. Calling it "Mintonette," he incorporated the net from badminton, the ball from basketball, the concept of innings from baseball, and the use of the hands from handball. Keeping the ball in play by hitting the ball over the net with the hands, each team forfeited the ball when three outs were scored.

A History of Volleyball Relations Between the Russian and American People

During the two decades immediately following World War II, while the governments of the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics escalated the Cold War the American and Russian people were escalating a warm sport relationship that was promoted by mutual respect for the other's sportsmen and sportswomen who were competing against each other in major sporting events and sharing in the pursuit of the Olympic ideal of "Citius, Altius, Fortius."

It can be stated, without room for serious contradiction, that this sporting relationship between the peoples of the two superpowers was the initiator of and eventually one of the most important factors contributing to the termination of the Cold War, Sport exchanges set a tone for friendship and cooperation that carried over into other areas of mutuality between the two peoples and allowed the governments to enter into those other cooperative ventures that helped to end the cold war.

The First Volleyball Camp 

This is the story of the first volleyball camp held in the USA, at the Columbus YMCA, June 14-16, 1968.

High School Boys Volleyball in the USA in 1998 - A CAP Level II paper by John Baxter giving an interesting look back to what the level of boys volleyball was over a decade ago. How Colorado and Maine created boys HS programming is covered, statistics shared and much more.

Amazing Moments in Olympic History - Karch Kiraly (web link) - Voted the World's Best male player in the first 100 years of the sport by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) This is a USOC article on the new assistant coach of the women's national team.

USA Volleyball Annual Reports - Each year USA Volleyball publishes an annual report for its members. A list of those currently available are found by clicking the link.

YMCA Volleyball Hall of Fame - Since 1995 the YMCA has honored both players, teams and programs which have made a historical impact on the sport. Jim Weaton of the YMCA National office shared his thoughts on the program and its history in 2011 at the USA Volleyball Open Championships/Annual Meetings.

History in Books

The Untold Story of William G. Morgan, Inventor of Volleyball (84 pages) - This book was written by Joel Dearing, Springfield College Head Coach and Professor, this link is to the order form for this historical book

USVBA Diamond Jubilee Celebration (324 pages) - Written by Glen Davies, this history/record book chronicles 75 years of achievements by USVBA/USAV leaders, players, coaches, officials and members in words, results and hundreds of photos.

Volleyball Centennial (325 pages) - Written by Byron Shewman, this book chronicles in anecdotal fashion, the personalities and key events of volleyball's first 100 years in the USA.

FIVB Fortieth Anniversary - 1947-1987 (175 pages) A look at the first 40 years of the International Volleyball Federation, where only two presidents, Paul Libaud and Ruben Acosta, grew the sport from 12 founding International Federations to over 200.

100 Years of Global Link - 1895-1995 (232 pages) The full international version of volleyball's first 100 years, including the century's all star players, coaches, and teams.

Spike (155 pages) - Written by gold medal head coach Doug Beal (now CEO of USAV), this book tells the story of the first gold medal winning USA Volleyball team in history. With 32 action photo pages, the men's team win in the 1984 Olympics is captured from the beginning steps to the final success.

Sands of Time (1,300 pages) - A three volume book series by Art Couvillon documenting in some 3,000 pictures, the history of the beach game from its origins in 1915 at the Outrigger Canoe Club in Honolulu, HI to 2004. Each book is filled tournament accounts and their results. http://www.volleyballbooks.net/productCat17957.ctlg

Volume #1: 1895-1969; Volume #2: 1970-1989; Volume #3: 1990-2004