USA Volleyball Features Volley Ball in South...

Volley Ball in South Brazil

Jan. 30, 2014, 10:25 a.m. (ET)

By Frank M. Long
Originally published in United State Volley Ball Association Official Rule Book, 1934-35 edition

This article, written in 1934, was big picture thinking, foreshadowing of what could and has taken place in Brazil.

When the Men's National Sitting Team was in Rio playing for the ParaPan American Zonal Championship, the stadium was full most of the time. When we played Brazil in our first round match, it was pretty noisy. We beat them in pool play and then in the gold medal match for the finals – to qualify for Beijing – the whole stadium was full and it was super loud in there. Literally when we would huddle up at a timeout I had to scream at players just so they could hear what I was saying.

  Children playing volleyball in Rio de Janerio, 2008.

In hindsight, it may be one of the toughest defeats I’ve ever faced as a coach but also one of the best arenas I’ve ever coached in. Even on the sitting discipline you can see how much the Brazilians love the sport of volleyball. It seemed like the country has a cultural climate of fun, recreation and learning the sport.

To see how far and quickly the sport has grown, and the accomplishments of the Brazilian teams in the men’s, women’s, and now beach and sitting, they’ve grasped the sport and made it part of who they are. When you’re looking at Rio 2016, you’re going to see the culmination of all those things come together: excitement of the game, culture, fans and Brazilians supporting volleyball. It’s going to be a crazy atmosphere, in a good way. Volleyball is big in China but I don’t think it compares to Brazil and how the Olympics/Paralympics in Rio will be a location that takes in and celebrates volleyball as a prominent sport in the games.

Forward by Bill Hamiter, Women and Men’s Sitting National Team head coach/program director


Volley Ball in South Brazil

The first volley ball game played in South Brazil, and perhaps in all Brazil, was played at a Y.M.C.A. picnic in January, 1917. A cord was stretched from a tree in a tall stake and a football was used.

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In 1933 a dual meet between the States of Santa Cathrina and Rio Grande do Sul was held in the former state. Rio Grande do Sul teams won in basket ball and volley ball, while Santa Cathrina carried off the track honors.

  Volleyball match at Y.M.C.A. picnic in South Brazil, 1917.

The state of Rio Grande do Sul, thanks to the Y.M.C.A. which trained the present State Director of Physical Education [1935], is leading Brazil in physical education. This was amply demonstrated by a week’s public school demonstration in 1933, when about 250,000 children took part during a six-day program, and the papers gave full pages of special articles and pictures. These children are being taught, along with physical exercises and group games, basket ball, volley ball and handball, as well as track and field sports.

Volley ball may be a little slower in coming into its own, but it has a firm foothold, and will become one of Brazil’s most popular games within the near future.

“Pae de athletismo no Rio Grande do Sul” (Father of Athletics in Rio Grande de Sul) is the title bestowed on Mr. Long, who for 17 years hs been general manager of the Porto Alegre Y.M.C.A. A beautiful new building, donated by the Brazilians themselves was dedicated in 1933.

Related Links
>> Rio de Janerio Earns 2016 Olympic Games
>> [Video] Three Years to Rio 
>> Rio 2016 official site