With most sports you never know exactly when it was invented and often the “inventor” is lost in the mists of time. That’s not the case with volleyball, which was created in February 1895, in Massachusetts by William G. Morgan, a YMCA physical education director. Initially called Mintonette, the game was designed to be played indoors and took elements from tennis and handball.
Forty-six million Americans now participate in volleyball on a regular basis. Volleyball has been a part of the official program of the Summer Olympic Games since 1964.
Volleyball is a team sport played by two opposing teams separated by a net. Volleyball is both a competitive and leisure activity that can be played by boys or girls, school teams, or families and friends enjoying a day at the beach.
How the game is played
Normally, each team in an indoor volleyball match consists of six players. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team’s court. The ball is usually played with the hands or arms, but players can hit the ball with any part of the body.
A player on one of the teams begins a ‘rally’ by serving the ball, from behind the back of the court, over the net, and into the other team’s court. The receiving team must not let the ball touch the ground on their side of the net. The team may touch the ball up to 3 times but a player may not touch the ball twice in a row.
They keep playing until (1): a team scores a point by grounding the ball on the opponent’s court and winning the rally; or (2): a team commits a fault or hits the ball out of bounds and loses the rally. The team that wins the rally is awarded a point, and serves the ball to start the next rally.
Why It’s Good for You
- Burns Calories.
- Helps build a healthy heart.
- Develops muscles.
- Improves agility, flexibility and hand-eye coordination.
- Improves balance.
Courts open to the public can be found at local gymnasiums and schools. As with other team sports, making time to play volleyball with friends is a great step toward lifelong physical fitness.