In 1995, the sport of Volleyball celebrated its 100th birthday!
The sport originated in the United States, and is now just achieving the type of popularity in the U.S. that it has received on a global basis, where it ranks behind only soccer among participation sports.
Today there are more than 46 million Americans who play volleyball. There are 800 million players worldwide who play Volleyball at least once a week.
In 1895(only two years after the invention of basketball), William G. Morgan, an instructor at the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) in Holyoke, Mass. (only minutes from the birthplace of basketball), decided to blend elements of tennis, baseball, basketball, and handball to create a game for his classes of businessmen which would demand less physical contact than basketball. He created the game of "mintonette". Morgan used the bladder of a basketball to provide a lighter ball with a more lively bounce. He borrowed the net from tennis, and raised it 6 feet 6 inches above the floor, just above the height of an average man's head.
During a demonstration game, someone remarked to Morgan that the players seemed to be volleying the ball back and forth over the net, and perhaps "volleyball" would be a more descriptive name for the sport. On July 7, 1896 at Springfield College the first game of "volleyball" was played.
In 1900, a special ball was designed for the sport.
In 1916, in the Philippines, an offensive style of passing the ball in a high trajectory to be struck by another player (the set and spike) were introduced.
In 1917, the game was changed from 21 to 15 points.
In 1920, three hits per side and back row attack rules were instituted.
In 1922, the first YMCA national championships were held in Brooklyn, NY. 27 teams from 11 states were represented.
In 1928, it became clear that tournaments and rules were needed, the United States Volleyball Association (USVBA, now USA Volleyball) was formed. The first U.S. Open was staged, as the field was open to non-YMCA squads.
In 1930, the first two-man beach game was played.
In 1934, the approval and recognition of national volleyball referees.
In 1937, at the AAU convention in Boston, action was taken to recognize the U.S. Volleyball Association as the official national governing body in the U.S.
In 1947, the Federation Internationale De Volley-Ball (FIVB) was founded.
In 1948, the first two-man beach tournament was held.
In 1949, the initial World Championships were held in Prague, Czechoslovakia.
In 1964, Volleyball was introduced to the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
In 1965, the California Beach Volleyball Association (CBVA) was formed.
In 1974, the World Championships in Mexico were telecast in Japan.
In 1975, the US National Women's team began a year-round training regime in Pasadena, Texas (moved to Colorado Springs in 1979, Coto de Caza and Fountain Valley, CA in 1980, and San Diego, CA in 1985).
In 1977, the US National Men's team began a year-round training regime in Dayton, Ohio (moved to San Diego, CA in 1981).
In 1983, the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) was formed.
In 1984, the US won their first medals at the Olympics in Los Angeles. The Men won the Gold, and the Women the Silver.
In 1986, the Women's Professional Volleyball Association (WPVA) was formed.
In 1988, the US Men repeated the Gold in the Olympics in Korea.
In 1990, the World League was created.
In 1995, the sport of Volleyball was 100 years old!
In 1996, 2-person beach volleyball will be an Olympic Sport.