Volleyball Essay, Research Paper
Volleyball, perhaps one of the most widely known sports in the world, is, like many other sports, one that had very humble beginnings, but blossomed into a fad that swept across the United States and the world in the space of a few years.
In Holyoke, Massachusetts in 1895, a man named William G. Morgan (the P.E. director of the local YMCA) was looking to create a game for the businessmen that wouldn t require much physical contact. He blended elements of many sports and came up with a game that he called Mintonette (Encarta). The term volleyball was coined when someone remarked that the ball was being volleyed back and forth (no-brainer, huh?), and the first official game of volleyball was played on Tuesday, July 7, 1896 at Springfield College (volleyball.org). Little did William know what he had started…
Over the next ten to twenty years, the game of volleyball spread like wildfire throughout the world, particularly in 1919 when the American Expeditionary Forces were given 16,000 volleyballs which gave rise to the sport in many foreign lands. Eventually, it became so popular that the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) was founded in Paris in 1947 (volleyball.org), and later moved to Lausanne, Switzerland (Encarta). Membership was small at first, but now it currently has over 210 countries represented.
Of course, as all things have, it changed over time. For example, more rules and hits were added; the forearm pass wasn t introduced for over 50 years and it was the Filipinos who introduced the kill hit (set and spike) in 1916. The games in the United States were largely limited to YMCA members, but that changed in 1928 when the United States Volleyball Association set up open tournaments to all players (volleyball.org).
As further proof of its widespread appeal, the first World Championships of Volleyball were held in Prague, Czechoslovakia (volleyball.org), the game was introduced into the Pan American games in 1955, and debuted in the Olympics in Tokyo in 1964. Beach volleyball became a medal-worthy sport in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics (Encarta). So, not only is it fun, but it s worth winning a medal for! What a world we live in.
We all know the rules: the team that serves gets the point. If the ball hits the ground or out on the fault of the server, the other team gets to serve after rotating one spot clockwise. You can t hit the net with your body and you can t hit the net on a serve, but you can play off the net. However, the ball doesn t have to be served open-handed, you can spike with a closed fist, and the ball can be returned using any part of the body:
By hitting the ball back and forth over the net, with the hands, forearms, head, or any part of the body, play is continued until one team fails to keep the ball in play – that is, in the air – or until a rule violation is committed. (Encarta)
Volleyball has gained its popularity from its relative ease of play, simple rules, and enjoyment level. One learns good hand-eye coordination, team skills, defensive/offensive maneuvers, and on the physically beneficial side, works the muscles in the arms and legs, as well as the circulatory and respiratory systems.
More than 210 nations are currently represented in the FIVB (Encarta)…if that doesn t show that volleyball is one of the most popular sports of all time, I don t know what will.
Volleyball, Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 2000. 1993-1999 Microsoft Corporation.
History/Rules of Volleyball, http://www.volleyball.org