Volleyball, like many other ball related sports, has a rich history that started off experimentally, but ultimately over time morphed into the beautiful game we all know and adore today.
What is Volleyball?
Volleyball is a popular team sport in which two teams of six players each compete on a court separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding the ball on the other team’s court area.
Only three-ball hits are allowed during one attack.
History of Volleyball
Classic volleyball, originally called “mintonnet” (mintonette), was invented in 1895 by Springfield and Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) graduate, William J. Morgan.
Barely four years after the advent of Basketball, Morgan invented his contorted version of the game, which featured a blend of elements of baseball, basketball, handball, and tennis. According to history books, the spark that lit the fire in Morgan’s heart to create the game came after his meeting with basketball inventor, James Naismith, in 1892.
In the very first volleyball game, equipments were borrowed from other sports including tennis net, which was 97 cm tall (6’6″ inch); and a basketball camera, which was used as the ball.
The sport was named ‘volleyball’ at the conference of Young Men’s Christian Association, and the first official rules appeared in 1897.
The original rules of the game include;
- Court dimensions were 7.6 × 15.1 m (25 x 50 feet)
- The net height was 198 cm (6.5 feet)
- Ball circumference was 63.5-68.5 cm. (25-27 inches)
- Ball weight was 340 g
At the time, the number of players allowed on the court was unlimited, as well as the number of touches per-player-per-side.
Points only accrued to a team at own serve, and unsuccessful serves could be repeated. The game continued until either team reached 21 points.
However, as the game grew and more countries adopted the sport, the rules had to be updated, hence the establishment of the United States Volleyball Association (USVBA) in 1928.
Two years later, the first game of two-by-two was played in beach volleyball.
More countries began adopting the game, and as it spread the rules also improved to accommodate the new teams until the standard six-by-six style of play were decided on.
No one is sure exactly how or when volleyball came into Nigeria, however, like many other foreign sport, we can assume that volleyball was brought into the country by the English.
Currently, there are two volleyball national teams in Nigeria, the male and female volleyball squads.
The Nigeria Volleyball Federation, which governs volleyball related activities in the country is led by the President of the federation, Mr. Musa Nimrod Maniyunda, and is located in Abuja.
Featured image source: National Daily