Volleyball, which originated in the United States, is only now 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.
Over 46 million Americans play volleyball and more than 800 million players worldwide play the sport at least once a week.
In 1895, William G. Morgan, an instructor at the YMCA in Holyoke, Massachusettes, decided to incorporate elements of basketball, tennis, handball, and baseball to create a game for his classes of businessmen which would demand less physical contact than basketball. He called the game mintonette and borrowed the net from tennis, and raised it 6 feet 6 inches above the floor, just above the average man's head.
During a demonstration, 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.
|1895||William G. Morgan created the game of volleyball.|
|1900||A special ball was designed for the sport.|
|1916||An offensive style of passing the ball in a high trajectory to be struck by another player was introduced in the Philippines. It marked the introduction of the pass and spike.|
|1917||The game was changed from 21 to 15 points.|
|1920||Three hits per side and back row attack rules were instituted.|
|1922||The first YMCA national championships were held in Brooklyn, NY. 27 teams from 11 states were represented.|
|1928||The United States Volleyball Association (USVBA, now USA Volleyball) was formed. The first U.S. Open was staged, as the field was open to both YMCA and non-YMCA squads.|
|1930||The first two-man beach game was played.|
|1934||The approval and recognition of national volleyball referees.|
|1937||Action was taken to recognize the U.S. Volleyball Association as the official National Governing Body (NGB) in the U.S.|
|1947||The Federation Internationale De Volley-Ball (FIVB) was founded.|
|1948||The first two-man beach tournament was held.|
|1949||The initial World Championships were held in Prague, Czechoslovakia.|
|1964||Volleyball was introduced to the Olympic Games in Tokyo.|
|1965||The California Beach Volleyball Association (CBVA) was formed.|
|1975||The U.S. 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).|
|1977||The U.S. National Men's team began a year-round training regime in Dayton, Ohio. (The team moved to San Diego, CA in 1981).|
|1983||The Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) was formed.|
|1984||The U.S. won their first medals at the Olympics in Los Angeles. The Men won the Gold, and the Women the Silver.|
|1986||The Women's Professional Volleyball Association (WPVA) was formed.|
|1988||The U.S. Men won another Gold in the Korea Olympics.|
|1990||The World League was created.|
|1995||The sport of Volleyball was 100 years old!|
|1996||2-person beach volleyball debuted as an Olympic Sport.|
|1999||Beach volleyball was included in the Pan American Games that were held in Canada.|
|2000||Eric Fomoimoana and Dain Blanton win the Olympic Beach Volleyball Men's Gold medal for the USA. The women's Beach Volleyball America (BVA) announces their inaugural season of play.|
|2002||Beach volleyball court dimensions reduced to 8m x 8m per side.|
|2003||Karch Kiraly becomes the first player to earn US$3M in prize money and oldest player to win an AVP tournament at age 42 years, 9 months and 14 days. (You're never too old for volleyball!)|
|2004||Kerri Walsh and Misty May win the Women's Olylmpic Beach Volleyball Gold medal.|
|2008||Misty May Trainer and Carri Walsh win the Olympic Beach Volleyball Women's Gold medal for the USA.
Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser win the Olympic beach volleyball Men's Gold medal for the USA.
US Men's indoor team wins the Gold medal and the women take the silver.
Misty May Trainer and Carri Walsh win the Olympic Beach Volleyball Women's Gold medal for the USA.
US Women's indoor team wins the silver medal.
American Men’s and Women’s indoor teams win bronze medals in the Rio Olympic games for the USA.
US Women's beach team wins the bronze medal.