Shutterstock/A. Lesik

Volleyball is an exciting sport whether played on a court or on a beach. It is one of the most popular sports in the world with 800 million people around the world playing volleyball at least once a week. For more incredible volleyball facts, read on.

The beginning

Volleyball was invented by William G. Morgan in the 1890s. His aim was to create a sport that combined some of the qualities of tennis, basketball, and baseball. He was instructing a group of a businessman at a YMCA and wanted a sport with no physical contact.

To create the game they went to a tennis court and raised the net to 6 feet and 6 inches off the floor. They originally called the new game mintonette because of the similarities with badminton. Later as people started to understand the game and the importance of volleying the ball was clear, they decided to call it volleyball instead. In 1896 the first game of volleyball was played.

Growth

The sport grew rapidly from its inception with the first US championships held in 1922. It was not until 1928 that the US Volleyball Association was formed as many felt clearer rules and support was needed. The sport first featured in the Olympics in 1964. 

The game

You may think you are on a construction site if you chatting with a digger, a spiker, a passer, a blocker, a server, and a setter but these are all positions in volleyball. The game is a fantastic cardio and strength builder. The average player jumps 300 times in a game. 

Modern Controversies

The game is not without controversy. In 2017 a new association was set up as players felt they were not being properly represented and that beach volleyball tournaments were not being run in a professional manner.
Volleyball has also become a central figure in the debate surrounding transgenders in sport. Tiffany Abreu is one of a number of transgender athletes that have joined a professional volleyball team that plays with non-transgender athletes as well. Many in the sport have expressed their concern over the fairness of such signings.