History Behind Volleyball - Discovering Volleyball in 1950-80

The history behind volleyball proves that volleyball is racing forward in these years. Women and children begin to really get involved and volleyball becomes an even more beloved sport.


If you want to know about origins of volleyball – when volleyball was started, who started it – read the previous sections.

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History Behind Volleyball - Asia Getting On Board

1951: This year the FIVB decides that it is OK for blockers to penetrate into the other side of the net when blocking the spiker.

A back row player is allowed to spike, if a spiker stays in his own zone.

China starts to take part in international tournaments.

1952: In Moscow the first Women's World Championship is held. The USSR wins the game.

history of volleyball 1952 Moscow world championship


1953: The FIVB defines the role of the referee. This year the Chinese Federation is born.

1955: The Japanese Federation begins to join the rest of the world and commits to gradually introducing the international rules into Asia. This is also the year that the first Asian championship is played. It takes place in Tokyo. It was played in both six and nine player teams.


History Behind Volleyball - World Championships

1956: This is a big year for volleyball. The first official FIVB bulletin is published and the first World Championship is held in Paris. There are 24 teams from 4 continents involved. Czechoslovakia wins in the mens division and USSR for the women.

1958: A new defensive hit is demonstrated by the Czechs. It is call "the bagger" and it wows the audience at the European Championship tournament in Prague.

1959: Screening on the serve is not allowed anymore by the rules.

1960: For the first time a World Championship leaves the continent of Europe and is played in South America.

history-of-volleyball 1956 Paris world championship indoor


1962: In Moscow the World Championships are played. The USSR men take the lead and the Japanese women win their first victory.

1963: The European confederation is founded.

1964: The first Olympic Volleyball tournaments are played in Tokyo. USSR men again show their strength taking home the gold. And for the women's division it is Japan that takes home the gold.

Rules changes in blocking. A blocker is allowed to hit the ball second time after a block.


1965: In Poland the first men's World Cup is played. USSR wins.

1967: This year the first African Continental Championship is held. Also this year the women's World Championship is played in Tokyo and Japan wins yet again.

1968: Recommendation to use antennas. Antennas would help referees to judge a ball which is hit over the net outside the side line.

1970: World championships are held in Bulgaria.


History Behind Volleyball - Mini Volleyball Created And The USSR Goes For The Gold

1972: Rules are made for Mini Volleyball. Mini volleyball is created for children and young teenagers. The first South American Championships are played in Rio.

history of volleyball first world championships prague 1949


1973: In Uruguay the USSR wins the first women's World Cup.

1974: The FIVB decides to make two changes. Antennas must be on the court's side boundaries and players can make three ball contacts after blocking.

1975: 19 nations participate in the first Mini Volleyball conference. It takes place in Sweden.

1976: After block three contacts is allowed, instead of two. Distance between antennas is brought to 9 meters , from 9 meters and 40 centimeters.

volleyball-history-1944-us-soldiers-world-war-2.jpg Volleyball in the Second World War


1977: Brazil is the host of the first Junior World Championships. USSR win for the men and South Korea for the women. This is also the year that Japan is granted the World Cup on a permanent basis.

1978: Cuba wins its first title in the World Championships for the women's division. For the men the USSR takes the lead again.

1980: Both the men and women of the USSR take home the gold in the Moscow Olympic Games. This year the rules of volleyball are written in three different languages: French, English and Spanish.


Related Pages for the History Behind Volleyball

When Was Volleyball Invented
The Origins of Volleyball in 1895-1930. Who invented volleyball? When? How?

Volleyball History - Transformation into a Competitive Sport
In the beginning volleyball was for recreation, in this era 1930-50 it is becoming more and more competitive.







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