Volleyball Invented: The Early Years of Volleyball 1895-1930

When was volleyball invented? How? Where? By Who?

The game of volleyball has passed through many hands. To fully appreciate what it is today it is good to know how it began and developed.

When Was Volleyball Invented?

1895: William G. Morgan invents a game that he calls "Mintonette" for his students.
Who invtented volleyball - William G Morgan
He draws from his personal experience as an instructor and blends various aspects of other sports into this new game. He borrows the net from tennis and raises it 6 feet 6 inches. A special ball for the sport is created. 

How Was Volleyball Invented?

1896:  William G. Morgan takes two teams to demonstrate the game to the YMCA Directors of Physical Education.  He explains that an unlimited amount of players can participate and that the object of the game is to keep the ball in movement above the net between the two teams.  The Directors suggest the name "Volley Ball" and the sport is renamed.  William G. Morgan gives a hand-written copy of the rules to the Directors of Physical Education for them to study and develop.

1900:  The rules are modified and published by the YMCA.  In the new rules the match length is set to 21 points and the net is raised to 7 feet 6 inches. 

Where was Volleyball Invented - Volleyball Going Global

1895:  Volleyball is invented in Massachusetts.  Volleyball History - 1944 US Soldiers in World War 2

1900:  Volleyball leaps up north to Canada.

1906:  A North American army officer brings volleyball to Cuba during a military intervention. 

1908:  Japan discovers the game when a graduate from the United States demonstrates the rules on a court in Tokyo. 

1910:  China catches on to the game and so does the Philippines.

1915:  Volleyball arrives in France on the beaches of Normandy and Brittany.  World War I brings volleyball to Africa.  Egypt is the first country to learn the rules and play.
1917:  American Airmen bring their enthusiasm for volleyball to Italy.

1922:  Russia embraces volleyball.

1925:  Volleyball comes to the Netherlands.

How Was Volleyball Invented-Sculpting The Game

1912:  The court size for the game changes.  The number of players on each team is set to 6.  It is decided to rotate players before serving the ball. History of Volleyball - 1956 Paris World Championship

1915:  The number of players on the court becomes flexible.  2 to 6 players for each team is allowed.  It is decided that when a team loses a game they are to serve first in the next game.  The clock begins ticking and an official game time is agreed upon.

1916:  New rules come into play.  A player can hit the ball with his feet.  The score to end a game changes from 21 to 15.  To win a match a team must win 2 out of 3 games.  The net is raised to 8 feet and the ball from 8 to 10 ounces.  A player cannot hold onto a ball and must not have contact with the ball a second time until after another player has touched it first.  In this year volleyball is introduced to college and university sports in the USA.

1918:  The number of players is officially set to 6.

1919:  Thousands of nets and balls are sent overseas for the US troops to benefit from the sport.

Volleyball Invented - Setting Some Serious Rules

1920:  The court size for the game goes down to 30x60 feet.  Players can no longer hit the ball with their feet.  The new rule is that the ball can be played by any part of the body above the waist.  A team cannot play a ball more than three times before sending it over the net.  Meanwhile, in the Philippines a spike is created.  It is called the "Filipino bomb." History of Volleyball - 1952 Moscow World Championship

1922:  Players in the back are not allowed to spike. It is illegal to double hit the ball.

Scoring rules are changed and if both teams have a score of 14 one of the teams must score 2 points in a row.  In this year teams from the YMCA compete in the first national championship in the USA.  27 teams from 11 states come to compete.

1923:  Each player has to wear a numbered jersey.  There are to be 6 players on court and 12 players ready to rotate.  The team that is serving is to rotate clockwise and the serve must be made with the player on the right behind the back line. 

1924:  The Olympic Games in Paris include a demonstration of American sports and volleyball is among those shown.

1925:  Rules are changed again.  When a game is as close as 14 to 14 a team no longer has to score 2 points in a row but must be ahead 2 points to win.  Now each team must also take 2 time outs per game.  The ball weight changes from 9 to 10 ounces.

1926:  If a team has less than 6 players they lose before they begin.

1927:  In China and Japan 9 players per team are allowed in the game.  At this point there are still different rules for the game in various parts of the world.

1928:  It becomes clear that there needs to be an agreement about rules and that tournaments should be created.  So, the United States Volleyball Association is formed.

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