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
1895: William G. Morgan invents a game that he calls "Mintonette" for
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.
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.
Volleyball Invented - Volleyball Going Global
1895: Volleyball is invented in Massachusetts.
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
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
1917: American Airmen bring their enthusiasm for volleyball
1922: Russia embraces volleyball.
1925: Volleyball comes to the Netherlands.
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.
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.
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
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
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
1926: If a team has less than 6 players they lose before they
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.