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Volleyball continues to grow in popularity both in the United States and worldwide. It has become the world’s most popular participation sport, according to the Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB), which is volleyball’s international governing body. Individuals of all ages and skill levels can enjoy the sport. Over 200 countries play volleyball, and almost half of these countries compete at the international level, making it one of the five most popular international sports. The FIVB has 220 member nations, more than any other international sports federation. According to USA Volleyball, which is the national governing body for the sport in the United States, there were 34.1 million players in the United States in 1998. There were 122,968 players registered with USA Volleyball, and 65% of these players were less than 18 years. In the 2012 to 2013 season, USA Volleyball has almost 300,000 members with 60,402 adult members and 238,818 junior members with 36,362 males and 262,858 female members. With respect to interscholastic competition during the 2013 to 2014 school year, there were 429,634 girls playing volleyball. Men’s high school volleyball had 52,149 participants. Girls’ volleyball had more participants than any other sport except basketball and track, which are very close.


William G. Morgan invented volleyball at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1895, under the recommendation of Dr. Luther Gulick, who believed that games should serve many participants rather than a few. Their goal was to create a game that would be less stressful than basketball on the bodies of young athletes. However, Mr. Morgan wanted the sport to be enjoyable, competitive, and challenging enough to keep people fit. He originally named the game mintonette. On July 7, 1896, Alfred T. Halstead of Springfield College remarked while watching a demonstration of the game that it looked like the men were “volleying” the ball back and forth over the net. When he suggested this to Mr. Morgan, he agreed, and the name was changed to volleyball. Over the years, the sport has flourished in both the United States and Europe. Perhaps some of the sport’s success stems from the fact that a net and ball are all that are really needed to play the game, unlike some sports that require substantial financial resources for equipment. While volleyball was invented in the United States, it has become so popular in Asia, Europe, and South America that these continents now field many of the most elite national teams in the sport.

Volleyball was first recognized as an Olympic sport in 1964 in Tokyo, for both men and women. At that time, it was played on an indoor hard-court surface. At the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, beach (sand) volleyball was added as a full medal sport. Normally, there is a trial period during which a sport is presented as a demonstration. However, because of the overwhelming popularity of beach ...

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