When I think about volleyball, I think of being up at a cabin. Having two teams of random family members on either side of the net with the ball on a volley back and forth. Lots of laughter and just having fun.
The game was originally created by William G Morgan at a YMCA in Holyoke, Massachusetts in 1895. It was first called Mintonette and was created for older folks who were looking for something athletic, but not as rough as basketball to play. The way I see the game played now, I’d think the players have become very athletic and sometimes things can get pretty rough out there.
The game is played by two teams of six players on a court inside, on grass or sand outside. It premiered in the 1924 Olympics in Paris as a demonstration sport and then was officially added to the program for the 1964 Olympics in Toyko.
One team will serve the ball to the other. They can hit it up to three times on one side before hitting it back over to the other team. Typically the first person will bump the ball, the second one will set it up for the third person to spike it over the net. Once they get it back over the net, a volley starts. The teams will go back and forth in this fashion until the ball hits the floor on one side. That’s how points are scored.
A couple of interesting facts:
It’s the second most popular sport world-wide after soccer.
Longest game in history was played in Kingston, North Carolina. It took seventy-five hours and thirty minutes.
Did you know that there’s an International Volleyball Hall of Fame in Holyoke?
There are many memorable game moments in all levels of volleyball. Game winning spikes, long hard fought games with tie breakers to win a medal, and the underdog team beating the favorite. But a memory that came to mind for me while I was writing this blog entry was from the movie, “Castaway” with Tom Hanks. For those of you that haven’t seen the movie, he gets stranded on a deserted island after a plane crash. The plane was carrying some FedEx packages that were to be delivered the next day to their destinations. One of these was a Wilson volleyball. Hanks draws a face on it and turns it into a friend to keep him company. And he named it Wilson.