a volleyball match on the beach

10 Verifiable Facts about Volleyball

Volleyball is a game you can enjoy indoors and outdoors – which means if you’re not a fan of the beach, you can still set up an indoor net and get spiking! However, there’s likely more to this preppy sport than you might imagine. Here are some fun facts about volleyball well worth keeping in mind.

1. It started in the 19th century… no, really!

As modern as volleyball may seem, it’s actually over a century old! The sport was invented by William G. Morgan in 1895.

2. Fancy a spot of mintonette?

Of course, had you asked your old chums to play a game of volleyball back then, they may have looked at you a little weirdly! That’s because the sport was initially named “mintonette”.

volleyball facts

3. Why change the name, then?

Clearly, mintonette didn’t seem to work very well as a name, which is why the sport was later renamed volleyball. The name “volleyball” actually came from Alfred T. Halstead, who noted that a “volleying” action was crucial to the game – players volley the ball to and fro!

4. Hit the sand!

As mentioned, volleyball isn’t always played on the beach, and it definitely wasn’t when it started! In fact, the indoor game only became known as a beach sport around the 1920s in California.

a volleyball court on the beach

5. You can’t use just any ball!

White volleyballs are pretty iconic (especially if you’re a fan of certain Tom Hanks movies)! However, the first volleyballs as we know them today were invented back in 1900. They’re designed for the perfect spike and volley – though a beach ball might work in a pinch if you’re not playing professionally!

6. The birthplace of volleyball!

Massachusetts played a huge role in volleyball! It is where the sport was invented, and on July 7th 1896, it is where the first official game of volleyball was held. It was played at Springfield College.

7. It’s officially an Olympic sport.

Volleyball was only played as an official sport in the Olympic Games for the very first time in 1964! The games took place in Tokyo, Japan. However, volleyball had already seen demonstrations at the Games in Paris in 1924.

8. What is the FIVB?

Volleyball became recognized as an official sport in 1947 – believe it or not! This was thanks to the creation of the FIVB (Federation International de Volleyball).

Volleyball match on a Caribbean beach

9. Sounds pretty exhausting!

The longest volleyball game ever lasted 85 hours! It took place in the Netherlands in December 2011, and – as you’d expect – it broke the Guinness World Record in its category. The game consisted of 63 matches in total and was played by members of the SVU.

10. Beach volleyball is a different sport altogether!

Eventually, beach volleyball became recognized as its own sport! In fact, it became an official Olympic sport for men and women in 1996, when it was introduced as part of the Atlanta Summer Games.

women playing volleyball on an inside court

FAQs about Volleyball

What are the basic rules of volleyball?

Some of the basic rules of volleyball include the need for a maximum of six players on a team (that accounts for three players in the front and three players in the back). A player may also not hit the ball twice in a row - and there is also a stipulation for three maximum hits per side - the list goes on!

What’s not allowed in volleyball?

Some of the things that are not permitted in volleyball include the fact that the players are not allowed to hold, lift, or push the ball. The ball is never allowed to contact with an open-end, underhanded movement. Believe us - there are more dos and don’ts to this sport, so make sure to read up on them before you take to the court or the beach for the first time!

Can you kick in volleyball?

As odd as it may seem, you are, in fact, allowed to kick in volleyball! That is to say that technically, the ball is allowed to hit any part of the player’s body, including legs, feet and toes! And, if the player decides to kick the ball, it is a legal movement. However, you’ll need to be pretty nimble if you want to kick the ball over the net - go for it if you can!

Further reading

Do you know any fun facts about volleyball? Share them in the comments below!

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This page was last modified on July 29, 2023. Suggest an edit

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