History of Volleyball

The sport of volleyball originated in the United States, and is now just beginning to achieve the type of popularity in the U.S. that it has received on a global basis, where it ranks behind only soccer among participation sports.

In 1895, William G. Morgan, an instructor at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in Holyoke, Mass., decided to blend elements of basketball, baseball, tennis, and handball to create a game for his classes of businessmen which would demand less physical contact than basketball. He created the game of Volleyball (at that time called mintonette).

Per Morgan, the game was fit for the gymnasium or exercise hall but, could also be played outdoor. The play consisted of any number of players keeping a ball in motion from one side to the other over a net raised 6 feet 6 inches above the floor. Play is started by a player on one side serving the ball over the net into the opponents’ field or court. The opponents then, without letting the ball strike the floor, return it, and it is in this way kept going back and forth until one side fails to return the ball or the ball hits the floor. The side serving the ball earns points when the opposite side either fails to return the ball or allows the ball to hit the floor.

During a demonstration game, someone remarked to Morgan that the players seemed to be volleying the ball back and forth over the net, and perhaps “volleyball” would be a more descriptive name for the sport.

Rules of the game, established by Morgan:

1.The game. The game shall consist of nine innings
2.Inning. An inning shall consist of: when one person is playing on each side, one service each side; when two are playing on each side, two services each side; when three are playing each side, three services each side. The man serving continues to do so until out by failure of his side to return the ball. Each man shall serve in turn.
3.Court. The court or floor space shall be 25 feet wide and 50 feet long, divided into two square courts, 25 feet by 25 feet, by the net. Four feet from the net on either side and parallel with it shall be a line across the court, the dribbling line. The boundary lines must be plainly marked so as to be visible from all parts of the court. Note: The exact size of the court may be changed to suit the convenience of the place.
4.Net. The net shall be at least two feet wide and 27 feet long and shall be suspended from uprights placed at least one foot outside the side lines. The top of the net must be six feet six inches from the floor.
5.Ball. The ball shall be a rubber bladder covered with leather or canvas. It shall measure not less than 25 inches, nor more than 27 inches in circumference, and shall weigh not less than nine ounces nor more than twelve ounces.
6.Server and Service. The server shall stand with one foot on the back line. The ball must be batted with the hand. Two services or trials are allowed him to place the ball in the opponent’s court. The server may serve into the opponent’s court at any place. In a service, the ball must be batted at least 10 feet, no dribbling allowed. A service which would strike the net, but which is struck by another of the same side before striking the net, if it goes over into the opponent’s court, is good, but if it should go outside, the server has no second trial.
7.Scoring. Each good service unreturned or ball in play unreturned by the side receiving counts one score for the side serving. A side only scores when serving, as a failure to return, counting for the opposite side. The ball hitting the net on the first service shall be called dead, and counts as a trial.
8.Net Ball. A play, which hits the net, aside from the first service, is called a net ball, and is equivalent to a failure to return, counting for the opposite side. The ball hitting the net on first service shall be called dead, and counts as a trial.
9.Line Ball. A line ball is a ball that strikes the boundary line. It is equivalent to one out of court, and counts as such.
10.Play and Players. Any number of players may participate that is convenient to the place. A player should be able to cover about 10 by 10 feet. Should any player during play touch the net, it puts the ball out of play and counts against his side. Should any player catch or hold for an instant the ball, it is out of play and counts for the opposite side. Should the ball strike any object other than the floor and bound back into play, it is still in play.

After reaching Japan and Asia through the YMCA network by 1896, a specially designed ball came to be by 1900, and over the next 20 years, rules were set into place. The Philippines created the “set” and “spike” in 1916 and six-a-side play was the standard two years later. By 1920, the rules mandating three hits per side and back-row attacks were instituted.

Japan, Russia and the United States each started national volleyball associations during the 1920s. And when U.S. soldiers brought the game overseas during World War II, the sport spread through the rest of Europe like wildfire. Shortly after, France recognized the sport nationally as well. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) made the game a non-Olympic sport in 1949 and the first World Championships for men were held in that same year. The women’s first world-level competition came three years later.

The Russians would dominate the sport until the mid-1980s with some challenge from Japan during the stint. The United States finally made their mark as the men’s team won back-to-back gold medals in Los Angeles (1984) and Seoul (1988).

With beach volleyball stealing some of the spotlight away from indoor, certain traditions were dropped for the Sydney Games. Replacing the previous system where only the serving team could earn one, a point will be at stake for every rally. In addition, another agile defender called a “libero,” who is free to substitute in back-row defense at almost every turn was added.

Today there are more than 46 million Americans who play volleyball. Worldwide, there are over 800 million people who play volleyball at least once a week.

In the mid 1960’s, the United States Junior Olympic Volleyball (USJOV) program was established. Initial talks to establish a junior program within the United States Volleyball Association (USVBA) were not productive. The USVBA, then comprised totally of volunteers and lacking paid staff members, was required to concentrate on its Open Club program. In addition, priority efforts beyond that were to develop the national teams and international competition program. The USVBA Executive Committee granted permission to the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) to pursue the development of a full-scale junior development program within the AAU structure.

Following two years of discussion and negotiations, and the finalization of appropriate legislation, the AAU approved volleyball as a Junior Olympic sport. John Eaton of Virginia Beach, V.A., was appointed to write the first set of rules for Junior Olympic Volleyball. Using the rules of volleyball as approved by the USVBA, Eaton modified the rules so that they would be more compatible to the age group program. These rules still serve as the basic foundation of junior volleyball in the United States today.

Although the National AAU approved volleyball as a “JO” sport, the organization did not include it in the multi-sport Junior Olympic Championship. Volleyball had to strike out on its own for qualifying national tournament sites. The first national championship was conducted in 1974 at the Catonsville Community College in Catonsville, MD.

Although the bulk of the teams were from East of the Mississippi River, the tournament was qualified a success due to the number of teams entered; the enthusiasm it generated; and the interest that was stimulated. In this tournament, 200 athletes (not teams) took part, as age group teams from Chicago and such places as York and Haverford, PA., emerged as national champions.

The 1974 national tournament followed two years of experimentation with a “Prep School-East” and a “Prep School-West” national championship approach. The next logical approach was the implementation of developmental programs in the 57 local AAU associations. Although some developed programs, most notably Chicago, Louisiana and eastern Pennsylvania, other local associations did not. As a result, AAU Junior Olympic Volleyball efforts were, for the most part, limited to the national tournament In some local AAU associations, volleyball was not even a recognized committee, Junior Olympic or otherwise.

Once the USVBA established the national teams/international competition program, efforts were turned toward the programs of junior development. Since the AAU had fulfilled only a portion of its earlier commitments, administrative efforts were directed toward grass roots development. In 1978, an exploratory meeting was held with representatives of various organizations in Kansas City, which included the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). From this meeting, emerged an action plan to negotiate an agreement with the AAU to coordinate a development plan to complement the national AAU/JOV tournament. This event had realized great success and was now situated in its permanent site of Lisle, Illinois.

The action plan, however, was never realized because of the National Amateur Act and the eventual birth of the USVBA’s National Junior Championship. [The Amateur Sports Act (Public Law 95-606) was adopted in 1978. This law was amended in 1998 to become the Olympic and Amateur Sports Act (OASA). Because of the efforts of Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska to shepherd this law through Congress, the 1998 amendments are often called the “Ted Stevens Amendments.”  The original Amateur Sports Act, as adopted in 1978, required the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) “to encourage and provide assistance to amateur athletic programs and competition for handicapped individuals, including, where feasible, the expansion of meaningful participation by handicapped individuals in programs of athletic competition for able-bodied individuals.”] It was now evident that one tournament of this quality and level was not enough to accommodate the number of junior teams interested. The event was modeled after the actual Olympic games, complete with a parade of states and opening ceremonies. Shortly after a comprehensive concept, as well as a full-fledged grass roots action plan for Junior Olympic Volleyball development, was developed. The plan was to be implemented by the USVBA regions and fed into the USJOV national tournament structure. It was created to serve as a major building block for the scholastic, collegiate, recreation and club play throughout the country and was designed to be the future of volleyball in the United States.

In 1984, the USVBA Board of Directors pledged its priority to the development of this program and reinforced their statement with staff efforts. In 1985, the USVBA hired the nation’s first full-time administrator of Junior Olympic and Youth Volleyball.

USA Volleyball, acting as a National Governing Body for volleyball in the United States, established a Junior Olympic Volleyball Division. It is comprised of special interest representatives, but more importantly, with persons who are highly regarded and respected as leaders in the development of junior volleyball in the USA. They come from the scholastic, collegiate and club ranks and have an in-depth background in volleyball. Junior Olympic Volleyball is now a viable force within the volleyball community. It is fully expected to establish volleyball as a primary recreation sport and an important collegiate and scholastic activity, and equally important, establish United States as a major force in international competition in the future.

Northern California has had a long history of volleyball activity. In the early years, volleyball competition was centered primarily in the YMCA’s. The San Francisco YMCA was the first Northern California team to achieve national prominence by winning the National AAU Championship in 1929. The Embarcadero YMCA hosted the USVBA National Open Championships in 1939, and the following year finished second in the YMCA Championship. In 1974, Tom Cotter was instrumental in developing the first Far Western Championship Tournament. The following year, Tom was appointed as the first commissioner (regional representative) of the newly- formed Region 12 encompassing Northern California, Nevada, and Utah.

During the 1950’s Stockton YMCA became a national power under coach Harold W. Peterson, winning the Open in 1954 and 1955 and finishing second in 1952, ’56, ’57, and ’63. Bob Miller and Hal Durham each had brief stints as Commissioner in the early 1950’s and Len Gibson was appointed in 1954. The exact dates are somewhat hazy in the Region record.

Although there is mention of women’s competition earlier, the first recorded Women’s Region 12 Championship took place in 1965 due largely to the efforts of Women’s Representative Jerry Kaluna and the Women’s Association founder Fran Plunket. The year women first competed in the Far Western was 1968, the year Al Monaco became Region Commissioner.

In 1971 the Region Executive Committee was formed to help Al with the ever-increasing tasks of running a fast-growing region. In 1972, Nevada and Utah joined Idaho to form Region 14, leaving Northern California as a separate region. The same year, Dan Gellerman published the first issue of the Region 12 news, and the first Region 12 volleyball camp was held at St Mary’s College.

In 1973 Al Monaco was hired as Executive Director of the USVBA and Lon Crosson took over as Commissioner. Gary Colberg, the present Commissioner, succeeded Lon in 1975.

The rules of volleyball have changed many times since William Morgan first developed the game in 1895 with an original purpose of providing some form of recreation and relaxation for businessmen at the Holyoke, MA Y.M.C.A.

The first rules, written by Mr. Morgan in long hand, contained the following basic features: The net was 6 feet, 6 inches high. The court was 25 X 50 feet Any number of participants was allowed. The length of the game was nine innings, with three outs allowed per team per inning. Continuous air dribbling of the ball was permissible up to a restraining line 4 feet from the net. No limit on the number of hits on each side of the court. A served ball could be assisted across the net. A second serve (as in tennis) was permitted if the first resulted in a fault. Any ball hitting the net, except on the first service, was a fault and resulted in side out.

1900:Net height was raised to 7 feet, 6 inches. Dribbling line was eliminated. Length of game was changed to 21 points.
1912:1. Court size became 35 X 60 feet.
2. Official ball was designated as 26 inches in circumference and was to weigh between 7 and 9 ounces.
3. Number of players on a side was established at six.
4. Teams required to rotate prior to serving.
1915Number of players on a side could range from one to six. Losing team served in each subsequent game. Official timer was included.Between 1897 and 1915, the rules were published in the HANDBOOK OF THE ATHLETIC LEAGUE OF THE Y.M.C.A. In 1916 the American Sports published the rules through Publishing Company in a separate book called OFFICIAL VOLLEYBALL RULES.
1916:Game points were reduced from 21 to 15 points. Two out of three games determined the winner of a match. The ball could be struck with the feet. The net height was raised to eight feet. The weight of the ball was changed to range from 8 to 10 ounces. Each man rotated in order and served in turn. A serve that hit the net or any outside object was out of bounds. The ball could not come to rest in the hands. The ball could not be touched a second time unless another player had played it.
1920:The ball could be played by any part of the body above the waist. The court size was changed to 30 feet by 60 feet. The ball could only be played three times by each team on its side of the court.
1922:Reaching over the net in any manner was prohibited. A back position player was prohibited from spiking when playing a back position. The double foul was written in the rules. The centerline was added as well as a scorer. It was necessary for one team to score two consecutive points to win if the score was tied at 14-14.
1923:Ceiling height minimum was to be 15 feet. Six players constituted a team and 12, a squad. Players were numbered. The team receiving the serve rotated clockwise. The right back player served. If a player touched the opponents’ court in completing a play it constituted a foul.
1924:In 1924 the net specifications were written in detail: 3 feet wide, 4-inch square mesh of number 30 brown thread, canvas cover, top and bottom with 1/4 inch cable at tope and 1/4 inch rope at the bottom.
1925:The ball weight was changed to range from 9 to 10 ounces. An umpire was added. A player could not leave the court without the referee’s permission. The ball had to cross the net over the sidelines. A team was permitted two times out per game. A 14-14-tie game was won by a team having a two-point advantage instead of 2 consecutive points.
1926:The court was measured to the outside edges of the lines. The net length was placed at 32 feet. A team that was reduced to less than six players would forfeit the game.
1928:Four different sets of rules were published: the official rules, simplified rules, modified rules for the playground, and rules for girls and women. Although the last three sets of rules were changed many times and had interest and support from various groups, the official rules are the only ones covered.
 No changes occurred from 1927 to 1931.
1932:The centerline was extended indefinitely. A tape was put on the net over the sidelines. Times out were limited to one minute. A player could not interchange positions or move outside his understood playing area. A player could go outside his court to make a play.
1934:A 3/8-inch cable replaced the 1/4-inch cable in the top of the net.
1935:Crosses were placed on the floor defining player positions. All players were required to wear numbers on their suits. It became a foul to deliberately screen an opponent from the server. Players could not leave their court unless the ball was on their side of the net. (At this time spikers would stand outside their court and wait till the ball was set to the outside of the court and come running in with a one-leg take-off spike). Any touching of the net was a foul. A play was not complete unless a player resumed normal control on the floor. Deliberate shouting and stomping the feet at an opponent was deemed unsportsmanlike.
1937:A third contact ball driven into the net causing the net to contact the opponent was not a foul. A player could re-enter a game once. A substitute was no longer restricted from talking to his teammate until the ball was put into play. Multiple contacts were allowed in receiving a hard drive spike.
1938:Blocking was first included in the rules in 1938.  Blocking was defined as impeding the ball at the net. A one or two-man block was permitted, providing the blockers played in adjacent positions.
1939No changes occurred
1940:The official ball must be a twelve-piece lace less leather-covered ball.
1941:Rules are reworded and clarified
1942:Ball could be played with any part of the body from the knees upward. The score of a forfeited game would be 15-0.
1947:Only the front line players could interchange positions to make a two-man block. The numbers on players’ shirts had to be 4 inches high.
1948:The rules were clarified and rewritten to aid in interpretation. Blocking was defined and the service area stipulated as being the right third of the back line.  Other items clarified were:Each player should be in his own area before the ball leaves the server’s hands. Points made from wrong server were cancelled. Simultaneous hits by two players constituted one hit. Time out for rest was one minute. Time out for injury was five minutes. Time out between games was three minutes.
1949:The game was allowed to be played under a time limit of 8 minutes of ball in playtime. The winner was to have a 20-point advantage after expiration of time or 15 points, whichever came first. A timekeeper was included as one of the officials. Time-out period for injury was reduced to three minutes. A three-man block was made legal, provided they were front line players.
1950:There should be no warm-up time allowed substitutes. A clarification of what constituted a held ball included “the ball must be clearly batted.”
1951:The service area and the court with crosses were clearly defined. A backcourt spiker was allowed to spike the ball provided he remained in the back court.
1952:Any player was allowed to block at the net. A 7-foot line drawn back and parallel to the net as a restraining line for back court players blocking at the net. The restriction was lifted on players leaving their position to perform any play except the back line spiker. A defensive player, when blocking, must indicate whether or not he touched the ball. The server was allowed to serve the ball from anywhere back of the service line. Teams were allowed to warm up during time out for rest or for injury. The players were allowed to leave the court without the referee’s permission. The coach, captain, or manager was allowed to call time out.
1953:The rubber ball was ruled legal. A substitute was allowed to re-enter the game twice instead of once. Players were allowed to use any part of the body to play the ball. The whole format of the rules was changed and each rule items was numbered from 1 to 75 under 8 major headings. Errors and fouls were defined.
1954:Clarified the rule concerning players being in position until the ball was struck on the serve. A set of co-ed rules was adopted. An attempt to draft a standard set of rules failed due to the different styles of play used by various groups. Screening the serve was allowed.
1955:The official rules came out in a new format with 5 main headings and 24 sub-titles for cross reference and coverage. A back line player was allowed to take-off from in front of the 7-foot line but had to alight behind the line. Movement during a screen was allowed.
1956:The players were allowed to stand anywhere in the court during the serve as long as they were in rotation order. Teams automatically changed courts during the third game of a match when one team reached 8 points or 4 minutes of playtime expired.
1957:There were no changes but various innovations were tried.Using a higher net. Twenty-one and fifty point games. Playing the ball off obstacles. Playing all underhand balls with the fist.
1958:There were no major changes made.
1959:Players screening the serve were allowed to wave their hands and move during the serve. The umpire was given the authority to call ball-handling errors and to keep time between games.
1960:Women’s net height was lowered to 7 feet 4 inches. Teams were to alternate the initial serve of each succeeding game in a match.
1961:Gloves were allowed to be worn during play.
1962:Clarification of timing rule and player position. A player was not allowed to grab the officials’ platform to keep from going over the centerline.
1963:Clarification of the overlapping rule of player positions on the serve.
1964:Defined the method of service whereby a server could hit the serve from a toss by a teammate or from a bounce.
1965:Center line was limited only to the side of the court. A player could cross the assumed extension if he did not attempt to play the ball. Screening was made illegal.
1966:The blocker’s fingers were permitted to stray across the net inadvertently as long as they did not contact the ball or affect the play.
1967:No changes made due to the widespread use of International Rules.
1968:An attempt was made to draw USVBA rules and International Rules together, causing several major changes to be made: Definition of fouls changed to include ball-handling errors. Ceiling minimum height was raised to 26 feet. Lines depicting the 10-foot serving area were added to the court. The server was required to toss the ball into the air when initiating the serve. The spiking line was moved from 7 feet to 10 feet back from the net. Blockers were allowed to reach across the net as long as they did not contact the ball until after the attacker had contacted it. One player from the rear could block but at no time could there be more than three players deployed in position to block. Back line spikers were allowed to land in front of the spiking line as long as they left the ground behind it. The ball could not be played with any part of the body below the waist.
1969:Only front line players were permitted to block. A team was limited to 12 substitutions per game.
1970:Numbers on uniforms must be 6 inches on the front, 3 inches on the back, and at least 4 inches above the waist. The centerline was widened from 2 inches to 4 inches. Upon request by the referee, the umpire can call all violations not viable to the referee. The ball on the serve does not have to be tossed in the air before it is struck. When a player is injured, a substitute shall be put in without undue delay. Once a team has received the signal to take the court, the lineup cannot be changed.
 1974Antennae were added on the net, one ball’s width outside the sidelines. Playe ended as soon as the ball was “dead” (rescinding the “continuation” rule). Players were allowed three entries (starting counts as an entry) per game (completing the “twelve substitution” rule)
 1976(Adoption of the International Rules and rules format; old numbering system abandoned). Metric measurements introduced. Metric net heights introduced: 2.43m for men and 2.24m for women. Center lines reduced to 5cm. Antennae moved to the sidelines. Best of five games determined the winner of a match. Six substitutions per team and one entry per player allowed. (“Six substitution” rule). Balls must be released before they were served. Balls hitting the ceiling or any other obstruction were “dead.” Blocks no longer counted as the first of a team’s three hits. Double hits were prohibited on any type of dig (rescinding the “hard driven spike” rule).
 Note:Major international rules changes are generally introduced only after Olympic competition
 1984A player could make multiple contacts of a teams’s first hit if there was only one attempt and there was no “finger action” on the ball. Blocking or attacking served became illegal
 1988 “Rally point” scoring introduced for deciding games of three or five game matches. 17 point “cap” introduced for all games (i.e. 17-16 wins any game)
 1990 Attacking a served ball is legal if the ball is not played entirely above the height of the net
 1994 Prosthetic limbs may be worn if the referee determines the player will gain no artificial advantage. Ball may be contacted with any part of a player’s body on or above the knee. Point limit on deciding games eliminated
 1996 Service zone extended to include full width of 9m area behind end lines. Ball may be contacted with any part of a player’s body.
 1998 Server only receives one toss of the ball to execute the service
 1999 All scoring changed to “rally.” Non-deciding games played to 25 with no cap, deciding games to 15 with no cap.
 2001 Ball allowed to touch the net while crossing it on the serve
 2002 During play, a coach may give instructions to players on the court without delaying the match

From 1970 to the present, Volleyball became big business. Many of the rules from 1970 to the present differed between Federation (High School), National Association of Girls and Women in Sports, which has now been replaced by the NCAA, USA Volleyball and other amateur and professional associations. Each Association rulebook needs to be studied.

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After a demonstration given at the YMCA in Springfield the name “Mintonette” is replaced with “Volleyball”

The rules as modified by W.E. Day are accepted and published by the YMCA.   Match length is set at 21 points.   The height of the net is increased to 7-feet-6.   Canada is the first “foreign” country to adopt Volleyball.   A special ball was designed for the sport .  The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) spread volleyball to Canada, Asia, and the Southern Hemisphere.

Cuba discovers “6 Volleyball” in 1906, thanks to a North American army officer, Agusto York, who takes part in the second military intervention on the Caribbean island.

Volleyball was presented at the Playground of America convention as one of the most popular sports

Volleyball reaches Japan. It is Hyozo Omori, a Springfield College graduate in the United States, who first demonstrates the rules of the new game on the YMCA courts in Tokyo

YMCA spread volleyball to Puerto Rico

Volleyball officially lands in China, thanks to Max Exner and Howard Crokner. Up until 1917, play is between 16-man teams and goes to 21 points

The Philippines, too, got to know the new game. It is imported by Manila YMCA director Elwood Brown. In a very short space of time, there are 5,000 public and private courts   In the USA, decisive impetus is given to the game by Prevost Idell, YMCA director in Germantown

YMCA spread volleyball to Uruguay The court size is changed, becoming 35×60 feet. A uniform size and weight of the ball is established, calling for a circumference of 26 inches and a weight of between 7 and 9 ounces. Two other important innovations: the number of players on each team is set at six and it is decided to rotate players before service

Volleyball competition held in Far Eastern Games Volleyball is put on the programme for the first Far Eastern Games held in Manila. Teams are made up of 16 players. George Fisher, secretary of the YMCA War Office, includes Volleyball in the recreation and education programme for the American armed forces.

The number of players on court again becomes variable, anything from 2 to 6 for each team. Official game time is introduced and it is decided that the team losing a game has the right to begin serving in the next game In Europe, Volleyball arrives on the French beaches of Normandy and Brittany with American soldiers fighting in the First World War. Its popularity grows rapidly, but the game takes root especially in Eastern countries, where the cold climate makes gym sports particularly attractive   The opening days of World War I brings Volleyball to Africa. The first country to learn the rules is Egypt

An offensive style of passing the ball in a high trajectory to be struck by another player, the set and spike, were introduced in the Philippines. The Filipinos developed the “bomba” or kill, and called the hitter a “bomberino”   Many new rules are established. The score for a “game” drops from 21 to 15, and it is determined that to win a match a team has to win two out of three “games.” The ball can now be hit with a player’s feet. Net height rises to 8 feet, while ball weight climbs from 8 to 10 ounces. It is decided that holding on to the ball is a foul and that a player cannot have contact with the ball a second time until after it has been played by another athlete    Volleyball becomes a part of the program of the NCAA, the body that oversees college and university sports in the USA   The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) was invited by the YMCA to aid in editing the rules and in promoting the sport. Volleyball was added to school and college physical education and intramural programs . .

The game was changed from 21 to 15 points   YMCA spread volleyball to Brazil   At the Allied Forces air base in Porto Corsini, where Ravenna’s sports palace is now located, American airmen introduce the virus of Volleyball into Italy

The number of players per team is set at six. In Japan, the first High School Championship is played

American Expeditionary Forces distributed 16,000 volleyballs to it’s troops and allies. This provided a stimulus for the growth of volleyball in foreign lands   During the First World War, Dr. George J. Fisher, as Secretary of the YMCA War Work Office, makes Volleyball a part of the programme in military training camps, both in the USA and abroad, in the athletic handbooks written for those responsible for sport and recreation in the Army and Marines. Thousands of balls and nets are sent overseas to the U.S. troops and also presented to the Allied Army’s sports directors. More than 16,000 volleyballs are distributed in 1919 to the American Expeditionary Corps Forces only. The Inter-Allied Games are organized in Paris (but Volleyball is not included since the game is not yet known sufficiently well known in the 18 participating Allied countries to allow for a balanced competition)   In China, the rules are modified. Play becomes 12 against 12, with matches going to 15 points

Institution of three hits per side and back row attack rules   Court size goes down to 30×60 feet, and the ball is allowed to be played by any part of the body above the waist. A major innovation involves the rule allowing a team to play a ball no more than three times before sending it over the net   The Philippines develop the first kind of spike. It is known as the “Filipino bomb” and it is a pretty lethal weapon   The first spontaneous attempts at blocking make their appearance, although they are not yet codified by the rules   Volleyball makes its first official appearance in Russia in the cities of the Volga, Gorky and Kazan, and at the same time in Khabarovsk and Vladivostok

The first YMCA national championships were held in Brooklyn, NY. 27 teams from 11 states were represented. Players in the back line are not permitted to spike. The “double hit” fault is added to the rules. Scoring rules are also changed, providing that, with the score at 14-14, two consecutive points are needed to win   The maximum number of consecutive ball contacts per team is set at three. The first National Federation is founded in Czechoslovakia, quickly followed by Bulgaria. The first National Championship is played in the USA, in which only YMCA teams compete    Volleyball gains in popularity in Italy too, thanks to Guido Graziani, a Springfield YMCA graduate

A team is to be made up of 6 players on court and 12 official substitutes, and each player has to have a numbered jersey. The team securing the right to serve has to rotate clockwise. The serve is to be made by the player placed on the right on the back line. If a player touches the adversary’s court during play it is a foul. Minimum ceiling height is set at 15 feet   The official birth date of Volleyball in Russia is set at 28 July, 1923, the day a match between men’s team High Art and Theatre Workshop (Vhutemas) and State Cinema Technical School (GTK) is played in Moscow

The Olympic Games programme in Paris includes a demonstration of “American” sports, with Volleyball among them

Two time-outs per game for each team becomes the rule. There is also a change in the scoring rules for the most hotly contested sets: at 14-14 to win it is no longer necessary to score two consecutive points, but rather to have a two-point advantage. Once again the ball weight is modified, from 9 to 10 ounces   Volleyball is played for the first time in the Netherlands. After a stay at the Seminary of Techny in Illinois, U.S., Father S. Buis introduces the sport to the Sint Willibrod mission house in Uden and has a few courts set up there

A team reduced to less than 6 players forfeits the match

The Japanese Federation is born and nine men’s competitions are organised   In Russia, there is a “political” reaction by the Communist Party against the YMCA as a “capitalistic, bourgeois, and religious” organization, and it is obliged to leave the country. But Volleyball is there to stay   China adopts the nine-player-per-team system, the same used in Japan  1928 It became clear that tournaments and rules were needed; the United States Volleyball Association (USVBA, now USA Volleyball) was formed. The first US Open was staged, as the field was open to non-YMCA squads

Cuba organizes the first men’s tournament according to “American” rules at the Caribbean and Central American Games. Between the two World Wars, great efforts are made to give unity to the Volleyball movement by establishing a single set of rules and creating an international federation. These are just initial efforts, with nothing concrete being set  1930s Recreational sports programs became an important part of American life

The first two-man beach game was played

Time-outs are limited to one minute. To make a play, an athlete can step off his own court; but he cannot change position in the starting line-up

The first USSR National Championship is held, where there are already over 400,000 players. For Soviet Volleyball, it is the year of enshrinement. In January, a challenge between Moscow and Dnepropetrovsk is played on no less important a stage than that of the Bolshoi Theatre   A book entitled Volleyball: Man’s Game by Robert E. Laveaga, published by A S Barnes & Co of New York, makes an important impact on teaching methods and scientific training techniques. Volleyball for Women by Katherine M. Montgomery is also very useful for teaching the game

National volleyball referee approval and recognition   The first concrete steps to establish international relations in Volleyball are taken during the International Handball Federation Congress in Stockholm

Crosses are to be marked on the floor to determine player position. Touching the net is to be considered a foul. An important rule involves spikers: it is forbidden to step off the court as long as the ball is in play on the spiker’s side (it had been customary for spikers waiting for a set to take a running start from way off and then leap from one foot). In Tashkent and Moscow, the USSR plays the first official international matches against Afghanistan

Action was taken at the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) convention in Boston to recognize the USVBA as the official national governing body in the US   Multiple ball contacts were permitted in defence against particularly violent spikes

The Czechs perfect blocking which is officially introduced into the rules under the concept of “a counteraction at the net by one or two adjacent players.” For almost 20 years before, blocking had been a part of the game but was not spelled out in the rules. The Czechs are the first (soon followed by the Russians) to attribute decisive importance to the new skill, which facilitates the ungrateful task of volleying defences

How to push for homogeneous rules throughout the world? The Annual USVBA Reference Guide and the Official Rules of the Game of Volleyball gave useful information on the game and provided a forum where experiences and ideas emanating from different sources could be exchanged. During the War, thousands of these guides were used throughout the world

William G. Morgan, the creator of Volleyball, dies at the age of 68. A man of high moral standards, Morgan suffered no pangs of jealousy and continued to follow with enthusiasm the progress of his game, convinced that real Volleyball, for real athletes, would be a success  1940s Forearm pass introduced to the game as a desperation play. Most balls played with overhand pass

In several countries, including Italy, experiments are made with a system of timed play. Two 20-minute sets are played (with supplementary time in case of a tie). But after various and prolonged trials, the experiments are abandoned, but taken up again in the United States at the close of the Second World War. Another innovation is time-limit Volleyball, whereby a game lasts eight minutes of actual play. To win, a team has to have either a two-point advantage at the end of the eight minutes or be the first to score 15 points. But even there, the idea finds little acceptance

The ball can be played by any part of the body from the knees up   Everywhere from the South Pacific to the Finnish front, Volleyball draws crowds among troops engaged in the Second World War, even aboard aircraft carriers. Volleyball is recommended by Chiefs of Staff for training the troops, believing it keeps them in condition, strengthens their morale, and teaches them how to stay together as a group – something essential at this point of the War

During the summer, Mr. Friermood joins the management of the United States YMCA and quickly becomes Secretary/Treasurer of the USVBA and works closely with Dr. Fisher, its President. Through international YMCA contacts in more than 80 countries and also military personnel around the world, communications are established and begin to produce information on the interpretation and development of Volleyball and those who are managing it. Correspondence with the Polish managers during the War draws attention to the post-war endeavours to establish an international Volleyball organization

First postage stamp on a Volleyball subject is issued in Romania

A study of recreation in the United States showed that volleyball ranked fifth among team sports being promoted and organized   In January, the Spartak Prague team goes to play in Poland, signaling a resumption of contacts after the War years aimed at creating an international Volleyball organization. On the occasion of a friendly match between the Czech and French national teams on August 26, a meeting is held in Prague between representatives of the federations of Czechoslovakia, France, and Poland. The meeting produces the first official document of the future FIVB, with the creation of a commission for the organization of the International Federation, the promotion of a constituent congress, and the decision to launch a European or World Championship at an early date

The Federation Internationale De Volley-Ball (FIVB) was founded in Paris   Only front-line players are allowed to exchange positions for a two-player block and spike. Egypt is the first Arab and African country to organize Volleyball activities and establish a National Federation   From April 18 to 20 in Paris, 14 federations found the FIVB, with the headquarters in Paris. Frenchman Paul Libaud is the first President   American and European rules of the game are harmonized. The court is to measure 9 x 18 metres; and net height is to be 2.43 metres for men and 2.24 for women   Only in Asia, the rules are different: the court has to measure 21.35 x 10.67 metres, and the net has to be 2.28 high for men and 2.13 for women; there is no rotation of players and on court there are nine athletes arranged in three lines

The first two-man beach tournament was held –  The European Championship – in Rome and won by Czechoslovakia. After the War, the rules are rewritten and clarified to make interpretation easier. In particular, a better definition is given to the idea of blocking, and service is limited to the right third of the back court boundary. It is also made clear that each player has to be in his right place during service; points scored by the wrong server are to be nullified; simultaneous contacts by two players are to be considered one; time-outs are to last one minute, while time-out due to injury can last five minutes; and rest time between one game and another is set at three minutes.

The first World Championships were held in Prague, Czechoslovakia The first Men’s World Championship is held in Prague and won by the USSR. This is also the first time a setter can penetrate from the back line, leading to a three-player attack.   USVBA added a collegiate division, for competitive college teams. For the first ten years, collegiate competition was sparse. Teams formed only through the efforts of interested students and instructors. Many teams dissolved when the interested individuals left the college. Competitive teams were scattered, with no collegiate governing bodies providing leadership in the sport

Volleyball now played by over 50 million people in over 60 countries   At its third Congress, the FIVB decides that a player’s hands can “invade” at the net during blocking but only in the final phases of spiking. Furthermore, a back-line player can spike, providing that he remains in his zone and does not move up to the front line   China begins to participate in international tournaments

The first Women’s World Championship was held in Moscow and won by the USSR

At its fourth Congress, the FIVB defines referee action and terminology. The Chinese Federation is born

The Asian Confederation is founded in Manila

Pan American Games included volleyball. At the FIVB Congress in Florence, the Japanese Federation adopts the international rules and commits itself to gradually introducing them in Asia. The 1st Asian Championship is played in Tokyo; both 6- and 9-player tournaments are scheduled. Volleyball is put on the program for the Pan American Games

First issue of the official FIVB bulletin is published. The first truly globe-spanning World Championship is held in Paris, France (with 24 men’s teams from four continents). Czechoslovakia Men and USSR Women win the coveted titles

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) designated volleyball as an Olympic team sport, to be included in the 1964 Olympic Games. Consideration is given to the introduction of a second referee; duration of time-outs is limited to one minute, 30 seconds. During the 53rd IOC session in Sofia, Bulgaria, from September 22 to 26, a demonstration tournament is played for the IOC members who then decide to include Volleyball on the programme for the Games celebrating the XVII Olympiad in Tokyo, 1964

Once again it is the Czechs who introduce a new defensive hit – the bagger – which amazes spectators at the European Championship in Prague

International University Sports Federation (FISU) held the first University Games in Turin, Italy. Volleyball was one of the eight competitions held. At the FIVB Congress in Budapest it is decided to forbid “screening” on the serve and to limit “invasion” at the net onto the opponent’s court to the whole foot.

New techniques added to the game included – the soft spike (dink), forearm pass (bump), blocking across the net, and defensive diving and rolling

The United States Junior Olympic Volleyball (USJOV) program was established

For the first time, a World Championship (Men’s) is played outside of Europe, in Brazil. USSR claims victory, as it also does in the women’s event. Seven mid-western institutions formed the Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA)

The idea of Mini Volleyball is born in East Germany

The World Championships are played in Moscow. The USSR Men confirm their status as the best, while it is a first victory for the Japanese Women’s team

The European Confederation is founded on October 21

Southern California Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (SCVIA) was formed in California

New rules on blocking: airborne invasion during blocking is prohibited, while blockers are permitted a second hit. The first Olympic Volleyball tournaments are played in Tokyo during the Olympic Games from October 13 to 23, with 10 men’s teams and 6 women’s teams. The gold medal for the men goes to the USSR, and the women to Japan.   Volleyball was introduced to the Olympic Games in Tokyo. (The Japanese volleyball used in the 1964 Olympics, consisted of a rubber carcass with leather paneling. A similarly constructed ball is used in most modern competition.)

The California Beach Volleyball Association (CBVA) was formed. The first men’s World Cup is played in Poland and won by the USSR

The first scientific symposium is held in Prague on the occasion of the men’s World Championship, won by Czechoslovakia

The first African Continental Championship is played, and the African Zone Commission is founded. The Women’s World Championship, scheduled a year after the men’s, is played in Tokyo and won once again by Japan

National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) made volleyball their fifteenth competitive sport. The use of antennas to limit the court air space and facilitate the referee’s decision on ball crossing outside the side line is recommended to the Congress in Mexico. The USSR take home two Olympic gold medals.

The Executive Committee of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) proposed addition of volleyball to its program. A Coaches Commission is established. The FIVB recognizes its fifth Continental Sport Zone Commission when NORCECA is born in Mexico, July 26, with the merging of USA, Canada and other countries joining to form the North Central American and Caribbean Confederation (NORCECA). The first NORCECA Championships take place in Mexico. In Berlin, East Germany wins the second edition of the men’s World Cup

The World Championships are held in Bulgaria. Victorious are the East German men and the USSR women

The first FIVB coaching courses are held in Japan and Egypt. The FIVB Medical Commission is established. The sub-commission for Mini Volleyball of the FIVB Coaches’ Commission is established

The five Sports Zone Commissions (Africa, Asia, Europe, Norceca, and South America) become Continental Confederations. The Japanese Men’s team win the Munich Olympics with playmakers Nekoda and Matsudaira. Systematic use of its fast game clinches for the first time the gold medal for an Asian Country. The Women’s tournament is won by the USSR. The official rules of Mini Volleyball are established. The first South American Junior Championships are held in Rio

The first Women’s World Cup is played in Uruguay and won by the USSR

The World Championships in Mexico were telecast in Japan. At the FIVB Congress in Mexico City it is decided to make two changes to be put into force after 1976: lateral antennas are to be moved to the courtside boundaries and three ball contacts are to be permitted after blocking. During the World Championship, Polish athlete Wojtowicz amazes everybody by spiking from the back line. In Mexico City, Poland wins the Men’s gold; while, in Guadalajara, Japan holds on to the Women’s title   The first Junior National Championship was conducted at the Catonsville Community College in Catonsville, MD

The US National Women’s team began a year-round training regime in Pasadena, Texas (moved to Colorado Springs in 1979, Coto de Caza and Fountain Valley, CA in 1980, and San Diego, CA in 1985) The first Mini Volleyball Symposium is held in Sweden, with 19 nations participating. The first Asian Championships are held in Australia

At the Montreal Olympic Games, Poland confirms its leadership among the Men’s teams and Japan among the Women’s. After blocking, not two but three ball contacts are permitted; the distance between the antennas is shortened from 9.40 metres to 9 metres

The US National Men’s team began a year-round training regime in Dayton, Ohio (moved to San Diego, CA in 1981) The first Junior World Championships are held in Brazil. The Winners are the USSR Men and South Korea Women. Kuwait organizes the first Arabian Championship. The World Cup is granted to Japan on a permanent basis for both men and women. Triumphing in Tokyo are the Soviet Men and the Japanese Women

The Men’s World Championship is held in Rome, with the USSR winning ahead of Italy. The women play in Leningrad and it is a surprise first world title for Cuba, placing ahead of Japan and USSR

At the Moscow Olympic Games, it was a dual victory for the USSR. 17th FIVB Congress: the rules of the game were adopted in three languages: French, English and Spanish  1981 World Cup in Tokyo: the USSR win for the men and China for the women  1982 Ball pressure is increased from 0.40 to 0.46 kg/cm2. The Women’s World Championship is held in Peru where, for the first time, China takes the title after an outstanding and spectacular performance. The Men’s World Championship (in Argentina) is won by the USSR  1983 The Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) was formed On July 19, the Brazil vs. USSR challenge at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracaná stadium attracts nearly 100,000 spectators.  1984 The US won their first medals at the Olympics in Los Angeles. The Men won the Gold, and the Women the Silver . The 19th Congress of the FIVB is held in Long Beach, California; and, after 37 years at the helm, the founding French President Paul Libaud steps down and becomes Honorary President. A Mexican lawyer, Dr. Rubén Acosta H., is elected as the new President. The USA win the Men’s Olympic gold and the Chinese Women’s team also claim gold. At the Los Angeles Olympic Games, the Brazilians (silver medallists) attract attention with their ability to make jumping serves. The idea is not new (Argentina had already tried it at the 1982 World Championship), but no one has ever seen it used so effectively before. After Los Angeles, it is no longer possible to block a serve, and referees became more permissive in evaluating defence. The first International Volleyball Cinema Festival is held in Perugia. December 15: FIVB moves its quarters to a temporary office in Lausanne while preparing its permanent headquarters in this city  1985 May 28: for the first time, a Volleyball representative (FIVB President Dr. Acosta) is named for an IOC Commission – the prestigious Olympic Movement Commission. World Cup in Tokyo: Victory goes to the USA Men, while China confirms its dominance among the women. December 28-31: the first Women’s World Gala is played in China, (two matches in Beijing and Shanghai). A world All-Star line-up challenges the Olympic Champion China, which wins both matches and the Hitachi Cup

The Women’s Professional Volleyball Association (WPVA) was formed. In Paris, USA win the Men’s World Championships. China claim the women’s gold medal in Prague. Beach Volleyball receives official status by the FIVB.

The FIVB added a Beach Volleyball World Championship Series. From February 17-22, the first Beach Volleyball World Championship is played in Ipanema, Brazil.

The US Men repeated the Gold in the Olympics in Korea. On May 6, the FIVB inaugurates its new headquarters in Lausanne. The Olympic Games in Seoul sees the number of teams for the men’s tournament rise from 10 to 12. The USA win the men’s gold medal; the USSR take the women’s after a dramatic final match against Peru. The World Congress approves the turning of the fifth set into a tiebreak rally-point system in which each serve is worth a point. Final scoring per set is limited to 17 points with one point difference. The first edition of the FIVB Super Four is held in Japan, a bi-yearly competition between the three medallists from the Olympic Games (or the World Championships). In the first Super Four, the Soviet Men and Chinese Women re-affirm their superiority.

The FIVB Sports Aid Program was created. The year brings the first edition of the Beach Volleyball World Series (a world circuit) and the second World Gala in Singapore (men’s and women’s All Stars against the Olympic champions). World Cup in Japan: Cuba Men and Women do the double. men, Italy places second in the men’s tournament. From December 6 to 10, the first World Championship for Clubs is played in Parma and won by home team Maxicono.

The first edition of the men’s World League gets underway, a revolutionary idea for a team sport, with US$1 million prize money, professional organization and wide TV broadcasting in a multi-location competition reaching all corners of the world. The playing formula for the World Championship is changed. After the qualification phase, play proceeds by direct elimination matches right up to the finals for first to eighth place. Italy wins the first US$1 million World League in Tokyo, Japan, before a crowd of 10,000 spectators. Italy upset Brazil in Rio de Janeiro and becomes the first Western European country to win the Men’s Volleyball World Championship. USSR win the women’s world title against China in Beijing

The first edition of the Women’s World Championship for Clubs is played in Brazil. Winner is Sadia Sao Paulo. Italy wins the second consecutive World League with US$2 million prize money for the teams. The final is in Milan in front of 12,000 spectators against Cuba

The Four Person Pro Beach League was started in the United States. Barcelona applauds the first Olympic victory by the Brazil Men and Cuba Women. After Barcelona, the tiebreak is modified. At 16-16, play continues until one team has a two-point advantage. The World League increases Prize Money to US$3 million and for the third time Italy win, in front of 9,000 spectators in Genoa against the Netherlands. Brazil triumphs in the men’s Super Four and Cuba in the women’s

The first edition of the World Grand Prix with US$1 million in Prize Money, the women’s version of the World League, is played entirely in Asia and the Final is won by Cuba against China. The World League final is held in São Paulo and Brazil win the title. During the 101st IOC session in Monte Carlo on September 18, Beach Volleyball is admitted as a gold medal discipline to the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Debut of another major event: the Grand Champions Cup is to be played every four years in Japan, alternating on odd years with the World Cup; participants will be the continental champions. First gold medal winners are Italy Men and Cuba Women

The fifth edition of the World League offers record Prize Money of $6 million. Italy win for the fourth time, beating Cuba in the Final. The World Congress in Athens approves new rules to go into force officially on January 1, 1995: The possibility of contacting the ball with any part of the body, including the feet; the service zone extended to the whole 9-meter back line; elimination of the “double hit” fault on the first touch of a ball coming from the opponent’s court; and the permission to touch the net accidentally when the player in question is not trying to play the ball. The Italians win the Men’s World Championship for the second time in a row, equalling a previous USSR award. At the Women’s World Championship in Brazil, 26,000 spectators in Belo Horizonte attend the matches, setting a new record for women’s event. Later on in São Paulo, 12,000 spectators watch Cuba win its second world title, this time in a Final against Brazil

The sport of Volleyball turns 100 years old! . The anniversary is observed throughout the world with awards ceremonies, tournaments, and special stamp issues and postmarks. The FIVB celebrates the event by bringing together “100 years of Volleyball in 100 days” in a special calendar of events and publishes a magnificent book, “100 Years of Global Link”. The World League is again won by the Italians. In the World Grand Prix, a surprise victory goes to the United States. Italy win the Men’s World Cup for the first time and Cuba the women’s event for the third time in a row. In the World Gala, the Italian Men beat the All Stars and receive the Centennial Cup from IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch.

The Atlanta Olympic Games makes Beach Volleyball the latest Olympic Medal Sport. A newly built 8,000-seat stadium in the historic area of Clayton County struggles to accommodate the enthusiastic crowds. Volleyball competitions have two ad hoc facilities; the Atlanta convention centre and the Georgia University Hall in Athens. Netherlands and Italy show Volleyball at its best and, after five strenuous sets, the team led by the Van de Goor brothers gives Netherlands their first gold medal in Volleyball history

The Men and Women’s World Championships for the first time go to Japan, and the best Championships in Volleyball history take place. After matches in 14 cities watched by over 500,000 spectators, and the highest TV ratings in Japan since the 1964 Japanese Olympics gold for women, the Italians, led by Giani and Gardini, make history with their third consecutive crown, defeating Yugoslavia. Cuba Women, led by Regla Torres, set the same record of three crowns for women, defeating Russia. The Congress makes a historic change in the rules, adopting the “Rally Point System” of 25 points for each of the first four sets and a 15-point fifth tiebreak set for a two-year testing period. Other changes immediately adopted are the colour ball, Libero player and allowance of interactive coaches

Olympics held in Sydney, Australia. Points were now at stake for every rally and a “libero” player was added. The “libero” is free to substitute in back row defense at almost every turn. The Italians win their eighth World League pennant in 12 editions defeating Russia. Cuba Women defeat Russia once more, 3-2, and win their third consecutive Olympic gold, setting an all-time record. Following the phenomenal success of Beach Volleyball during the Sydney Olympics, the IOC Executive Committee declares Beach Volleyball an official part of the Olympic programme. Karch Kiraly of the USA and Regla Torres of Cuba are crowned as the 20th Century Best Volleyball Players. Italy Men (1990-98) and Japan Women (1960-1965) are declared the 20th Century Best Volleyball Teams. The 20th Century Best Volleyball Coaches titles are awarded to Yasutaka Matsudaira, Japan Men (1964-1974), and Eugenio George, Cuba Women (1990-2000)

Beach Volleyball is confirmed as a full Olympic program sport

The FIVB World Congress in Buenos Aires adopts a Code of Conduct and rules against conflicts of interest and introduces height limit competitions (185 cm for men, 175 cm for women). Italy win the FIVB Women’s World Championship for the first time in Berlin

Brazil Men win all 11 games in Japan to claim the FIVB World Cup for the first time. China Women do likewise to win their first World Cup title

Olympics will be held in Athens, Greece China’s Women win the Olympic Volleyball title in Athens for the second time following their victory 20 years earlier in Los Angeles. Brazil’s Men also win for the second time, their first Olympic title being claimed in 1992.. China’s Women win the Olympic Volleyball title in Athens for the second time following their victory 20 years earlier in Los Angeles. Brazil’s Men also win for the second time, their first Olympic title being claimed in 1992

Dr. Rubén Acosta is unanimously reelected as President of the FIVB by delegates representing 196 of the FIVB’s 219 National Federations at the 30th FIVB World Congress in Tokyo, Japan. The Brazilian Men defend their World Championship crown by beating Poland in the final in Tokyo. Russia’s Women win their sixth World Championship and their first since 1990. s

Brazil’s Men defend their FIVB World Cup title in Japan, while the Italian Women win their first World Cup title. Brazil claim the World League for the fifth straight year and sixth time overall. They pick up a winner’s cheque for US$1 million. Brazil claims the World League for the fifth straight year and sixth time overall. They pick up a winner’s cheque for US$1 million. The Netherlands win the World Grand Prix in Ningbo, China, their first trophy in major FIVB competition. The Europeans become the sixth team to win the renowned annual women’s title and snap Brazil’s run of three straight triumph. The Netherlands win the World Grand Prix in Ningbo, China, their first trophy in major FIVB competition. The Europeans become the sixth team to win the renowned annual women’s title and snap Brazil’s run of three straight triumphs

The FIVB opens it new premises of “Château Les Tourelles” in May, a gorgeous building by Lake Geneva in Lausanne, Switzerland. The 31st FIVB World Congress takes place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in June. USA Men win the World League before crowning a magnificent year with Olympic gold in Beijing. The Brazilian Women do the double as well: Olympic gold following first place in the World Grand Prix. Dr. Rubén Acosta makes official his announced retirement from the Presidency of the FIVB at the end of the World Congress. It is agreed that Mr. Jizhong Wei of China, FIVB First Executive Vice President, is to take over the leadership of the organization as President, unanimously elected until the next elections in 2012, according to the Congress decision to follow again in four years’ time the Olympiad cycle

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