Volleyball: history, basic rules, interesting facts


In the article “Volleyball” we will tell the history of the emergence and development of the game, the basic rules, and you will learn interesting facts about the popular sport.

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History of Volleyball

Volleyball is a team game in which it is necessary to play the ball in 3 touches so that it touches the opponent’s playing field or the opponent cannot return it over the net.

Like any other sport, volleyball has several versions (legends) of the game. According to the first version, it was invented by American firefighters. In their spare time, they tried to amuse themselves and threw a rubber camera over a stretched rope.

The next two versions have to do with the official founder of the game, William Morgan. According to the first version, he invented the game for businessmen who were physiologically unable to play basketball. According to the second version, however, the game was created for the development of college students who were involved in basketball.

Ancient Volleyball
Ancient Volleyball

He strung a rope two meters high, and the students practiced passing by throwing a basketball over a barrier. The founder called the game “Mintonet”. Later, at the insistence of Professor Alfred Halstead, the game was renamed “volleyball,” which translates as “flying ball.”

The fourth and fifth versions are related to the ancient world. According to chroniclers, as far back as the 3rd century BC, the Aztecs had something similar, who hit the ball with their fist. Moreover, at the beginning of the 16th century there was known such a game as “foustball”, which is very similar to modern volleyball.

It differed only in that the players threw the ball over the wall instead of over the net. Each team had three or six players who were allowed three touches to throw the ball over the opponent. Of course, later the wall was replaced by a rope stretched between trees, and the lineup was limited to 5 players.


Whichever version is more plausible, what is known for sure is that volleyball’s birthplace is the United States, founder William Morgan. He published the first official rules in 1897.

The game spread around the world. Russia was no exception. In our country, it first appeared in 1920 in Kazan and Nizhny Novgorod. Five years later volleyball spread all over Volga Region and Far East, Ukraine.

Our national team played its first official international competition in 1935 against the team of Afghanistan. Victory in the matches laid the foundation for the formation of the All-Union Volleyball Association of the USSR.

Volleyball in Tokyo 1964
Volleyball in Tokyo 1964

In 1952, the second World Volleyball Championship was held in Moscow at the Dynamo Stadium. Eleven national teams participated in the championship, including women’s teams. Our teams showed the highest skill and managed to win gold medals.

In 1964 volleyball became an Olympic sport. In Tokyo 16 national teams (10 men’s and 6 women’s) were represented. The Russian team brought home its first Olympic gold and silver. The men’s team defeated Czechoslovakia in the final, and the women’s team lost to Japan. Even at the next Olympics, our women’s team was able to get revenge.

Today volleyball is the national sport in Russia. We are recognized masters, our athletes entered the International Hall of Fame.

Photos of such players as: Yuri Chesnokov, Konstantin Reva, Yuri Poyarkov, Ivan Bugaenkov, Alexander Savin, Georgy Mindzolevsky, Vyacheslav Zaitsev, Inna Ryskal, Nina Smoleeva, Lyudmila Buldakova, Roza Salikhova, Irina Kirillova, Evgenia Artamonova and Valentina Ogienko decorate the walls in Holyoke (USA).

Volleyball Hall of Fame
Volleyball Hall of Fame

Brief rules of volleyball

In classic volleyball, either of two teams consists of 6 players, each of whom occupies a special place on the court. These places are constant and numbered from 1 to 6.

The back line usually receives the ball, the front line the offense, the third number acts as a liaison, and the sixth … a little bit of everything.

Rules of placement and change of players
Rules of placement and change of players

The player in the first number serves the ball to the opposite half of the field. If the ball hits the court or the opponent fails to receive, the team earns a point, and the next serve is made by the same player.

If that ball is lost, the right to serve goes to the other team. Assuming that the ball hit the net, then the players, having won in this draw, change their number from 3 to 2, from 2 to 1, and so on, that is clockwise change (see photo above).

Each team has three touches to play the ball. If you do not have time to return the ball to your opponent, then your team will be penalized a losing point.

A volleyball match consists of 3 or 5 games with up to 25 points each. In this case, the difference between the points of the two teams must be at least 2 points. For example, 23/25, 24/26.

Interesting facts about volleyball

  • The most attended volleyball match in volleyball history took place in 1983. The national teams of the USSR and Brazil gathered in the stands more than 100,000 spectators.
  • According to statistics, players per match make more than 250 jumps and run just 1 km.
  • The average serve speed in volleyball is 60 km/hour. Men’s teams often serve at over 100 km/hour. The record holder is Matei Kaziiski from Bulgaria. He served the ball with a speed of 132 km per hour.
  • The highest jump in the sport was recorded at 3 meters and 93 centimeters.
  • The longest bout was recorded in the United States, and it lasted more than 75 hours (that’s almost three days).

If you want to take up this sport, you can enroll in the volleyball section from the age of 7 years. Experts consider the optimum age to be 9-10 years old.

If you want to be strong, fast, agile and flexible, then volleyball is an excellent sport that can provide excellent physical form, because you only look up in class!

Volleyball & Technology


The tallest volleyball player in the world is Thai Wuttichai Suksala, his height is 224 centimeters. In second place is the Russian Maxim Sapozhkov from "Samotlor" with a height of 220 cm. In third place is the Olympic champion and Honored Master of Sports of Russia - Dmitry Musersky with a height of 218 cm.

Among the men we can single out: Alexander Butko, Dmitry Musersky and Sergey Tetyukhin. Among the women they are: Ekaterina Gamova, Natalia Goncharova and Irina Fetisova.

In our country the popularity of volleyball is due to the glorious traditions we inherited from the USSR. Our country has a lot of high and developed players, who are capable of becoming the best. We have a lot of world-class specialists who are capable of creating a "miracle" out of nothing. Volleyball can be played both on the beach and in the gym, it's a sport that combines both ball game and intellectual strategy. Volleyball is the national sport of Russia with a characteristic popularization.

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