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Volleyball - The Facts


Every sport has something, or even a few things, which makes that sport unique. For tennis and badminton that is a racket, as well as the fact that court dimensions vary depending on the number of players. Soccer is the only sport in which the rules are not the same for all players - meaning that the goalkeeper can play with both - hand and foot - while the other players can't. Volleyball is not an exception, but let's start from the beginning.



History

Volleyball was invented in 1895. in the USA, by William G. Morgan. "Mintonette" was the name he gave to this sport, which has changed to "Volley ball" later. In 1952. this game got the name it has today "Volleyball". Volleyball is in the top 5 sports,ranked by popularity, in the world. FIVB (Federation Internationale de Volleyball) was established in 1947. Currently it has 218 countries as members, which makes it the biggest international federation in the world.


Volleyball was part of the Olympic Games for the first time in 1964 in Tokyo, Japan. The first National Championship was held in the USA in 1928. Nowadays, every of 218 country members hold their own National Championships.

As many other popular sports, volleyball has its alternative, which is Beach Volleyball. Popularity of Beach Volleyball evolved during 1990s' and the first Olympics that included this sport were in Atlanta in 1996. Nowadays, Beach Volleyball is even more popular during the Olympics, than Indoor Volleyball.


Volleyball is considered for one of the sports that requires a lot of skill. That is mostly because the contact with the ball is really short (a piece of a second), which means this contact has to be really accurate and with good timing.



Modern Volleyball

Since it was founded, Volleyball has been constantly upgrading the rules and the game itself. One of the biggest changes in the game happened in 1999. when the Rally Scoring rule came in charge. Before that, a Volleyball team could get a point by winning 2 straight points only. If the ball touches the net when serving, that would count as a fault. Every set used to be played up to 15 points straight. All these rules were making Volleyball really slow and not interesting to watch. That is why the change made in 1999 is considered crucial for the development of Volleyball.


Modern Volleyball is playing up to 25 points straight and the best of 5 sets. The court size is 18x9m which the net splits it in half. There is also an attacking line in the court, 3m from the net. Net height is 243cm for men adults teams and 224cm for women adults teams. Every team has 6 players on the court at any time. Libero is also one of innovations from 1999. It is a unique position in volleyball. This player's main role is receiving and defending only, no attacking, serving or blocking allowed. So, instead of a slow and tall middle blocker in the backcourt, teams got short and quick defender specialists.



Superstars of the Game

Like every sport, Volleyball has its superstars - men and women, that have changed this sport in a good way. The first on that list, in my opinion, is ex-American player Karch Kiraly. He is the only person holding a Gold Olympic Medal for both Indoor(Montreal 1984, Seoul 1988) and Beach Volleyball (Barcelona 1992) as a player. He also has Olympic Gold as a USA Women's Team Coach (London 2012). He had, by far, the biggest influence on the game, both Indoor and Beach Volleyball.


Ladies also have their superstars. The only Beach Volleyball Team that have won 3 streak Gold Olympic Medals are USA Kerri Walsh and Misty May (Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012). Same record of 3 streak Gold Olympic Medals, but in Indoor Volleyball holds Women Volleyball Team from Cuba (Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000).


Besides this outstanding achievements, there are other famous names and members of the Hall of Fame: Natalie Cook (AUS), Lloy Ball, Jeff Stork, Todd Rogers (USA), Lorenzo Bernardi, Andrea Gardini, Andrea Giani, Samuele Papi (ITA), Nalbert Bitencourt, Giba, Mauricio Lima, Bernardo Rezende, Ricardo Santos, Sergio Santos (BRA), Hugo Conte, Julio Velasco (ARG), Nikola Grbic, Vladimir Grbic (SRB), Gabriela Kotsis (HUN), Sergey Tetyukhin, Irina Kirillova (RUS), Regla Torres (CUB), Bas Van de Goor, Ronald Zwerev (NED).



In Conclusion

Volleyball is a sport that carries a huge legacy from the past. At the same time, it is an attractive,modern sport that gets more popular every day, especially with its innovations which constatly improve the game.

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