Initially known as "mintonette”, volleyball emerged in the late 1890s. Invented by William G. Morgan, a former student of the Springfield College of the YMCA, the game was designed such that it included elements from multiple other sports. These included baseball, basketball, handball, and tennis.
Morgan wanted to create a sport that would be less physically exhausting. Unlike the intense and demanding game of basketball invented just a few years earlier, Morgan wanted his game to cater to a wider audience, including individuals of different ages and physical abilities. He wanted to do away with fussy equipment and sports gear such as racquets, baskets, goal ends, bats, and sticks. However, the idea of having a net seemed appealing. Consequently, he pitched a concept where the net (measuring approximately 2 meters or 6 feet wide) was raised 6 feet off the ground. A ball was to be thrown across the net to the opponent team.
In the 1900s, a special type of ball was designed for volleyball. This was lightweight and smaller than basketball, making it easier to throw and hit. With the invention of this new design, new possibilities emerged. In 1916, the then-scandalous method of spiking and setting was introduced in a game held in the Philippines. This was further polished and modified over the years until the format was standardized. The scoring system was also revised, and finally approved by the United States Volleyball Association (USVBA) which was formed in 1928.
By the late 1900s, volleyball had become an international phenomenon. In 1984, both the US men's and women's volleyball teams won gold and silver medals. This further elevated the sport's status in the country. Today, more than 800 million athletes participate in volleyball tournaments held annually, including several youth volleyball tournaments.
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