You take your position on the court. The opposing team “snaps” the ball hard over the net. It is dropping fast. You dive under it with your arms outstretched. As you land on your chest, you propel your outstretched arms up. In one swift motion the ball sails through the air…
This is all part of the game of Volleyball.
Let’s explore this sport.
The History of Volleyball
In 1895, William G. Morgan invented a new game called “Mintonette.” However, it was another man (Alfred Halstead) that observed the ball being “volleyed” back-and-forth. So he decided to change the name to “volleyball.”
Morgan’s primary reason for creating volleyball was to have an activity that required skill, yet took less space and less exertion to play than basketball.
Serve This Fact – The first volleyball net was a rope, and the first volleyball was an air bladder from a basketball.
What You Need to Play Volleyball
- At least two people
- A net
- Knee Pads
Serve This Fact – A regulation volleyball court measures 60 by 30 feet. A net is stretched tightly in the middle. The height of the net is 7 feet 4 inches for middle and high schools and college women. For college men, the net is set at 8 feet high.
Let’s Play Volleyball
Today, volleyball is played both for recreation and professionally.
The object of the game? Is to “legally” return the ball over the net in such a manner that the opponent’s team cannot make a legal return.
A point will be awarded to one of the teams when a rally ends, or a mistake is made.
A regulation game is played to 25 points, and the winners must be ahead by 2 points. A middle and high school game is played best out of three games.
Illegal plays in volleyball include; holding, carrying, or lifting with the palm of the hands, four touches on one side, and two consecutive touches by one player.
A regulation game is played with six players on the court. After each rally, the team rotates in a clockwise direction (when facing the net). This ensures everyone gets a chance to serve the ball.
Skills Needed in Volleyball
- The Float: The server stands feet flat on the floor. Contact with the ball is made with a stiff wrist with no swing through after contact with the ball (similar to a knuckleball in baseball). This causes no spin to be put on the ball and allows it to catch any air current.
- Top Spin: A serve when the ball is snapped hard during contact, putting a forward spin on the ball. This causes it to drop faster than a float.
- Jump Serve: Player jumps to get more height on the ball during a serve. This technique provides a better angle to put the ball down on the court.
- Pass or Bump (Underarm Pass): Ball approaches a player below their shoulders. Your position is to hold your fingers together, elbows straight, and contact the ball with the forearms, shoulders facing the net on impact.
- Set or Volley (Overhead Pass): This directs the ball to a specific place. Your hands are held high; wrist is flexed. You make contact with the ball with the finger pads, and elbows bent. Use your legs and arms to project the ball into the air.
- Hit: Contact is made with the ball with fingers cupped and a long arm swing. Used for a hard hit ball from a height above the net, straight to the opponent’s side.
- Block (Defensive Hit): A block is used to prevent a volley from crossing the net. Your two hands are placed above your head while jumping with arms reaching for the ball that has been spiked.
- Dig: This is the ability to prevent the ball from touching the court after a spike. Used mainly for a shot that has almost reached the ground.
Serve This, Fact – Most volleyball players jump around 300 times per match!
What do you think of Volleyball? Have you ever played this invigorating sport? Tell us in the comments section.
Be sure to join us again next week when we will explore another Let’s Play feature.