Our complete guide
Our complete guide
William G. Morgan
"In search of an appropriate game, tennis occurred to me, but this required rackets, balls, a net and other equipment, so it was eliminated, but the idea of a net seemed a good one. We raised it to a height of about 6 feet, 6 inches (1.98 metres) from the ground, just above the head of an average man. We needed a ball and among those we tried was a basketball bladder, but this was too light and too slow. We therefore tried the basketball itself, which was too big and too heavy."
Volleyball is now one of the big five international sports, and the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB), with its 222 affiliated national federations, is the largest international sporting federation in the world.
Initially the game was called Mintonette, before changing quite quickly to "Volley Ball." The same name has survived over the years, with one slight alteration in 1952 when the Administrative Committee of the United States Volleyball Association (USVBA) voted to spell the name as one word, "Volleyball".
Formerly, a team could only win a point if it served the ball that started the rally. Winning the serve back from the opposition was known as a side-out. Since 1998, volleyball bas been using a new scoring system. Teams score a point on every rally, regardless of which team serves.
A one-handed block in volleyball was referred to as a Kong, named after King Kong and the way he swatted planes from the top of the Empire State Building in New York City in his movies.
A defensive specialist with specific rules, the Libero adds an extra dimension to the backcourt part of the game improving the defence and reception of teams. This player wears a different coloured uniform from the rest of the team and can be switched in backcourt for any player. The libero cannot serve, spike the ball over the net or rotate into the front-line positions.
On average a volleyball player will jump 300 times in one game.
Outside-Spikers are key players in the team, often having two touches within one transition (a set of a team’s three touches). This is because they usually form part of the service reception unit, whilst also being a key part of the attack. There are two Outside-Spikers in any team, placed opposite each other in the line-up, and predominantly attack through the left side of the net or from the back part of the court.
The Setter is the tactical centre of any Volleyball team and must be good enough to keep the big blockers from dominating the net. The setter must feed his or her best hitters while also looking for opponent's blocking weaknesses (such as a short player on the front line or a slow centre middle blocker).
The Opposite-Spiker is positioned opposite to the setter in the team line-up and attacks through the right side of the court. Whilst sometimes they are involved in the service reception, they are usually kept out to focus on their attack. It is quite common for the Opposite-Spiker to be the main attacking outlet and score the most points in a match.
The Middle-Blocker is often the unsung hero of the team. Their main focus is blocking, hence the name as opposed to “Middle-Spiker”, but they also offer a lot in attack either by spiking through the middle of the net or attacking at such a tempo that it confuses/delays the blockers on the other side of the net. Their main job is to move according to the set of the other team to present a double block (or even triple block) across the whole net.
The Libero is a defensive specialist with specific rules, adding an extra dimension to the backcourt part of the game. They are aimed at improving the reception of teams, lengthening the rallies and is a position more suited to shorter players, who are faster and more agile. This player wears a different coloured uniform from the rest of the team and can be substituted in backcourt for any player on the team. The libero cannot serve, spike the ball over the net or rotate into the front-line positions.