Volleyball was the brainchild of a YMCA instructor who wanted to create a sport that was engaging, versatile, and easier on players’ bodies than some of the rougher games that included body contact. In 1895, William G. Morgan invented the game originally called Mintonette in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Mintonette morphed into volleyball, a game that combined aspects of tennis, handball, basketball, and baseball. The first volleyball game was officially played the following year on July 7, 1896 at Springfield College. By 1900, the ball known today as the volleyball was designed, and it’s been in play ever since.
William Morgan’s creation spread like wildfire, not just in the United States; it became a hit in the Philippines, Asia, Canada, South America, and the Caribbean. Between 1917 and 1920, rules and regulations changed, and the first “set and spike” occurred. Next came the championships, including the YMCA National Championships, the USVA, the FIVB, and eventually the sport hit the big time by ending up at the Olympics. Over the years, the U.S. men and women’s teams have won gold, silver, and bronze medals in both beach and indoor volleyball. This sport has come a very long way in 120 years!