The history of volleyball in USA and Canada

Volleyball is a game that requires six people to form a team. A game will, therefore, consist of 12 people. Only two teams can play a game at a go. The two teams are separated by a net. The volleyball game was actually so dormant until it participated in the 1964 summer Olympics!

The history of volleyball traces its root back to 1895 when William G Morgan, an enthusiast invented it in the USA! What inspired Morgan to invent this game was the existence of other games such as the Basketball, Tennis, handball and also the baseball! Apparently, volleyball is the combination of the four different sports! Much credit is given to the basketball for playing a major role in ensuring the invention of the volleyball. Volleyball was then commonly known as Mintonette.

Volleyball made its first appearance in Canada in the year 1900 when it was included in the Ottawa branch of the YMCAs.It was during this year when the newly designed ball was introduced! Later on, Volleyball gained some small recognition and its spread to YMCAs IN the Montreal and Toronto. The YMCA began to include the volleyball game in their schedule. YMCA was then the only organized organization which really conducted major tournaments in Canada. it later gained recognition in overseas such as Russia, Asia and some parts any parts of the USA.

Notably, the volleyball game was relatively dormant in Canada just before the first world war. At this stage volleyball used to have a different set of rules such as it was a 21 point game which was played in a set and spike style. in the year 1916, volleyball received some changes where the offensive way of set and spike style was scrubbed off. Later on in the year 1917, the game points were changed to 15 from the initial 21 points. Notably, at this periods the game used to be played with no referees! other rules were gaining ground such as the back row attack rules and also the three hitting for a team, in the year 1920. In 1922, it was a historical season for the volleyball game where 27 teams participated in a major event held at Brooklyn, new York!

volleyball history

Between the periods 1928,1930 and 1934, Volleyball had really gained ground and the United States volleyball association was formed in 1928. The first ever Beach volleyball was later held in the year 1930 and the 1934 marked the introduction of the referees in a volleyball game.

The creation of the FIVP which stands for the Federation Internationale De Volleyball after the second world war really saw the volleyball game gain greater recognition and it started participating even in major tournaments.

Upon formation of the FIVP, Canada joined them in 1953. later in the same year, Canada founded the Canadian Volleyball Association. Afterwards, volleyball was now among the well-organised types of games and it made its first entry in the Tokyo Olympic games in the year 1964. The California beach volleyball Association was immediately formed after the Tokyo Olympics in the year 1965.

The formation of new sets of organizations in both USA and Canada really saw the volleyball game gains the recognition and it even managed to introduce women to the game! in the year 1975, women’s volleyball team was actually doing their practice! Later on, after Canada successfully hosted the 1976 Montreal Olympic games, the first junior men’s and women’s world championship was held in the year 1977!

Thanks to William G Morgan who made all the steps to see the game of volleyball invented! its now among the major games that’s actually known globally and have won the hearts of many fans in the world!

Beach Volleyball Rules


A beach volleyball game essentially comprises of an inflated ball, a net, a court and two players on each side. The first ever game recorded took place at the Outrigger Canoe Club upon Waikiki Beach, in Hawaii.

The two-player format was begun in Santa Monica, California which has become the norm practised in professional volleyball games all over the world. This particular game was included at the Summer Olympics of 1996.

Beach Volleyball Rules

Every volleyball game maintains a set protocol and is played based on the rules specified by its governing body Federation Internationale-de-Volleyball (FIVB).

Volleyball can be played as a mixed or a singles game, which means the two players representing a team can comprise of a woman and a man, or 2 women or 2 men. When playing a professional game, a referee checks the tactics of the players to ensure fair play.

Additionally, there are a few specifications to be kept in mind, when playing a beach volleyball game. They are:

Court Dimension

The existence of a court dimension makes it easier to keep one’s focus directed to a confined area. A basic disregard of the court dimensions can result in the loss of a point which is a risk you must not be willing to take, in case you wish to score points or rather win the game.

The length of a beach volleyball court is 52 feet and 6 inches long, with a width of 26 feet and 3 inches.

A court comprises of a playing area and a free zone of a minimum width of 9 feet 10 Inches. You must be cautious of the lines, when you play because in case the ball falls upon an undetermined area, a replay will be demanded.

Also, the court has 2 side lines and 2 end lines to mark the area of play, and keen attention must be paid to contain yourself with the boundary line.

This need not be noted in the case of a server, as they must step outside the rear court to start the game with a serve.

Net Height

The purpose of a net is to divide the court into two equal halves that look like 2 squares. It gives an equal court space to the players of both the teams.

The standard net height for men and women varies in consideration of their physiologies. For men, the net height is placed at 7 feet 11 5/8 inches and for the women at 7 feet 4 1/8 inches.


In order to score a point, the two teams must engage in a rally where a server must try to throw the ball over the net and ground it into another’s court space. The players at the other end must try to stop their opponent from doing so, to avoid loss of a point.

If the players are in a single match game, the team that scores the first 15 points wins. If the best of 2 is looked into, then the team that attained the 11-point target before their opponent is the winner.

When a 3-match formula is applied to the game, a team must win at least 2 games in order to win the match. Plus, the first team to score 7 points wins the final match. There is plenty more to the game in case you intend to take up the game professionally.


I hope that the next time you attempt to play the game, you will brush up on the Beach volleyball rules that you were informed of in this article.

The Game

Beach volleyball is played on a sand based court 8m x 16m separated across the middle by a net at a height of 2.24m for women and 2.43m for men.

A team has two players and play is similar to indoor volleyball – one team serves, the other tries to win the rally or ‘side-out’ using moves known as ‘dig’, ‘set’ and ‘spike’.

The ball can be played over the net on the first or second touch to surprise the opposition, but your team is not allowed more than three touches of the ball.


The team usually fields a ‘frontcourt’ player and a ‘backcourt’ player. The frontcourt player is responsible for ‘blocking’ and is usually the taller of the pair, while the backcourt player is the defender covering the rest of the court making ‘digs’.

The sun, wind and sand make beach volleyball a difficult game to play requiring a high level of fitness. Players need spatial awareness and excellent ball skills, and must be able to react and move fast in order to win. It can take years to acquire the ability to follow and place the ball, while knowing the exact position of your playing partner as well as the oppposition.

Games are played as rally point and best of three sets, the first two played to 21. If a tiebreaker is needed, it is played to 15. A team must win the set by a two-point advantage. Scoring systems may vary slightly depending on the competition.

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Beach volleyball was first introduced as an Olympic sport in Atlanta in 1996 and due to its success and popularity around the world, now has some of fastest ticket sales for the games.

Beach Volleyball

Two weeks of international beach volleyball brought 29,000 people to Blackpool and put £12.5million in the local economy according to an independent economic impact assessment. From delivering the UK’s first FIVB International tournament in 2007 to our European Championship Tour English Masters and Swatch FIVB Junior World Championships in 2009, Beach Volleyball UK Ltd has confirmed its position as the only UK company with professional volleyball people experienced in planning and managing all aspects of World Class tournaments.

We are now seeking sponsors to join us in building the British audience for the fastest growing Olympic sport.


Beach volleyball

With British Beach Volleyball taking centre stage on Horse Guards Parade at the London Olympics in 2012, it is already attracting growing interest here in the UK. Beach volleyball has a huge following in the rest of the world.

The FIVB World Tour visits 19 cities in 16 host countries and attracts more than 600,000 spectators. Prize money stands at $9million and the tournaments are televised worldwide reaching an estimated 620 million households.

Check out the movie on this page to see what BVUK’s plans for womens and mens Beach Volleyball could have for England. If the UK is to put up a winning performance in 2012, we must raise it’s profile here and help its governing bodies bring our up-and-coming players to World Tour standard.