A summary of volleyball history facts about the growth and
popularity of the game, details of the creation of International
competition along with descriptions of how and when volleyball
offenses and defensive elements were introduced and why.
In US volleyball history, a series of events occurred that propelled
the game into becoming the second most popular participation sport in
the world, after soccer.
Here's a description of those events.
1952: For the first time in volleyball competition, the FIVB allowed the
In 1955, volleyball was included in the multi-sport competition which
was open to all the countries in the Americas (North America, Central
America and South America to be exact).
This international competition was called the Pan American Games.
Held every four years, the 1955 Pan American Games was only the
second edition but approximately 2500 athletes representing 22
countries paraded in front of 100,000 spectators at the opening
ceremonies in Mexico City, Mexico where the games were hosted.
After beating Brazil in the final, the United States men's volleyball
team earned the first gold medal ever awarded for volleyball in a Pan
American Games competition.
the first silver medal awarded for volleyball in a Pan American Games
Although volleyball was first introduced in the 1924 Olympics that were
held in Paris as a demonstration sport, it wasn't seriously considered for
inclusion until after the FIVB was formed and requested the IOC to
include the sport of volleyball in the next Olympics.
To better understand the sport and its popularity a special volleyball
tournament was organized as a demonstration at the 53rd Congress of
the International Olympic Committee in Bulgaria.
The tournament was a huge success and the International
Olympic Congress elected to include volleyball as an Olympic sport
In 1959, the International University Sports Federation (FISU) organized
the first edition of the World University Games which were held in Torino
The World University Games or World Student Games as they are also
called is an international multi-sport competition organized like the
Olympics but open only for university or college student athletes around
the world that qualify.
Volleyball was included as one of the eight athletic competitions held
among participating countries in the 1959 edition.
Starting at the beginning of the 1960's new volleyball techniques like
the dink, the bump, blocking across the net, and
defensive diving and rolling were added to the game.
1960: Seven midwestern institutions formed the Midwest Intercollegiate
Volleyball Association (MIVA)
1964: Southern California Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (SCVIA)
was formed in California.
1964: Volleyball was introduced to the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
In this first edition the traditional round robin system of tournament play
was adopted where all the volleyball teams played each other then
were ranked by wins, set average, and point average.
Then another single elimination round was introduced where the latest
eight teams competed in the quarterfinals, the winners of these
matches competed in the semifinals and the last two volleyball
teams standing met in the Olympic volleyball finals.
Speaking of finals for the men's volleyball competition the Russians then
called the Soviet Union won the gold, Japan the silver Czechoslovakia
women's volleyball team add to the country's medal count with the gold
medal in the tournament as the home nation at the Tokyo 1964 Olympic
The members of the first ever USA women's volleyball team were:
Mary Jo Peppler
Mary Margaret Perry
1968: National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) made
volleyball their fifteenth competitive sport.
1969: The Executive Committee of the NCAA proposed the addition
of volleyball to its program.
1975: The U.S. National Women's women's volleyball team began
training year-round in Pasadena, Texas then moved moved to Colorado
Springs in 1979.
They subsequently moved to Coto de Caza and Fountain Valley, CA in
1980 to train for the upcoming Russian and Los Angeles Olympics before
moving to San Diego, CA in 1985.
1977: the U.S. National Men's team began a year-round training regime
in Dayton, Ohio which subsequently moved to San Diego, CA in 1981
where they stayed for 20 years before moving to Anaheim, California.
The 1980s U.S. National Volleyball Teams
Check out how the U.S. National Volleyball Teams pursued their dreams and successes in the 1980s with this USA Volleyball promotion video edited in 1985. *Source from USA Volleyball Jim Coleman Library.
Both the Women and Men's National volleyball teams now train in
Las Vegas club teams that participate in the Southern California
Volleyball Association (SCVA), like the Volleycats Elite volleyball club
1980: Celebrated as one of the best American women's volleyball teams
1984: The '84 Olympics were highly anticipated by American athletes
who suffered the frustration of having to boycott the 1980 Olympics
held in Moscow.
The U.S. had their best showing in an Olympic
volleyball competition ever with the women winning the silver and the
men winning the gold.
Karch Kiraly gets emotional when explaining the
1984 Los Angeles Olympic Gold Medal match experience.
1987: The FIVB added a Beach Volleyball World Championship Series.
1988: The U.S. men repeated their Olympic volleyball dominance in the
Seoul, Korea Olympics and repeated their performance to win
back-to-back gold medals.
Here's a brief history about 1988 Men's Olympic Volleyball Player Karch Kiraly
1990: The World League, an international Men's professional indoor
volleyball tournament is a marquis event played each year among the
world's top 16 Men's teams was created and organized by the FIVB.
Watch the Brazil vs. USA - Final - 2014 FIVB Men's World League
1995: Happy Birthday To Volleyball For Turning 100 years old!
2008: At the Beijing Olympics despite an unfortunate incident where the
American Men's olympic volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon's father-
in-law was killed before the start of the volleyball competition, the US
men's volleyball team won a gold medal while the women reached the
finals but lost to Brazil which earned them a silver medal tying the best
finish ever for an American women's volleyball team in the Olympics.
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