30 Fun and Interesting Facts About Volleyball

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Volleyball is a well known sport and is fun for all ages to play together. These 30 fun facts about volleyball will give you more insight into playing the game. They will also help you impress some of your teammates the next time you step onto the court.

Historical Volleyball Facts

  1. William G. Morgan invented the game of volleyball in 1895. He created it to be a balanced mix of basketball, baseball, handball and tennis. He was a YMCA Education Director in Holyoke Massachusetts.
  2. Volleyball was originally called Mintonettte. This name was inspired by it being played on a square shaped court like badminton with a top quality racket. William wanted to create a sport older people could easily still play as basketball was geared more towards the younger crowd.  
  3. It was renamed to Volley Ball not long after it’s invention. The previous name was too confusing and not descriptive enough. In 1952, the word was compounded into the simple and well known “Volleyball.
A volleyball in the middle of the court
  1. There is an ongoing debate about when the first volleyball was created. It was made by Spalding, but no one can pinpoint the exact year. Some circles declare that it was created in 1896 while others believe the volleyball was created in 1900.
  2. Before the creation of the Volleyball, players used the soft inside bladder of basketballs to play.
  3. In the beginning, the rules were very simple and there were not many of them. There was also not the three hit rule technique of bump, set, spike that is very popular today. Instead a varied number of people would invade the court and once the serve was made, the main goal was to just keep the ball in the air until one side failed.
  4. The first official volleyball game was played at Springfield College on July 7th, 1986
  5. The scoring system was changed from 21 points to 15 points to win the game. This was before rally scoring was implemented. Points could only be earned by the team who was currently serving. If a serve was missed or the other team won the ball, then no point was given.
  6. Spiking was originated in 1916 during a tournament in the Philippines. They began setting the ball up higher for a Bomba (spike) to be initiated. They called the hitters Bomberinas .
  7. By 1920, volleyball had spread to a worldwide played sport. At this time the three hit rule was implemented and back row spikes were also credited as allowed.
  8. The first YMCA national championships happened in 1922. This was held in Brooklyn, NY and 27 teams from eleven states attended the event.
  9. In 1928, the United States Volleyball Association was created. This was to help implement and keep the rules regulated for tournaments.
  10. The first two man game of volleyball happened in 1930. Beach volleyball was being played before this date, but this is when Paul Johnson had the idea to make it a two man team.
  11. Volleyball rapidly spread in popularity from the 1940s-1950s. This is due to World War II and the many soldiers that gathered together during this time. The YMCA proactively taught the sport to the soldiers that were in Germany as a way to help spread Christianity worldwide. The soldiers from Germany, Italy, and Japan learned the game and then took it home after the war and taught their friends and family.
  12.  In 1964, at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, volleyball was introduced as competing sport. It had been previously demonstrated at the Paris Olympics in 1924, but was not considered a real event until Tokyo.
  13. The Volleyball Hall of Fame was established where it all began in Holyoke, MA. Since 1971 it has over 100 honorees which cover a span of coaches, players, officials and various contributors.
Volleyball team celebrating after a win
  1. The first professional beach volleyball tournament took place at Will Rogers State Beach at the end of the summer of 1976. This grand event was titled the Olympia World Championship of Beach Volleyball.
  2. In 1999, Rally Scoring was implemented to help make the average length of each volleyball match more predictable, instead of the previous scoring system which could go multiple volley matches without anyone adding to the score. The Rally Scoring was also chosen to make volleyball games more crowd and television friendly. Giving viewers a point awarded through each exchange and drastically shortening the amount of time they would spend watching.

Socially Beneficial Fun Facts About Volleyball

  1. Volleyball is a non contact sport. You and your competition are based on opposite sides of the net from each other. This helps reduce the hands on contact and the potential fighting risks that can happen when the game gets heated. It can also cut down on some injuries. The main contact that volleyball players will deal with are some on the court collisions from their own teammates who are watching the ball and not the people around them.
  2. This sport is a team sport. While you can have someone who is a more active player, they can’t do it all alone. You have to alternate hits between players to use up your three hits and to gain a bump, set, spike making communication key to winning. This helps develop teamwork skills and will teach you how to lead and follow other people’s directions while you are enjoying playing a game.
  3. There is not a lot of long distance running in volleyball. This is a great aspect for individuals who do not like to run or who are unable to run across a field or court. Instead, while playing volleyball there are many instances where you will be moving quickly to get the ball or doing a short sprint. You will need to build up your endurance, since you won’t be standing still. You also need to be able to move fast and be able to react at the drop of a hat.
  4. Unless you are playing beach volleyball, you will be inside, usually in a comfortable temperature. This allows games to be played no matter what the weather is, and you don’t have to worry about mud and dirt stains on your volleyball shorts, shoes, and shirt.
  5. There are many health benefits you can gain from playing volleyball. The exercise aspect from it alone is great for your body weight, your muscle tone and will help work your heart to make it stronger.
  6. If you are stressed out, volleyball is a great game for you to turn to. With the combination of the quick reactive movements, hands on hard hitting of the ball and the constant sprints around the court, you are able to burn a lot of energy and stress.
Volleyball player behind the net
  1. Volleyball is a great game for you to be able to meet new friends and form relationships. Whether you are trying out for a school team or going to a local pick up game in your city, it is a social sport that breaks the ice for you. In the game of volleyball you have to talk to one another on the court to state if you are going to hit the ball, call for a play or ask for help hitting the ball. Volleyball isn’t a sport for quiet people, you are relied on to talk and to be talked to.

Fun Facts About Volleyball Gameplay

  1. The longest volleyball game on record is one that was played in Kingston, North Carolina. The game went on for 75 hours and 30 minutes. This game was played with the old volleyball scoring method, which meant that only a point was awarded when the serving team scored.
  2. The average volleyball players jumps about 300 times during a match. This is easy to do when you add in the jumping for blocking and spiking. More so, being equipped with the right volleyball shoes for jumping and hitting will aid you to become a great player
  3. There is not just one setup in volleyball. You can position your players many different ways. You can do a basic rotation which means that everyone plays the position that they rotate into. If you are in the front middle position then you are the active setter until you rotate out. You can also designate one or two setters who will automatically run to the front middle position after the ball goes over the net. This play allows the person in that position to be a middle hitter.
  4. During a higher level volleyball game, the ball can potentially reach up to 87 MPH. This will primarily happen during a spike since the player is able to gain more momentum while they are moving into the spike and then projecting that power down into the ball as they are jumping. Of course, this wouldn’t be possible if the opposing team were able to block the ball.
  5. Volleyball is the second most popular sport, second only to soccer. This is due to the fact that volleyball is open to be played from middle school, high school, college, professional, and Olympic levels. Volleyball is also extremely popular as a worldwide sport. Many countries across the globe enjoy playing competitively and for fun.


Now that you know some interesting facts about volleyball and how to play it, you can have a new and more appreciative outlook on the game the next time you play it. It took a lot of people many years to work out the kinks of the game and turn it into the sport that so many enjoy playing today.

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.