Entry in progress—B.P.
Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team’s court under organized rules. It has been a part of the official program of the Summer Olympic Games since 1964. It is also the national Sport of Sri Lanka.
Origin of volleyball
On February 9, 1895, in Holyoke, Massachusetts (USA), William G. Morgan, a YMCA physical education director, created a new game called Mintonette as a pastime to be played preferably indoors and by any number of players. The game took some of its characteristics from tennis and handball. Another indoor sport, basketball, was catching on in the area, having been invented just ten miles (sixteen kilometers) away in the city of Springfield, Massachusetts, only four years before. Mintonette was designed to be an indoor sport less rough than basketball for older members of the YMCA, while still requiring a bit of athletic effort.
The first rules, written down by William G Morgan, called for a net 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) high, a 25×50 ft (7.6×15.2 m) court, and any number of players. A match was composed of nine innings with three serves for each team in each inning, and no limit to the number of ball contacts for each team before sending the ball to the opponents’ court. In case of a serving error, a second try was allowed. Hitting the ball into the net was considered a foul (with loss of the point or a side-out)—except in the case of the first-try serve.
After an observer, Alfred Halstead, noticed the volleying nature of the game at its first exhibition match in 1896, played at the International YMCA Training School (now called Springfield College), the game quickly became known as volleyball (it was originally spelled as two words: “volley ball”). Volleyball rules were slightly modified by the International YMCA Training School and the game spread around the country to various YMCAs.
(Oxford English Dictionary)
volley-ball n. (also volleyball) orig. U.S. a game in which a ball is struck from alternate sides of a high net without touching the ground ( Cent. Dict. Suppl.); also attrib.; also, the ball used in this game.
1896 Physical Education V. 50/1 Mr. W. G. Morgan of Holyoke, Mass., has developed a game‥which is called Volley Ball.‥ The play consists in keeping a ball in motion over a high net,‥thus partaking of the character of two games,—tennis and hand ball.
April 1896, Physical Education, pg. 50, col. 1:
During the past winter Mr. W. G. Morgan of Holyoke, Mass., has developed a game in his gymnasium which is called Volley Ball. It was presented at the Physical Directors’ Conference, and the general impression seemed to be that it would fill a place not filled by any other game. It is to be played indoors, and by those who wish a game not so rough as basketball and yet one in which the same degree of activity is demanded. The complete report as given to the Conference by W. G. Morgan is as follows: ...
6 May 1896, Springfield (MA) Daily Republican, pg. 8, col. 3:
When the Young Men’s Christian association convention is held in this city in July a team of Holyoke athletes will be sent down to give an exhibition of the new game of “volley ball” before the committee. The game was invented by Dr. F. A. Woods and Instructor Morgan of the Holyoke gymnasium. It is a combination of tennis and hand ball and any number of men can be played on a side. The rules for the game have been made out and directions for playing have been drawn up and they have been presented to the international Young Men’s Christian association committee. Several teams have been playing the game in the Holyoke gymnasium this winter. It is proposed to take two teams that have a thorough knowledge of the game and give a demonstration of it to the committee.
August 1896, Mind and Body, pg. 124:
PHYSICAL EDUCATION. The July issue contains…
In “Volley Ball” we have another new game which is adapted to be played in the gymnasium. Mr. W. G. Morgan of Holyoke, Mass., is its inventor. The game is a combination of tennis and handball. The sides are divided by a high net, the ball to touch neither the floor nor the net.
28 September 1896, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), “Gymnasium Work for Young Men,” pg. 2, col. 5:
A new game is to be introduced, one which demands considerable skill and furnishes a great deal of enthusiasm. It is known as volleyball.