Historical Timeline of Volleyball & USA Volleyball

1895   William G. Morgan, an instructor at the Young Men's Christian Association
(YMCA) in Holyoke, Massachusetts, decided to blend elements of basketball, baseball, tennis, and handball to create a game for his classes of businessmen that would demand less physical contact than basketball. He created the game of Volleyball (at that time called Mintonette). Morgan borrowed the net from tennis, and raised it 6 feet 6 inches above the floor, just above the average man's head. During a demonstration game, someone remarked to Morgan that the players seemed to be volleying the ball back and forth over the net, and perhaps "volleyball" would be a more descriptive name for the sport. On July 7, 1896 at Springfield College the first game of "volleyball" was played.

1900   A specific ball was designed for the sport.

1916   In the Philippines, an offensive style of passing the ball in a high trajectory to be struck by another player (the set and spike) was introduced.

1917   The game was changed from 21 to 15 points.

1918   Six-a-side play became standard.

1920   The rules mandating three hits per side and back-row attacks were instituted.

1920   Three hits per side and back row attack rules were instituted.

1922   The first YMCA national championships were held in Brooklyn, NY. 27 teams from 11 states were represented.

1928   The United States Volleyball Association (USVBA, now USA Volleyball) was formed. The first U.S. Open was staged, as the field was open to non-YMCA squads.

1930   The first two-man beach game was played.

1934   The approval and recognition of national volleyball referees.

1937   At the AAU convention in Boston, action was taken to recognize the U.S. Volleyball Association as the official national governing body in the U.S.A.

1947   The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) was founded.

1948   The first two-man beach tournament was held.

1949   The first World Championships were held in Prague, Czechoslovakia.

1964   Volleyball was introduced to the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

1965   The California Beach Volleyball Association (CBVA) was formed.

1974   The World Championships in Mexico were telecast throughout Japan.

1975   The US National Women's team began a year-round training regime in Pasadena, Texas (moved to Colorado Springs in 1979, Coto de Caza and Fountain Valley, CA in 1980, and San Diego, CA in 1985).

1977   The US National Men's team begins a year-round training regime in Dayton, Ohio (moved to San Diego, CA in 1981).

1983   The Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) was formed.

1984   The US won their first medals at the Olympics in Los Angeles. The Men won the Gold, and the Women the Silver.

1986   The Women's Professional Volleyball Association (WPVA) was formed.

1987   The FIVB added a Beach Volleyball World Championship Series.

1988   The US Men repeat the Gold in the Olympics in Korea.

1989   The FIVB Sports Aid Program was created.

1990   The World League was created.

1992   USA Men and Women Olympic Teams win Bronze medals.

1995   The sport of Volleyball was 100 years old!

1996   Two-person beach volleyball was added to the Olympics. USA Men win Gold and Silver medals in Olympic Beach Volleyball.

1997   USA Men and Women’s Team move to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO for year round training.

1998   Rally Scoring for all sets, and Libero position created. FIVB goes over 200 nations in membership. 

2000   USA win’s Olympic Beach Gold in Men’s competition, 4th for indoor women.

2004   USA wins Olympic Beach Gold and Bronze in women’s competition, 4th for indoor men USA Sitting Women’s Paralympic Team win Bronze medal.

2007   USA Women and Men win Beach World Championships.

2008   USA Men Win FIVB World League USA Wins Olympic Gold in Men’s indoor, Women and Men’s beach and Silver in Women’s indoor Paralympic Silver for Women’s Sitting Team.

2009   USA Men Qualify for World League Finals USA Women Win Beach World Championships, USA men Bronze medal.