Volleyball refers to a sport in which two teams each consisting of six players are separated half court by a net. Points are scored when a team grounds the ball on the opposing side's court under certain specific rules.
Rules for playing:
Play takes place in the following fashion: a player on one team begins by 'serving' (tossing the ball up into the air then striking it with power) while standing behind the court's boundary line, well above the net and into the opposing team's court.
The opposing team must then keep the ball from hitting the ground (grounding) on their side of the court. While team members are allowed to touch the ball for up to three times, individual players are restricted from touching it twice in succession. Ordinarily, the preceding two touches are used to prepare for an 'attack' geared at serving back the ball to the other side of the court in a manner that is likely to restrict the opposing team from keeping the ball from hitting the ground on their side of the court.
Serving continues in such a manner with each side allowed up to three successive touches until one of the two sides manages to ground the ball on the other team's side of the court therefore winning that serve (rally), or a team is penalized for committing a foul (fault) thus losing the rally. The winning team receives a point and the chance to serve the ball, marking the start of the next rally.
Penalty for faulting may occur in any of the following circumstances:
- When one team grounds the ball outside the opposition's court
- When a player catches and throws the ball at the opposition
- An individual player touches the ball twice in succession.
- Same team makes four touches in succession.
- A player comes into contact with the net as play continues
- When the foot of a player goes beyond the boundary line during serving
Although the sport is normally played using the hands or arms, players are allowed to strike the ball using any part of the body.
Origin of the sport
The sport, though not originally known as volleyball, came into existence in USA back in 1895 when William G. Morgan came up with a game known as Mintonette meant to be a pastime sport with no restrictions on the number of players. This sport could be played anywhere but the most preferred choice was indoors.
Mintonette had some similarities between basketball and tennis but it was not until a curious observer Alfred Halstead realized that the game had a certain volleying nature during the game's first ever exhibition match in 1896, that the sport quickly became known as volleyball.
Evolution of the sport:
The rules of the game have evolved drastically over time. These changes were first witnessed in Philippines in 1916 when the skill and power of the set were introduced. Four years later, rules stipulated that the ball could only be hit three consecutive times by either side and hitting against the back row (outside the court) was forbidden.
Come 1917, the points were moved down from 21 to 15. In 1919, the American Expeditionary forces distributed close to sixteen thousand volleyballs to both their troops and allies and this saw the sport spread into new countries.
Much later in 1987, a variation of the sport which came to be known as beach volleyball; saw two players on each side play on sand. This sport was added to the Olympic roster during the summer Olympics of 1996. Volleyball is also a recognized sport at the Paralympics and is managed by the World Volleyball Organization for the Disabled.