In 1928, the American Volleyball Association was established. The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) was founded in 1947. In 1949, the first men’s volleyball championship took place in Prague, Czechoslovakia.
Not just for middle-aged men
Volleyball quickly went beyond its original goal of middle-aged men. Colleges and high schools begin to apply this to both men and women. Volleyball becomes an attractive autumn sport for female students.
The first American National Volleyball Championship was held in 1949. The first women’s volleyball championship took place in 1952 in Moscow. The NCAA (National College of Sports in the United States) officially added a women’s volleyball championship in 1981.
The first NCAA men’s volleyball championship was held in 1970. In the first season, the UCLA team won with six out of seven titles.
From the gym to the sand yard
In the 1940s, another style of volleyball appeared in the waters of California. Groups of two or four players paint a volleyball court on the sand, spontaneously contest on the beach. Before the competition starts, teams will take a dip in the sea. The first men’s doubles tournament took place in State Beach, California in 1943.
In 1965, they created the California Beach Volleyball Association. This was responsible for standardizing the rules of beach volleyball and organizing official tournaments. By 1976, beach volleyball players competed for cash prizes like pro players. Professional Volleyball Association (AVP) was founded in 1983.
When the indoor volleyball stars started playing on the beach, this sport became more popular. Beach volleyball spread from California to Florida and then to other states, even to states without the sea.
By 1993, beach volleyball had become popular in the US, the tournament aired on national television. Volleyball with four members on each team became popular in the 1990s.
Volleyball and the Olympic
Today, indoor and beach volleyball competitions are part of the Olympic Games. Indoor volleyball has been an Olympic sport since 1964. The hosts of that year – Japan won a gold medal, the women’s category. In the men’s medal competition, Russia dominates, winning the gold medal at the first Olympic volleyball competition. The US men’s team won gold medals in 1984 and 1988.
Few people know that today’s strong, agile volleyball sport was originally a light entertainment for middle-aged men. Today, the best athletes are still practicing hard, competing in gyms or on beaches around the world.