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Volleyball



Volleyball is the second most popular sport in the world, where two teams, separated by a high net, hit a ball back and forth over the net between the teams. Every team is allowed three hits to get the ball over the net to the other team. A point is scored if the ball hits the ground in the opponents' court, if the opponents commit a fault, or if they fail to return the ball properly.

Volleyball gameVolleyball is a very active sport that provides an excellent level of aerobic exercise. It also helps players in their hand-eye coordination and the ability to override the instinctive desire to dodge an object such as a ball.

History

On February 9, 1895, in Holyoke, Massachusetts, 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 away in the city of Springfield, Massachusetts only four years before. Mintonette (as volleyball was then known) 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 himself, called for a net 6 feet 6 inches high; a 25 ?50 foot court; any number of players; a match composed of 9 innings with 3 serves for each team in each inning; and no limit to the number of ball contacts allowed each team before sending the ball to the opponents?court. In case of a serving error, a second try was allowed (as in tennis), and a ball hitting the net was to be considered a foul (with loss of the point or a side-out)--except in the case of the first-try serve (as in tennis). To protect the fingers of the ladies, they were allowed to catch the ball and then throw it again.

After an observer noticed the volleying nature of the game at its first exhibition match in 1896 played at the Springfield YMCA, the game quickly became known as volleyball (originally spelled as two words). Volleyball rules, along with rules for basketball, were slightly modified by the Springfield YMCA and spread around the country to other YMCA locations.

A Women's volleyball match at 1964 Summer OlympicsAn international federation, the F�d�ration Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB), was founded in 1947, and the first World Championships were held in 1949 (men) and 1952 (women). Volleyball was added to the program of the Olympic Games in 1964, and has been part ever since. Beach volleyball became a FIVB-endorsed variation in 1986 and was added to the Olympic program at the 1996 Summer Olympics.

The first foreign country to adapt volleyball was Canada, in 1900. The sport is now popular in Brazil, all Europe (where especially Italy, Netherlands and Serbia are major forces since late Eighties), Russia and other countries including China and the rest of Asia, as well as the United States. The FIVB estimates that 1 in 6 people in the world participate in or observe indoor volleyball, beach volleyball, or backyard (recreational) volleyball.

Equipment

The game is played on volleyball courts 18 metres long and 9 metres wide, divided into two 9 x 9 metre "team courts" by a one-metre wide net placed such that its highest point is 2.43 metres above the ground in men's competition, and 2.24 metres for women's competition (these heights are varied for veterans and junior competitions). There is a line 3 metres from and parallel to the net in each team court termed the "attack line".

The team courts are surrounded by an area called the free zone which is a minimum of 2 metres wide and which the players may enter and play within after the service of the ball. All lines denoting the boundaries of the team court and the attack zone are drawn or painted within the dimensions of the area and are therefore a part of the court or zone and a ball touching the line is considered in. An antenna is placed on each side of the net perpendicular to the sideline and is a vertical extension of the side boundary of the court. A ball passing over the net must pass completely between the antennae (or their theoretical extensions to the ceiling) without contacting them.

The ball (a volleyball), is made of leather or synthetic leather and inflated with compressed air. It is round and 65-67 cm in circumference.

 
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