Volleyball was first formulated as a sport in Holyoke, Massachusetts, by a YMCA physical education director called William G. Morgan. Although originally designed for YMCA members who were a little older than average, it has developed over the years into an athletic and challenging sport.

Heartlands of the Sport

The sport first featured as part of the Olympic Games in the 1924 Summer Games in Paris, where is was played as part of an event demonstrating American sports. Volleyball was officially incorporated into the Olympics at the 1964 Summer Games. The USSR was one of the strong national teams in the early years of the Olympic events, but both Brazil and the United States have also enjoyed success, especially in recent years.

Beach Volleyball

A more modern variant, beach volleyball, is now also played at the Olympics. While conventional volleyball features two teams of six players on each side of the net, the beach variant features teams of two. This form of the game is played on sand outdoors, rather than on an indoor court. It has attracted much attention from the general public, and now rivals the more standard version of the game, in terms of popularity. Beach volleyball is another American invention, just like the original sport, only it traces it origins to California rather than New England.