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Volleyball- All you need to Know

Volleyball was invented in 1895 by William.G.Morgan. A look at its history, rules, positions of players, and terminology used to understand it better.

Anmol Banerjee
Last updated: 27.09.2019
Volleyball- All you need to know about this game | Sports Social Blog

We have played this game in our school grounds, playground and almost everywhere. Our version of Gully Volleyball is quite different from what is actually is. Let us look into where did Volleyball came from and more about the game.




Volleyball was invented in 1895 by William.G.Morgan, who was the physical director of Young Men's Christian Association(YMCA) in Massachusetts. It was designed as an indoor sport for businessmen. Morgan called it 'mintonette'. Later a professor from Springfield College, Massachusetts, noted the volleying nature of the play i.e. to and fro of the ball, and proposed the name Volleyball. This game had a wide appeal in schools, playgrounds, the armed forces and other organizations. In 1913, the first international volleyball competition was conducted in Manila. Later, Volleyball became an Olympic sport for both men and women at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo.


About the Game


Volleyball is played by two teams with 6 players on each side. The players need to use their hand to bat the ball over the net trying to make the ball touch the court within the opponents playing area before it can be returned. Volleyball requires minimum equipment and space and can be played both indoors and outdoors.


The game is played on a smooth-surfaced court which is 9meter(29.5 feet) wide by 18meter(59 feet) long divided by a centre line into two 9mx9m halves. It has a 1meter(40 inches) wide net placed on it at the centre.



Volleyball matches are made up of sets; the number depends on the level of play. 3-set matches are 2 sets to 25 points and a third set to 15. Each set must be won by two points. The winner is the first team to win 2 sets. 5-set matches are 4 sets to 25 points and fifth set to 15. The team must win by 2 unless tournament rules dictate otherwise. The winner is the first team to win three sets.


There are also 6 positions where the 6 players play from. The positions are:

  1. Outside hitter(wing spiker- left side)

  2. Right side hitter(wing spiker- right side)

  3. Opposite hitter (attacker)

  4. Setter(strategist)

  5. Middle blocker (middle hitter)

  6. Libero(defence specialist)




  1. Players are not allowed to step beyond the centre line when the ball is in play.

  2. A team is only 3 touches of the ball before it must be returned over the net. The 3 touches are called as 'Pass', 'Set', 'Attack' respectively.

  3. 6 players on the floor at any one time - 3 in the front row and 3 in the back row.

  4. Points are made on every serve for wining team of a rally (rally-point scoring).

  5. A player may not hit the ball twice in succession(A block is not considered a hit).

  6. It is illegal to catch, hold or throw the ball.

  7. After the serve, front-line players may switch positions at the net.

  8. The wrong serve leads to point to the opponent team.




  1. Side-line: It is the outer boundary of the court along its lengths.

  2. Endline of baseline: Outer boundary of the court along with its width.

  3. Attack line: 3meter line separates the front court from the back court and it is important in terms of which player can attack or hit the ball over the net.

  4. Free zone: 3-meter wide area surrounding the entire court in which the ball can be played during a rally.

  5. Back court: The area of the court behind the attack.

  6. Front court: The area of the court in front of the attack line.

  7. Ace: A serve that results directly in a point, usually when the ball hits the floor untouched on the receiving team’s side of the court.

  8. Cross-court attack: An attack directed diagonally from the point of attack. Also called an angle hit.

  9. Dump: Usually performed by the setter, who delivers the ball into the opponent’s court on the second contact.

  10. Underhand serve: A serve performed with an underhand striking action. The ball is usually contacted with the heel of the hand.

The top Volleyball playing teams in the world are Brazil, Russia, Serbia, Cuba and China.


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