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Volleyball


Volleyball was conceived as a less strenuous alternative to basketball. The sport became popular very quickly and made its Olympic debut in 1964.

A shared history

Basketball and volleyball were both invented at Springfield College in Massachusetts within a few years of one another. In 1895, William G. Morgan, after watching basketball develop, decided to invent a less strenuous sport for older people. He called this game "Mintonette". However, a local professor noted the ball being volleyed over the net, and the sport was almost immediately renamed.

Growth and development

The sport quickly became popular across the world. Japan was playing the game by 1896, followed closely by other Asian countries and the sport developed rapidly over the next 20 years. A specially designed ball came into play; six-a-side play became standard and the rules mandating three hits were instituted.

Olympic history

 No country has been truly dominant in volleyball, although the Soviet Union has won the most medals. The Japanese and the Soviet Union women’s teams dominated from 1964-1984 but since then the balance of power has shifted to Cuba, then to China and now to Brazil. The United States men’s teams were prominent in the 1980s, Italy in the 1990s and Brazil in the 2000s.

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Gallery

Fans at the Olympic Games
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Fans at the Olympic Games

Fabiana Claudino of Brazil thanks fans after winning the Women's Preliminary Pool A match between Argentina and Brazil on Day 3 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maracanazinho on August 8, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Getty Images
VolleyBall Men
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VolleyBall Men

Erik Shoji and Aaron Russell of the United States in action during the Men's Preliminary Pool A match between the United States and Canada
Getty Images
VolleyBall Men
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VolleyBall Men

Wallace Leandro De Souza of Brazil (#4) spikes the ball against Carlos Guerra of Mexico during the men's qualifying volleyball match between Brazil and Mexico
Getty Images
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https://olympic-vh.akamaihd.net/i/Assets/MediaPlayer/Videos/Streaming/Strands/Making-of-an-Olympian/eos01_beach_volleyball/eos01_beach_volleyball_,0200,0400,0600,1200,1800,.mp4.csmil/master.m3u8

The evolution of beach volleyball

Beach volleyball has come a long way since its formative years on the American beaches. Here, we chart the rise of the popular spectator sport.

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The spectators competing to grab a volleyball signed by athletes

Nanjing 2014 - The spectators competing to grab a volleyball signed by athletes, 26 August 2014
NANJING POOL/ZHU Bingwei
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https://olympic-vh.akamaihd.net/i/Assets/MediaPlayer/Videos/Streaming/2014/08_Nanjing/Beach Volleyball/Day_03_190814/H-SPT-03-BV-M-Q-WEV_468346_720_,0200,0400,0600,1200,1800,0200,0400,0600,1200,1800,0200,0400,0600,1200,1800,0200,0400,0600,1200,1800,0200,0400,0600,1200,1800,0200,0400,0600,1200,1800,.mp4.csmil/master.m3u8

Men's Beach Volleyball Iran vs France - Highlights | Day 3

Highlights from Day 3 at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games with action from the Men's Beach Volleyball event. This event saw the French duo come up against the competitors from Iran, resulting in a France winning 2 sets to 0.
IOC
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