On February 9, 1895, in a town by the name of Holyoke, in the American state of Massachusetts, William G. Morgan, a YMCA physical education director, invented a new game he called Mintonette. He meant for the game to be played indoors by any number of players, and was meant to be a combination of basketball, handball and tennis. The timing and location of this invention was pure accident - basketball, a sport the popularity of which is gaining rapidly in the area, was invented only ten miles away and four years before. Mintonette was meant to be less rough than basketball, for older members of the YMCA, while still requiring some significant athletic effort.

William Morgan

William Morgan also invented the first rules of volleyball, which called for a net 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) high, a 25 ft × 50 ft (7.6 m × 15.2 m) court, and for any number of players to be involved in each game. Each match was composed of nine innings, with three serves for each team in each inning, and there will be no limit to the number of ball contacts for each team before sending the ball to the opponents’ court. In the event of a serving error, one more chance at a correct serve would be allowed. Except in the case of the first-try serve, hitting the ball into the net was considered a foul, which will result in the loss of a point

Although the first ever official ball used in volleyball is disputed, some sources point toward a certain Spalding creating the first official ball in 1896. On the other hand, there are numerous other sources which claim that it was created in 1900. The rules of the game evolved over time - in 1916 in the Philippines, the skill and power of the set and spike had been introduced, and in 1920 a "three hits" rule and a rule against hitting from the back row were established. In 1917, the number of points for each game was reduced to 15 from 21. In the wake of the First World War, about 16,000 volleyballs were distributed by the American Expeditionary Forces to their troops and allies, which led to the introduction and the growth of volleyball in many new countries. It was then that volleyball became an international sport.

Long before that though, there was Canada - it was the first country outside the United States to adopt volleyball, in 1900. An international volleyball organisation, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB), was founded in 1947, and the first World Championships were held in 1949 for men, while the first women's edition of the such international volleyball tournament was first held in 1952. Outside the United States, the sport is now popular in Brazil, in Europe (particularly in the Netherlands, Eastern Europe and Italy), in Russia, and across Asia.

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