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William G. Morgan was a gentleman. He liked the newly created game, Basketball, but he felt that is was hard for older men to play. He needed to invent a game with less jumping and jolting and that older men could play. He still wanted the new sport to be an exercise, but he wanted it to relax it’s participating.
He thought to combine sports: he took the ball from basketball, the net from tennis, he borrowed the usage of hands and some other rules from handball and he took the concept of innings from baseball. He called his new game Mintonette. Although he admitted that the game was a work-in-process, he thought it would be successful enough to win an award from the YMCA Physical Director’s Conference. At this conference, Dr. Alfred Halstead suggested the name “Volleyball,” and that stuck. Later the YMCA further developed the sport, as more started to play it.
The sport volleyball continued to grow worldwide until it became a proper sport. The “Y” encouraged colleges to start to include it too: particularly Springfield College in Massachusetts and George Williams College in Chicago. The sport continued to grow and more countries adopted the game and started to play. Canada was the first country, besides the United States, to take on the sport in 1900. Elwood S. Brown brought it to the Philippines in 1910, J. Howard Crocker brought it to China. Japan, Burma, India, Mexico, and South American, European and African Countries joined in on the fun too.
The game was soon becoming a larger phenomenon. It was included in the program of the Far-Eastern Games, in Manila. Some countries also put a spin on what was already created in the US, like the “Brown” rules. These set of rules, most importantly, had 16 players, for greater participation in matches. A total of 200,000- with boys and girls from the YMCA and the YWCA, school children, and college students- played this well known game at the time.
The game continued to develop more and more, with help from the “Y.” The group dissuaded the National Collegiate Athletic Association to publish articles on Volleyball’s success. This helped the sport to become more famous, which lead to more rules being made. In 1918, the number of members on a team was limited to 6. With less players, each player had more of a responsibility, making the game harder. The Brown rules still existed, but these were the official rules. Also in 1922, another rule was added. To make the game more fun for opposing team and so they could get a chance with the ball, the number of times your team could touch a ball was limited to 3.
The sport then developed their own group- Fédération Internationale de Volleyball or FIVB. This group is one of the largest sporting federations, with over 200 national Federations part of it. They hosted many games and championships, which contributed to the competition. For example, the had the FIVB World Championships and the FIVB World league.
Overall, the sport has grown more and more, becoming a phenomenon so huge. The game just started off as a small dream that was brought to the YMCA by William G. Morgan and became worldwide. Decades and decades later, we have our class playing this deeply rooted game, not knowing its history.
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