Volleyball Is an Olympic Sport Term Paper

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Each of the five continental volleyball confederations has at least one affiliated national federation involved in the Olympic Games (Montgomery p 20).

The U.S.S.R. won men's gold in both 1964 and 1968. After taking bronze in 1964 and silver in 1968, Japan finally won the gold for men's volleyball in 1972. Women's gold went to Japan in 1964 and again in 1976. That year, the backrow attack allowed Poland to win the men's competition over the Soviets. With the U.S.S.R. boycotting the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, the U.S. was able to sweep Brazil in the finals for the men's gold medal and Italy won its first medal, foreshadowing a rise in prominence for their volleyball teams.

In 1985, for the first time, a Volleyball representative (FIVB President Acosta) was named for an IOC Commission - the prestigious Olympic Movement Commission. (fib+vb 2006)

At the 1988 Games, the U.S. men's team won a second straight gold medal. In 1992, underrated Brazil upset favourites C.I.S., Netherlands, and Italy in the men's competition for their first Olympic gold medal.

During the Olympics, September 21, 1993, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) granted Beach Volleyball Olympic medal status.

In 1996, the Olympics were held in Atlanta. There were 24 men's teams and 16 women's teams representing the first ever Olympic Beach Volleyball Tournaments. Runner-up Netherlands, men's silver medalist in 1992, came back under team leaders Ron Zwerver and Olof van der Meulen in the 1996 Games for a five-set win over Italy.

A men's bronze medalist in 1996, Serbia and Montenegro (playing in 1996 and 2000 as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) beat Russia in the gold medal match in 2000. In 2004, Brazil won its second men's volleyball gold medal beating Italy in the finals.

Literature plays an important role in the diffusion of ideas and information and allowed people with a common interest to get together. Seen by over 150,000 people per month, Volleyball is the only monthly national magazine committed to covering all aspects of the sport. Issue-oriented features and photos from some of the sport's top photographers make Volleyball a must-read for players.


The first rules, written down by William G. Morgan, called for a net 6 feet 6 inches high; a 25 x 50-foot court; and any number of players. A match was composed of 9 innings with 3 serves for each team in each inning; and no limit to the number of ball contacts for each team before sending the ball to the opponents' court. In case of a serving error, a second try was allowed while a ball hitting the net was to be considered a foul (with loss of the point or a side-out) -- except in the case of the first-try serve. To protect the fingers of the ladies, they were allowed to catch the ball and then throw it back into play.

The rules were modified in 1900 by W.E. Day and published by the YMCA. In 1916, many new rules were established. The number of players per team was set at six.

In 1919, in China the rules were also modified. Play became 12 against 12. The Philippines developed the first kind of spike. It was known as the "Filipino bomb"; and it was a pretty lethal weapon in its day. The first spontaneous tries at blocking made their appearance, although not yet codified by the rules.

After the War, rules were rewritten to clarify interpretation.

The Libero

In 1998 the libero player was introduced internationally, the term meaning free in Italian; the NCAA introduced the libero in 2002. The libero is a player specialized in defensive skills: the libero must wear a contrasting jersey color from his or her teammates and cannot block or attack the ball when it is entirely above net height. The libero may function as a setter only under certain restrictions. Furthermore, a libero is not allowed to serve, according to international rules, with the exception of the NCAA women's volleyball games, where a 2004 rule change allows the libero to serve, but only in a specific rotation.

Other recent rule changes

In 2000 other rule changes enacted to include the introduction of the let serve which allows play to continue even if a served ball touches the net as long as it continues into the opponents' court. The service area was expanded to allow players to serve from anywhere behind the end line but still within the theoretical extension of the sidelines, as well.


Players master six basic skills: serving, passing, attacking, blocking, the set and the dig. Each skill comprises a number of specific techniques that have been introduced along the years and are now considered standard practice in high-level volleyball.

Coaching and Basic Principles

Coaching young players is no easy task. There are many things that make coaching difficult for the new coach (Hammond 1).

The USA Volleyball Coaching Accreditation Program (USAV-CAP) provides an opportunity for professional education for the volleyball coach. The curriculum addresses topics for volunteers to the High Performance coach. Each level includes a special emphasis on the foundation and creation of a well-prepared coach. This knowledge coupled with hands-on coaching courses creates a unique experience.

Coaching for volleyball can be classified under two main categories: match coaching and developmental coaching. The objective of match coaching is to win a match by managing a team's strategy. Developmental coaching emphasizes player development through the re-enforcement of basic skills during exercises known as "drills." Drills promote repetition and refinement of volleyball movements, particularly in footwork patterns, body positioning relative to others, and ball contact. A coach will construct drills that simulate match situations thereby encouraging speed of movement, anticipation, timing, and team-work. At the various stages of a player's career, a coach will tailor drills to meet the strategic requirements of the team. (Hammond 4)

Players do not usually master all six skills mentioned above, but focus on one or more of them. The most common specialization comprises three positions: attacker/blocker (also differentiated in "outside" and "middle"), setter and liberos (defensive specialist).

Taller players with the ability to jump high are usually utilized as attackers/blockers, where they attempt to block or spike opponents' initial hits and return the ball at high speed on steep trajectories so that the ball lands before the other team has time to react.

Setters have the task for orchestrating the offense of the team.

Liberos are defensive specialists, who are responsible for receiving the attack or serve (the dig) and are usually the players on the court with the quickest reaction time and best passing skills.

Middle blockers or Middle hitters are players that can perform very fast attacks that usually take place near the setter.

Outside hitters, also known as power hitters, attack from near the antennas. A strong-side hitter is an outside hitter that specializes in attacking from the front-left position. Conversely, the attacker in the front-right position is the weak-side hitter.

Coaches are advised to first assess during tryouts to find out what talent has been handed the team and to begin figuring out your strengths. A coach can build a decent team around one good setter, though some prefer the 6-2 offence, using 2 setters who come off the back row to set. After selecting setters, if the coach finds two middle hitters/blockers, obviously taller players who possess a very competitive streak, effective offence will flow around aggressive middle players. Drilling on the basics so every player should be able to pass (both forearm and overhead), set (especially the taller hitters who think they can't), attack, and block (even shorter players can soft block- the presence of even a weak blocker can alter the opposing attacker, making her hit out or long), is the next order of business. The rules changes to allow double hits on first contact, including overhead sets, meant coaches can teach the players to receive all hits above their shoulders with overhead sets.

Beach Volleyball

The FIVB estimates that 1 in 6 people in the world participates in or observes indoor volleyball, beach volleyball, or recreational volleyball.

In the early 1920s, accounts place the origin of Beach Volleyball in Santa Monica, California, where the first Volleyball courts were outlined on the beach at the Playground. Families played six members vs. six members. People escaped the depression by going to the beach and playing volleyball to play 4 team members versus 4 and 3 team members versus 3. Any number was considered satisfactory, as long as the teams were matched in size. The first two-man beach volleyball game was played there in 1930 (History 2).

In 1927, Beach volleyball became the principal sport in a French nudist camp founded in Franconville, a northwestern suburb of Paris, France. Beach volleyball appeared in Palavas, Lacanau and Royan, in France, then around Sofia, Bulgaria, Prague, Czechoslavakia and Riga, Latvia.

In Europe, Volleyball arrived on the French beaches of Normandy and Brittany with American soldiers fighting in the First World War.…[continue]

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