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How to play Volleyball? Know its History, Rules & Fun Facts | All you need to know

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How to play Volleyball?

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Volleyball is a team game played with a ball and a net. There are teams on either side of the net. One team hits the ball over the net line and into the other team’s court or area, the other team must then hit the ball back over the net and in bounds within three tries without letting the ball contact the floor. 2 main types of competitive volleyball are played all over the world. They are indoor and beach volleyball. Both are sports that are a part of the Olympic games and have competitive leagues.

10 Fun Facts About Volleyball
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Team volleyball is played indoors on a hard court with 6 members per team. Beach volleyball is performed outdoors on the sand with 2 members per team. The rules, strategy, and discussion here will focus on team volleyball. Anyone can pick up the ball and play with friends with several people and most anyone can join in. To be a competitive player takes a lot of practice. A good height and jumping ability are necessary to play the game.

History of Volleyball

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William Morgan invented the game of Volleyball in 1885. He was an athletic director at the YMCA and was trying to emulate basketball and came up with volleyball. Since then, the rules have changed here and there, but it quickly became a popular sport at the YMCA. The name volleyball came about when a man named Alfred Halstead noticed how the game had a volleying nature. People declared it the name of volleyball and the name got stuck. The game was first played in the Olympics in the 1964 edition. Japan won the first gold medal in the women’s category of volleyball whereas USSR won the first gold in the men’s category of volleyball.

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Volleyball Ball

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An indoor volleyball ball is white in color but may have some other shades as well. It is usually made of leather with 8 or 16 panels. The official indoor volleyball ball weighs 9.2 – 9.9 ounces & is 25.5 -26.5 inches in circumference. The standard ball has 4.3 – 4.6 psi air pressure. A youth volleyball is slightly smaller. Beach balls are slightly bigger, weigh the same, but have much less air pressure.

Volleyball Court Dimension

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The volleyball court is 18 meters long and 9 meters wide. It’s divided into sides in the middle by the net. The width of the net is 1 m and is set up at the height of 7 feet 11 5/8 inches above the ground (8 feet approx). The other key feature is a line that is drawn on each side 3 m from the net & parallel to the net. This line is called the attack line. It defines the front row and back row sections of the Volleyball court.

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Volleyball Rules

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  • There must be only six players on the Volleyball floor at any given time. 3 in the front row and 3 in the back row.
  • Points are made on every serve, called rally-point scoring.
  • Players are not allowed to hit the ball twice in succession (a block is not considered a hit).
  • A ball hitting on the boundary line is considered as ‘in’.
  • A ball is ‘out’ if it touches the antenna, any of the cables or net outside the antennae, the floor area completely outside the court, the pole or referee stand, or the ceiling above a non-playable area.
  • Contacting the ball with any of the player’s body parts is considered legal in a volleyball game.
  • It is illegal to throw, hold or catch the ball.
  • It is illegal to attack or block a serve from or inside the 10-foot line.
  • After the service is done, the front-line players are allowed to switch positions at the net.
  • The matches are made up of sets, the number depends on the level of the game.

Player Positions

There are 6 players on each side. Three of the players are positioned in the frontcourt and three in the backcourt.

Image Source: wiki
Player position Description
SetterThe setter’s main job is to put the ball in the perfect place for the attackers so that they can strike the ball fiercely.
Middle BlockerThe main blocker and sometimes acts as an attacker too.
Outside HitterThe main attacker takes place on the left and is ready to spike.
Weakside HitterThe secondary attacker whose main job is to block but sometimes they are ready to spike when needed.
Liberos This position is the focal point of the game and is being referred to as the most important player. This player is the first player which comes in contact with the ball. They wear a different jersey from the rest of the team and can be easily spotted in a game and they can be substituted for any player on the court. 


Word Meaning 
ACEA serve that scores a point without the receiving team being able to return the serve over the net.
BUMPA pass is used to set an attack.
CARRYHolding a ball for too long will result in this fault.
CROSS This is a type of play in which the middle attacker takes the initiative of attacking as well as defending.
CUT Shot from an impossible angle.
DIGWhen the first hit is picked up as a first pass.
DOUBLE CONTACT When a player hits the ball two times in a row.
DUMPWhen a player crosses the ball over the net on a second contact.
FIVE ONEA type of formation
FLOATER A type of service where the volleyball is hit with no spin and less power and seems like it is floating in the air.
FOUR TWOA type of formation
JUMP SERVEA type of service where the server tosses the ball into the air and then jumps up and hits the serve as the ball is coming down.
KILLAn attack that results in a successful spike.
MISHITUntimed hit.
PANCAKEA type of dig when the player uses the backhand flat to the ground allowing the ball to bounce off their hand for the hit.
SIDE OUTA loss in the point causing a change in serve.
SIX TWOA six-player offense where there are two setters in the back row.
SPIKEA type of attack where the ball is served over the net with good force and speed.
STRONGSIDEThe court’s left side. Since most of the players are right-handed.
TIPA soft hit attack is used to get the ball over the net quickly.
WEAKSIDE The court’s right side. Since the majority of the players are right-handed.
WIPEWhen one player pushes the volleyball off the opponent’s block to score winning the point.

Volleyball Federation of India

The Volleyball Federation of India or commonly known as VFI was established in 1951 in India. Before the footstep of the Volleyball Federation of India, the sport was controlled by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). During those days the Interstate Championship was organized every 2 years from 1936 to 1950 (for men only). The very 1st Volleyball tournament was held in Lahore in the year 1939. The first meeting of the VFI was held in Ludhiana (Punjab) in the year 1951.

About V.F.I

  • 1st President (1951-1954): Mr. F.C. Arora
  • Current President (2020-2024): Prof. Achyuta Samanta
  • Headquarters: Chennai, India

Fun Facts

  • The game was invented in the year 1895 in Massachusetts. It was William G. Morgan who holds the credit for inventing Volleyball.
  • It was initially termed as “mintonette” but was later changed to volleyball. It happened when G. Morgan heard an observer of the Volleyball game notice that the players were “volleying” the ball back and forth to each other over the net.
  • Earlier, the game was played only indoors.
  • Beach volleyball began in California in the 1930s.
  • The first 2-man beach Volleyball game was played in 1930.
  • In 1924 the game was demonstrated as an unofficial game in Paris Olympics.
  • Men’s and women’s volleyball was introduced as an official sport at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964.
  • In the year 1947, the Federation of International Volleyball (FIVB) came into existence, and the game became an official game.
  • The 1st men’s World Championships was held in 1949. Whereas the first Championship for women was organized in 1952.
  •  The 1st professional beach volleyball championship was organized during the summer of 1976, at Will Rogers State Beach. The tournament was called the “Olympia World Championship of Beach Volleyball”.
  • In 1966: Beach volleyball became an Olympic sport for both men and women.
  • On average, the players jump about 300 times in a single match!
  • Beach Volleyball is the only Olympic sport that has a rule prohibiting the players from wearing too much.
  • The time duration for the longest volleyball game ever played is 75 hours and 30 minutes. The game was played in Kingston, North Carolina.

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Volleyball India

India’s Ranking in FIVB World Championship

1952Soviet UnionMoscow8th

India’s Ranking in Asian Volleyball Championship

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1979 BahrainManama5th
1983 JapanTokyo5th
1987 KuwaitKuwait City5th
1989 South KoreaSeoul6th
1991 AustraliaPerth10th
1993 ThailandNakhon Ratchasima9th
1995 South KoreaSeoulDNP
1997 QatarDoha9th
1999 IranTehran9th
2001 South KoreaChangwon7th
2003 ChinaTianjin5th
2005 ThailandSuphanburi4th
2007 IndonesiaJakarta9th
2009 PhilippinesManila9th
2011 IranTehran6th
2013 United Arab EmiratesDubai7th
2015 IranTehran11th
  • In August 2022, the Indian volleyball team clinched a silver medal after losing 1-3 against Iran in the final of the Asian Men’s U20 Volleyball Championships in Riffa, Bahrain.

Famous Indian Volleyball players

Many volleyball players of India have made their country proud on several occasions.

Men Volleyball players

Jiimy George KreedOn
Jimmy George, Indian Volleyball Player

Women Volleyball players

  • Nirmal Saini
  • Zubeida Khalili
  • Saly Joseph
  • Jagmati Sangwan
  • Varinder Lali Sandhu
  • Priyanka Khedkar

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9 Volleyball Tips

  • Use all 3 chances to cross the ball to another side of the net.
  • Always call for the ball even if it’s obvious
  • Properly warmup before the match
  • Know the rules of the game
  • Always work as a team
  • Use proper gears & equipment
  • Coordinate with your teammates
  • Avoid violating rules
  • Practice, practice, practice

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Aditya Mishra
Aditya Mishra
Aditya Mishra is currently working as a head of content and manager at KreedOn. He is an ardent defense enthusiast and was a SSB aspirant (SERVICE- SELECTION-BOARD) during his college days. Moreover he has represented his state of C.G in All India Senior National Athletics Championship (Lucknow) and winner of several state athletics tournament (400m). Aditya did his PG Diploma from the prestigious Indian Institute of Mass Communication. With a vision to bring substantial change in India's sporting ecosystem, he along with his team are working for the development of Indian athletes.


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