Since its “invention”, the game of volleyball has experienced rapid development. This is reflected in the growing number of volleyball players and the growing number of member countries of the International Volleyball Federation. In terms of popularity this game occupies the leading position on the world sports scene.
Volleyball has not only become a purely sporting game, but it has also developed into a recreational game; it has become a means of leisure, health maintenance and rehabilitation.
In my essay I will talk about the development of volleyball in the world and in our country, the rules of this game, its technique and tactics.
The essence of volleyball.
Volleyball (volleyball from volley and ball) is a team sport in which two teams compete on a special platform divided by a net, trying to send the ball to the opponent’s side so that he landed on the opponent’s floor (to knock it to the floor), or a player of the defending team made a mistake. In this case, players of the same team are allowed no more than three consecutive touches of the ball (in addition to touching on the block) in order to organize the attack.
The central body of volleyball as an international sport, which determines the set of rules, is the International Volleyball Federation, FIVB. Volleyball has been part of the Olympic program since 1964.
Volleyball is a non-contact, combination sport where each player has a strict specialization on the court. The most important qualities for volleyball players are jumping ability to get high above the net, reaction, coordination, and physical strength for effective offensive strikes.
For amateurs, volleyball is a common pastime and a way to relax due to the simplicity of the rules and the accessibility of the equipment.
There are many variations of volleyball, including beach volleyball (Olympic since 1996), indoor volleyball, mini volleyball, pioneer volleyball, park volleyball (approved by the FIVB congress in Tokyo in November 1998), indoor volleyball (Paralympic sport).
History of volleyball
Officially, the birth date of volleyball is 1895, when William Morgan, a physical education teacher at Helioke College (Massachusetts, USA), invented the game of volleyball and then developed its first rules. This is the official version, although there are others. Some tend to consider the ancestor of volleyball an American Halstead from Springfield, who in 1866 began to promote the game of “flying ball”, which he called volleyball.
Let us try to trace the development of the ancestor of volleyball. The chronicles of Roman chroniclers of the 3rd century B.C. have been preserved, for example. They describe a game in which the ball was kicked with the fists. Have survived and the rules described by historians in 1500. The game was then called “fastball. On a field of 90×20 meters, divided by a low stone wall, two teams of 3-6 players competed. Players from one team tried to knock the ball over the wall into the other team’s side.
Later, Italian fastball became popular in Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark and other European countries. Over time, both the court and the rules changed. So, the length of the court was reduced to 50 meters, and instead of the wall there was a cord, stretched between the posts. Strictly defined and the composition of the team – 5 people. The ball was kicked over the cord with fist or forearm, and three touches of the ball were stipulated. It was possible to shoot the ball through the cord after it bounced off the ground, but in this case one touch was allowed. The game lasted two halves of 15 minutes. This sport has been known for a long time, but its age goes back only to the 19th century, because the first rules of volleyball were published in 1897. Naturally, they are much different from the original, and volleyball is growing and improving.
In our country volleyball was widely spread after the revolution of 1917.
In 1925, on the initiative of the Moscow Section there was an assembly of players, who adopted the country’s first official volleyball rules, and in the same year the first official volleyball competitions were held. Since 1927 the annual Moscow championships are held. In the following years, volleyball was widely spread all over the country.
In 1928, in Moscow hosted the championship of the USSR, which was included in the program of the 1st All-Union Spartakiad. It was attended by teams from all over the country. However, despite the rapid spread and popularity of the new game, and a number of innovations that were brought to the championship, the sportsmanship of volleyball was still at a low level.
The Great Patriotic War slowed down the development of volleyball. But in spite of enormous wartime difficulties, sport life did not halt. In 1943 superiority of Moscow was played, in 1944 – superiority and Moscow Cup in volleyball. In 1945 the USSR championship is held again. Moscow teams “Dynamo” (men) and “Lokomotiv” (women) became national champions. In these competitions the men’s team “Dynamo” (Moscow) widely used the interaction of defensive lines in protection and finished playing the received balls, and in the attack used all the space in the length of the net for the attacking stroke. Such organization of the game helped the team win the Soviet championship and gave impetus to further development of volleyball tactics.
The national championships of 1946-1947, as well as successful performance of Soviet volleyball players in the international arena gave impetus to further development of volleyball in the USSR. In 1947 Soviet volleyball players competed at the International Festival of Democratic Youth in Prague and won the first place. In the same year the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) was founded. After the All-Union Volleyball Section became a member of the organization (1948), Soviet volleyball players became participants of all international competitions.
In 1949 the Soviet men’s volleyball team wins the title of champion in the first official world championship. Our national teams of men and women win the European Championship. They confirmed their championship titles in the next two years. In summer 1952 the World Championship was held in Moscow. Soviet volleyball players became the strongest in the world at these competitions.
The inclusion of volleyball in the Olympic Games program in 1964 significantly increased the demand for the game of volleyball.
Rules of Volleyball
The game is played on a rectangular court measuring 18×9 meters. The court is divided in the middle by a net. The height of the net is 2.43 m for men and 2.24 m for women.
The game is played with a spherical ball with a circumference of 65-67 cm, weight 260-280 g. Each of the two teams can have up to 14 players, 6 players can be on the field during the game. The aim of the game is to hit the ball to the floor, that is, to the playing surface of the opponent’s half, or to force him to make a mistake.
The game starts with the ball being put into play by a serve according to the draw. After the ball is put into play by serve and a successful draw, the serve goes to the team that wins the point. The court for the number of players is conventionally divided into 6 zones. After each transition, the right to serve passes from one team to another as a result of the drawing of the point, the players move to the next zone in a clockwise direction.
The service is served by the player who, as a result of the last transition, moves from the second zone to the first zone. The serve is delivered from a feed area behind the back line of the rink in order to ground the ball in the opponent’s half or to make the reception as difficult as possible. In flight, the ball may touch the net, but must not touch the aerials or their mental extension upwards. If the ball touches the playing area on the receiving team’s side, the serving team is awarded a point. If the player who served has broken the rules or sent the ball into touch, the receiving team scores a point. It is not allowed to block the ball when serving by interrupting its trajectory over the net. If the point is won by the team that served the ball, the same player continues to serve. In modern volleyball, the most common serve is the jump serve. Its opposite is shortened (planning, tactical) serve, when the ball is sent close to the net.
Reception of the ball from below. Reception
The service is normally received by players standing on the baseline, i.e. in the 5th, 6th or 1st zone. However, any player may receive the serve. Players on the receiving team are allowed three touches (a player may not touch the ball twice in a row) and a maximum of a third touch to move the ball to the opponent’s half. Handling the ball on reception is allowed anywhere on the court and in the free space, but not in the opponent’s half of the court itself. If you have to pass the ball back to your half of the court, the second pass out of three may not pass between the aerials, but must go past the aerials. When receiving no delay is allowed in handling the ball, although the ball may be received by any part of the body. Two players in the back line are allowed to handle a planned serve, but three players are needed to receive a power serve.
All actions that result in the ball going to the opponent’s side, excluding serving and blocking, are considered attacking strokes. Usually a good reception, the ball is received by the back row players (1st touch) and brought to the binder. The binder passes (2nd touch) the ball to a player for an offensive kick (3rd touch). For an attacking shot, the ball must pass over the net but in the space between the two antennas, and the ball may hit the net but must not hit the antennas or their mental extensions upwards. Front line players may attack from anywhere on the court. Players in the back row must push behind a special three meter line before attacking. The libero can attack only if the ball is (at least partially) below the top line of the net.
Distinguish between attacking blows: direct (on the course) and lateral, with a transfer to the right (left) and deceptive blows (discounts). All attacking strokes are performed only on your side and you can transfer your hands to the opponent’s side only after the stroke.
This is a play in which the defending team prevents the ball from being transferred to its opponent’s side by blocking its stroke with any part of the body over the net, usually with the hands transferred to the opponent’s side, within the limits of the rules. It is allowed to move the hands to the opponent’s side when blocking to the extent that they do not interfere with the opponent before his attack or other game action.
A block may be a single or a group block (double, triple). Touching a block does not count as one of the three touches. Only players standing on the front line, i.e. in zones 2, 3, 4, may block.
Defense (offensive reception)
The offensive touch is different from the serve because the defense always involves all 6 players on the court; some front line players put a block (sometimes all three) and everyone else plays defense. The goal of the defenders is to keep the ball in play and, if possible, bring it to the passer. Defence can be effective only if all players of a team act in harmony. That is why defence schemes were developed of which only two have survived: “backwards corner” and “forwards corner”. In both schemes edge defenders stand on their side lines, coming out from behind the block in 5-6 meters from the net, and a defender in the sixth zone, according to the name of the scheme, plays either directly behind the block (catches discounts behind the block), or behind the front line (plays far ricochet from the block).
One or two players (before 2009 only one player) of a team may be assigned as a libero. Players in this role cannot block, serve or hit the ball offensively when it is completely above the top of the net. The uniform of the libero must be different from that of the other players. It is allowed to replace the libero an unlimited number of times without informing the referee. Since a libero is not allowed to attack or block, he is usually placed in the back row and may change positions with players who can benefit from being in the front row, such as the center blocker.
The match ends when one of the teams wins three games. Before the start of the match, the first referee, in the presence of the team captains, draws lots, the winner of which chooses either the ball (serve or reception) or the court side. After each of the first three games the teams change sides of the court, and before the fifth game a new draw is held. When one of the teams reaches 8 points in the fifth game, a change of sides is made.
Volleyball game is not limited in time and lasts up to 25 points, in the fifth game (tie-break) the score is up to 15 points. In this case, if the advantage over the opponent did not reach 2 points, the game will continue until this happens.
In each game, the coach of each team may ask for two 30-second time-outs. Additionally, in the first 4 games, technical timeouts are called when either team reaches 8 and 16 points (60 seconds each).
In each game, the coach has the right to make no more than 6 substitutions of field players (except libero), and the substituted player may return to the court in the same game only in place of the player who replaced him earlier, after which the latter can not go to the court until the next game. Also in case of injury of a volleyball player who cannot continue the game, the team, which has already used all 6 substitutions, may be allowed a so-called “exceptional” substitution.
Violations of the rules of volleyball
Listed below are the most common mistakes made by players and coaches in the game.
A player stepped on the court with his foot.
Player tossed and caught the ball or did not touch the ball.
The ball touches the aerial, the serving team player, or does not cross the vertical plane of the net completely across the transition area, goes into touch.
A serve made before the referee’s whistle shall not be counted and shall be repeated.
After 8 seconds after the referee’s whistle, the ball is given to the opposing team.
More than three touches are made (not including the block).
A player touches the net between the aerials, touching the aerial.
A player stepping over the back line of the three-meter line while attacking.
Double touching or delaying the ball.
Crossing the center line with the foot completely (fixed by the projection of the foot on the court).
Violation of formation.
Unsportsmanlike conduct by one of the players or coach.
Types of penalties:
Warning (a player, coach or the whole team is shown a yellow card): for the first case of time delay or unsportsmanlike behavior; the sanction is considered preventive and, except for showing a card, has no consequences, although it is recorded in the game record;
Reprimand (to the player or coach a red card is shown): for the first case of rude behavior or repeated unsportsmanlike behavior; the team, which received the penalty, is punished by loss of a point and loss of a serve;
Suspension (a player or a coach is shown a yellow and a red card, which the referee holds in one hand): for the first case of offensive behavior or for the repeated offensive behavior; the suspended participant of the match shall leave the playing area with the right of substitution (coach – team area) and be at the special place for suspended persons till the end of the game; he may continue to participate in the game at the end of the game;
Disqualification (a player or a coach is shown a yellow and red card, which the judge holds in his hands separately): for aggressive behavior, or for a repeated case of offensive behavior, or for the third case of rude behavior; disqualified player or coach should leave the venue (player – with the right of substitution), and he will not be entitled to participate in the match until its completion.
A volleyball court is a level and strictly horizontal rectangular area, bounded by markings, which is the venue for volleyball matches.
The court can be covered with wood, plastic, special mixtures (tennisite) or dirt.
Size of the court is 18 meters long and 9 meters wide. The court is divided into two 9×9 meters parts with a one-meter wide net. The net is located so that its highest point is at a height of 2.43 meters from the ground in men’s competitions and 2.24 meters in women’s competitions (the height can be changed for veteran and junior competitions). Lines called lines of attack are drawn parallel to the net at a distance of three meters on each side of the net.
The court is surrounded by a free space (so-called free zone) having at least 3 meters on the sides, at least 5 meters in front-back and at least 7 meters in height in official FIVB competitions. Players may enter the free zone and play within it after the ball has been served.
All lines marking the boundaries of the team areas and the attacking zone are drawn within the dimensions of the rink and are therefore part of it.
The net is bounded on both sides by two vertical antennas, which are extensions of the sideline of the court and define the space allowed by the rules for ball play.
Prominent Volleyball Players
In 2000, the International Volleyball Federation conducted a poll to determine the best volleyball players of the 20th century. Among women Lan Ping (China), Inna Ryskal (USSR), Regla Torres (Cuba) and Fernanda Venturini (Brazil) were nominated for the title; among men there were 8 contenders – Peter Blanger (Netherlands), Tomasz Wuitowicz (Poland), Karch Kirai (USA), Hugo Conte (Argentina), Josef Musil (Czechoslovakia), Katsutoshi Nekoda (Japan), Konstantin Reva (USSR) and Renan Dal Zotto (Brazil).
Regla Torres was declared the best volleyball player of the last century, only a few votes ahead of Inna Ryskal, who also received the award. Karch Kirai, the first three-time Olympic volleyball champion, who won two gold medals in classical volleyball (1984, 1988) and one in beach volleyball (1996), was declared the best volleyball player. The best teams of the 20th century were the three-time world champion Italian men’s team from 1990 to 1998 and the Japanese women’s team from 1960 to 1965.
The greatest number of medals in the history of volleyball at the Olympics were won by Brazilian Sergio Santos (two gold and two silver between 2004 and 2016), Russian volleyball player Sergey Tetyukhin (gold, silver and two bronzes in 2000-2012) and Italian Samuele Papi (two silver and two bronzes at the 1996-2004, 2012 Games). Among women, these are Cuban Ana Ibis Fernandez (three gold medals and one bronze from 1992-2004) and Soviet volleyball player Inna Ryskal, who won two gold and two silver medals at four Olympics (1964-1976).
Benefits of volleyball
Regular playing volleyball has a hardening effect on the body, increases the body’s endurance.
It strengthens the cardiovascular system and improves circulation.
Has a positive effect on the respiratory system.
The variety of movements and variable intensity of exercise in volleyball trains almost all muscle groups.
Volleyball strengthens the musculoskeletal system and improves joint mobility.
It trains the eye muscles and widens the field of vision.
Volleyball has a positive effect on the nervous system, improves mood and helps to fight stress and depression.
Volleyball trains dexterity, accuracy of movements, mobility and flexibility.
Volleyball develops such qualities as diligence, courage, persistence, perseverance, discipline and the ability to react quickly to changing situations.
They help people overcome complexes, loosen up and find common ground with their peers and people of different generations.
Volleyball and other team sports bring up a sense of responsibility to the team, the ability to work as a team and trust others.
They develop the habit of regular sporting activities and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Benefits of volleyball for children:
The above-mentioned effects of volleyball also apply to the impact on the children’s body. In addition, this game teaches the necessary motor skills, fosters moral and volitional qualities, contributes to the proper physical and psychological development of the child.
Contraindications to volleyball:
Volleyball, as well as soccer and basketball, is contraindicated to people with various diseases of the musculoskeletal system, cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal tract. If you have any such ailments or other serious illnesses before practicing volleyball, be sure to consult your doctor.
Volleyball is one of the most common games in Russia. Volleyball is truly popular among the masses, because it is very emotional and easy to play, based on the simplicity of the rules and equipment.
The special merit of volleyball as a means of physical education is its specific quality – the possibility of self-loading, i.e. matching the player’s preparedness and the load he receives.
This makes volleyball a game accessible to people of all ages.