Volleyball is a complex game of simple skills, but it has become a more and more competitive sport with high physical and technical performance to include power, height, and speed. A purely rebound sport (you can’t hold the ball), volleyball is a game of constant motion.
Volleyball is a sport played by two teams on a playing court divided by a net. The object of the game is to send the ball over the net in order to ground it on the opponent’s court, and to prevent the same effort by the opponent. A team can touch the ball three times before it must be returned to the opponent’s side of the net—the usual pattern is a dig (an underarm pass made with the forearms), a set (an overhead pass made with the hands) and a spike (the overhead attacking shot). The ball is put in play with a service, hit by the server over the net to the opponents. The rally continues until the ball is grounded on the playing court, lands out of bounds, or a team fails to return it properly.
In Volleyball, the team winning a rally, scores a point (Rally Point System). When the receiving team wins a rally, it gains a point and the right to serve, and its players rotate one position clockwise.
The game of volleyball was invented by William G. Morgan in 1895 and was originally called “mintonette”. Morgan designed the game as a combination of basketball, baseball, tennis, and handball. The ball came from basketball, the net from tennis and the use of hands from handball. While this made up a game of volleyball, it was lent some competitive tone with the introduction of innings – later to be called sets – that was borrowed from baseball.
Volleyball first appeared as a demonstration sport in the early 1990s.
There was originally concern because of the team nature of the sport, instead of the individual sports that made up the World Transplant Games before. Those fears proved unfounded though, as countries and their athletes, quickly committed to setting aside an entire day of competition to participate as a team and one country.
It became an official sport in the mid 1990s, and because of the team aspect, interest in the sport quickly grew.
Countries which have been strong in volleyball over the years are Great Britain (now UK/GB), Argentina, and more recently the Netherlands, Hungary, and Italy.
Volleyball is a great sport that people of all ages and skill levels can enjoy! Volleyball is also a sport that can be played year round, since it can be played both indoors and outdoors.
Apart from just enjoying the game, volleyball has many benefits for the participant. Volleyball is a great way to burn calories and to improve muscle strength and tone. In addition to the benefits above, volleyball improves hand-eye coordination, reflexes, and balance. Lastly, but certainly not least, volleyball teaches teamwork and communication. And it’s fun!
“Volleyball is a great sport to participate as an individual transplant athlete because it allows you to demonstrate your abilities to be physically active in a particular position. Participation as a transplant athlete in volleyball also gives you the opportunity to be a part of a team and represent your country as a whole.
I love being a part of a team because it is amazing! Being on a team, you have athletes from different transplants, stories, and backgrounds coming together to play a sport that we love for our country, and to show the world that we are so much more than what you see on the outside” Ashleigh Duran, Team USA
“After my transplant, I found a lot of inspiration from other transplant athletes around the world. I love the team spirit of volleyball, fun and competitive at the same time. In volleyball, you can’t be a solo player but you always have to think that every action can only be built with the help of the whole team.“ Marco Mestriner, Kidney Recipient, Italy
“There’s nothing greater than being on the court, sliding across on your knee pads to get a fantastic dig or setting that ball and watching your teammate completely smash it with everything they have. There’s something really beautiful about being a part of a moment like that and the energy that follows.“ Jennifer Klouse, Liver Recipient, USA
Volleyball is a sport that combines strategy, skill, communication, and quick decision making. There is a lot to learn to play the sport, and some of the most important things you need to learn are the basic skills, all the different positions, formations, and roles for each position. After, you understand the basics, get outside and find a court nearby or a recreation league to play with.
Aim for 3-5 days/week of 30-45 minutes in duration each workout session. Get out and play the game with others if you can or practice volleyball specific drills at home. Start with a dynamic warmup, incorporate plyometrics (rapid stretching and contraction of muscle groups-also called jump training), strength training, core strength and anaerobic training into a workout session if you can.