Volleyball: Rising Sport?


Michael Dixon, Staff Writer

Mens volleyball is a rising sport in high school and college. The differences between men and women’s volleyball start off with net height. Men’s net height is 7′ 11 5/8”, while women’s net height is 7′ 4 1/8”. This is due to the fact that, generally, men are taller and jump higher than women.

Volleyball was invented in the very late 19th century, Volleyball was invented by William G. Morgan in Massachusetts. It became an Olympic sport in 1964. Unlike most sports, volleyball is played all over the world not just in the United States of America. There are many countries where volleyball has gained huge popularity. Brazil, the United States of America, Cuba, the Netherlands, France, Puerto Rico, Italy, Finland, Poland, Japan, Serbia, Bulgaria, Argentina, Germany, Spain, China, Egypt, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Algeria, Mexico, Cameroon, Czech Republic, Iran, Moroccan, Tunisia, Australia, and Canada are among the top volleyball countries. In many of these countries, volleyball is constantly on the rise. Therefore, the popularity of volleyball continues to grow.

In addition, volleyball is extremely popular among both children and young people, as well as adults. Volleyball is mainly played by adults for fun and they don’t care about their sporting achievements. Volleyball clubs offer training programs for volleyball players of all ages. The sport of volleyball can be introduced to children as young as five years old. Volleyball is played by a lot of men and women as well as boys and girls. That’s why the number of people, who play volleyball, is so high.  Moreover, this number is constantly growing in different parts of the world. That means that the game of volleyball is becoming more and more popular year by year. So, its popularity might increase dramatically in the near future.

Northern California Volleyball Association (NCVA) says “when exposed to volleyball (either watching live or playing competitively) -­‐ we find that boys have a strong desire to play volleyball over higher risk concussive sport alternatives.  In many regions of the country, volleyball is viewed by boys as “my sister’s sport.” “ The sport of volleyball in general has experienced unprecedented growth.” Volleyball has become the top team sport for girls nationwide and USA Volleyball membership has grown from 175,000 in 2010 (11,000 boys) to 253,964 in 2015 (15,884 boys). The growth, however, has been mostly in female participation. Women’s beach volleyball is currently the fastest growing sport in NCAA Division I and transitioned from an un-popular sport to a championship sport in just five years.

Opportunities for girls to play vs. opportunities for boys are two very different stories. Today, in the NCAA there are 23 Division I Male programs vs. 334 Division I Women’s programs. Seventeen colleges have men’s Division II teams whereas 294 Division II colleges have women’s teams. In Division III the numbers are 69 for men and 432 for women. NAIA and Junior College programs number 50 for men and 411 for women.  Only 22 states have approved high school volleyball for boys, though there have been developments in Colorado and Ohio this year and steady progress in several other places in the country. College Club programs have seen steady growth. More than 220 teams competed in the NCVF (National Collegiate Volleyball Federation) Championship tournament. The number of men’s college club teams suggests plenty of men want to play volleyball. Now we just need to provide more opportunities for scholarships!