Do you like to play sports? One of our favorite sports in Wonderopolis is a game we can play inside on a court or outside on the beach. All you need is a ball, a net, and several players. It involves bumps, sets, spikes, and digs. What are we talking about? Volleyball, of course!

Have you ever played volleyball? If so, you know it usually involves 12 players — six on each side of a central net — who hit (volley!) a ball back and forth over the net. Each team tries to keep the ball from hitting the ground on their side by hitting it back to the team on the other side of the net. One team scores a point when they hit the ball to the other team and the other team lets it hit the ground.

Volleyball has been around for over 100 years now. A man named William Morgan invented the game in 1895 at the Holyoke, Massachusetts, Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA). Morgan was the Director of Physical Education, and he based his new game on a similar German game called Faustball.

Morgan called his new game Mintonette. He thought of it as a mixture of tennis, basketball, baseball, and handball. After a spectator mentioned during a demonstration of the game that it involved a lot of “volleying" of the ball back and forth, the game was renamed volleyball.

Today, volleyball is very popular all over the world. Some experts believe that volleyball may be the second most played sport in the world after soccer. Although a regulation game involves a dozen players, many variations exist, from beach volleyball games with just a few players to two people facing off across a net in a backyard just for fun.

Volleyball has been a part of the Summer Olympic Games since 1964. It is a popular sport in high schools and colleges all across America and many parts of the world. There are many different rules that players must learn, but the basics are fairly straightforward.

One team serves the ball across the net to the other team. Each team's goal is to prevent the ball from hitting the ground on their side of the net. At the same time, each team tries to hit the ball over the net in such a way that the other team will not be able to return it.

Usually, each team may hit the ball no more than three times to get it back over the net. However, no one player can touch the ball twice in a row. Teams often use the first two touches to set up the final hit, which is known as the attack.

Like most sports, volleyball has some unique lingo used by players. Some common terms you may hear include:

  • Bump: Bumping the ball means a player uses the forearms to pass the ball to a teammate or to hit the ball back over the net to the other team.
  • Set: Setting the ball means a player positions the ball in a way that lets a teammate spike it over the net. Many teams have one player known as the setter. It is this person's job to set up teammates for an attack. Setters use their fingertips to push the ball high into the air where an attacker can spike it over the net.
  • Spike: Spiking the ball means hitting it with a lot of force into the other team's court. Spiking usually requires a good vertical leap to get high enough into the air to smack the ball with the palm of the hand with enough force to drive it toward the ground quickly.

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