Volleyball is a non-invasive sports game of a net type where there are two competing teams of six members who control the ball with parts of their body. There are both offensive and defensive tasks and one game event may result in both winning and losing points. The duration of the match depends on gaining a given number of points in sets and winning a certain number of sets.

Volleyball is one of the most spread sports in the world. It is played by millions of people of various age categories. People who learn to play volleyball at a young age can play it at an adequate level until an elderly age. Volleyball brings together features of individual skills and team work, creativity with discipline, and dynamic effort with fun and enjoyment of active movement and controlling the ball, all the way from the lowest to the professional level and international championships. According to international rules, there are men or women teams of six members but there are various modifications of the game as far as the number of players is concerned; there are also mixed teams (Císař, 2005)..

History of Volleyball

Written sources from different continents (North and South Americas, Asia and Europe) state that the creator of volleyball is the director of Holyoke College, physical education instructor, W. G. Morgan. He wanted to replace less emotional gymnastic exercises with an undemanding and attractive form of physical activity. He divided the gym into two halves by a tennis net (in the height of approx. 183 cm) and let students to volley a basketball ball from one half to the other.

Volleyball originated in 1895 in Springfield, Massachusetts (USA). The original name “mintonette” was changed in 1896 when the game was presented to YMCA directors into to volley the ball. Heavy basketball ball was not suitable for the game and the ball bladder did not last long. Morgan had the first volleyball ball made following special calculations thus eliminating an important obstacle in further development of volleyball. In 1896, the structure of volleyball was set by the rules published by J. J. Cameron.

Obr. 60 Volleyball development

In Czech lands, volleyball started to develop only after World War One. Thus it is a relatively new sport. One of the most important promoters of volleyball was J. A. Pipal who worked as Prague YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) director from 1919. In 1921, YMCA founded the first volleyball organization in the Czech lands – the Volleyball Association (Kaplan, 1987).

1921 is referred to as the year when volleyball started to be played in Czech lands in an organized way. Volleyball started to be called “odbíjená” in Czech and in 1924 it became a part of Czech Volleyball and Basketball Association (CVBS). In 1944, CVBS published rules of volleyball. In 1946, volleyball left CVBS and Czech Volleyball Association was founded under the leadership of its chairman, Jiří Havel.

The International Volleyball Federation – Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) – organized its founding congress in Paris in 1947. Its seat is Lausanne in Switzerland. In 2004, altogether 218 national federations were members of FIVB. The first men’s World Championship took place in 1949 in Prague (on an adjusted outdoor tennis court); the first women’s World Championship took place in Moscow in 1952. In recent years, adult World Championships have taken place once in four years, always in an odd year between Olympic Games. Within the World Championship, there are also junior categories (till 18 years of age), cadet categories (till 16 years of age) in two-year intervals. The best men’s teams compete in an annual, financially well sponsored, long-term competition called World League. There is a similar competition for women called World Grand Prix. FIVB is a member of IOC and both men’s and women’s competitions have regularly been parts of the Olympics since 1964 (Táborský, 2004).

Beach Volleyball

Beach volleyball is an attractive ball game which developed from classic six-player volleyball. Since it appeared, it has attracted many fans; therefore it has been included among the sports within summer Olympic Games. The majority of the rules has been adopted from the rules of classic volleyball, however, there are also some differences. For example, the team is composed of two players only and the dimensions of the court are smaller. (http://www.beachvolleyballbohumin.cz/beachvolleyball)

Game Characteristics

Beach volleyball is a sport played by two teams of two players on a sand court divided by the net. The ball can be played by any part of the body. The aim of the game is to drive the ball in an allowed way over the net towards the ground in the opponent team’s field and prevent the opponent from doing the same thing. The ball is introduced into the game by serving. The server hits the ball with one hand or arm in such a way to make it fly over the net into the opponent’s field. To get the ball back into the opponent’s field, the team can use three hits. One player cannot hit the ball twice in a row (except after blocking and at the first touch). One rally continues until the ball touches the ground, is “out” or the team does not succeed in returning the ball in an allowed way. In beach volleyball, only the serving team gets points (except for the decisive set). If the receiving team wins the rally, it wins the right to serve (and also a point in a decisive set); this is called “loss”. If “loss” appears, the serving player must be changed.

(http://beach.cz/o-beach-volejbalu/pravidla/ )

An overview of game activities, combinations and game systems in volleyball.

Table 1 Overview of game activities


Mainly focused on fulfilling

Focused on fulfilling both offensive and defensive tasks


Offensive tasks

Defensive tasks


Game activities of an individual

 - serve

 - ball recovery

 - blocking


 - reception

 - coverage


 - pass


 - attack hit


Game combinations

- with feeder standing by the net

- position against opponent’s attack hit

- waiting position


 - with penetrating player

 - position to cover the spiker

 - position to receive opponent’s serve


 - with pass on attack


 - with pass from the field


Game system

 - each center forward feeder


 - with 3 feeders


 - with 2 feeders


 - with 1 feeder


Source: Buchtel (1981, p. 12)


Volleyball, beach volleyball, W. G. Morgan, mintonette, point, set, Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB), CVS (Czech Volleyball Association), J. A. Pipal, game activities of an individual, game combinations, game systems, serve, reception, pass, attack hit, ball recovery, coverage, blocking


HAILICH, Jan. Vliv tréninku na rozvoj reakční rychlosti volejbalistů. MU, 2008. Bakalářská práce. FSpS. Vedoucí práce Martin Zvonař.