(Last Updated on : 26/02/2013)
Volleyball in India is a popular sport that is played in various regions of India and several reputed Volleyball tournaments are also organized as well. Volleyball in India was introduced by Physical Education instructors who came to Indian from abroad around 70 years ago. Volleyball comprises energetic body movements as well as rapid jumps and leaps. Being a fairly affordable sport, volleyball is played in all parts of the country around the year. Volleyball in India is played by several educational institutions and the armed forces also. The Indian Volleyball team secured third place and the bronze at the Asian games in 1958 at Tokyo, the year in which the game was first introduced in the event.
Origin of Volleyball
Volleyball originated in the United States. William G. Morgan, a physical education teacher, is credited as its inventor. He devised the game by merging aspects of tennis and throw ball to form an indoor game. The first exhibition match was held in 1896 at Springfield College, Massachusetts, where the game`s use of volleys led an observer to dub it as Volley-Ball.
History of Volleyball in India
The Y.M.C.A. College of Physical Education in Madras (now Chennai) first began training its students in the sport, which then eventually spread to other parts of the country. Initially, the game was managed by Indian Olympic Association and the Interstate Volleyball Championship was conducted every 2 years, between the years 1936 and 1950. At the time, the Championship was organised for male players only. In the year 1951, the Volleyball Federation of India was established and since then the national team had participated in several international championships like Asian Championship, Commonwealth Games, and Asian Games etc. After Indian independence, the first Indian National Championship was organised in 1952 at Chennai
. The game was there upon organised for both men and women. The Indian Volleyball team won Gold medal in 1955, at the Invitation Asian Meet held at Japan. Between 1963 and 1963, none of the Volleyball players received any of the Arjuna Awards
, which was considered as a set back to Volleyball in India.
Rules of Volleyball in India
The basic rules of Volleyball in India mention that one team scores point if they throw the ball into the opponent`s court and the opponents fail to throw it back; and can also gain point if any fault is made by the opponent team. The team that scores 25 points first wins the set, and in a 5 setter, the team winning 3 sets also wins the match. Further, a team can touch the ball thrice before it traverses the net but only different players can push the ball in succession. Generally, hands or arms are used to hit the ball but hitting by any body parts is allowed legally since the 1996 Olympics. The volleyball court is generally 18 m long and 9 m wide, parted into two 9 m by 9 m courts. The net is kept 2.43 m and 2.24 m above the centre of the court for men`s and women`s competition respectively. There is also an attack line that is around 3 m from and similar to the net in each team`s court that separates it into back and front row areas.
Development of Volleyball in India
The popularity of volleyball in India made it the only game to make a stable place in the South Asian Federation Games (SAF) in 1987 in Kolkata
. In the year 1991, the Indian Volleyball team regained its gold medal in Colombo games. The Indian Women Volleyball team distinguished itself in the 1993 SAF games in Dhaka, although it is yet to make a mark in the Asian games. Indian volleyball witnessed its best in the year 2003, when the Indian team won an Asian Games title at the Rajiv Gandhi
Port indoor stadium in Vishakhapatnam
. The Indian junior team also qualified for the World Championship at the end of the year 2002. It won the Asian Games in Iran in 2010.
Arjuna Awardees for Volleyball
Some of the Arjuna Awardees in Indian Volleyball are Palaniswamy (1961), Nrijit Singh (1962), Balwant Singh (1972), G Malini Reddy (1973), Shyamsundar Rao (1974), Ranvir Singh and K. C Elamma (1975), Jimmy George
(1976) and many others. Jimmy George one of India`s foremost Volleyball players, was regarded as one of the ten best players in the world.
The Indian Volleyball team is inching forward to the top list in the world. However, the game needs more publicity and awareness among all groups of people in order to develop Volleyball in India to the next level. The rural players need more motivation and to retain the good players from rural areas also needs financial help. Volleyball in India needs more technological and scientific training process as well.