(Last Updated on : 12-09-2018)
Volleyball Federation of India (VFI) came into existence in the year 1951 in Ludhiana
(in the Indian state of Punjab
). Ever since its inception, the federation has played a crucial role towards promoting the game in India. Prior to the formation of VFI, the game was managed by the Indian Olympic Association
(IOA) and in those days the Interstate Volleyball Championship were held every two years from 1936 to 1950 for men only. The first ever match was held in the year 1936 at Lahore which comes in Pakistan currently.
Indias Participations in Different Tournaments
Ever since the VFI has come into existence, the Indian team has participated in World Championships, Asian Games, Commonwealth Championships, Asian Championships and many other International Tournaments held in India and abroad. India won Gold medal at the Invitation Asian Meet at Japan in 1955. In the third and fourth Asian games that took place at Tokyo in 1958 and Jakarta in 1962, India won Bronze and Silver medals respectively. India got a major setback when no player was honoured with the Arjuna Award from 1963 to 1971. Ever since then, the Indian Volleyball Team has taken part in many competition of national and international stature.
Volleyball Federation of India was quick to popularize the game in India, and it was quick to fall in line with the World body's desire to make the game popular. India happens to be one among the many nations where the Volleyball league was started. National Volleyball League Club Championship was spread across different centers culminating in a Final League.
Focus on Womens Volleyball Game
The popularity of the game went to a new height when India received Gold medal at SAF games in 1987 at Kolkata
, in the state of West Bengal. The Indian team, again, pocketed the Gold medal in 1991 at Colombo. After this, the women's game started gaining popularity. Though they put up a good show in the 1993 SAF games at Dhaka, the women's team is yet to make an impact as big as their male counterpart.
Arjuna Awards Winning Player
In India, many players won Arjuna Awards
for Volleyball. Some of them include, Palaniswamy (1961), Nripjit Singh
(1962), Balwant Singh
(1972) after a 10 year gap, Malini Reddy, Shyam Sundar Rao, Ellamma, Jimmy George
etc. Among these players, Jimmy George in particular, was a very talented player. He was the first Indian player to become a professional and was also regarded as one of the best ten players in the world in his time. Sadly though, he met a bad end dying in a car accident in Italy.