Feb 092018
 

On this date in 1895, in Holyoke, Massachusetts, William G. Morgan, a YMCA physical education director, demonstrated a new game that he called Mintonette, a name derived from the game of badminton (that is, “little badMINTON), as a pastime to be played (preferably) indoors and by any number of players. The game took some of its characteristics from tennis and handball. Another indoor sport, basketball, was catching on in the area, having been invented just ten miles away in the city of Springfield, Massachusetts, only four years before. Mintonette was designed to be an indoor sport, less rough than basketball, for older or less athletic members of the YMCA, while still requiring a bit of athletic effort.

The first rules, written down by William G Morgan, called for a net 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) high, a 25 ft × 50 ft (7.6 m × 15.2 m) court, and any number of players. The net was borrowed from tennis, and would be way too low these days. Currently the net is very slightly lower than 8 ft.

A match was composed of nine innings with three serves for each team in each inning, and no limit to the number of ball contacts for each team before sending the ball to the opponents’ court. In case of a serving error, a second try was allowed. Hitting the ball into the net was considered a foul (with loss of the point or a side-out)—except in the case of the first-try serve.

After creating some ground rules, William Morgan had to experiment with his game. First, he had to decide which ball to use. A basketball was too heavy while the basketball bladder was too light. After testing all of the balls he had available, he came to the conclusion that his best option was to ask A.G. Spalding & Bros. to make him a ball. A young A.G. Spalding & Bros. equipment designer and master marine cloth tailor, Dale Callaghan, developed and produced the first prototype volleyball. Morgan approved of the ball for his sport, which was covered in leather, with the circumference of 25–27 inches. The ball was also the perfect weight for Morgan’s sport. The ball weighed 9–12 ounces. There is some debate as to whether the official ball was made by Spalding at the outset, or whether it was introduced in 1900.

Morgan revealed his sport to the other Directors of Physical Education  at the YMCA located in Springfield, in 1896. He presented his new, creative idea to Dr. Luther Halsey Gulick (director of the professional physical education training school) and the rest of the YMCA Directors of Physical Education. Dr. Gulick was so pleased that he asked Morgan to present his sport at the school’s new stadium. In preparation for his debut, Morgan created 2 teams of 5 men, who would help in demonstrating “Mintonette” in front of the conference delegates in the East Gymnasium at Springfield College.

On February 9, 1895, William Morgan presented his new sport. When Morgan was explaining the game before the demonstration, he mentioned a few key guidelines in the game of “Mintonette,” such as, that the game was created so that it could be played in open air and in gyms, and that the objective of the game was to keep the ball in action as it goes from one side of the high net, to the other. One of the conference delegates, Professor Alfred T. Halsted, loved the game of Mintonette, but he felt the name was wrong. Professor Halsted suggested that the name of the game should be “volley ball” (two words), since the main point of the game was to “volley” the ball to a player or over the net. Morgan agreed with Halsted’s idea and since then the original game of “Mintonette” has been referred to as Volleyball.

Morgan continued to tweak the rules of the game until July 1896, when his sport was added to the first official handbook of the North American YMCA Athletic League. The rules evolved over time: in the Philippines by 1916, the skill and power of the set and spike had been introduced, and four years later a “three hits” rule and a rule against hitting from the back row were established. In 1917, the game was changed from 21 to 15 points. In 1919, about 16,000 volleyballs were distributed by the American Expeditionary Forces to their troops and allies, which sparked the growth of volleyball in new countries.

The first country outside the United States to adopt volleyball was Canada in 1900. An international federation, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB), was founded in 1947, and the first World Championships were held in 1949 for men and 1952 for women.

I find it somewhat surprising that nudists adopted volleyball early in the game’s evolution, with regular organized play in clubs as early as the late 1920s. By the 1960s, a volleyball court had become standard in almost all nudist/naturist clubs.

All volleyball teams that compete regularly have nutrition guidelines. This comes from Penn State’s nutrition plan for volleyball players (http://www.stack.com/a/volleyball-nutrition-plan ):

Meals

Aim to eat five to six meals [approximately every three to four hours] throughout the day, beginning with a solid breakfast. Eat a meal two hours before working out; have a light snack an hour before; then immediately after activity, have another. Consume complex carbohydrates, like whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruits, and complement those with modest amounts of lean proteins such as skinless poultry, fish and lean cuts of beef or pork. Lighten up on fats. Choose plant-based sources [e.g., nuts, seeds, vegetable oils and avocado] and low fat versions of mayonnaise and salad dressing. Opt for broiled, baked, grilled or roasted foods, too.

Penn State’s eight-week plan is split into two three-week “build-up” periods [Weeks 1-3 and 5-7]. Energy demands are highest during these times. To support gains in muscle, power, strength and explosive speed, make sure you consume sufficient calories and fluids with the following eating guide:

Breakfast: Ready-to-eat cereal or oatmeal; banana; skim milk; orange juice; 1 hard-boiled or scrambled egg white or a string cheese. Alternative: Omelet [1 whole egg and 2 egg whites] with peppers, onion, spinach, tomato, mozzarella; whole-wheat toast with jam or honey; orange wedges; skim milk or yogurt.

Snack: Fat-free chocolate pudding; 1 oz. peanuts

Lunch: Sandwich made with whole grain bread, lean roast beef, slice of reduced-fat cheese, lettuce, tomato and mustard; fresh seasonal fruit; yogurt with 2 tbsp. granola; lemonade

Pre-workout snack: Low-fat granola bar; sports drink

Post-workout recovery snack: Low-fat kefir and homemade cereal mix [Cheerios, almonds, raisins, dried cherries]

Dinner: Grilled marinated pork tenderloin; brown rice pilaf; grilled zucchini; mixed greens with garbanzo beans, cucumber, tomato, onion, carrots and reduced-fat dressing; apple sauce; skim milk

Evening snack: Frozen yogurt with fresh strawberries

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