Volleyball

Facts

Discipline of Volleyball
Participants 2503
NOCs 48
Competitions held 28 (Venues)
Distinct events 4
IF Fédération Internationale de Volleyball

Description

Volleyball, like basketball, is a sport whose origin is known almost to the day. Oddly, both sports were invented at the same college and within a few years of one another. Volleyball was invented in 1895 by William G. Morgan, a student at Springfield College and a director of the YMCA at Holyoke, Massachusetts. The game was originally called “minionette”.

Volleyball quickly spread around the world and became more popular in other countries than in the United States. The sport was introduced in the Olympics in 1964 by the Japanese, although it was never contested as a demonstration sport at the Olympics. No country has been truly dominant in volleyball, although the Soviet Union has won the most medals. Originally the Japanese had the world’s best women’s players while the United States had the best men’s team in the world for most of the 1980s. In recent years, the Cuban women’s team has dominated, and four Cuban women have earned three gold medals. Only Inna Ryskal, of the Soviet Union, has won more medals, with two golds and two silvers.

Volleyball has now reached new heights of popularity, spurred on by beach volleyball, played by the ocean or on any sand-covered court by two-man teams of scantily-clad players. In 1993, the IOC approved beach volleyball as an Olympic sport that was contested at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

The international governing body of volleyball and also of beach volleyball is the Fédération internationale de volley-ball (FIVB), which was formed in April 1947 and had 221 member nations as of 2018.

All-time medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Soviet Union URS 7 4 1 12
Brazil BRA 5 3 2 10
United States USA 3 3 4 10
Japan JPN 3 3 3 9
People's Republic of China CHN 3 1 2 6
Cuba CUB 3 0 2 5
Russian Federation RUS 1 3 2 6
Netherlands NED 1 1 0 2
Poland POL 1 0 2 3
Serbia and Montenegro SCG 1 0 1 2
Italy ITA 0 3 3 6
East Germany GDR 0 2 0 2
Bulgaria BUL 0 1 1 2
Czechoslovakia TCH 0 1 1 2
Peru PER 0 1 0 1
Serbia SRB 0 1 0 1
Unified Team EUN 0 1 0 1
Argentina ARG 0 0 1 1
Democratic People's Republic of Korea PRK 0 0 1 1
Republic of Korea KOR 0 0 1 1
Romania ROU 0 0 1 1

Most successful competitors

Athlete Nat Gold Silver Bronze Total
Regla Bell CUB 3 0 0 3
Marlenis Costa CUB 3 0 0 3
Mireya Luis CUB 3 0 0 3
Regla Torres CUB 3 0 0 3
Inna Ryskal URS 2 2 0 4
Serginho BRA 2 2 0 4
Lyudmila Buldakova URS 2 1 0 3
Nina Smoleyeva URS 2 1 0 3
Ana Ivis Fernández CUB 2 0 1 3
Yumilka Ruiz CUB 2 0 1 3
Yuriy Poiarkov URS 2 0 1 3
Steve Timmons USA 2 0 1 3

Event types

Name Gender Still contested? Times held?
Volleyball Men 14
Volleyball Women 14
Volleyball Boys 1
Volleyball Girls 1