Volleyball in the United States

Sport


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caption = 2005 Open Nationals - Westwood vs. US Women's National A2 Team
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first = 1895, Holyoke, Massachusetts (USA)
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category = Volleyball in the United States
ball = Volleyball
olympic = 1964

In the United States, volleyball is popular with both male and female participants of all ages. In fact, almost all high schools and colleges in the United States have female volleyball teams; and most regions of the country have developmental programs for all ages as well. While many areas of the country are forming male teams and development programs, there are still fewer opportunities for male athletes to play volleyball in the United States.cite web|url=http://volleyball.org/highschool/|title="High School Volleyball Participation"|accessdate=2007-06-27|a|publisher=National Federation of High School Associations] cite web|url=http://www.cnn.com/2003/EDUCATION/09/04/sprj.sch.high.school.sports.ap/|title="High school sports participation at record high"|accessdate=2007-06-28|author=Associated Press (AP)|publisher=CNN.com|date=2003-09-04]

History and rules of volleyball

See "volleyball"

Brief history of professional volleyball in the U.S.

As a professional sport, volleyball has had limited success in the United States. Numerous attempts have been made to start professional indoor women's volleyball leagues. In 1987, the latest attempt went bankrupt due to lack of fan interest and hence advertiser interest. Fact|date=June 2007 Two-man and two-woman professional beach volleyball leagues have done better, most notably the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP), but none have gained a wide following that would get them consistent coverage by the major television networks. In 2004 and again in 2005, NBC aired the Nissan Championship series, with Fox Sports carrying the majority of the season. It is thought that one of the reasons for limited coverage is the small stadium audiences that beach volleyball competition attracts, which convey a degree of unpopularity to television audiences. Fact|date=June 2007 Part of the reason for such small stadium audiences is the difficulty of erecting high stands on loose sand. Those trying to make beach volleyball succeed as a professional sport are trying to pattern it after professional tennis. Those seeking to make indoor volleyball a professional sport are trying to pattern it after professional basketball. Some think a possible breakthrough for professional indoor volleyball will come with the new emergence of indoor sand volleyball. Fact|date=June 2007

College and University volleyball

High school volleyball

High school volleyball is a fall sport for girls and spring sport for boys (except in a few states). Schools will typically have a varsity and junior varsity team, and many schools also have freshman teams. Teams play in pre-season and season competition, generally followed by a post-season that includes a regional or sectional championship and often a state championship.

While each state governs its own high school volleyball competitions through their state athletic associations, most follow the lead of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) for the governance of the sport. Most volleyball rules from state to state are basically the same in the United States. However, because of the individual associations, some minor changes and variations may occur. For example, the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) may allow competition to be the best of five while the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) or the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission (WVSSAC) may only allow competition to be the best of three. Today, however, most state associations are now using the same guidelines and are also using rally scoring, the best-of-five competition format, and allowing the "libero" to serve. In addition, most states, if not all, have adopted the plain, white polo shirt for officials as opposed to the black and white striped shirt worn in the past.

Junior volleyball

Junior volleyball is played in the U.S. in many organizations such as churches, the YMCA and the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), but the largest sponsoring organization is USA Volleyball, which oversees what is commonly referred to as "club volleyball" and hosts a Junior Olympic Championship each year.

In club volleyball, junior players develop their skills and knowledge of the game, usually with the purpose of playing for high school teams. Elite players also prepare for college volleyball. The club season typically lasts from the end of November until June, with the annual Junior Olympic Championships (JOs) taking place in late June, early July. Teams typically play tournaments throughout the season, establishing their ranking in the various regions and preparing for JOs or a season-ending tournament such as the Volleyball Festival, which claims to be the largest annual sporting event in the world. [http://www.volleyball-festival.com/About.tpl]

In order to qualify for JOs, teams must compete in JO Qualifiers, also referred to as National Qualifiers. There are nine qualifying tournaments across the country to which teams travel in order to gain an invitation to JOs. Top teams attend these tournaments to earn their bids, and college coaches will attend in order to view the year's crop of players.

The club season, long considered a supplemental place for girls and boys to gain experience in preparation for their upcoming high-school seasons, is now an almost necessity to stay competitive in the local high schools. Fact|date=June 2007 It is also extremely important in the college recruitment process, as most college seasons coincide with state high school seasons, causing the college coaches to miss the entire season. This time is made up during the club season when college coaches are able to travel to various tournaments and meet with club coaches, watch club players, and recruit for their teams.

Today

Volleyball is the one of the most popular girls' sports, and strong high school and club programs are found throughout the country. cite web|url=http://volleyball.org/highschool/|title="High School Volleyball Participation"|accessdate=2007-06-27|author=NFHS|publisher=National Federation of High School Associations] cite web|url=http://www.cnn.com/2003/EDUCATION/09/04/sprj.sch.high.school.sports.ap/|title="High school sports participation at record high"|accessdate=2007-06-28|author=Associated Press (AP)|publisher=CNN.com|date=2003-09-04 According to the numbers, volleyball is the third highest sport for female participation at the high school level behind basketball and outdoor track and field.cite web|url=http://volleyball.org/highschool/|title="High School Volleyball Participation"|accessdate=2007-06-27|author=NFHS|publisher=National Federation of High School Associations] One of the biggest events in high school-age sports is the annual Volleyball Festival in Reno, Nevada, (formerly in Sacramento, California), which draws as many as 10,000 players and three thousand coaches for its five-day tournament. [ [http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/stories/2004/08/23/focus1.html Sacramento Business Journal] Youth sports go big time]

Boys' volleyball is popular on a regional basis, and by far the greatest number of boys' teams are in Southern California and the Midwest. Fact|date=June 2007

References

External links

National Governing Body
* [http://www.usavolleyball.org/ USA Volleyball] Collegiate
* [http://www.ncaa.org/sports/volleyball/index.html NCAA Volleyball]
* [http://www.volleycentral.com/Schools.tpl?Cat1=Indoor&Cat2=Women%27s%20Collegiate&Cat3=NCAA%20Division%20I&Org=NCAA&InfoType=Schools&PageHeader=Women%27s%20Collegiate List of NCAA Women's Division I Schools]
* [http://www.volleycentral.com/Schools.tpl?Cat1=Indoor&Cat2=Men%27s%20Collegiate&Cat3=NCAA&Org=NCAA&InfoType=Schools&PageHeader=Men%27s%20Collegiate List of NCAA Men's Schools] Beach
* [http://web.avp.com/index.jsp Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP)] High School
* [http://www.nfhs.org/ National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)] Juniors
* [http://aausports.org/default.asp Amateur Athletic Union (AAU)]
* [http://www.usavolleyball.org/WannaPlay/newregions.v2.asp/ USA Volleyball's Regions]
* [http://www.jvda.org/ Junior Volleyball Directors Association (JVDA)] OlympicOther
* [http://www.avca.org/ American Volleyball Coaches Association]
* [http://www.volleycentral.com VolleyCentral - Volleyball news in the U.S.]
* [http://www.volleyballmag.com/ Volleyball Magazine]


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