The Nature & Purpose of Volleyball

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  • 0:00 Purpose of Volleyball
  • 1:15 Nature of Volleyball
  • 2:08 The Basic Play of Volleyball
  • 3:46 Volleyball's Adaptability
  • 4:34 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Volleyball isn't the low-key sport it used to be. It is increasing in popularity, becoming more competitive and gaining attention in the media. The sport has become a favorite in many parts of the world. This lesson teaches you about the nature and purpose of this popular sport.

Purpose of Volleyball

Debbie watches her friends play volleyball after school, but she's never really caught on to the sport. She wonders where it came from and what the point is. Luckily, her friends are patient and explain a bit of background information to her, hoping to win her over to their favorite pastime.

Volleyball was invented in 1895 in the United States and has since become popular worldwide, with players in more than 200 countries regularly participating in the sport. The object, or purpose, of volleyball is to hit the ball over the net in such a way that it either lands inside the opponent's boundary or bounces off a blocker and hits the floor anywhere but inside your side's boundary. Points are scored according to this type of play. We'll talk more about this in a bit.

Speaking more broadly, there are many purposes to volleyball. These include promoting physical fitness, encouraging teamwork and group coordination, and even injecting joy into people's lives. Because, as Debbie's friends often tell her, volleyball is a fun social pastime.

Nature of Volleyball

There are several different competitive versions of volleyball, each having slightly different rules. However, there are some characteristics that all versions of volleyball have in common.

  • All versions have the dual objective of causing the ball to land in your opponent's court while preventing it from landing in your own.
  • Every version is considered a team sport, which requires coordinating and communicating with teammates to reach common objectives.
  • Each team is allowed a limited number of touches on the ball before it has to go over the net.

No matter which version you play, these rules are the same. Think of the word volley, which means to hit or touch the ball before it strikes the ground. Volleyball is just that; stopping the ball from hitting the ground on your side of the net and trying to get it to hit the ground on your opponent's side. So how does this work? Let's take a look.

The Basic Play of Volleyball

Though there are several different types of volleyball to be played, including sand, court, two-on-two or six-on-six, the game follows the same basic flow. The court consists of a large rectangle, usually 60x30 feet, with a net in the middle, resulting in two sides that are 30x30 feet. The net generally sits between seven and eight feet above the ground. Team members stand on their side of the court in either offensive positions, which means they try to hit the ball to the other side, or defensive positions, attempting to keep the ball from hitting the ground on their own side.

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