Volleyball made its Olympic debut at the 1964 Games in Tokyo. Featuring both women’s and men’s events, the sport got off to a strong start, with hosts Japan and the Soviet Union winning the women’s and men’s events, respectively. All seemed well, until the IOC voted to drop the sport for the 1968 Olympics in Mexico.
With an international body to look after the sport and its growing popularity, indoor volleyball was granted Olympic status in 1957 by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Volleyball made its Olympic debut at the Tokyo 1964 Games. Brazil, the erstwhile Soviet Union and Italy have bagged the most medals in men's Olympic volleyball (six each), with the South American team leading the honours with their three golds and three silvers.
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It was not until 1900 that a specially designed ball - lighter and smaller - was devised, which opened up a whole new range of tactical and technical possibilities for the sport. The offensive style of setting and spiking was first showcased in 1916, in the Philippines.
The history of Olympic volleyball can be traced back to the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, where volleyball was played as part of an American sports demonstration event. Its addition to the Olympic program, however, was given only after World War II, with the foundation of the FIVB and of some of the
Los Angeles 1984. Entering Los Angeles, the U.S. had competed in men's volleyball at the Olympics only twice before, placing seventh in 1968 and ninth in '64. But a squad led by Karch Kiraly, Steve Timmons, Pat Powers, Aldis Berzins, Craig Buck and Dusty Dvorak struck gold for the nation where volleyball was invented.
The history of volleyball in the Olympics for women, especially American players has occurred in a very short time, only spanning over the last 50 years. Many of the participants in the first Olympics are still playing volleyball today.
In 1964, volleyball was first played in the Olympics in Tokyo. Volleyball became a part of the Olympic Games, which allowed it to grow even more. Also, in the 1964 Olympics, the Japanese used a volleyball that consisted of a rubber casing with leather panels. A similar ball is used in modern volleyball competitions.