Volleyball

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Volleyball a field game between two teams played on a plain court, either in a hall room or an open field, in which a ball is sent back and forth over a net. Each team has nine players. Only hand is used to send the ball over the net. The rectangular court measures 18 metres by 9 metres. A net is vertically set along the centre line with its upper border fixed at a height of 8 feet. The net is 9.5 metres long and 1 metre wide. The leather ball has a circumference between 65 and 67 cm and it weighs between 260 and 280 grams. A maximum of three players on one side of the net can make a rally to send the ball to the other side. If the serving team can keep the end of the rally in their favour, that is they neither let the ball touch the ground in their court nor do they throw the ball off their rival team's court, they gain one point. And if the rally's end goes in favour of their opponents, the service changes side.

Volleyball is one of the world's most popular games. Today there are 200 million active volleyball players in the world, 500 million people have taken this game as a means of recreation, and 215 countries have become affiliated members of the Federation of international volleyball (FIVB).

Volleyball was invented in 1895 by William O Margan of New York City, USA. He gave this game the name Mintonet. In 1897, the rules and regulations for playing volleyball were first published in a booklet. The Federation of International Volleyball was formed in France in 1997. This organisation started its operation with the affiliation of eleven countries. Mr. L Lutbud of France was the founder president of this newly formed organisation. Volleyball was included as an event for contest in the Tokyo Olympic in 1964. Senior World Volleyball Championship was introduced in 1949, Junior World Championship in 1952, Men's Volleyball World Cup in 1965, Women's World Cup Volleyball in 1973, and World Junior Championship in 1977.

Beach volleyball was developed as a result of experiments conducted for the improvement of volleyball by the FIVB president Dr. Acoster of Mexico, and it created quite an excitement in the world. Within a few years beach volleyball found a place in World Olympic Games. Park volleyball has been introduced for recreation especially in tours and picnics. Signs of timely reforms in the game are noticed in introduction of libero player, rally point system, playing with 'foot' in need, net-touch service ball etc.

There is no definite information regarding the exact time when volleyball was first introduced in Bangladesh. Volleyball used to have been played at many places of the country since late 1930s. The first Government-sponsored volleyball tournaments were arranged at the division level in the four administrative divisions of East Pakistan in 1967. However, post-independent tournaments at national level could not be arranged until 1973. That year the government formed the National Volleyball Federation, which sponsored as many as 23 national men's volleyball tournaments between 1973 and 1999 and 15 national women's volleyball tournaments since 1979.

The number of National Youth Volleyball Tournaments arranged during the period from 1980 to 1994 was 13. Many foreign teams came to play in Bangladesh. The Bangladesh team also took part in a number of contests abroad. In 1978, Bangladesh took part in the Eighth Asian Games and occupied the 11th place among 15 countries.

Bangladesh volleyball team also took part in the Asian Youth Championship held in Riadh, Saudi Arabia in 1984 and Bangkok, Thailand in 1986 and the Asian volleyball championships held in Seoul, South Korea, Korat in Thailand and Turky in 1989, 1993 and 1980 respectively. Bangladesh team also took part in the South Asian games held in Kolkata (1987), Islamabad (1989), Colombo (1991), Dhaka (1993), Chennai (1995), Kathmandu (1999), Islamabad (2004), and Colombo (2006) and the Indo-Bangladesh Bengla Games in 2007. In the Eighth SAAF games at Katmandu in 1999 Bangladesh won bronze.

Many clubs, organisations, and services of Bangladesh now play volleyball. Noteworthy among them are: Bangladesh Rifles, Brothers' Union, Audit Krira Sangsad, Azad Sporting Club, Dilkusha Sporting Club, Dhaka University, and the Ansars-VDP. [Gofran Faroqi]