Volleyball is actually the 5th most popular sport, and the second most popular team sport in the world, with over 900 Million fans around the globe. It’s also a fairly recent sport, developed at Springfield Massachusetts in 1895 by YMCA instructor William G. Morgan. The sport, originally named ‘mintonette’, borrowed ideas from a number of sports including basketball, tennis, handball and baseball. The following year, professor Alfred Halstead proposed changing the name to ‘volleyball’ after observing the volleying nature of the game. The sport became very popular, very quickly, being played by both men and women around the country at various colleges, playgrounds and even throughout the armed forces.

Initially a basketball was used in the game however players found it a little too heavy. Morgan contacted A.G. Spalding, a local sporting goods manufacturer for help. Spalding designed a special lighter ball with a leather shell. The ball was around 25” in circumference and far easier to keep airborne. Modern volleyball designs have not changed significantly since the introduction of this first design.

Just 10 years later, the game was already being played in several other countries. Canada begun playing in 1900, the Caribbean in 1906 and by 1908 the game had spread as far as Japan. During World War 1, the US soldiers would play volleyball in their downtime and it quickly started catching on in Europe.

Beach volleyball first made an appearance in 1915 on the sands of Waikiki Beach in Hawaii, where games at the Outrigger Canoe Club represented the birth of the sport. The idea of volleyball on the beach quickly caught on, with the first permanent nets appearing in Santa Monica, California in 1920. Beach volleyball grew in popularity across the United States during the Great Depression and through the 1940s and 50s.

Worldwide popularity for both versions of the sport soared with Volleyball being officially added to the list of Olympic sports in 1964, and beach volleyball being included in 1996. It is now a global sport with international competitions organized by the FIVB, of the International Volleyball Federation being established a the international governing body for all forms of volleyball.

There is a huge amount of skill required to win at professional volleyball and video analysis can be a powerful tool to dramatically improve your volleyball skills and technique. This is ideal for individuals and teams to assess their strengths and weaknesses while also being able to analyze the performance of their competitors. Insights gained from effective analysis can be immediately incorporated into your routine, and can greatly increase the effectiveness of your gameplay.

While video analysis software can give you a major competitive advantage, the process of extracting data can often be a slow and manual process, having to manually draw lines and angles frame-by-frame. Sprongo’s revolutionary new video analysis software SIVA changes this by injecting artificial intelligence and machine learning into the process. SIVA automatically identifies your subject, mapping out angles and providing an array of data and insights that can be used to review and compare.

This revolutionary new tool is already being used by professional athletes all across the world and is the perfect companion product for volleyball players and coaches to incorporate into their practice and training. It’s easy to get started, just head to www.sprongo.com to sign up for a pro account and start analysing your videos today.