The modern form of Volleyball has been around since 1895. It began in Massachusetts and was developed as a physically less demanding alternative to basketball so that older participants could enjoy playing the game. It took about twenty years for the sport to really catch on. Shortly regulation size and weight was established for the ball and the three hit rule was added.
Indoor volleyball has been an Olympic sport since 1964 when it was introduced at the Tokyo games. It was considered an alternative to basketball, and that first year, the Japanese women took gold. Since the introduction of volleyball to the Olympics no one country has dominated the sport.
In 1996 the popular beach volleyball was added. This provided the opportunity to wear less, sweat more and go barefoot. Beach volleyball teams consist of two players, one playing fairly close to the net in preparation to block and score points, and the other toward the back to work on digs and saves. The same three hit rule applies.
This year the popular ladies beach volleyball team of Kerri Walsh-Jennings and Misty May-Treanor who have enjoyed a tight grip on the gold for the last ten years, are heading to the London games seeded third. This ranking is a result of missed games, pregnancies and May-Treanor’s ruptured Achilles tendon. Training kicked into high gear for Walsh-Jennings who has had two children since her last summer games in 2008. Also on the beach volleyball scene are the other ladies team Kessy and Ross. On the men’s side the reigning champions Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers are back, and they are favored to medal.
Common injuries that affect volleyball players include ankle sprains, muscle strains and Achilles tendon injuries, the latter being particularly problematic because of the long recovery period that takes significant time out of training or playing schedules. It is critical to make time for conditioning and warm up in any exercise routine, in order to avoid injuries. We hope our Olympians stay healthy and injury free in London and wish them the best. The volleyball schedule started on the 28th.
Not much longer before the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Many of the athletes have already had their send- offs and are on their way to the Olympic Village in London. For the first time ever women on the US team outnumber the men. Wishing them all luck in their endeavors.
K.G. Gauntt, DPM