VOLLEYBALL HISTORY- Page 2 of 2

The NCAA added a women’s volleyball championship in 1981. USC won the first women’s collegiate title.

The first men’s NCAA volleyball championship was played in 1970. UCLA won six of the first seven men’s volleyball titles.

NCAA Volleyball Champions (mens)

YearChampion
1970UCLA
1971UCLA
1972UCLA
1973San Deigo State
1974UCLA
1975UCLA
1976UCLA
1977Southern Cal
1978Pepperdine
1979UCLA
1980Southern Cal
1981UCLA
1982UCLA
1983UCLA
1984UCLA
1985Pepperdine
1986Pepperdine
1987UCLA
1988Southern Cal
1989UCLA
1990Southern Cal
1991Long Beach State
1992Pepperdine
1993UCLA
1994Penn State
1995UCLA
1996UCLA
1997Stanford
1998UCLA
1999Brigham Young
2000UCLA
2001Brigham Young
2002Pepperdine
2003Lewis
2004Brigham Young
2005Pepperdine
2006UCLA
2007UC Irvin
2008Penn State
2009UC Irvine
2010Stanford
2011Ohio State
2012UC Irvine
2013UC Irvine
2014Loyola Chicago
2014Loyola Chicago

NCAA Volleyball Champions (Womens)

YearChampion
1981Southen Cal
1982Hawaii
1983Hawaii
1984UCLA
1985Pacific
1986Pacific
1987Hawaii
1988Texas
1989Long Beach State
1990UCLA
1991UCLA
1992Stanford
1993Long Beach State
1994Stanford
1995Nebraska
1996Stanford
1997Stanford
1998Long Beach State
1999Penn State
2000Nebraska
2001Stanford
2002Southern Cal
2003Southern Cal
2004Stanford
2005Washington
2006Nebraska
2007Penn State
2008Penn State
2009Penn State
2010Penn State
2011UCLA
2012Texas
2013Penn State
2014Penn State

From the Gym to the Sand
In the 1940s, another style of volleyball was developing up and down the California coast. Teams of two or four players would square off on sand volleyball courts. Young and old players would form impromptu competitions on the beach. Spectators would often gather to watch the volleyball matches. Before long, the best teams were traveling up and down the coast to play in beach volleyball tournaments. The first two-man volleyball tournament was held at State Beach, California in 1943.

In 1965, The California Beach Volleyball Association was founded. It was responsible for standardizing the rules of the beach and for organizing official tournaments. By 1976, the very best players on the beach were competing for prize money as professionals. Male players formed the AVP, the Association of Volleyball Professionals, in 1983. Women beach volleyball players formed their own association in 1986.

When former college and Olympic indoor volleyball stars began playing on the beach the sport became even more popular. Beach volleyball spread from California to Florida and then to other states—even to some that don’t have beaches. In some areas, beach volleyball is played indoors in arenas filled with sand. By 1993, beach volleyball had become so popular in the United States, that tournaments were broadcast on national television.

In 1987, two-men beach volleyball teams competed in the first world championships. The first two-women’s world championships were played in 1993. Four-player beach teams became popular in the 1990s.

Volleyball Goes for the Gold
Today, men’s and women’s competition in both indoor and beach volleyball are part of the Olympic games. Indoor volleyball became an Olympic sport in 1964. The host team, Japan, won the women’s gold medal. In the first four women’s Olympic volleyball competitions, Japan and the Soviet Union met in the finals. The Soviets prevailed in 1968 and 1972. Japan won again in 1972.

In the men’s medal competition, the Soviet Union has been dominant. After winning gold at the first Olympic volleyball competition, the Soviet men won a medal in each of the next five Olympics they competed in—three golds, one silver and one bronze. The US men’s team won back-to-back gold medals in 1984 and 1988.

Beach Volleyball became on Olympic sport at the 1996 Atlanta games. The US, Brazil and Australia have been the teams to beat on Olympic sand.

Olympic Volleyball Champions

Year
1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
Mens Indoor Gold
Soviet Union
Soviet Union
Japan
Poland
Soviet Union
United States
United States
Brazil
Netherlands
Yugoslavia
Brazil
United States
Womens Indoor Gold
Japan
Soviet Union
Soviet Union
Japan
Soviet Union
China
Soviet Union
Cuba
Cuba
Cuba
China
Brazile

Olympic Volleyball Champions

Year
1996
2000
2004
2008
Mens Beach Gold
United States
United States
Brazil
United States
Womens Beach Gold
Brazil
Australia
United States
Unites States

A Game for the Best
Hardly anyone watching the fast, powerful sport of modern volleyball would recognize it as a game originally designed as a less-strenuous form of recreation for middle-aged men. Today, some of the world’s very best athletes are digging, setting and spiking the ball in gyms and on beaches throughout the world.