Was volleyball derived from original basketball?

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Was volleyball derived from original basketball?

Postby dwayne2005 on Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:59 am

What is known is the inventor of volleyball, also a YMCA instructor, invented the sport 10 miles away and a couple of years after the sport of basketball was invented by James Naismith. It is know for certain that the inventor of that sport, William G. Morgan, was inspired by Naismith's creation. But does it transcend inspiration to being a derivation of basketball? Specifically, the original rules of basketball?

The second rule of the 13 original rules proposed by James Naismith was:

"2. The ball may be batted in any direction with one or both hands, but never with the fist."

It is assumed basketball was played like netball, with players, unable to dribble or move with the ball, lobbing passes to one another. But slapping the ball or even volleying the ball may have also been a part of the male version of the sport, an aspect that may have been deemed unwomanly when it was adapted to the womens game, especially when considering they were playing with a 13-15 ounce soccer (association football) ball. In fact, it was specified as the 2nd rule, rules which include such oversights as an out of bounds rule (probably because they played in small facilities that were walled off which probably later led to the sport using cages).

Naturally, there is no footage of these early games. And for clarification, you'd have to practically chance encounter a player from the era talking about this specific practice as it is unlikely volleyball was of sufficient popularity (it is said Wilt Chamberlain helped increase the popularity in the '70s, for which he later became a hall of famer in two sports*) to just spontaneously come up in inquiries. If this doesn't happen it basically just gets lost in time. But I find it extremely easy to imagine a certain percent of passes in the early game being slaps.

*Wilt Chamberlain is NOT in the volleyball hall of fame. The claims are that he was in the IVA hall of fame due to his role in promoting the sport as an owner. The IVA is a long defunked league and I can find no info on their hall of fame. The league only lasted 5 years, so it can't have been too hard to get into that hall of fame.

Another point in its favor is that size of the court and the fact that the first game had 9 players per team, or 18 players total. It is likely the YMCA facility where it was first played was tiny. It was played for several years with teams of varying size depending on the size of the playing area, but generally tended towards 9 per side. This probably meant passing had to be quick to try to find holes in the defense so catching and passing may not have been the only way to play. There is even evidence to suggest the game may have been more like a pinball machine with players making use of the walls, as it was said players were reluctant to abandon cages due to this ability (over time the metal cages where replaced by rope and this ability was lost).
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Re: Was volleyball derived from original basketball?

Postby Andrew on Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:52 pm

So, I'm not that familiar with the history of volleyball, but looking into it a bit, it seems there is some connection there. However, it also seems to be more inspired by badminton (originally having the name "Mintonette"), tennis, and handball, so if it's conceptually derivative of anything, I'd say it's those sports first and foremost. That being said, just as Dr Naismith took ideas from other sports in his invention of basketball, Morgan clearly borrowed a few ideas from him (and I suppose by proxy, those other sports as well).

It's funny. I know someone who is staunchly anti-basketball, whose argument boils down to the fact that it was cobbled together as an indoor game to keep students active on a rainy day. Considering that most sports also had humble beginnings before eventually evolving into their modern form (and are just as simplistic when you break them down), it's always struck me as a rather petty reason to dismiss basketball as a "bad" sport. It's basically just an attempt at rationalising a subjective opinion and preference with a seemingly objective and academic critique, not fulfilling some imaginary requirement in its conception to be a legitimate sport or game.
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