During the 1890s, basketball was becoming the most popular gym game in America. But basketball was not a good sport for older people to play, because of the running involved in the game.
So in 1895, William Morgan, a gym teacher in Holyoke, Massachusetts, decided to invent a new game that would be good for older persons too. He devised a game played with the same kind of ball as basketball, but more like tennis.
At first Morgan called the game “minonette.” But when he watched players hitting the ball back and forth over the net with their hands, or “volleying,” he changed the name to volleyball.
Two American inventions, volleyball and basketball, are the only popular games that were invented entirely by one person. Today, volleyball probably has more players and spectators around the world than any team sport besides soccer!