VOLLEYBALL: AN INTRODUCTION   VOLLEYBALL    BEACH VOLLEYBALL    WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS   

OLYMPIC VOLLEYBALL    OLYMPIC BEACH VOLLEYBALL

Chronological Highlights
 
1896 After a demonstration given at the YMCA in Springfield the name "Mintonette" is replaced with "Volleyball."
1900

The rules as modified by W.E. Day are accepted and published by the YMCA. The height of the net is increased to 7-feet-6. Match length is set at 21 points.

Canada is the first "foreign" country to adopt Volleyball.

1906 Cuba discovers "6 Volleyball" in 1906, thanks to a North American army officer, Agusto York, who takes part in the second military intervention on the Caribbean island.
1908

Volleyball reaches Japan. It is Hyozo Omori, a Springfield College graduate in the United States, who first demonstrates the rules of the new game on the YMCA courts in Tokyo.

1910

Volleyball officially lands in China, thanks to Max Exner and Howard Crokner. Up until 1917, play is between 16-man teams and goes to 21 points.

The Philippines, too, got to know the new game. It is imported by Manila YMCA director Elwood Brown. In a very short space of time, there are 5,000 public and private courts.

In the USA, decisive impetus is given to the game by Prevost Idell, YMCA director in Germantown.

1912 The court size is changed, becoming 35x60 feet. A uniform size and weight of the ball is established, calling for a circumference of 26 inches and a weight of between 7 and 9 ounces. Two other important innovations: the number of players on each team is set at six and it is decided to rotate players before service.
1913

Volleyball is put on the programme for the first Far Eastern Games held in Manila. Teams are made up of 16 players.

1914 George Fisher, secretary of the YMCA War Office, includes Volleyball in the recreation and education programme for the American armed forces.
1915

The number of players on court again becomes variable, anything from 2 to 6 for each team. Official game time is introduced and it is decided that the team losing a game has the right to begin serving in the next game.

In Europe, Volleyball arrives on the French beaches of Normandy and Brittany with American soldiers fighting in the First World War. Its popularity grows rapidly, but the game takes root especially in Eastern countries, where the cold climate makes gym sports particularly attractive.

The opening days of World War I brings Volleyball to Africa. The first country to learn the rules is Egypt.

1916

Many new rules are established. The score for a "game" drops from 21 to 15, and it is determined that to win a match a team has to win two out of three "games." The ball can now be hit with a player’s feet. Net height rises to 8 feet, while ball weight climbs from 8 to 10 ounces. It is decided that holding on to the ball is a foul and that a player cannot have contact with the ball a second time until after it has been played by another athlete.

Volleyball becomes a part of the programme of the NCAA, the body that oversees college and university sports in the USA.

1917 At the Allied Forces air base in Porto Corsini, where Ravenna’s sports palace is now located, American airmen introduce the virus of Volleyball into Italy.
1918

The number of players per team is set at six.

In Japan, the first High School Championship is played.

1919

During the First World War, Dr. George J. Fisher, as Secretary of the YMCA War Work Office, makes Volleyball a part of the programme in military training camps, both in the USA and abroad, in the athletic handbooks written for those responsible for sport and recreation in the Army and Marines. Thousands of balls and nets are sent overseas to the U.S. troops and also presented to the Allied Army's sports directors. More than 16,000 volleyballs are distributed in 1919 to the American Expeditionary Corps Forces only. The Inter-Allied Games are organized in Paris (but Volleyball is not included since the game is not yet known sufficiently well known in the 18 participating Allied countries to allow for a balanced competition).

In China, the rules are modified. Play becomes 12 against 12, with matches going to 15 points.

1920

Court size goes down to 30x60 feet, and the ball is allowed to be played by any part of the body above the waist. A major innovation involves the rule allowing a team to play a ball no more than three times before sending it over the net.

The Philippines develop the first kind of spike. It is known as the "Filipino bomb" and it is a pretty lethal weapon.

The first spontaneous attempts at blocking make their appearance, although they are not yet codified by the rules.

Volleyball makes its first official appearance in Russia in the cities of the Volga, Gorky and Kazan, and at the same time in Khabarovsk and Vladivostok.

1922

Players in the back line are not permitted to spike. The "double hit" fault is added to the rules. Scoring rules are also changed, providing that, with the score at 14-14, two consecutive points are needed to win.

The maximum number of consecutive ball contacts per team is set at three. The first National Federation is founded in Czechoslovakia, quickly followed by Bulgaria. The first National Championship is played in the USA, in which only YMCA teams compete.

Volleyball gains in popularity in Italy too, thanks to Guido Graziani, a Springfield YMCA graduate.

1923

A team is to be made up of 6 players on court and 12 official substitutes, and each player has to have a numbered jersey. The team securing the right to serve has to rotate clockwise. The serve is to be made by the player placed on the right on the back line. If a player touches the adversary’s court during play it is a foul. Minimum ceiling height is set at 15 feet.

The official birth date of Volleyball in Russia is set at 28 July, 1923, the day a match between men's team High Art and Theatre Workshop (Vhutemas) and State Cinema Technical School (GTK) is played in Moscow.

1924 

The Olympic Games programme in Paris includes a demonstration of "American" sports, with Volleyball among them.

1925

Two time-outs per game for each team becomes the rule. There is also a change in the scoring rules for the most hotly contested sets: at 14-14 to win it is no longer necessary to score two consecutive points, but rather to have a two-point advantage. Once again the ball weight is modified, from 9 to 10 ounces.

Volleyball is played for the first time in the Netherlands. After a stay at the Seminary of Techny in Illinois, U.S., Father S. Buis introduces the sport to the Sint Willibrod mission house in Uden and has a few courts set up there.

1926

A team reduced to less than 6 players forfeits the match.

1927

The Japanese Federation is born and nine men's competitions are organised.

In Russia, there is a "political" reaction by the Communist Party against the YMCA as a "capitalistic, bourgeois, and religious" organization, and it is obliged to leave the country. But Volleyball is there to stay.

China adopts the nine-player-per-team system, the same used in Japan.

1928 

The U.S. Volleyball Association is founded under basic YMCA principles as a leisure sport.

1929 

Cuba organizes the first men's tournament according to "American" rules at the Caribbean and Central American Games. Between the two World Wars, great efforts are made to give unity to the Volleyball movement by establishing a single set of rules and creating an international federation. These are just initial efforts, with nothing concrete being set.

1932  Time-outs are limited to one minute. To make a play, an athlete can step off his own court; but he cannot change position in the starting line-up.
1933 

The first USSR National Championship is held, where there are already over 400,000 players. For Soviet Volleyball, it is the year of enshrinement. In January, a challenge between Moscow and Dnepropetrovsk is played on no less important a stage than that of the Bolshoi Theatre.

A book entitled Volleyball: Man’s Game by Robert E. Laveaga, published by A S Barnes & Co of New York, makes an important impact on teaching methods and scientific training techniques. Volleyball for Women by Katherine M. Montgomery is also very useful for teaching the game.

1934 

The first concrete steps to establish international relations in Volleyball are taken during the International Handball Federation Congress in Stockholm.

1935 

Crosses are to be marked on the floor to determine player position. Touching the net is to be considered a foul. An important rule involves spikers: it is forbidden to step off the court as long as the ball is in play on the spiker’s side (it had been customary for spikers waiting for a set to take a running start from way off and then leap from one foot). In Tashkent and Moscow, the USSR plays the first official international matches against Afghanistan.

1937 

Multiple ball contacts were permitted in defence against particularly violent spikes.

1938 

The Czechs perfect blocking which is officially introduced into the rules under the concept of "a counteraction at the net by one or two adjacent players." For almost 20 years before, blocking had been a part of the game but was not spelled out in the rules. The Czechs are the first (soon followed by the Russians) to attribute decisive importance to the new skill, which facilitates the ungrateful task of volleying defences.

1939 

How to push for homogeneous rules throughout the world? The Annual USVBA Reference Guide and the Official Rules of the Game of Volleyball gave useful information on the game and provided a forum where experiences and ideas emanating from different sources could be exchanged. During the War, thousands of these guides were used throughout the world.

1940 

William G. Morgan, the creator of Volleyball, dies at the age of 68. A man of high moral standards, Morgan suffered no pangs of jealousy and continued to follow with enthusiasm the progress of his game, convinced that real Volleyball, for real athletes, would be a success.

1941 

In several countries, including Italy, experiments are made with a system of timed play. Two 20-minute sets are played (with supplementary time in case of a tie). But after various and prolonged trials, the experiments are abandoned, but taken up again in the United States at the close of the Second World War. Another innovation is time-limit Volleyball, whereby a game lasts eight minutes of actual play. To win, a team has to have either a two-point advantage at the end of the eight minutes or be the first to score 15 points. But even there, the idea finds little acceptance.

1942 

The ball can be played by any part of the body from the knees up.

Everywhere from the South Pacific to the Finnish front, Volleyball draws crowds among troops engaged in the Second World War, even aboard aircraft carriers. Volleyball is recommended by Chiefs of Staff for training the troops, believing it keeps them in condition, strengthens their morale, and teaches them how to stay together as a group - something essential at this point of the War.

1943 During the summer, Mr. Friermood joins the management of the United States YMCA and quickly becomes Secretary/Treasurer of the USVBA and works closely with Dr. Fisher, its President. Through international YMCA contacts in more than 80 countries and also military personnel around the world, communications are established and begin to produce information on the interpretation and development of Volleyball and those who are managing it. Correspondence with the Polish managers during the War draws attention to the post-war endeavours to establish an international Volleyball organization.
1945  First postage stamp on a Volleyball subject is issued in Romania.
1946  In January, the Spartak Prague team goes to play in Poland, signalling a resumption of contacts after the War years aimed at creating an international Volleyball organization. On the occasion of a friendly match between the Czech and French national teams on August 26, a meeting is held in Prague between representatives of the federations of Czechoslovakia, France, and Poland. The meeting produces the first official document of the future FIVB, with the creation of a commission for the organization of the International Federation, the promotion of a constituent congress, and the decision to launch a European or World Championship at an early date.
1947 

Only front-line players are allowed to exchange positions for a two-player block and spike.
Egypt is the first Arab and African country to organize Volleyball activities and establish a National Federation.

From April 18 to 20 in Paris, 14 federations found the FIVB, with the headquarters in Paris. Frenchman Paul Libaud is the first President.

American and European rules of the game are harmonized. The court is to measure 9 x 18 metres; and net height is to be 2.43 metres for men and 2.24 for women.

Only in Asia, the rules are different: the court has to measure 21.35 x 10.67 metres, and the net has to be 2.28 high for men and 2.13 for women; there is no rotation of players and on court there are nine athletes arranged in three lines.

1948  The first European Championship is held in Rome and won by Czechoslovakia. After the War, the rules are rewritten and clarified to make interpretation easier. In particular, a better definition is given to the idea of blocking, and service is limited to the right third of the back court boundary. It is also made clear that each player has to be in his right place during service; points scored by the wrong server are to be nullified; simultaneous contacts by two players are to be considered one; time-outs are to last one minute, while time-out due to injury can last five minutes; and rest time between one game and another is set at three minutes.
1949 

The first Men's World Championship is held in Prague and won by the USSR. This is also the first time a setter can penetrate from the back line, leading to a three-player attack.

1951 

At its third Congress, the FIVB decides that a player's hands can "invade" at the net during blocking but only in the final phases of spiking. Furthermore, a back-line player can spike, providing that he remains in his zone and does not move up to the front line.

China begins to participate in international tournaments.

1952 

The first Women's World Championship was held in Moscow and won by the USSR.

1953 

At its fourth Congress, the FIVB defines referee action and terminology.

The Chinese Federation is born.

1954  The Asian Confederation is founded in Manila.
1955 

At the FIVB Congress in Florence, the Japanese Federation adopts the international rules and commits itself to gradually introducing them in Asia.

The 1st Asian Championship is played in Tokyo; both 6- and 9-player tournaments are scheduled.
Volleyball is put on the programme for the Pan American Games.

1956 

First issue of the official FIVB bulletin is published. The first truly globe-spanning World Championship is held in Paris, France (with 24 men's teams from four continents). Czechoslovakia Men and USSR Women win the coveted titles.

1957  Consideration is given to the introduction of a second referee; duration of time-outs is limited to one minute, 30 seconds. During the 53rd IOC session in Sofia, Bulgaria, from September 22 to 26, a demonstration tournament is played for the IOC members who then decide to include Volleyball on the programme for the Games celebrating the XVII Olympiad in Tokyo, 1964.
1958  Once again it is the Czechs who introduce a new defensive hit - the bagger - which amazes spectators at the European Championship in Prague.
1959  At the FIVB Congress in Budapest it is decided to forbid "screening" on the serve and to limit "invasion" at the net onto the opponent's court to the whole foot.
1960  For the first time, a World Championship (Men's) is played outside of Europe, in Brazil. USSR claims victory, as it also does in the women’s event.
1961  The idea of Mini Volleyball is born in East Germany.
1962  The World Championships are played in Moscow. The USSR Men confirm their status as the best, while it is a first victory for the Japanese Women’s team.
1963 

The European Confederation is founded on October 21.

1964 

New rules on blocking: airborne invasion during blocking is prohibited, while blockers are permitted a second hit. The first Olympic Volleyball tournaments are played in Tokyo during the Olympic Games from October 13 to 23, with 10 men's teams and 6 women's teams. The gold medal for the men goes to the USSR, and the women to Japan.

1965  The first men's World Cup is played in Poland and won by the USSR.
1966 

The first scientific symposium is held in Prague on the occasion of the men's World Championship, won by Czechoslovakia.

1967 

The first African Continental Championship is played, and the African Zone Commission is founded.
The women's World Championship, scheduled a year after the men's, is played in Tokyo and won once again by Japan.

1968 

The use of antennas to limit the court air space and facilitate the referee's decision on ball crossing outside the side line is recommended to the Congress in Mexico. The USSR take home two Olympic gold medals.

1969 

A Coaches Commission is established. The FIVB recognizes its fifth Continental Sport Zone Commission when NORCECA is born in Mexico, July 26, with the merging of USA, Canada and other countries joining to form the North Central American and Caribbean Confederation (NORCECA). The first NORCECA Championships take place in Mexico.

In Berlin, East Germany wins the second edition of the men's World Cup.

1970 

The World Championships are held in Bulgaria. Victorious are the East German men and the USSR women.

1971 

The first FIVB coaching courses are held in Japan and Egypt.

The FIVB Medical Commission is established.

The sub-commission for Mini Volleyball of the FIVB Coaches' Commission is established.

1972 

The five Sports Zone Commissions (Africa, Asia, Europe, Norceca, and South America) become Continental Confederations. The Japanese Men’s team win the Munich Olympics with playmakers Nekoda and Matsudaira. Systematic use of its fast game clinches for the first time the gold medal for an Asian Country. The Women's tournament is won by the USSR.

The official rules of Mini Volleyball are established.

The first South American Junior Championships are held in Rio.

1973  The first Women's World Cup is played in Uruguay and won by the USSR.
1974 

At the FIVB Congress in Mexico City it is decided to make two changes to be put into force after 1976: lateral antennas are to be moved to the courtside boundaries and three ball contacts are to be permitted after blocking.

During the World Championship, Polish athlete Wojtowicz amazes everybody by spiking from the back line. In Mexico City, Poland wins the Men's gold; while, in Guadalajara, Japan holds on to the Women's title.

1975 

The first Mini Volleyball Symposium is held in Sweden, with 19 nations participating.

The first Asian Championships are held in Australia.

1976 

At the Montreal Olympic Games, Poland confirms its leadership among the Men’s teams and Japan among the Women's.

After blocking, not two but three ball contacts are permitted; the distance between the antennas is shortened from 9.40 metres to 9 metres.

1977 

The first Junior World Championships are held in Brazil. The Winners are the USSR Men and South Korea Women. Kuwait organizes the first Arabian Championship.

The World Cup is granted to Japan on a permanent basis for both men and women. Triumphing in Tokyo are the Soviet Men and the Japanese Women.

1978  The Men's World Championship is held in Rome, with the USSR winning ahead of Italy. The women play in Leningrad and it is a surprise first world title for Cuba, placing ahead of Japan and USSR.
1980 

At the Moscow Olympic Games, it was a dual victory for the USSR.

17th FIVB Congress: the rules of the game were adopted in three languages: French, English and Spanish.

1981 

World Cup in Tokyo: the USSR win for the men and China for the women.

1982 

Ball pressure is increased from 0.40 to 0.46 kg/cm2.

The Women's World Championship is held in Peru where, for the first time, China takes the title after an outstanding and spectacular performance.

The Men's World Championship (in Argentina) is won by the USSR.

1983 

On July 19, the Brazil vs. USSR challenge at Rio de Janeiro's Maracaná stadium attracts nearly 100,000 spectators.

1984 

The 19th Congress of the FIVB is held in Long Beach, California; and, after 37 years at the helm, the founding French President Paul Libaud steps down and becomes Honorary President. A Mexican lawyer, Dr. Rubén Acosta H., is elected as the new President.

The USA win the Men's Olympic gold and the Chinese Women’s team also claim gold.

At the Los Angeles Olympic Games, the Brazilians (silver medallists) attract attention with their ability to make jumping serves. The idea is not new (Argentina had already tried it at the 1982 World Championship), but no one has ever seen it used so effectively before.

After Los Angeles, it is no longer possible to block a serve, and referees became more permissive in evaluating defence.

The first International Volleyball Cinema Festival is held in Perugia.

December 15: FIVB moves its quarters to a temporary office in Lausanne while preparing its permanent headquarters in this city.

1985 

May 28: for the first time, a Volleyball representative (FIVB President Dr. Acosta) is named for an IOC Commission - the prestigious Olympic Movement Commission.

World Cup in Tokyo: Victory goes to the USA Men, while China confirms its dominance among the women.

December 28-31: the first Women's World Gala is played in China, (two matches in Beijing and Shanghai). A world All-Star line-up challenges the Olympic Champion China, which wins both matches and the Hitachi Cup.

1986 

In Paris, USA win the Men's World Championships. China claim the women's gold medal in Prague.
Beach Volleyball receives official status by the FIVB.

1987 

From February 17-22, the first Beach Volleyball World Championship is played in Ipanema, Brazil.

1988 

On May 6, the FIVB inaugurates its new headquarters in Lausanne.

The Olympic Games in Seoul sees the number of teams for the men's tournament rise from 10 to 12. The USA win the men's gold medal; the USSR take the women's after a dramatic final match against Peru.

The World Congress approves the turning of the fifth set into a tiebreak rally-point system in which each serve is worth a point.

Final scoring per set is limited to 17 points with one point difference.

The first edition of the FIVB Super Four is held in Japan, a bi-yearly competition between the three medallists from the Olympic Games (or the World Championships). In the first Super Four, the Soviet Men and Chinese Women re-affirm their superiority.

1989 

The year brings the first edition of the Beach Volleyball World Series (a world circuit) and the second World Gala in Singapore (men's and women's All Stars against the Olympic champions).

World Cup in Japan: Cuba Men and Women do the double. men, Italy places second in the men’s tournament.

From December 6 to 10, the first World Championship for Clubs is played in Parma and won by home team Maxicono.

1990 

The first edition of the men's World League gets underway, a revolutionary idea for a team sport, with US$1 million prize money, professional organization and wide TV broadcasting in a multi-location competition reaching all corners of the world.

The playing formula for the World Championship is changed. After the qualification phase, play proceeds by direct elimination matches right up to the finals for first to eighth place.

Italy wins the first US$1 million World League in Tokyo, Japan, before a crowd of 10,000 spectators. Italy upset Brazil in Rio de Janeiro and becomes the first Western European country to win the Men's Volleyball World Championship. USSR win the women's world title against China in Beijing.

1991 

The first edition of the Women's World Championship for Clubs is played in Brazil. Winner is Sadia Sao Paulo.

Italy wins the second consecutive World League with US$2 million prize money for the teams. The final is in Milan in front of 12,000 spectators against Cuba.

1992 

Barcelona applauds the first Olympic victory by the Brazil Men and Cuba Women. After Barcelona, the tiebreak is modified. At 16-16, play continues until one team has a two-point advantage.

The World League increases Prize Money to US$3 million and for the third time Italy win, in front of 9,000 spectators in Genoa against the Netherlands.

Brazil triumphs in the men's Super Four and Cuba in the women's.

1993 

The first edition of the World Grand Prix with US$1 million in Prize Money, the women's version of the World League, is played entirely in Asia and the Final is won by Cuba against China.

The World League final is held in São Paulo and Brazil win the title.

During the 101st IOC session in Monte Carlo on September 18, Beach Volleyball is admitted as a gold medal discipline to the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Debut of another major event: the Grand Champions Cup is to be played every four years in Japan, alternating on odd years with the World Cup; participants will be the continental champions. First gold medal winners are Italy Men and Cuba Women.

1994 

The fifth edition of the World League offers record Prize Money of $6 million. Italy win for the fourth time, beating Cuba in the Final.

The World Congress in Athens approves new rules to go into force officially on January 1, 1995: The possibility of contacting the ball with any part of the body, including the feet; the service zone extended to the whole 9-meter back line; elimination of the "double hit" fault on the first touch of a ball coming from the opponent's court; and the permission to touch the net accidentally when the player in question is not trying to play the ball.

The Italians win the Men's World Championship for the second time in a row, equalling a previous USSR award.

At the Women's World Championship in Brazil, 26,000 spectators in Belo Horizonte attend the matches, setting a new record for women's event. Later on in São Paulo, 12,000 spectators watch Cuba win its second world title, this time in a Final against Brazil.

1995 

Volleyball is 100 years old. The anniversary is observed throughout the world with awards ceremonies, tournaments, and special stamp issues and postmarks. The FIVB celebrates the event by bringing together "100 years of Volleyball in 100 days" in a special calendar of events and publishes a magnificent book, "100 Years of Global Link."

The World League is again won by the Italians. In the World Grand Prix, a surprise victory goes to the United States.

Italy win the Men's World Cup for the first time and Cuba the women's event for the third time in a row. In the World Gala, the Italian Men beat the All Stars and receive the Centennial Cup from IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch.

1996 

The Atlanta Olympic Games makes Beach Volleyball the latest Olympic Medal Sport. A newly built 8,000-seat stadium in the historic area of Clayton County struggles to accommodate the enthusiastic crowds. Volleyball competitions have two ad hoc facilities; the Atlanta convention centre and the Georgia University Hall in Athens. Netherlands and Italy show Volleyball at its best and, after five strenuous sets, the team led by the Van de Goor brothers gives Netherlands their first gold medal in Volleyball history.

1998 

The Men and Women's World Championships for the first time go to Japan, and the best Championships in Volleyball history take place. After matches in 14 cities watched by over 500,000 spectators, and the highest TV ratings in Japan since the 1964 Japanese Olympics gold for women, the Italians, led by Giani and Gardini, make history with their third consecutive crown, defeating Yugoslavia. Cuba Women, led by Regla Torres, set the same record of three crowns for women, defeating Russia.

The Congress makes a historic change in the rules, adopting the "Rally Point System" of 25 points for each of the first four sets and a 15-point fifth tiebreak set for a two-year testing period. Other changes immediately adopted are the colour ball, Libero player and allowance of interactive coaches.

2000 

The Italians win their eighth World League pennant in 12 editions defeating Russia.

Cuba Women defeat Russia once more, 3-2, and win their third consecutive Olympic gold, setting an all-time record.

Following the phenomenal success of Beach Volleyball during the Sydney Olympics, the IOC Executive Committee declares Beach Volleyball an official part of the Olympic programme.

Karch Kiraly of the USA and Regla Torres of Cuba are crowned as the 20th Century Best Volleyball Players.

Italy Men (1990-98) and Japan Women (1960-1965) are declared the 20th Century Best Volleyball Teams.

The 20th Century Best Volleyball Coaches titles are awarded to Yasutaka Matsudaira, Japan Men (1964-1974), and Eugenio George, Cuba Women (1990-2000).

2001 Beach Volleyball is confirmed as a full Olympic program sport.
2002

The FIVB World Congress in Buenos Aires adopts a Code of Conduct and rules against conflicts of interest and introduces height limit competitions (185 cm for men, 175 cm for women).

Italy win the FIVB Women’s World Championship for the first time in Berlin.

2003

Brazil Men win all 11 games in Japan to claim the FIVB World Cup for the first time. China Women do likewise to win their first World Cup title.

2004 China’s Women win the Olympic Volleyball title in Athens for the second time following their victory 20 years earlier in Los Angeles. Brazil’s Men also win for the second time, their first Olympic title being claimed in 1992.
2006

Dr. Rubén Acosta is unanimously reelected as President of the FIVB by delegates representing 196 of the FIVB’s 219 National Federations at the 30th FIVB World Congress in Tokyo, Japan.

The Brazilian Men defend their World Championship crown by beating Poland in the final in Tokyo. Russia’s Women win their sixth World Championship and their first since 1990.

2007

Brazil’s Men defend their FIVB World Cup title in Japan, while the Italian Women win their first World Cup title.

Brazil claim the World League for the fifth straight year and sixth time overall. They pick up a winner's cheque for US$1 million.

The Netherlands win the World Grand Prix in Ningbo, China, their first trophy in major FIVB competition. The Europeans become the sixth team to win the renowned annual women’s title and snap Brazil’s run of three straight triumphs.

2008

The FIVB opens it new premises of “Château Les Tourelles” in May, a gorgeous building by Lake Geneva in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The 31st FIVB World Congress takes place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in June.

USA Men win the World League before crowning a magnificent year with Olympic gold in Beijing.

The Brazilian Women do the double as well: Olympic gold following first place in the World Grand Prix.

Dr. Rubén Acosta makes official his announced retirement from the Presidency of the FIVB at the end of the World Congress. It is agreed that Mr. Jizhong Wei of China, FIVB First Executive Vice President, is to take over the leadership of the organisation as President, unanimously elected until the next elections in 2012, according to the Congress decision to follow again in four years’ time the Olympiad cycle.

2009

2009 – Brazil win their eighth World League as they defeat Serbia in Belgrade in a pulsating match watched by a crowd of 22,000 spectators whilst Brazil also pick up the World Grand Prix, finishing above Russia and Germany.

Italy’s women follow up their 2007 World Cup win with claim their first FIVB World Grand Champions Cup in Japan as Brazil win the men’s competition.