William G. Morgan (1870-1942)

inventor of the game of volleyball

 

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William G. Morgan (1870-1942), who was born in the State of New York, has gone down in history as the inventor of the game of volleyball, to which he originally gave the name "Mintonette".

The young Morgan carried out his undergraduate studies at the Springfield College of the YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association) where he met James Naismith who, in 1891, had invented basketball. After graduating, Morgan spent his first year at the Auburn (Maine) YMCA after which, during the summer of 1896, he moved to the YMCA at Holyoke (Massachusetts) where he became Director of Physical Education. In this role he had the opportunity to establish, develop, and direct a vast programme of exercises and sports classes for male adults.

His leadership was enthusiastically accepted, and his classes grew in numbers. He came to realise that he needed a certain type of competitive recreational game in order to vary his programme. Basketball, which sport was beginning to develop, seemed to suit young people, but it was necessary to find a less violent and less intense alternative for the older members.


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