Volleyball is an Olympic outdoor or indoor ball sport in which two teams separated by a high net use their hands, arms or (rarely) other parts of their bodies to hit a ball back and forth over the net. The game is played by two teams of six players (three forwards and three backs). The players are allowed three hits to get the ball over the net to the other team without allowing the ball to touch the ground. A point is scored if the ball hits the ground in the opponents' court, if the opponents commit a fault, or if the opponents fail to return the ball properly. Points are scored by the serving team, if the receiving team wins the exchange; it gains the next serve after the players rotate their positions clockwise.
The team first scoring 15 points wins the game, though the margin of victory must be at least two points.
Volleyball was invented in 1895 by William G. Morgan at the YMCA in Holyoke, Mass. Volleyball has a wide appeal for both sexes in schools, playgrounds, the armed forces, and other settings and millions of recreational players enjoy it in indoor winter leagues and in the summer outdoors.
International competition started in 1913 and volleyball became an Olympic sport in 1964. There are several variations on the basic rules of volleyball. Beach volleyball is a variation with two players on a side, played on sand, has grown more and more popular and rivals now the main sport in popularity and became an Olympic sport in 1996.