William Morgan invented volleyball in 1895 at the Holyoke, Massachusetts, YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) where he served as Director of Physical Education. Morgan originally called his new game of Volleyball, Mintonette. The name Volleyball came about after a demonstration game of the sport, when a spectator commented that the game involved much “volleying” and game was renamed Volleyball.
William Morgan was born in the state of New York and studied at Springfield College, Massachusetts. Ironically at Springfield, Morgan met James Naismith who invented basketball in 1891. Morgan was motivated by Naismith’s game of basketball designed for younger students to invent a game suitable for the older members of the YMCA. William Morgan’s basis for the new game of Volleyball was the then popular and similar German game of Faustball and a few other sports including: tennis (the net), basketball, baseball and handball.
The Morgan Trophy Award is presented annually to the most outstanding male and female collegiate volleyball player in the United States. Established by the William G. Morgan Foundation in 1995 during the centennial year of volleyball, the trophy is named in honor of William Morgan.
To learn more about the history of Volleyball as a sport read Scott Hammon’s article entitled For The Love of Volleyball. Scott Hammon is our About expert and guide to Volleyball.