OLYMPICS PREVIEW: Volleyball
The Olympic sport of volleyball will feature 12 male teams and 12 female teams with a total of 288 athletes. The fast-paced sport begins with two pools of six teams. Each team will play the other five teams within the pool. From there, the top eight teams advance and play in another bracket. The winners of the semi-finals will compete for the gold.
Both teams are allowed to have six players on the court at one time. A roving player, called the libero, is free to rotate into the backcourt as deemed necessary by the coaches. Points are scored by the winner of every play. The winning team of each play is then the server for the next play. The point of the game is to successfully land the ball within the lines of the opposing team’s side of the court.
The net that separates both sides is 7 feet 11 ⅝ inches for men and 7 feet 4 ⅛ inches for women, according to vbref.org
The sport, which was started as a gentle sport, is now a fast-paced, high-intensity game. William Morgan created the game as an alternative to basketball, according to london2012.com. He used similar rules to tennis and handball. Making its Olympic debut in 1964, volleyball will be held this year at Earl’s Court, which opened in 1937, according to london2012.com.