In 1895, American William G. Morgan, the physical director of the Holyoke, Massachusetts Y.M.C.A. invented the game of volleyball. By blending the elements of basketball, baseball, tennis, and handball, he sought to create a game for predominantly middle-aged male business executives who desired to play a sport with less physical contact than basketball. Until the mid-1900s, volleyball was an activity primarily enjoyed by and reserved for males.

During the 1920s, families in Santa Monica, California, participated in a modified version of volleyball while at the beach. Beach volleyball celebrated the “beach-surf lifestyle” as male surfers from Waikiki beaches in Hawaii played beach volleyball when surfing conditions were not optimal. The sex appeal and youthful image associated with beach volleyball emerged in the 1960s when ...

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