Volleyball Balls

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What is a volleyball ball?

A volleyball is a ball used to play indoor volleyball, beach volleyball, or other less common variations of the sport. Volleyballs are round and traditionally consist of eighteen nearly rectangular panels of synthetic or genuine leather, arranged in six identical sections of three panels each, wrapped around a bladder. A valve permits the internal air pressure to be adjusted.

When was the volleyball ball invented?

The volleyball ball itself was needed when the game was created by William G. Morgan in 1895. His design of the game was to use a net and a ball. At the time, there were some volleyball balls to pick from, but they weren’t exactly right for the high-performance game.

At the time of volleyball’s creation there were no balls that would completely fit the bill as Morgan needed. Originally players and teams used volleyballs that were created with the bladder that a basketball used. The bladder of a basketball however proved to be too slow in the air because of its lack of weight.

Who invented the volleyball ball?

In the end, Morgan approached A.G. Spalding and Brothers to ask them to custom-make a ball that would be the official volleyball. At the time Spalding was a huge name in the world of baseball and had the expertise to create a ball for the new sport of volleyball. Spalding Sports continued to dominate the market until 1915 when Tachikara started the manufacture of volleyball balls.

What material is a volleyball ball made of?

Modern-day volleyballs have not changed much since the initial configuration. The initial configuration of the volleyball ball was a latex bladder that was constructed out of a material similar to a bicycle tire. The second layer over that material was a cheesecloth-like material surrounding it. On top of that was a third layer of leather sewn around the ball.

Today synthetic leather or composite materials are used for the outside coating of both indoor and outdoor volleyballs.

How is a volleyball ball made?

Spalding introduced the first molding process of making the latex bladder. The other layers were manually prepared and the volleyball ball got its shape and size. Today, volleyball manufacturers use power press machine, dyes, and other equipment to deliver balls fit for the modern volleyball player.

Types of volleyball balls

The construction of each volleyball ball is dependent on the environment it will be used in. The demands of playing volleyball outside, at the beach or in the garden, is different to playing indoors on a volleyball court. Meanwhile, volleyballs of different weights are suited to being used by children or as training balls.

Indoor

A major difference between indoor volleyballs and outdoor volleyballs is indoor balls are “molded” together whereas outdoor balls are stitched together. Furthermore, indoor balls have panels that are glued to an inner lining. This causes indoor balls to have a smooth and consistent surface. This makes it suitable for indoor use because there are no outside elements for the ball to deal with in a controlled indoor environment.

Beach / Outdoor

If you look closely on an outdoor volleyball you can see there are threads that hold the ball together. The reason outdoor balls are stitched instead of molded is that outdoor balls need to be tougher. They need to be durable enough to withstand constant exposure to the elements!

Children / Lightweight

Lightweight volleyballs are typically manufactured to provide an environment more suited to youth players – allowing children to play volleyball with a safer and more enjoyable experience.

Heavyweight / Training / Setter

Heavyweight volleyballs are typically used as training balls for Setters, who develop strength and their reflexes from using such balls in drills and skills exercises.

Popular volleyball brands

Mikasa

Mikasa Corporation is a Japanese sports equipment and athletic goods company located in Nishi-ku, Hiroshima. Specializing in equipment for ball games, the balls manufactured by Mikasa for sports football, korfbal, basketball, volleyball, waterpolo and handball are often used for official matches, games and competitions. Most notably, Mikasa volleyballs are the official balls for FIVB worldwide competitions, the Olympics and numerous domestic leagues.

Molten

Founded in 1958, Molten is the world’s largest ball and sports equipment manufacturer. Only six years after their founding, Molten basketballs, volleyballs, and soccer balls were the official balls of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Molten volleyballs are officially endorsed by the FIVB and are the official ball of several indoor volleyball competitions.

Wilson

The Wilson Sporting Goods Company is an American sports equipment manufacturer based in Chicago, Illinois. Wilson makes equipment for many sports, among them baseball, badminton, American football, basketball, fastpitch softball, golf, racquetball, soccer, squash, tennis, pickleball and volleyball. Their volleyballs are used by many top tier beach volleyball competitions around the world.

More information about the Wilson volleyball products we stock.

Famous volleyballs

‘Mr. Wilson’ Volleyball Ball – Castaway Film with Tom Hanks

In the Tom Hanks film, Castaway, Wilson the volleyball serves as Tom Hanks, character Chuck Noland’s personified friend and only companion during the four years that Noland spends alone on a deserted island.

You can find out more about and buy the ‘Mr. Wilson’ volleyball here on Volleyverse.

Haikyuu Volleyballs

In the Haikyū!! volleyball manga and anime series, players are shown using volleyballs of two different types: those with alternating blue and yellow stripes, and others with red, green, and white stripes.

The blue and yellow volleyballs resemble those made by real-life manufacturer Mikasa Sports and are most often seen in matches and tournaments. This reflects real-life, as Mikasa are the manufacturer of the official balls of the FIVB that are used in real competitions.

The red and green balls resemble those from real-life manufacturer Molten and are more commonly used in practice and occasional practice matches. Shōyō Hinata and Tobio Kageyama are shown practicing with this type of ball late at night before their first match.

Where to buy a volleyball ball near me

You can buy volleyball balls at many of mainstream stores including Amazon, Walmart, Sports Direct, Argos, Decathlon or at specialist volleyball shops BUT only by shopping here, with Volleyverse, can you guarantee receiving the best product, service and that the money you spend will help to support the volleyball family and community.

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