The United States of America has been the world’s sports epicenter for decades. The best players in the world make it to one of the four major sporting leagues for various sports. The most prominent globally, of course, is the National Basketball Association.
Major League Baseball, the National Football League, and the National Hockey League exist for those respective disciplines. Even Lionel Messi brought massive attention to Major League Soccer. America’s sporting prowess and economic capability led to Major League Cricket and an upcoming professional pickleball league.
But while these sports are getting their moment in the sun, volleyball’s prominence is flickering. You might know volleyball as that game wherein the players don’t allow the ball to bounce within court dimensions. You may have seen it while switching channels or OTT subscriptions.
However, the sport has made so much headway over the years that it deserves the same spotlight as the leagues mentioned above. Let me count the reasons.
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The United States has Olympic volleyball gold
Ironically, the country where volleyball was created does not hold the sport in the same regard as their major competitions. Basketball and football get the headlines, while volleyball is relegated to the inside pages. Well, that’s about to change for several reasons.
First, the United States volleyball team is the defending Olympic champions. After bridesmaid finishes in 2008 and 2012, they finally won their first Olympic gold medal by dominating Brazil in straight sets. They are in an excellent position to defend their crown in 2024.
A football-sized crowd for a volleyball game
Second, over 92,003 people packed Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium to witness the Cornhuskers defeat the Omaha Mavericks. Luckily, the weather cooperated on that historic August night, setting the record for the biggest women’s sporting event crowd. Audiences like those are only heard during football games, NCAA Final Fours, or the Super Bowl!
It also obliterated the previous record for the largest crowd in an NCAA volleyball game. That game proved that volleyball can attract bigger crowds. So, if you are involved with a company that wants to get involved in sports, volleyball can also get you massive attention.
There's no shortage of volleyball players in the USA
Third, a 2022 survey by the National Federation of State High School Associations revealed volleyball is the second-highest participated sport among female high school students. That demographic provides a never-ending stream of players who love the game and will elevate into college.
However, the lack of local professional volleyball leagues trims the number of athletes who continue to play the game beyond the NCAA. They’re lucky if they can play in Puerto Rico, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Italy, or Turkey, among others. Thankfully, that’s not a problem anymore.
Professional volleyball in the United States is on the rise!
Fourth, there’s a surge in professional volleyball leagues in the United States. Athlete’s Unlimited started in 2021 and will have its third season beginning October 6 at Legacy Park, Mesa, Arizona.
There’s also League One Volleyball, which embraces grassroots development, leading to professional teams comprised of players from junior volleyball clubs. LOVB has raised $35 million in funding as of September 2023, per Sportico.
Finally, the Pro Volleyball Federation will start in February 2024, and musician Jason Derulo made a significant investment in it. Players like Jenna Rosenthal, Leah Edmond, Sarah Sponcil, and Megan Courtney have also signed contracts to play in the inaugural tournament.
Several teams have signed up and have been given one year to build their rosters. These squads are the Columbus Fury, Grand Rapids Rise, Orlando Valkyries, Omaha Supernovas, Atlanta Vibe, and a San Diego-based squad. A Dallas-based team will also be joining in 2025.
Indeed, the golden era of United States volleyball is upon us. Don’t miss the gold rush, and join this exciting ride now! You can watch games, show appreciation for the players, or do your part in promoting any update. Rest assured, we’ll also do our part in keeping the flame burning.