Sound Off

Sound Off: A friend of mine insists that volleyball is an American game, but I know it to be a French sport whose inventor’s last name was Mintonette and whose first name escapes me. Can anybody confirm this for me?

Actually, volleyball is an American game. Its inventor, William Morgan, called the game “mintonette” when he introduced it in 1895. Morgan was the physical education director at the YMCA in Holyoke, Mass. Dr. James Naismith had invented the game of basketball four years earlier in nearby Springfield. We consulted George Mulry, executive director of the Volleyball Hall of Fame, to clarify the original naming of the sport: “There is much speculation surrounding why William Morgan named his new sport mintonette. Some believe Morgan’s use of the word ‘minton’ in the naming of his new game was from his own adaptations of badminton, while others say it is a derivative of a game called “minton” that came from India around the same time as volleyball was invented. There is more information on the topic in Joel Dearing’s book ‘The Untold Story of William G. Morgan.’” In any event, the name of the sport quickly was changed to volley ball, and in 1952 the name was made one word, volleyball. In 1985, Morgan became the first inductee of the Volleyball Hall of Fame in Holyoke, located nine miles from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield.


Crystal Patterson 5 years, 4 months ago

Google would have been quicker than submitting a question and waiting for the answer.

Tim Quest 5 years, 4 months ago

Well, now don't YOU look stupid in front of the entire city...

Terry Sexton 5 years, 4 months ago

Google could have surrendered the answer in short order, but, by posing the question on this forum, a lot of us learned something we might not have ever considered. Thanks, question asker!

Liberty275 5 years, 4 months ago

And that is bad why? As long as they are arguing about volleyball they won't be filling our young adult's heads with other opinions and will leave them to define their own beliefs.

Let the enemy bicker.

RoeDapple 5 years, 4 months ago

I thought his name was Wilson . . .

Wilson Mintonette

Wilson Mintonette by RoeDapple

jonas_opines 5 years, 4 months ago

Would have been more of a keeper if he had named it Goodminton.

brutus 5 years, 4 months ago

Is this the final word? We were always taught Abner Doubleday invented baseball and then things were revised.

I was taught Missouri was neutral in the Civil War which of course was just a lie.

jonas_opines 5 years, 4 months ago

"Is this the final word?"

You saw it here first, on the internet!

Liberty275 5 years, 4 months ago


Have a little patriotism for god's sake. If it weren't for someone inventing it and giving us beach volleyball with handsome women, where would we be? Watching golf, that's where.

I'm proud of my country's contribution to sport and decadence.

beatrice 5 years, 4 months ago

Oh great. Now I'm left wondering who invented badminton. And what the heck is a "minton" anyway?

Frederic Gutknecht IV 5 years, 4 months ago

I don't care who invented it but we really do need to bring Faustball to this country.

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