Pass. Set. Spike.
These three actions called “touches” describe Volleyball’s core concept as a sport. But what’s interesting about it is how this three-hit limit originated in the Philippines back in 1916.
It all started in 1910, when the Physical Director of Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), Elwood Brown, visited the Philippines. During the early stage of the American colonial era, he introduced various physical programs in the country. Brown spearheaded the establishment of the YMCA of the Philippine Islands. An association pivotal in creating physical education and the first English-based law school in the country, now known as the UP College of Law. He also assisted in establishing the now Philippine Olympic Committee and the first Boy Scout of the Philippines troop.
Aside from seeking funding to build facilities for various physical pursuits, Brown also introduced two new sports: Basketball and Volleyball. The latter was initially created to aid older athletes who may have found the former strenuous.
Hold up! Enough with our man, Elwood. Let’s now talk about the star of this topic, tayo!
So, when Volleyball began in the country, it started as a passing game between two teams separated by a net, usually played five on five. Each member would take turns passing the ball by bumping it with their hands before “volleying” it to the team on the other side of the court.
Sounds like a snooze fest? In 1920, our fellow Filipinos thought so too! Since it would take too much time before the ball crosses to the other team’s court, they thought of creating the three-hit limit, which the Americans then adopted – considered the modern-day Volleyball’s most fundamental rule.
It doesn’t stop there; not long after conceptualizing the three-hit limit, they thought of making it more competitive by integrating what they called the “Filipino Bomb” or “Bomba.” This Set & Spike offensive way of playing volleyball turned out to be one of the biggest milestones the country has contributed to the sport.
This Set & Spike offensive way of playing volleyball turned out to be one of the biggest milestones the country has contributed to the sport.
Bomba (Set & Spike) is the rally you’d see in volleyball’s every game these days. The opposing team would serve the ball while the other team would receive it. The ball is then passed to another teammate to set it for somebody else to spike or “volley” towards the opponent team’s side of the court, aiming at the floor. Bomba! Side out! Point for the squad!
Where are we now?
It’s undeniable that the country set milestones that paved the way to the sport’s popularity. Aside from contributing a vital process in the competitive play, the country took part in 1913, when the first Far Eastern Championship Games (Asian Games) adopted Volleyball held in Manila Carnival, now known as Rizal Memorial Sports Complex. The Philippines then proceeded to win four Championships in the biennial multi-sport event until 1925.
Since the end of World War II in 1945, The Philippine Women’s Volleyball team has only qualified in the FIVB Volleyball World Championship once in 1974 in 18th place, while the Men’s team has never qualified for the World Championship. Both have earned the lowest possible ranking in the international league as of 2021.
During the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, we had seen tremendous improvements shown by the men’s team. They dethroned the then defending champions Thai team to book the gold medal match with Indonesia winning the men’s championship. The women’s team, however, failed to at least replicate the bronze finish in 2005
During the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, we had seen tremendous improvements shown by the men’s team. They dethroned the then defending champions Thai team.
While the Philippine Volleyball’s glory days have seen better days, the sport is slowly regaining its momentum as they acquire more international exposures and experiences. With the right pool of players, proper training program, and consistent supervision of the Philippine National Volleyball Federation, the future of Philippine Volleyball will, in no time, come back to the podium.
The teams are currently starting to suit up and prepare for the upcoming Asian Seniors Volleyball Championship and the 2021 Southeast Asian Games.Share this article: