Volleyball has been around for a long time and if somebody saw the sport set up whilst out and about they would instantly recoginse it. There are several different forms of volleyball with the team indoor game, beach game and sit down volleyball for para athletes. You may have even played some fun variation of the game before!
The sport is played worldwide and volleyball is a globally participated sport with 222 member federations and over 500 million registered players from amateur to professionals. It is technically the most played sport in the world with participants playing casually all over the world. So it begs the question should it be televised more for people without subscription?
Ever since the sport was developed by William. G. Morgan in 1895 in Massachusetts it has been very popular. The sport was developed because many businessmen found the other new sport basketball was way too vigorous for their liking. By 1897 Morgan wrote the Official Handbook of the Athletic League of the Young Men’s Christian Associations of North America. The sport proved to be popular with both sexes and it spread across the whole of America and eventually the world.
With the popularity rife across the world many people are not familiar with watching it live on television. In the UK you will not find Sky Sports or BT sport showing many, if any games nor will you see it on the free channel BBC unless it is an Olympic year. Should people really have to wait four years to see their sport regularly?
In the UK there has already been reports that since 2018 there has been a serious lack of funding in the sport and volleyball UK is struggling significantly to keep going. The sport is currently the 29th most popular sport in the UK but despite its popularity at grassroots level it struggles to push players on to challenge at a professional level like countries such as Brazil, Russia and Serbia.
In fact, after the 2012 Olympics many players just stopped playing the sport completely due to the severe lack of funding. Considering the spirit of the London Games was meant to last in this country, it is shocking that players were forced to leave a sport they love so quickly after the games.
However, in other countries like Russia, volleyball and sitting volleyball is heavily funded with the government wanting to prosper in the sport. They are pushing sitting volleyball more than anything as they aim to win all that they can following years of success in the sport. Some betting apps offers include being able to bet on volleyball with Russia being big favourites for the latest World Championships.
It also translates the difference in how the sport is televised. Match! Arena is the most popular sports pay per view channel in Russia and they heavily focus on volleyball on their channel. The same can be said for Italy who show national league games on Rai Sport Italy.
The UK could take inspiration from other countries in attracting more fans to watch the sport by affiliating with football teams. Many clubs around the world have done such idea. Clubs such as AEL Limassol in Cyprus, Fenerbahçe in Turkey and FC Barcelona in Spain are just some of the football clubs who promote both sports to great effect.
Fortunately for the die-hard volleyball fans there are streaming services they can subscribe to. Volleyball TV offers 24/7 streaming of everything volleyball and you will never miss a beat in the volleyball world.
However, that is a limited group of volleyball fans and for the sport to continue to grow and attract a bigger audience it does need to be shown more regularly on television.
It would not leave the neutral disappointed either. There is constantly action in volleyball because of the high pace nature of the game. The twelve players on the court can provide entertainment with superb smashes, excellent spikes and some truly mind blowing last ditch saves. With a game lasting 60-90 minutes it is a lot shorter than some sports such as cricket, American football and baseball, so audiences can be hooked quite quickly.
There is certainly a market for more volleyball to be shown on television and specifically shown on regular television. When you see sports like darts, snooker and bowls able to have airtime it surely cannot be long before television companies, especially in the UK, want to air the sport for a wider audience.