FAROE ISLANDS- VOLLEYBALL (2v)
In 1895, William G. Morgan (1870-1942) created a new game called "Mintonette", known later as volleyball. Morgan attended Springfield College in the United States where he met James Naismith, who created the game of basketball in 1891. Naismith’s idea gave Morgan inspiration for the new game of Mintonette.
William G. Morgan was affiliated with the YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association). Young YMCA members were the first to play Mintonette and the new game gained rapid popularity around the country.
Mintonette was different from all other games. Originally, a tennis net was used, the ball being a regular basketball, but this did not work well at all. The low net was raised to 1.98 m, which at that time corresponded to the height of the tallest men. At the same time, William commissioned a company to produce a lighter and softer leather ball, which could be thrown with greater speed than a basketball. This innovation proved to be a great success.
At a congress organized by William G. Morgan in 1896, a decision was taken to change the name of the game from Mintonette to Volleyball, the noun volley indicating a projectile, which has not hit the ground but is returned by being smacked back. This marked the birth of “flogbóltur” (flying ball) as the game is called in Faroese.
A lot has happened since then. From being a game for young men in the YMCA in the States, the game has become one of the most popular games in the world and is now being played all around the globe, indoors, outdoors, on sandy beaches in the tropics and now also as snow-volleyball which is expected to become an Olympic discipline at some time in the future.
It is estimated that around 800 million people worldwide play volleyball at least once a week.
Volleyball in the Faroe Islands
Volleyball is not an old sport in the Faroe Islands. Martin Holm was a teacher at the Faroe Islands Teachers’ College and a true pioneer in Faroese sports. He once brought a strange ball and a net to one of his sport classes. This happened in the Fifties and at that time, no one had ever heard about volleyball in the Faroes.
Martin was an excellent teacher and when newly graduated educators were employed in schools around the country, they brought this new game with them. Thus, volleyball entered Faroese schools and education centres and evolved from there. Thanks to these young educators, volleyball has become a hugely popular sport in the Faroe Islands. A new initiative has now been launched called "Flogbørn" (Flying children), indicating a special version of a volleyball game intended for the very young and being played in schools as well as in sports clubs.
Flogbóltssamband Føroya (Faroe Islands Volleyball Association) was founded in 1980. Until then it had been a division of the Faroe Islands Sports Federation. Since then the development has been rapid and volleyball is now being played all over the Faroe Islands, having become a game of choice by girls and women. Country tournaments as well as trophy tournaments are held for all ages.
Teams from the Faroe Islands have reached excellent results in international volleyball, not least in the International Island Games, which are held every two years. Both male and female participants have won medals several times in the Island Games. Younger teams participate in international tournaments every year, competing with the other Nordic countries.
International volleyball matches have also been played on Faroese home ground. In recent years, several international tournaments have been held in the Faroe Islands and hopefully it will not be long until the Island Games will once again be on the programme.