Volleyball and its Popularity
As sports fans, the vast majority of people follow the main sports such as football, basketball, baseball, golf, tennis, boxing, soccer and track and field. These sports are very well participated. They generate high television ratings and huge revenues both on and off the courts, fields and courses. We all know who Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Tiger Woods, Greg Norman, Venus and Serena Williams, Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, David Beckham, Lionel Messi, Usain Bolt and Marion Jones are. But do you know who Murilo Endres and Kim Yeon Koung are?! Well for your information, they were the most valuable players for their 2012 Olympic Gold medal teams for the Brazilian men and Korean women respectfully.
On a personal level, I started my officiating career in basketball back in 2010. I had aspirations of taking it to the collegiate and professional levels. But before my second basketball season and due to shortages, I was asked to officiate volleyball. I immediately declined as my total focus was on basketball and advancing quickly due to starting at a later age. So the next season, I was asked and begged by the same person, who is also a basketball official along with myself. To make a long story short, I finally gave in! As I am entering my sixth season in basketball and finishing up my fourth year of school volleyball, I advanced quickly as I officiated the state tournament of the top high school class here in Oklahoma in my third season and even started line-judging college volleyball. This past season, I also officiated the regional tournament in that same top class here in the state. It has turned into the love that I have in basketball.
Also on a personal level in living here in Oklahoma City, we were blessed to host the 2014 NCAA Division I Volleyball Championships in Kevin Durant’s and Russell Westbrook’s house! With that being said, congrats to the Penn State University Nittany Lions on winning the ‘ship. The Chesapeake Energy Arena was definitely over half full. While there, I noticed the growing popularity of this sport. Last year’s tournament also smashed in television ratings on ESPN. Another thing that was noticed with the popularity in the diversity in this sport. Statistics says that minorities make up 17% of all college athletes. Well, readers are probably saying that 17% is a small number. But it wasn’t too long ago when that number was in single digits. So it has nearly doubled for the minority community going from one-tenth to nearly one-fifth of the American college population in a short amount of time. So therefore, it won’t be too much longer until minorities will make up a quarter of the population.
Also being noticed here in the states, volleyball is very very popular in the club circuit as it is in AAU basketball. It has gotten to the point to where club organizations all over the nation are having multiple teams in the same age divisions. There are three and/or four day tournaments all over the place. There’s also a 12-day tournament that takes place in Atlanta. (With that being said, one could only imagine the scenery there! 🙂 Sorry, I couldn’t help myself! Now back to reality!) These tournaments are focused on the same as the AAU basketball circuit focusing on skill developments for individual players and increasing exposure to collegiate coaches. Also due to the demographics, it is easy for club organizations and major tournament organizers to land sponsorships both from top personal executives in multiple industries and also local, regional and national corporations.
So in conclusion, pay attention to this great sport of volleyball. When the college football bowl and NFL regular seasons are winding down and with basketball season in full gear, check out the NCAA Volleyball Regional and National championships. One will find themselves on the edge of their seats just like during last season’s Super Bowl with the bad play-calling of Pete Carroll leading to the game-winning interception by Malcolm Butler sealing the win for the New England Patroits. Also after the NBA free agency period ie Kevin Durant has ended, feast your eyes and tune into the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics on both the men and women side just like you will for the USA men’s basketball team. No matter who is playing, you will see the best athletes in the world in volleyball. You will find yourself both glued to and on the edges of your seat as it will be very fast-paced.
Thanks for reading!