While Arnis takes the title of the country’s national sport, Philippine volleyball is one of the most popular sports played by Filipinos.
Volleyball holds a special place in this country when it comes to sports in general. Apart from having insanely talented players who have placed the Philippines in the global spotlight, Filipinos significantly contributed to the development and advancement of this sport.
Below is an all-inclusive guide on the history of Philippine volleyball, its associations, and leagues.
The Philippine volleyball history dates back to 1910 during the American colonization. This sport was introduced by an American man known as Elwood Stanley Brown. He is a renowned sports organizer who made a massive contribution promoting sports in the Philippines during the colonial period.
During that time, the US soldiers deployed in various islands in the Philippines also significantly promoted this sport among Filipinos. These soldiers would encourage people living in those islands to join them in playing volleyball, making the sport even more popular.
Over time, people in the Philippines started creating volleyball strategies and rules that significantly influenced how this sport is played today. One volleyball rule that the Philippines contributed to inventing was the “three-hit limit.”
Back then, Filipino volleyball players of the same team would take turns hitting the ball before sending it over the net to the opposing team. Americans realized that this Philippine volleyball strategy would take too much time, which affected the intensity and competitive nature of the game. So, they came up with the “three-hit limit” rule.
This rule states that each volleyball team is allowed to hit the ball a maximum of three times before passing it on to the opposing team during a match.
Filipinos also invented the “spike and set” volleyball strategy. While the sport was still new to the country, Americans noticed that Filipinos would jump really high during a volleyball match and hit the ball downwards over the net into the opposing team’s court, making it hard to recover the ball. This led the Americans at the time to name this strategy “the spike” or “the Filipino bomb.”
And that’s not all; just before Filipino players would spike the ball, they would also place the ball in a certain position on their fingers. This allowed them to pass it on to the “hitter,” who would spike it over to the opposing team’s court, prompting the Americans to call this technique” the setting “strategy.
Volleyball in the Philippines has firmly established itself as a sport, thanks to the several associations formed over the years.
The first volleyball association formed in the Philippines was the Philippine Amateur Volleyball Association (PAVA.) It was established in 1961 by Jose N. Reyes, the then director of Playground and Recreation Bureau, Justice Roman Nolasco, and businessman Tommy Teng. PAVA served as the governing body for volleyball in the Philippines until 2015.
However, in 2003 this Philippine volleyball association’s name was changed to the Philippine Volleyball Federation(PVF.) This body achieved so much when it comes to volleyball. Among its significant achievements was nurturing players who represented the Philippines in international games, such as the Far East Olympic Games and Ganefo Games.
Unfortunately, a huge leadership dispute arose in 2014, which led to the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas (LVPI) taking over as the governing association for volleyball in the Philippines until 2021.
This Philippine volleyball association also sent different volleyball teams to represent the country in various volleyball championships, such as the Asian Men’s U23 and the Asian Women’s U23.
LVPI was then succeeded by Philippine National Volleyball Federation(PNVF.) in 2021.
Currently, the Philippine National Volleyball Federation governs some of the most successful volleyball teams in the country, such as the Philippine Women’s National Volleyball Team(the Philippines’ National Volleyball Team) and the Philippine Men’s National Volleyball Team.
Currently, there are several Philippine volleyball leagues in the indoor, indoor collegiate, and beach categories that hold competitions between teams, promoting this sport even more. The first one is the Philippine Super Liga.
Philippine Super Liga is a non-professional corporate women’s volleyball league founded in 2013. It was initially founded by SportsCore Event Management and Consultancy, Inc. but is now owned by Philippine SuperLiga, Inc. This league aims to offer former collegiate players an opportunity to advance their volleyball careers.
This Philippine volleyball league has had several media broadcasters over the years. Solar Sports was its official broadcaster between 2014-2015. Then, TV5 took over from 2015-2020.
Another Philippine volleyball league is the Premier Volleyball League. This is a professional women’s volleyball league founded in 2004 by Sports Vision Management Group, Inc. While it started as a women’s collegiate league, it opened its doors for corporate clubs and other non-collegiate teams to participate. Currently, its official TV broadcast is One Sports Cignal TV.
Next up is the Spikers’ Turf, a semi-professional men’s volleyball league founded in 2015 by Sports Vision Management Group, Inc. Initially, this Philippine volleyball league was the men’s division in Shakey’s V- League’s 21st conference. Currently, its official TV broadcast is One Sports.
Other leagues include the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) volleyball tournament and the Beach Volleyball Republic, Inc.
Is Volleyball Famous In the Philippines?
Absolutely. The main reason this sport is rapidly gaining popularity in the country is the rise of several leagues which attract many players who want to participate, leading to a huge audience. Volleyball has also become popular in the Philippines because of the recent victories by the women’s and men’s national volleyball teams in international championships like the Southeast Asian Games.
Who Is the Face of Philippine Volleyball?
Alyssa Valdez is the current face of volleyball in the Philippines. This top-notch volleyball player and reality TV star’s journey to success in volleyball started in high school and college volleyball competitions. This paved the way for her to play for different countries like Thailand and earn a spot on the Philippine Women’s National Volleyball Team as a hitter.
Alyssa has earned several awards under her belt. Among them include the 2007 UAAP Season 70 “Most Valuable Player award, 2014 Shakey’s V-League Season 11 Open Conference “Best Scorer” award, and 2014 UAAP Season 76 “Best Scorer” award, to mention a few.
Currently, she plays for Creamline Cool Smashers, a professional women’s volleyball team in the Premier Volleyball League.
Who Is the Best Volleyball Player in the Philippines?
As expected, Alyssa Caymo Valdez is the best volleyball player in the Philippines. Other top players in the county include Dennise Michelle “Denden” Garcia Lazaro, who also plays for the Philippine Women’s National Volleyball Team.
Another renowned player in the country is Dawn Nicole L. Macandili, a De La Salle University volleyball team member. There’s also Aurea Francesca Racraquin and Julia Morado; the list goes on.
In the men’s category, there’s John Vic de Guzman, the captain of the Philippine Men’s National Volleyball Team, Alnakran “Ranran” Abdilla, Bryan Bagunas, and Marck Espejo, to name a few.