Following World War II, countries organized the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) in 1947. Fourteen countries from five different continents got together and organized world volleyball rules, starting with FIVB World Championship in 1949 for men and one for women in 1952. It eventually received Olympic recognition with the first matches at the 1964 Olympics. The sport has grown in popularity in more countries since with Brazil, Italy, the United States, Serbia, Russia, Japan, and Argentina among the best in the world for both men and women. Most of them have volleyball leagues for club play that attracts the best players in the world.
First, there is the Brazilian Volleyball Super League, or Superliga Brasileira de Voleibol in Portuguese.
Since 1976, the country, widely known for its beach volleyball powers, has twelve clubs. Both men and women, compete every year under the guideline of the Brazilian Volleyball Confederation. From the men’s side, the Belo Horizonte-based Minas the most titles with seven. While the defending champions, Sada Cruzeiro, have won five years in a row, six of the last seven. Minas are the defending champions on the women’s side. Third overall, while Rexona-Ades (Rio de Janeiro), established in 1997, already has 12 titles.
Next, another volleyball superpower in Italy has their Italian Volleyball League in use since 1946 led by the Federazione Italiana Pallavolo.
The highest competition is in SuperLega, where many of the world’s best volleyball players go to. It grew high popularity since the 1980s when the national team became among the best in international play through the 2000s, bringing in major crowds. There are 14 clubs including the twelve-time champions Modena Volley. Nine-time champions Volley Treviso, and five-time and current defending champion Cucine Lube Civitanova. Diatec Trentino, who have won four times, are the defending champions in the FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship.
One of the other oldest leagues come from Turkey. Which began in 1948 before reforming into its current Efe League in 1970 as one of the best in Europe.
Russia has kept a continuous top tier volleyball league since the 1930s of the old Soviet Union. And has its current Super League since 1992. In North America, while the United States struggles to keep a functioning volleyball league, Puerto Rico has the Liga de Voleibol Superior Masculino since 1958; Africa’s top league hails from Algeria, which started when they became a nation in 1962. And, the Chinese Volleyball Super League have been constantly growing since its established in 1996.
The leagues around the world have brought their own dominance in attracting grassroots support for local and national support to where these leagues have lasted for decades and bring in great players from other parts of the world. It is a sport that goes past the youth and bring in competitive heat on a large scale. Passing by amateur status with much more speed and power than in soccer and basketball. These top leagues exist in all continents where the world’s best can pick out upon.
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