India Sports

Arjuna Awardees in Volleyball

Volleyball was introduced in India in the early 20th century, when some Indians left for overseas countries and learnt physical education and training. They were trained in volleyball and brought this game to India. The first organization, which provided training of volleyball to the youngsters, was YMCA College of Physical Education. They were also responsible to introduce this game in many other parts of the country. Then the government formed Volleyball Federation of India with a view to create awareness and regularize the game on pan-Indian level.

The VFI came into existence in 1951; prior to that the events regarding the game were organized by Indian Olympic Association (IOA). Prior to the independence, interstate volleyball championships were held once in every two years in the men's category in India. The first meeting of VFI was held in Ludhiana in Indian state of Punjab and it paved the way for the participation of Indian volleyball team in international events such as Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and many other national and international competitions.

India added the first feather to its cap by winning a gold medal in 1955, in volleyball at the invitation Asian Meet held in Japan. Indian volleyball team proved its excellence once again, when they won the bronze medal at the Asian Games in Tokyo in 1958, followed by a silver medal in fourth Asian Games held in Jakarta in 1962. However, none of the player could win the Arjuna Award from volleyball team until 1971 and the period between 1963 to1973 was not that noticeable. In 1974, Indian volleyball team participated in Tehran Asian Games but they were dropped to fifth place, which was not a good sign.

Again in 1980, in the Commonwealth Games India attained third place and it was felt that the quality of the game was improving. In the 80s, India won many national and international events. The VFI started to promote club volleyball in order to promote the game in line with the international standards and that is how India joined the league of selected countries where club volleyball is prominent.

Soon the National Volleyball League Club Championship became popular all across the country and gave birth to Final League. The club volleyball not only made the volleyball popular, but also talented players thus got ample opportunities to play for national team and attain greater exposure. It also resulted into emergence of some of the top volleyball clubs in India with volleyball players of international level.

Being played both indoors and outdoors, the Indian volleyball courts are of 18mx9m size with two halves of equal size. The height of the net is 2.43m for men and 2.24 for women. The team of six players is divided into front & back rows and the standard of Indian volleyball is as per international standards.

A big boost came to Indian volleyball in 1987 at the South Asian Federation Games at Kolkata, when the Indian volleyball team won the gold medal, followed by another gold medal in 1991 in Colombo. Women's volleyball also gained prominence in 90s and they put a spectacular performance in SAF Games in 1993. The Indian junior volleyball team clinched the Asian title in 2003 in Vishakhapatnam.

List of Arjuna Award Winners in Volleyball


1961A. Palanisamy
1962N. Singh
1972B. S. Ballu
1973G.M. Reddy
1974M.S. Rao
1975Sub. Insp. R. Singh
1975K.C. Elamma
1976Jimmy George
1977-78A. R Rao
1978-79K Krishnan
1979-80S.K. Mishra
1982G.E. Sridharan
1983R.K. Purohit
1984Saley Joseph
1986C. C. Valloor
1989Abdul Basith
1990D. S. Ror
1991K. U. Kumar
1999Sukhpal Singh
2000P.V. Ramana
2001Amir Singh
2002R. Reddy
2010K. J. Kapil Dev
2011S. Kumar

Last Updated on 09/11/2012