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Martyna Szydłowska/FG, 20 December 2017

Polish Volleyball celebrates its 90th anniversary in 2018

The first mentions of volleyball in Poland date back to to 1919, however volleyball (Pol. siatkówka) was initially called a variety of other names i.e. “flying ball”, “palm ball” or “hit ball” (Pol. "latająca piłka", "dłoniówka", "przebijanka"). Four years later, the first volleyball clubs were created in the academic environment. The first institutional formalization of volleyball took place in 1926, when many team sports were incorporated in the Polish Association of Stick-ball and Movement Games which in 1928 was renamed as the Polish Association of Sports Games. Therefore, 1928 is the official date of the beginning of organized volleyball in Poland.

A special logo dedicated to the 90th anniversary of Polish Volleyball will accompany numerous events devoted to the Jubilee. Now, we are presenting it to all volleyball fans for the first time. A look of the jubilee logo is naturally based on the existing Polish Volleyball's logo with additional element, which clearly refers to the anniversary and emphasizes its significance in the history of the sport.

The jubilee logo will be placed on the official website of the Polish Volleyball Federation, PZPS's social media, polygraphic, advertising and promotional materials and on selected elements of the national team outfits.

We took the opportunity to recall the most important events and achievements of Polish Volleyball.

The first Polish volleyball championships (women and men) were held in 1929 in Warsaw. Until 1935, it was an outdoor competition on fields with court surfaces. In the 1930s, international contacts were established, mainly with strong club teams from the Baltic Republics. However, the first official international matches were played by Poland's national teams after World War II - in 1948 against Czechoslovakia. And what is interesting, the women’s team made their international debut two weeks earlier than men (February 14 and 28).

In 1957, the Polish Volleyball Federation - an independent sport organization dedicated exclusively to volleyball was established. The Polish Federation is one of co-founder of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) which was created in 1947 and the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) in 1963.

In the 1940s, '50s, '60s and at the beginning of '70s, the position of the Polish Volleyball at the international level was built mainly by the Polish women's team, who were regularly on the podium of the European Championships (silver medals - 1950, 1951, 1963, 1967; bronze - 1949, 1955, 1958, 1971), World Championships (silver - 1952, bronze - 1956, 1962) and Olympic Games (bronze in 1964 and 1968).

At the end of 1960s, men's national team entered the international stage, becoming one of the best teams in the world in 1970s and at the beginning of '80s. It started with the second place at the 1965 World Cup hosted by Poland and the bronze medal at the 1967 European Championship. Then eventually came the era of the legendary coach Hubert Jerzy Wagner. The gold medal at the 1974 World Championship backed with gold at the 1976 Olympic Games and the five silver medals at the European Championships (1975-1983) were proof of the white-and-red team affiliation to the international elite.

The great comeback of the Polish volleyball to the top was a merit of women's national team, which reached the title of European champion in 2003 and 2005, later they claimed bronze medal at the 2009 European Championship on their home soil. The newest medal in their collection is silver won at the first-ever European Games which were held in Baku in 2014.

The successes of women's national team coincided with men's medal trophies. It started when the team guided by Argentine Raul Lozano earned the silver medal at the 2006 World Championship. His fellow countryman Daniel Castellani led the Polish team to victory at the 2009 European Championship. Also, when the Italian coach Andrea Anastasi took over, the team were claiming medals regularly: bronze at the FIVB World League and European Championship, silver at the 2011 World Cup and then the World League gold medal in 2012. In 2014, the French player Stephane Antiga made an instant transition from a player to a head coach, having Philippe Blain as his assistant. The coaching debut was a dream come true. His team, playing at home in Poland, won the World Championship gold medal.. During the 2015 World Cup in Japan, Poland won the first 10 of 11 matches, eventually winning a bronze medal.

In Polish volleyball, great results were also achieved by men's youth and junior teams. They claimed the title of Junior World Champions on three occasions (1997, 2003 and 2017) and became the European Champions twice (in 1996 and 2016), while in 2014 they came back home with silver. The young volleyball players also won the Youth European Championships twice (2005 and 2015) and the World Youth Championship (2015). Poland women's junior national team earned the European champion title in 2002.

Over the last decade, the Polish Volleyball Federation has played a leading part in increasing the popularity of the sport, mainly through understanding and appreciating the significant role of the media and sponsors' involvement. Since 1997, it has been confirmed time and again that the Polish Volleyball Federation is an active, verified and fully-fledged member of the European and world volleyball family, regularly organizing international events at the highest level - from the Women's Junior World Championship, through the Women and Men's Youth European Championships, Olympic and World Championship Qualifying Tournaments, Women and Men's Champions League Final Four Tournaments, the final tournaments of the European League, World Grand Prix and World League and the Women and Men's European Championships. Every year Poland also hosts a tournament of the prestigious FIVB World Tour series in beach volleyball.

A great demonstration of the organizational level of events in Poland was, among others, the FIVB VOLLEYBALL MEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - POLAND 2014. It was an exceptional tournament in every respect. The Opening Ceremony and Match at the National Stadium in Warsaw, attended by more than 60 000 spectators, inaugurated a great, global volleyball festival. Many records have been broken, including the one of attendance. The matches in Poland were watched by nearly 600 000 spectators in the venues and millions around the world followed them by the broadcast. The Poles proved that they love volleyball and Poland fully deserves to be called a volleyball "promised land". The gold medal won by the Polish national team was a crowning of this spectacular event.

Just this year Poland also hosted the Men's European Volleyball Championship - LOTTO EUROVOLLEY POLAND 2017 and its inauguration too was held at the PGE National Stadium in Warsaw and once again attracted over 60 000 spectators. This event was appreciated by the European Volleyball Confederation, which honoured the Polish Volleyball Federation with the 2017 Event of the Year Award.

Lists of the Polish Volleyball medals are available here:



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© Polish Volleyball Federation, 2017