The Founding
A decisive moment in the history of volleyball’s first
years was certainly the founding of the FIVB
Federation Internationale de Volleyball) when in April
representatives of 14 countries (Belgium, Brazil,
Czechoslovakia, Egypt, France, The Netherlands, Hungary,
Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Uruguay, USA and
Yugoslavia) met in Paris under the leadership of France’s
Paul Libaud to found the FIVB. Libaud, president of the
French Federation, was elected first President of the FIVB.
The headquarters were established in Paris, where they
remained for the first 37 years until 1984 when the FIVB
moved to Switzerland.
Members rising
From the 14 founding members the FIVB grew to 45 in
1955, 89
in 1964 and 101 in 1968, distributed over the
five continents: 25 in Europe, 25 in Asia, 25 in Africa, 11
in South America, and 15 in NORCECA (North, Central
America and the Caribbean). Today the Federation counts
affiliated national federations including 53 in Africa,
in Asia, 55 in Europe, 35 in NORCECA and 12 in South
Dr. Rubén Acosta succeeds President Paul
One of the big turning points for the FIVB came in 1984
when President Paul Libaud, by then in his 80s and highly
acclaimed for having founded the Federation and making
it a significant reality on the world sporting stage, resigned
after 37 years of leadership. Dr. Rubén Acosta was elected
President to succeed Libaud at the World Congress in Long
Beach, California, USA.
The Move
The FIVB moved its headquarters to Lausanne, Switzerland,
the same year, bringing it closer to the International
Olympic Committee and providing a wonderful base to
promote the sport in global competitions held in the five
continents (Africa, Asia, Europe, NORCECA and South
From game to great TV spectacle
At the same time, volleyball went through a number of
modifications to change the face of the sport. The need
to make it more telegenic in order to attract fans and
sponsors led to major modifications in 1998, such as the
introduction of the Rally Point System, the Libero player, the
let ball in play” rule and many other new rules that made
the game much more attractive.
Continued growth
In 1993 the FIVB becomes the largest sports organisation
in the world with 210 affiliated member associations.
Jizhong Wei becomes third FIVB President
The FIVB entered the third phase of its life when the 31
Congress in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in 2008 approved
by acclamation the election of JizhongWei as President, after
and 24 years of continuous improvement under President
Libaud and Dr.Acosta respectively.At the same time, the FIVB
moved its headquarters within Lausanne from Avenue de la
Gare to the stunning “Château Les Tourelles.”
The FIVB convenes for the first time in 1947 in Paris