Volleyball was invented in U.S.A. in 1895 and made its first appearance in Canada in 1900 when an Ottawa branch of the YMCA included it in its schedule. The sport caught on and soon spread to YMCAs in Toronto and Montreal. These centers conducted various tournaments, which were, for a long time, the only organized manifestations of the sport in Canada. While the sport spread throughout U.S.A, Russia and Asia before the First World War, it lay relatively dormant in Canada. With the creation of the Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) shortly after the Second World War, the sport gained international recognition.
Canada joined the FIVB (which stands for Federation International de Volley-ball) in 1953, the same year the Canadian Volleyball Association was founded. Gordon Odell served as interim president before Wes McVicar took over as the association’s first president. The current president, Dave Carey, oversees an organization of over 80,000 members. Renamed Volleyball Canada (VC), the Association has its headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario. When founded, VC was divided into three regions - Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal. Today, the regions are drawn along provincial/territorial lines and take in the whole of Canada.
Canada’s first international experience in the sport took place in 1959 at the Pan-American Games in Chicago. Today, the Canadian teams strive to qualify for all of the international tournaments for which they are eligible. Since 1976, both the Men’s and Women’s indoor National Teams have participated in the Olympic Games and the World Championships on several occasions. The best result for both the Men’s and Women’s teams was achieved at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles where they finished 4th and 8th respectively. In 1998, Volleyball Canada became the umbrella organization for the national disabled volleyball program, a program that has had continued success since this partnership. The National Men’s Standing Disabled Volleyball Team brought home Volleyball Canada’s first gold medal at the 2002 World Championships in Poland, and went on to defend its title in 2004.