The sport of volleyball originated in Holyoke, Mass in the year 1895 by a man named William Morgan. Morgan was an instructor at the YMCA, and wanted to create an activity for businessmen with less contact than basketball, and so he combined elements from Tennis, Handball, Basketball and Baseball to create what he called mintonette at the time. It wasn't until a game was played to demonstrate the rules to the members of the YMCA that someone remarked that the ball was "volleyed" from one side of the net to the other, and so "volleyball" was born. Of course, there were no standards in volleyball uniforms for youth or adult players; at the time, the traditional sportswear of the era was worn during games.
The YMCA played a huge role in introducing volleyball to other areas around the states, as well as to other countries. Between 1900 and 1917, more than 10 countries began playing the sport of volleyball, and sportswear began to evolve and volleyball uniforms were introduced to the first colleges and schools to start volleyball teams in the year 1916. The popularity of the sport continued to grow and in 1928 the first U.S Open Volleyball tournament was held. By 1964, volleyball was added to the Olympic games. Volleyball uniforms at the time consisted of baggy tee shirts or tank tops, paired with baggy shorts, and sneakers.
The game evolved, with tournament rules becoming official, and the game becoming commonly played by youth in intramural sports, competitive school sports, and at the college level. Beach versions of the game were created, with only two players per team on the court at one time. There are more than 50 million people who play volleyball at least once a week; making it one of the world's most popular sporting events.
Today's volleyball uniforms and sportswear starts with the proper shoes. Many of the major athletic shoe makers are creating sneakers specific for volleyball uniforms, including Asics, Reebok, Nike, and New Balance among others. Almost all volleyball players wear shorts as part of their volleyball uniforms. Some teams opt for knee length, baggy sweats style shorts in team colors, while others choose to wear tight spandex shorts, often much shorter in length. Volleyball jerseys can be of tee shirt material or lightweight, wind breaker material, and can have capped sleeves, standard tee shirt sleeves, or no sleeves at all! Beach volleyball unifroms are a different type of sportswear all together- the women are required to wear bikini's, and the men have to wear shorts that are tight and a specific length (above the knee).
Youth volleyball uniforms in the school systems are a bit more relaxed- and you can bet you'll never see the teams in bikini's! Schools traditionally use shorts and jerseys in their school colors as the volleyball uniforms, because they allow freedom of movement, don't get in the way as players jump, set or spike the ball over the net, and are acceptable to wear in the schools.