William George Morgan (January 23, 1870 – December 27, 1942) was the inventor of volleyball, originally called “Mintonette”, a name derived from the game of badminton which he later agreed to change to better reflect the nature of the sport. He was born in Lockport, New York, US.
He met James Naismith, inventor of basketball, while Morgan was studying at Springfield College in 1892. Like Naismith, Morgan pursued a career in Physical Education at the YMCA. Influenced by Naismith and basketball, in 1895, in Holyoke, Massachusetts, Morgan invented “Mintonette” a less vigorous team sport more suitable for older members of the YMCA but one that still required athletic skill. Later Alfred S. Halstead watched it being played and renamed it “Volleyball”, because the point of the game is to volley the ball back and forth over the net.
In 1985, he was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame as the inaugural member.