E. A. Patras is a Greek omnisports club based in Patras, it is known for its volleyball and boxing sections, which compete at the highest level in Greece. The volleyball section won the Greek championship in 1938, whereas the boxing section won the national title in 1979, 1983, 1984, 1988 and 1989. E. A. Patras was one of the protagonists after the establishment of the Greek volleyball league in the 1930s, winning the title in 1937-38 and being the runner-up in the seasons 1935-36, 1936–37 and 1939-1940. E. A. P. returned to the first Greek league for the first time after the formation of the A1 Ethniki Volleyball, by winning the A2 Ethniki title in 1999. It took the fifth place in A1 Ethniki two times in a row and during those three years it participated in the European Federation Cup; the season was the most successful so far for EAP in the post-war period. It took the 3rd place in the national championship which allowed the club to participate once more to the European Federation Cup in the season 2009-2010.
The next season the club held an impressive record during the regular season of the A1 Ethniki Volleyball with 18 wins, 4 loses and 53 points, finishing in the second place, only behind Panathinaikos VC. But in the playoffs the club's performance was disappointing ending up in the 7th place of the league. In the season 2010-2011, EAP finished in the fifth place in the championship. Apart from Athens' and Thessaloniki's major volleyball clubs, EAP - representing Patras - was the fourth club from a provincial Greek city that made it to the final of the Greek Volleyball Cup, in the season 2007-2008; the previous ones were: Ethnikos Alexandroupolis and Lamia. In the final EAP lost 1-3 to Panathinaikos VC. National: Greek Championship: 1938 Divisional: Second Division Championship: 2002 Third Division Championship: 1996 Fourth Division Championship: 1993 Greek Cup Greek Cup finalist: 2008 European Cup honours European Federation Cup quarter finals: 2006 Challenge Cup final four: 2009 Challenge Cup semi finals: 2011 In 2005-2006 E.
A. Patras reached the quarter finals of the European Federation Cup, being defeated twice by the Italian club of Macerata Volleyball. EAP participated in the 2008-2009 Challenge Cup's Final Four in Izmir, taking the fourth place. In 2010-2011 it participated in the Challenge Cup going up to the semi-finals, where it lost two times to the further champions Macerata Volleyball. Official site
Kifissia or Kifisia is one of the most expensive northern suburbs of Athens, Greece accessed via Kifissias Avenue, running all the way from central Athens up to Theseos Avenue in the suburb of Nea Erythraia. It has traditionally been home to major Greek political families; the municipality Kifisia was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 3 former municipalities, that became municipal units: Ekali Kifisia Nea ErythraiaThe municipality has an area of 35.100 km2, the municipal unit 25.937 km2. Kifisia is situated at the western end of the forested Penteli mountain range; the small river Kifisos forms the western border of the municipality. Kifisia is situated 12 km northeast of Athens city centre; the built-up area of Kifisia is continuous with those of the neighbouring suburbs Lykovrysi, Nea Erythraia and Pefki. Kifisia consists of the following neighbourhoods: Adames, Ano Kifisia, Kato Kifisia, Nea Kifisia and Politeia, it is a green suburb with tree-lined streets.
The main thoroughfare is Kifisias Avenue, which connects Kifisia with central Athens and the northern beltway Motorway 6. The Kifisia station is the north terminus of Athens Metro Line 1. Cephisia was a deme of ancient Athens, it was the home of the famous dramatist Menander. Cephisia had become a famous retreat of philosophers during the reign of the Roman emperor Hadrian, when the wealthy Herodes Atticus of Marathon, Greece built the Villa Cephisia. In his Attic Nights, Aulus Gellius describes the unique ambiance of intellectual ferment and aristocratic leisure in an idyllic setting which he created there, it was the practice of Herodes to provide free instruction in philosophy for selected youths from Athens. The remains of some of his family funeral monuments lie at the centre of the town in Platonas Square, he beautified a sanctuary to the Nymphs in the ravine of Kokkinara, in the nearby district of Kefalari. The history of Kifisia during the medieval period is obscure, but the remains of a monastery church dedicated to the Virgin of the Swallow is associated with a story about a battle fought there between local people and unspecified "invaders".
This chapel is a rare example of a monastery church provided with a fireplace, for the chimney remains. During Ottoman period, in 1667, Kifisia was visited by the Turkish traveler Evliya Çelebi, he described a small country town set in a fertile plain of paradisaic beauty, with three hundred tile-roofed houses. Half the inhabitants of the town were Muslims and half were Christians, he records that there was a single mosque, without a minaret, many small Christian chapels - some of which survive today. The temperature in Kifisia tends to be lower than that of the city, so following the independence of Greece, it became a summer resort of the ruling class of the new state, its popularity faded somewhat during the middle of the nineteenth century when the danger of raids by brigands who infested the nearby mountains was real. However, the suppression of brigandage, the arrival of the railway in 1885, led to the dramatic development of the area, it became the fashion for wealthy Athenian families to build summer houses in Kifisia, keen social competition led to the creation of a unique architectural ambiance, as villas in more exotic styles proliferated.
For those unable to afford a summer house, many hotels were built, where the less affluent could spend the holiday months rubbing shoulders with their social betters. The heyday of Kifisia was during the inter-war period, when the leaders of the two main rival political parties frequented different hotels in the town together with their most important supporters. Following the liberation of Greece from German occupation in 1944, the British Royal Air Force ill-advisedly made its headquarters in Kefalari, taking over several hotels. With the outbreak of the Greek Civil War, the RAF personnel were first besieged forced to surrender, marched across the mountains into northern Greece. Accenture, Aegean Airlines, Barcleys, BP, Eurobank Ergasias, Ellaktor, Ferrari Metaxa, Metro S. A. Walmart, Volvo have their head office in Kifisia. Kifissia has several sport clubs in different sports. From them, most notable are ZAON, club with many Panhellenic titles in Greek women volleyball, Kifissia AC that plays constantly in men volleyball first division and Nea Kifissia B.
C. that plays in basketball first division. The football team of Kifissia is Kifissia F. C. and plays in Football League 2. Kifissia is the seat of Athina 90, AOH Hymettus, Iraklis Kifissias Presence in A1 Womans Category, with more than 200 athletes in Iraklis Kifissias Volleyball Academy; the population grew fast between 1991-2001 by 18,3% while in 2001-2011 the percentage was lower, 7.13% Menander, born in Kifisia Emmanuel Benakis and politician, died in Kifisia Andreas Empeirikos, died in Kifisia Penelope Delta Theodoros Pangalos, died in Kifisia Themistoklis Sophoulis, died in Kifisia Evgenios Spatharis, shadow theatre artist, born in Kifisia Official website
Piraeus is a port city in the region of Attica, Greece. Piraeus is located within the Athens urban area, 12 kilometres southwest from its city centre, lies along the east coast of the Saronic Gulf. According to the 2011 census, Piraeus had a population of 163,688 people within its administrative limits, making it the fourth largest municipality in Greece and the second largest within the urban area of the Greek capital, following the municipality of Athens; the municipality of Piraeus and several other suburban municipalities within the regional unit of Piraeus form the greater Piraeus area, with a total population of 448,997. Piraeus has a long recorded history, dating to ancient Greece; the city was developed in the early 5th century BC, when it was selected to serve as the port city of classical Athens and was transformed into a prototype harbour, concentrating all the import and transit trade of Athens. During the Golden Age of Athens the Long Walls were constructed to fortify its port, it became the chief harbour of ancient Greece, but declined after the 4th century AD, growing once more in the 19th century, after Athens' declaration as the capital of Greece.
In the modern era, Piraeus is a large city, bustling with activity and an integral part of Athens, acting as home to the country's biggest harbour and bearing all the characteristics of a huge marine and commercial-industrial centre. The port of Piraeus is the chief port in Greece, the largest passenger port in Europe and the second largest in the world, servicing about 20 million passengers annually. With a throughput of 1.4 million TEUs, Piraeus is placed among the top ten ports in container traffic in Europe and the top container port in the Eastern Mediterranean. The city hosted events in both the 1896 and 2004 Summer Olympics held in Athens; the University of Piraeus is one of the largest universities in Greece. Piraeus, which means'the place over the passage', has been inhabited since the 26th century BC. In prehistoric times, Piraeus was a rocky island consisting of the steep hill of Munichia, modern-day Kastella, was connected to the mainland by a low-lying stretch of land, flooded with sea water most of the year, used as a salt field whenever it dried up.
It was called the Halipedon, meaning the'salt field', its muddy soil made it a tricky passage. Through the centuries, the area was silted and flooding ceased, thus by early classical times the land passage was made safe. In ancient Greece, Piraeus assumed its importance with its three deep water harbours, the main port of Cantharus and the two smaller of Zea and Munichia, replaced the older and shallow Phaleron harbour, which fell into disuse. In the late 6th century BC, the area caught attention due to its advantages. In 511 BC, the hill of Munichia was fortified by Hippias and four years Piraeus became a deme of Athens by Cleisthenes. According to the ancient Greek historian Thucydides, in 493 BC, Themistocles initiated the fortification works in Piraeus and advised the Athenians to take advantage of its natural harbours' strategic potential instead of using the sandy bay of Phaleron. In 483 BC, a new silver vein was discovered in Laurion mines, utilized to fund the construction of 200 triremes, the Athenian fleet, transferred to Piraeus and was built in its shipyards.
The Athenian fleet played a crucial role in the battle of Salamis against the Persians in 480 BC. From on Piraeus was permanently used as the navy base. After the second Persian invasion of Greece, Themistocles fortified the three harbours of Piraeus and created the neosoikoi; the city's fortification was farther reinforced by the construction of the Long Walls under Cimon and Pericles, with which secure port's route to Athens main city. Meanwhile, Piraeus was rebuilt to the famous grid plan of architect Hippodamus of Miletus, known as the Hippodamian plan, the main agora of the city was named after him in honour; as a result, Piraeus flourished and became a port of high security and great commercial activity, a city bustling with life. During the Peloponnesian War, Piraeus suffered its first setback. In the second year of the war, the first cases of the Athens plague were recorded in Piraeus. In 429 the Spartans ravaged Salamis as part of an abortive attack on the Piraeus, when the Athenians responded by sending a fleet to investigate, the Spartan alliance forces fled.
In 404 BC, the Spartan fleet under Lysander blockaded Piraeus and subsequently Athens surrendered to the Spartans, putting an end to the Delian League and the war itself. Piraeus would follow the fate of Athens and was to bear the brunt of the Spartans' rage, as the city's walls and the Long Walls were torn down; as a result, the tattered and unfortified port city was not able to compete with prosperous Rhodes, which controlled commerce. In 403 BC, Munichia was seized by Thrasybulus and the exiles from Phyle, in the battle of Munichia, where the Phyleans defeated the Thirty Tyrants of Athens, but in the following battle of Piraeus the exiles were defeated by Spartan forces. After the reinstatement of democracy, Conon rebuilt the walls in 393 BC, founded the temple of Aphrodite Euploia and the sanctuary of Zeus Sotiros and Athena, built the famous Skeuotheke of Philon, the ruins of which have been discovered at Zea harbour; the reconstruction of Piraeus went on
Komotini is a city in the region of East Macedonia and Thrace, northeastern Greece. It is the capital of the Rhodope regional unit, it was the administrative centre of the Rhodope-Evros super-prefecture until its abolition in 2010, by the Kallikratis Plan. The city is home to the Democritus University of Thrace, founded in 1973. Komotini is home to a sizeable Turkish-speaking Muslim minority. Built at the northern part of the plain bearing the same name, Komotini is one of the main administrative and cultural centers of northeastern Greece and a major agricultural and breeding center of the area, it is a significant transport interchange, located 795 km NE of Athens and 281 km NE of Thessaloniki. The presence of the Democritus University makes Komotini the home of thousands of Greek and international students and this, combined with an eclectic mix of Western and Oriental elements in the city's daily life, have made it an attractive tourist destination; the city stands at an altitude of 32-38m on the Thracian plain near the foothills of the Rhodope Mountains.
It is situated between Boklutzas on the west and Trelohimaros on the east. There is little urban planning in the older parts of city, in contrast to more developed quarters. According to the 2011 census, the municipality's population amounts to 66,919, a number that does not include 12,000 resident students and soldiers. There are two airports near Komotini; the nearest is in Alexandroupoli, the other is in Kavala. It has rail and bus links to all continental Greek cities as well as Istanbul, the good provincial road network has been supplemented by the new Egnatia Odos motorway. Komotini has existed as a settlement since the 2nd century AD; that is confirmed by archaeological finds of that era up until the 4th century. It is confirmed by an inscription on the ruins of the 4th-century Byzantine wall, that are visible at various sites in the city, which reads "Theodosiou Ktisma" = Building of Theodosius; the inscription was discovered by the Komotini-born Prof. Stilponas Kyriakidis and the mayor Sofoklis Komninos.
It is said that the settlement originates from the 5th century and is linked to the daughter of the painter Parrasios from Maroneia. During the Roman age it was one of several fortresses along the Via Egnatia highway which existed in the Thrace area, it is to be identified with the Roman station Breierophara (a Thracian toponym from bre + iero + phara=para. The most important city of that period was neighbouring Maximianopolis, former Thracian Porsulis or Paesoulae, renamed to Mosynopolis in the 9th century. Komotini was a Via Egnatia hub on its northern route through the Nymphaea Pass which led to the Ardas Valley and Byzantine Berroe; the city's history is connected with that of Via Egnatia, the Roman trunk road which connected Dyrrhachium with Constantinople. The Roman emperor Theodosius I built a small rectilinear fortress on the road at a junction with a route leading north across the Rhodope Mountains toward Philippopolis. During the Byzantine period, the city belonged to the Theme of Macedonia, whilst from the 11th century it could be found within the newly founded theme of Boleron.
For most of its early existence the settlement was overshadowed by the larger town of Mosynopolis to the west, by the end of the 12th century, the place had been abandoned. The current settlement dates to 1207, following the destruction of Mosynopolis by the Bulgarian tsar Kaloyan, the remnant population fled and established themselves within the walls of the abandoned fortress. Since the population had been increasing continuously until it became an important town within the area. In 1331 John Kantakouzenos referred to her as Koumoutzina in his account of the Byzantine civil war of 1321–1328. In 1332 Andronikos III Palaiologos set camp in Komotini to face Umur Bey of Smyrna at the Panagia village close to the Panagia Vathirryakos monastery. However, Umur departed without a battle. In 1341 the historian Nikephoros Phokas referred to the town with its current name. In 1343, during the civil war between John VI Kantakouzenos and John V Palaiologos, Komotini along with the neighbouring forts of Asomatos, Paradimi and Stylario joined Kantakouzenos' side.
John VI Kantakouzenos escaped to Komotini to survive from a battle with the army of the Bulgarian brigand Momchil near the ruined Mosynopolis. The city was captured by the Ottoman Empire between 1361 and 1362/3 by Gazi Evrenos Bey, its conquest is placed after the fall of Philippopolis and Stara Zagora, but before the Ottoman capture of Pegae. Before that, it was called in Turkish as Gümülcine, a version of the demotic Greek form of the city's name, Koumoutsinas; this remained the city's name throughout the Ottoman period and continues as its modern Turkish-language name today. The city continued to be an important hub connecting the capital city of Constantinople with the European part of the Empire, grew accordingly. Many monuments in the city today date to this era. Many local families founded the Koumoutzades village. There they were persecuted and some of them found refuge in Tropaia of Gortynia; the bond between the inhabitants of Komotini and Tropaia exists to this day. In the first two decades after its conquest, until 1383, the city was the seat of a frontier march under Evrenos, confronting the Serbian territories of Macedonia.
The walled city continued to be inhabited by Greek Christians, bu
Thessaloniki familiarly known as Thessalonica, Salonica or Salonika, is the second-largest city in Greece, with over 1 million inhabitants in its metropolitan area, the capital of Greek Macedonia, the administrative region of Central Macedonia and the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace. Its nickname is η Συμπρωτεύουσα "the co-capital", a reference to its historical status as the Συμβασιλεύουσα or "co-reigning" city of the Eastern Roman Empire, alongside Constantinople. Thessaloniki is located at the northwest corner of the Aegean Sea, it is bounded on the west by the delta of the Axios/Vardar. The municipality of Thessaloniki, the historical center, had a population of 325,182 in 2011, while the Thessaloniki Urban Area had a population of 824,676 and the Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area had 1,030,338 inhabitants in 2011, it is Greece's second major economic, industrial and political centre. The city is renowned for its festivals and vibrant cultural life in general, is considered to be Greece's cultural capital.
Events such as the Thessaloniki International Fair and the Thessaloniki International Film Festival are held annually, while the city hosts the largest bi-annual meeting of the Greek diaspora. Thessaloniki was the 2014 European Youth Capital; the city of Thessaloniki was founded in 315 BC by Cassander of Macedon. An important metropolis by the Roman period, Thessaloniki was the second largest and wealthiest city of the Byzantine Empire, it was conquered by the Ottomans in 1430, passed from the Ottoman Empire to Greece on 8 November 1912. It is home to numerous notable Byzantine monuments, including the Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as several Roman and Sephardic Jewish structures; the city's main university, Aristotle University, is the largest in Greece and the Balkans. Thessaloniki is a popular tourist destination in Greece. In 2013, National Geographic Magazine included Thessaloniki in its top tourist destinations worldwide, while in 2014 Financial Times FDI magazine declared Thessaloniki as the best mid-sized European city of the future for human capital and lifestyle.
Among street photographers, the center of Thessaloniki is considered the most popular destination for street photography in Greece. The original name of the city was Θεσσαλονίκη Thessaloníkē, it was named after princess Thessalonike of Macedon, the half sister of Alexander the Great, whose name means "Thessalian victory", from Θεσσαλός'Thessalos', Νίκη'victory', honoring the Macedonian victory at the Battle of Crocus Field. Minor variants are found, including Θετταλονίκη Thettaloníkē, Θεσσαλονίκεια Thessaloníkeia, Θεσσαλονείκη Thessaloneíkē, Θεσσαλονικέων Thessalonikéōn; the name Σαλονίκη Saloníki is first attested in Greek in the Chronicle of the Morea, is common in folk songs, but it must have originated earlier, as al-Idrisi called it Salunik in the 12th century. It is the basis for the city's name in other languages: Солѹнь in Old Church Slavonic, סלוניקה in Ladino, Selânik سلانیك in Ottoman Turkish and Selanik in modern Turkish, Salonicco in Italian, Solun or Солун in the local and neighboring South Slavic languages, Салоники in Russian, Sãrunã in Aromanian, Salonica or Salonika in English.
Thessaloniki was revived as the city's official name in 1912, when it joined the Kingdom of Greece during the Balkan Wars. In local speech, the city's name is pronounced with a dark and deep L characteristic of Modern Macedonian accent; the name is abbreviated as Θεσ/νίκη. The city was founded around 315 BC by the King Cassander of Macedon, on or near the site of the ancient town of Therma and 26 other local villages, he named it after his wife Thessalonike, a half-sister of Alexander the Great and princess of Macedonia as daughter of Philip II. Under the kingdom of Macedonia the city retained its own autonomy and parliament and evolved to become the most important city in Macedonia. After the fall of the Kingdom of Macedonia in 168 BC, in 148 BC Thessalonica was made the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia. Thessalonica became a free city of the Roman Republic under Mark Antony in 41 BC, it grew to be an important trade-hub located on the Via Egnatia, the road connecting Dyrrhachium with Byzantium, which facilitated trade between Thessaloniki and great centers of commerce such as Rome and Byzantium.
Thessaloniki lay at the southern end of the main north-south route through the Balkans along the valleys of the Morava and Axios river valleys, thereby linking the Balkans with the rest of Greece. The city became the capital of one of the four Roman districts of Macedonia, it became the capital of all the Greek provinces of the Roman Empire because of the city's importance in the Balkan peninsula. At the time of the Roman Empire, about 50 A. D. Thessaloniki was one of the early centers of Christianity. Paul wrote two letters to the new church at Thessaloniki, preserved in the Biblical canon as First and Second Thessalonians; some scholars hold that the First Epistle to the Thessalonians is the first written book of the New Testament. In 306 AD, Thessaloniki acquired a patron saint, St. Demetrius, a Christian whom Galerius is said to have put to death. Most scholars
Olympiacos CFP (men's volleyball)
Olympiacos Men's Volleyball referred to as Olympiacos, Olympiacos Piraeus or with its full name as Olympiacos CFP, is the men's volleyball department of the major Greek multi-sport club, Olympiacos CFP, based in Piraeus, Athens. The department was founded in 1926 and their home ground is the Melina Mercouri Indoor Hall in Agios Ioannis Rentis, Piraeus. Olympiacos is the most successful club in Greek volleyball history, having won 28 Greek Volley League titles, 16 Cups, 6 League Cups, all national records, 2 Super Cups, they are the only volleyball club in Greece to have won a European competition, with 2 CEV Cup Winners' Cup/CEV Top Teams Cups, a traditional powerhouse in European volleyball, having been runners-up in all three main CEV competitions, two times in the CEV Champions League, two in the CEV Cup and one in the CEV Challenge Cup, totalling seven European finals. Domestically, Olympiacos holds the record for the most consecutive championships won, with eight in a row, for winning seven championships undefeated.
Internationally, their most successful period was between 1992 and 2005, when they came to be included amongst the top volleyball powers in Europe. During this period, apart from their two European trophies, they progressed to eleven final fours in total, seven of them consecutive between 1992–1998. Olympiacos came to European prominence again by playing in the 2017–18 CEV Challenge Cup final. In this way, Olympiacos became the first volleyball club that had men and women playing in European finals, one of the few to have won European trophies in both departments. Given the fact that Olympiacos is the most popular sports club in Greece, the men's volleyball department receives great home support. Apart from some top Greek players such as Marios Giourdas, Giorgos Ntrakovits, Sakis Moustakidis, Vasilis Kournetas, Antonis Tsakiropoulos, Kostas Christofidelis, Mitar Tzourits, Olympiacos has attracted over the years some foreign world-class players including Ivan Miljković, Lorenzo Bernardi, Jeff Stork, Marcos Milinkovic, Bengt Gustafsson, Raimonds Vilde, Vasa Mijić, Tom Hoff, Goran Vujević, Henk-Jan Held, Osvaldo Hernández and Fabian Drzyzga.
Greek Volley League Winners: 1968, 1968−69, 1973−74, 1975−76, 1977−78, 1978−79, 1979−80, 1980−81, 1982−83, 1986−87, 1987−88, 1988−89, 1989−90, 1990−91, 1991−92, 1992−93, 1993−94, 1997−98, 1998−99, 1999−00, 2000−01, 2002−03, 2008−09, 2009−10, 2010−11, 2012−13, 2013−14, 2017−18 Greek Cup Winners: 1980−81, 1982−83, 1988−89, 1989−90, 1991−92, 1992−93, 1993−94, 1996−97, 1997−98, 1998−99, 2000−01, 2008−09, 2010−11, 2012−13, 2013−14, 2015−16, 2016−17 Greek League Cup Winners: 2012−13, 2014−15, 2015−16, 2016−17, 2017−18, 2018−19 Greek Super Cup Winners: 2000, 2010 Double Winners: 1980−81, 1982−83, 1988−89, 1989−90, 1991−92, 1992−93, 1993−94, 1997−98, 1998−99, 2000−01, 2008−09, 2010−11, 2012−13, 2013−14 CEV Champions League Runners-up: 1991−92, 2001−02 Third: 1992−93, 1994−95 Fourth: 1981−82, 1993−94, 2000−01 CEV Cup Winners' Cup / CEV Top Teams Cup / CEV Cup Winners: 1995−96, 2004−05 Runners-up: 1996−97, 1997−98 Semi-finals: 2018−19 CEV European Super Cup Fourth: 1996 CEV Challenge Cup Runners-up: 2017–18 FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship: Third: 1992 Olympiacos fans are renowned for their passionate and fervent support to the team, with the atmosphere at home matches regarded as intense and intimidating to such an extent, seen in volleyball matches.
In the decade of the 1900s and the early 2000s, Olympiacos was among the top powers in European volleyball and one of the best supported volleyball teams in Europe. In the 1992 CEV Champions League Final Four in Piraeus, an estimated 20,000 Olympiacos fans crowded the Peace and Friendship Stadium for the semi-final against CSKA Moscow and 20,000 more for the final against il Messaggero Ravenna. Volleyball legend Karch Kiraly, Hall of Famer and three times Olympic gold medalist, a key member of il Messaggero Ravenna at the time, talked about the 1992 CEV Champions League Final in a 2018 interview: "That particular CEV Champions League Final Four in Piraeus was a special experience. Now as we speak, the first thing that comes to my mind was the unbelievable atmposhere that we all lived in that volleyball game in Athens 26 years ago. In that day I cherished the passion of Olympiacos fans for volleyball, it was something unique."In the 1996 CEV Cup Winners' Cup Final Four, held again in Piraeus and the Peace and Frienship Stadium, an estimated 18,000 to 20,000 Olympiacos fans filed into SEF and created the most intense atmosphere, pushing the team to the their first European title against the German side Bayer Wuppertal, after a hard-fought 3–2 win.
After the victory, hundreds of ecstatic Olympiacos fans stormed the court and celebrated the title with the
Volleyball is a popular team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules, it has been a part of the official program of the Summer Olympic Games since Tokyo 1964. The complete rules are extensive, but play proceeds as follows: a player on one of the teams begins a'rally' by serving the ball, from behind the back boundary line of the court, over the net, into the receiving team's court; the receiving team must not let the ball be grounded within their court. The team may touch the ball up to 3 times, but individual players may not touch the ball twice consecutively; the first two touches are used to set up for an attack, an attempt to direct the ball back over the net in such a way that the serving team is unable to prevent it from being grounded in their court. The rally continues, with each team allowed as many as three consecutive touches, until either: a team makes a kill, grounding the ball on the opponent's court and winning the rally.
The team that wins the rally serves the ball to start the next rally. A few of the most common faults include: causing the ball to touch the ground or floor outside the opponents' court or without first passing over the net; the ball is played with the hands or arms, but players can strike or push the ball with any part of the body. A number of consistent techniques have evolved in volleyball, including spiking and blocking as well as passing and specialized player positions and offensive and defensive structures. In the winter of 1895, in Holyoke, William G. Morgan, a YMCA physical education director, created a new game called Mintonette, a name derived from the game of badminton, as a pastime to be played indoors and by any number of players; the game took some of its characteristics from other sports such as handball. Another indoor sport, was catching on in the area, having been invented just ten miles away in the city of Springfield, only four years before. Mintonette was designed to be an indoor sport, less rough than basketball, for older members of the YMCA, while still requiring a bit of athletic effort.
The first rules, written down by William G Morgan, called for a net 6 ft 6 in high, a 25 ft × 50 ft court, any number of players. A match was composed of nine innings with three serves for each team in each inning, no limit to the number of ball contacts for each team before sending the ball to the opponents' court. In case of a serving error, a second try was allowed. Hitting the ball into the net was considered a foul —except in the case of the first-try serve. After an observer, Alfred Halstead, noticed the volleying nature of the game at its first exhibition match in 1896, played at the International YMCA Training School, the game became known as volleyball. Volleyball rules were modified by the International YMCA Training School and the game spread around the country to various YMCAs; the first official ball used in volleyball is disputed. The rules evolved over time: in 1916, in the Philippines, the skill and power of the set and spike had been introduced, four years a "three hits" rule and a rule against hitting from the back row were established.
In 1917, the game was changed from requiring 21 points to win to a smaller 15 points to win. In 1919, about 16,000 volleyballs were distributed by the American Expeditionary Forces to their troops and allies, which sparked the growth of volleyball in new countries; the first country outside the United States to adopt volleyball was Canada in 1900. An international federation, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball, was founded in 1947, the first World Championships were held in 1949 for men and 1952 for women; the sport is now popular in Brazil, in Europe, in Russia, in other countries including China and the rest of Asia, as well as in the United States. Beach volleyball, a variation of the game played on sand and with only two players per team, became a FIVB-endorsed variation in 1987 and was added to the Olympic program at the 1996 Summer Olympics. Volleyball is a sport at the Paralympics managed by the World Organization Volleyball for Disabled. Nudists were early adopters of the game with regular organized play in clubs as early as the late 1920s.
By the 1960s, a volleyball court had become standard in all nudist/naturist clubs. Volleyball has been part of the Summer Olympics program for both men and women since 1964. A volleyball court is 9 m × 18 m, divided into equal square halves by a net with a width of one meter; the top of the net is 2.43 m above the center of the court for men's competition, 2.24 m for women's competition, varied for veterans a