New book about Shondell, Ball State volleyball to be released Monday

A new book will be released next week examining the controversial start to the Ball State University men’s volleyball team in the 1960s.

“The Volleyball Debate” focuses on how the Hall of Fame coach Don Shondell and his players almost 50 years ago overcame opposition from school officials to become one of the first varsity college volleyball teams in the nation.

The Volleyball DebateThe possibility of volleyball becoming a varsity sport remains one of the most intense debates in the history of Ball State athletics. In addition, the affects of this decision had a significant influence on the growth of college volleyball throughout the Midwest which are still being felt today.

Written by national award-winning college volleyball reporter Vinnie Lopes, “The Volleyball Debate” includes original research and dozens of interviews with former players and school officials to tell the narrative of this five-year conflict in the 1960s.


This is the first book published chronicling how Shondell grew volleyball at Ball State and began his Hall of Fame coaching career. It is also the first book released looking at the history of Ball State men’s volleyball and just the fourth book ever published about a Ball State sports team.

“The Volleyball Debate” will be available to purchase in an ebook format beginning Monday on the Off the Block website at The ebook costs $9.95 with part of the proceeds going to the Ball State men’s volleyball team.

Lopes, a Ball State alumnus with degrees in journalism and history, has covered college men’s volleyball for seven years and is a two-time national finalist for American Volleyball Coaches Association Grant Burger Media Award. He is also the founder and editor of Off the Block, a website focusing on college men’s volleyball news and analysis.

2 Replies to “New book about Shondell, Ball State volleyball to be released Monday”

    1. It is time for Ball State publically recognize this historic accomplishment of Shondell, the Father of Volleyball. Readers, write to Pres. Gora; urge her to provide full financial support of this competitive sport. It could become an internationally-recognized Olympic sport.

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