It’s never easy when Christmas shopping to find that volleyball-theme gift for that college volleyball fan in your life.
With the Christmas shopping season beginning this week, Off the Block has scoured the internet to create the 2014 Ultimate Christmas Gift List for college volleyball fans. Everything from books and retro volleyball swag to great volleyball stocking stuffers made the cut for the second annual volleyball gift list.
Check out these must-haves and must-buys for volleyball fan this holiday shopping season.
VOLLEYBALL BOOKS TO GET THIS CHRISTMAS
By Dave Shoji with Ann Miller
Dave Shoji in his 40 years of coaching Hawai’i has not only became the winningest coach in NCAA women’s volleyball history and won four national championships, but turned his team into one of the premier programs in the state. This first-person historical account examines the growth of Wahine volleyball and the memorable moments during Hawai’i’s program history. The book also includes yearly comprehensive stats for every Hawai’i season. To order a copy of “Wahine Volleyball: 40 Years Coaching Hawaii’s Team,” click here.
A Fresh Season
By Terry Pettit
Former Nebraska women’s volleyball head coach Terry Pettit in his newest book examines several of the challenges facing current college volleyball coaches. “A Fresh Season” is a series of essays from Pettit on various volleyball topics, coaching and lessons in leadership. Among the essays includes chapters detailing his 1995 NCAA championship team, why coaches can become stagnant and risks not taken in the sport. Pettit in his time with the Cornhuskers won 43 matches in the NCAA Tournament and was a three-time recipient of the National Coach of the Year. To order a copy of “A Fresh Season,” click here.
The biggest mistake I never made
By Lloy Ball as told by Blake Sebring
This is the autobiography of former U.S. Olympic gold medalist and IPFW All-American setter Lloy Ball. The book provides an in-depth analysis of Ball’s life, including his time with the U.S. Men’s National Team and his decision to play for his father and the IPFW men’s volleyball team instead of committing to play for coach Bob Knight and the Indiana University men’s basketball team. In addition, Ball doesn’t hold back any of his opinions as he gives readers an inside look into the world of professional volleyball and family life as a professional athlete. To order your copy of “The Biggest Mistake I Never Made,” click here
The Volleyball Debate
By Vinnie Lopes
It is one of the least known stories, but perhaps the most intriguing and important, in both the history of the Ball State athletics and college volleyball. “The Volleyball Debate” examines the five-year struggle in the 1960s of how Hall of Fame coach Don Shondell and his new Ball State men’s volleyball team overcame resistance for school officials and their athletics director to become one of the first college varsity volleyball teams in the nation. With all original research, this book also provides an in-depth look at why this fight almost 50 years ago still is relevant today for college men’s volleyball. To order your copy of “The Volleyball Debate,”click here.
By Doug Beal
This is the 30-year anniversary of the United States winning the nation’s first men’s volleyball Olympic gold medal at the 1984 games in Los Angeles. The United States won all but one match throughout the tournament and beat Brazil in the championship match. Following that gold medal performance, coach Doug Beal in 1985 chronicled the team’s championship journey in the book “Spike!” The book covers all aspects of the U.S. Men’s National Team from its formation to its Olympic success. In addition, it provides significant insight into several players on that U.S. gold-medal team including Karch Kiraly, Sinjin Smith and Steve Timmons. To order a copy of “Spike!” click here.
The Untold Story of William G. Morgan
By Joel B. Dearing
Volleyball is one of the world’s most popular sports, but one story untold before this book was the history of its creator William G. Morgan. This non-fiction book chronicles Morgan’s life ranging from how and why he created volleyball in the late-19th century to places and people that influenced him to start the game. For any volleyball fan, this book provides an insight and historical understanding to the sport. In addition, the book’s author Dearing earned the Mintonette Medallion of Merit from the Volleyball Hall of Fame in October for his achievements to volleyball. To order your copy of “The Untold Story of William G. Morgan, Inventor of Volleyball,” click here.
Volleyball Centennial: The First 100 Years
By Byron Shewman
The Volleyball Centennial was published in 1996 to celebrate the 1995 centennial anniversary of the sport’s creation and to provide an in-depth examination of the first 100 years of volleyball. The book primarily focuses on how volleyball over time transitioned from a game for older individuals looking for a less intense sport to play instead of basketball to the game in its modern-day form. It also chronicles the personalities and key events within the United States during volleyball’s first 100 years. To order a copy of “Volleyball Centennial: The First 100 Years,” click here.
VOLLEYBALL CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES TO GET THIS CHRISTMAS
2014 Loyola championship shirt
Loyola ended last season winning its first NCAA championship in program history. The Ramblers after going undefeated in conference play became the second MIVA team to win a national title as it defeated Penn State and Stanford in the NCAA Tournament. This T-shirt in the Ramblers’ school colors is the official Loyola national championship T-shirt on the NCAA website. To order this NCAA championship T-shirt, click here.
USA Volleyball hoodie
The U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams both had successful 2014 campaigns winning numerous international tournaments. Now, U.S. volleyball fans can show their support by purchasing some USA Volleyball apparel as both teams in the upcoming year begin to pursue 2016 Olympic berths. This USA Volleyball hoodie is not only 100 percent fleece, but it is designed specifically fit comfortable while an individual is making volleyball motions. To order this USA Volleyball hoodie, click here.
Pepperdine championship shirt
In case anyone was wondering how many times Pepperdine has won a NCAA championship, this shirt answers that question. With five national titles in its program history, Pepperdine has won the second most NCAA championships of any men’s volleyball team in the nation. In addition, 2015 will be the 10-year anniversary of the Waves’ most recent NCAA title in 2005. Pepperdine also is projected to be among the nation’s top ranked teams in the preseason polls. To order this Pepperdine shirt, click here.
2016 Olympics Team USA hat
The 2016 Olympics is still about two years away, but it’s time to start buying swag for the event that could result in more Olympic medals for USA Volleyball. The U.S. Women’s National Team is ranked No. 1 in the world, while U.S. Men’s National Team won the 2014 FIVB World League. This Team USA hat for about $20 can be a perfect way to display your fandom for USA Volleyball as the teams move closer to the Olympic qualification process. To order this Team USA hat, click here.
Long Beach State hat
Long Beach State is one of the few college men’s volleyball teams that readily sells apparel specifically for the team on its school website. To reward that marketing, this hat made the list. The adjustable hat is in the traditional black and gold school colors of the 49ers. Long Beach State was ranked in the top 10 of the national coaches poll throughout 2014 regular season and reached the conference tournament quarterfinals. To order this Long Beach State hat, click here.
Princeton Dri-FIT shirt
Princeton last season pulled off one of the biggest upsets in its program’s history as it beat Penn State in five games — the Tigers’ first victory against the Nittany Lions in almost 20 years. In addition, Princeton ended the season reaching the EIVA championship match for the first time since 2010. This Nike Dri-Fit shirt for the rising program prominently features Princeton volleyball on the front of the shirt and is in the school’s colors of black and orange. To order this shirt, click here.
Molten NCAA volleyball
The Molten NCAA Flistatec Volleyball is the official volleyball used during the men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament and by most college men’s volleyball teams throughout the regular season. This Molten volleyball is the official size and weight for regulation indoor play and features a red, white and blue pattern. In addition, when purchased through Molten it comes with a two-year warranty. To order this volleyball, click here.
VINTAGE VOLLEYBALL ITEAMS TO GET THIS CHRISTMAS
1996 Olympics volleyball poster
This 18-inch-by-24-inch poster celebrates men’s indoor volleyball at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta — the last summer Olympics held in the United States. The U.S. Men’s National Team in that Olympic tournament won its first two preliminary round matches but narrowly missed a spot in the eight-team medal round. Among the players on that U.S. roster included the team captain and two-time world volleyball player of the year Bob Ctvrtlik, along with then-recent college graduates Jeff Nygaard and Lloy Ball. To order this Olympic volleyball poster, click here.
Ticket stub for 1975 NCAA semifinals
The field for the 1975 NCAA Tournament had a different look compared to previous years. Both Ohio State and Yale were making their first appearances in the NCAA Tournament, while the perennial West Coast powerhouses of early-1970s UCLA and UC Santa Barbara rounded-out the four-team field. Ohio State in its semifinal match lost the eventual NCAA champions UCLA in four games. In addition, Yale in its program’s only NCAA Tournament appearance lost to UC Santa Barbara in three games. This ticket stub from those semifinal matches celebrates the success of all four programs and the historical contributions they have provided college men’s volleyball. To order this ticket stub, click here.
BYU volleyball jersey
BYU last season became the first team in almost a decade to win back-to-back MPSF Tournament championships. The Cougars also advanced to the NCAA Tournament semifinals. Along with its success on the court, BYU has led the nation in home attendance for the last three seasons and each year had several sold-out regular season matches with more than 5,000 fans in attendance. For a BYU fan, this jersey could make a nice addition to their game-day attire. To oder this jersey, click here.
USA Volleyball 1970s jacket
The U.S. Men’s National Team from 1977-80 had two top-five finishes at the NORCECA Championships and had a top-10 finish at the 1977 World Cup. However, the team in that quad did not compete in the Olympics because of the U.S. boycott. This vintage warm-up jacket can be a great way to show your support for USA Volleyball. To oder this warm-up jacket, click here.
USA Volleyball vintage pennant
Nothing like having a throwback volleyball item featuring both an old-school logo and the logo of an alcohol distributor. USA Volleyball formed in 1928 and has served as the governing body for volleyball in the United States. In addition, the U.S. Men’s National Team this summer won the FIVB World League, while the U.S. Women’s National Team won the FIVB World Championships. To order this pennant, click here.
2011 UC Santa Barbara NCAA shirt
UC Santa Barbara in 2011 had one of the most improbably runs to the NCAA Tournament in college men’s volleyball history. The Gauchos as the No. 7 seed in the MPSF Tournament upset two top-five nationally ranked teams to win the conference title, including beating then-No. 1 USC on the road in the championship match. This official shirt from the 2011 NCAA Tournament celebrates that postseason run that ended with a five-game loss to Ohio State in the NCAA Tournament finals. To order this UC Santa Barbara shirt, click here.
1980s IPFW volleyball camp shirt
It’s the final season before Hall of Fame IPFW coach Arnie Ball retires, and this vintage shirt is from the 1980s when Ball started the volleyball program at IPFW. Ball along with coaching both the IPFW women’s and men’s volleyball teams that decade routinely held local volleyball camps in an effort to help grow the game. This shirt also features IPFW in crimson and white, which were among the school’s colors before changing to the current blue and white school colors in 1987. The
Mastodons also enter Ball’s final year returning a majority of starters after reaching the MIVA Tournament semifinals last season. To oder this IPFW volleyball camp shirt, click here.
1988 NCAA finals: USC vs. UC Santa Barbara
More than 25 years later and the 1988 NCAA Tournament championship match between the Trojans and Gauchos remains one of the most dramatic title matches in college men’s volleyball history. USC defeated UC Santa Barbara in five games becoming the first team to rally from a two-game deficit in the NCAA finals. USC sophomore Jen-Kai Liu in the championship victory also finished with a team-high 32 kills and was named the tournament’s most outstanding player. This video from the NCAA Championship Collection is the actual broadcast of the title match. To order this DVD of the 1988 NCAA finals, click here.
1984 Team USA Olympics jacket
The U.S. Men’s National Team led by former UCLA All-American outside attacker Karch Kiraly and former USC All-American setter Dusty Dvorak won the gold medal at the 1984 Olympics. The United States en route to its first Olympic gold medal in men’s volleyball went 5-1 during the tournament, including sweeping Brazil in the championship match. This jacket is a replica of the same jacket worn by the U.S. athletes during the opening ceremonies at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. To order this Team USA Olympic jacket, click here.
VOLLEYBALL CAUSES TO GIVE TO THIS CHRISTMAS
The Assist is a philanthropic event launched by Off the Block with goal of raising enough money to provide 50 volleyballs and other volleyball essentials to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt volleyball training center in Puerto Cortes, Honduras. This volleyball facility is located in a high poverty area of Honduras. It also is run by a non-paid volunteer staff who is committed to using volleyball to reach out to under-privileged youth throughout the area. To make a small donation to this campaign, click here.
VOLLEYBALL STOCKING STUFFERS TO GET THIS CHRISTMAS
If you’re searching for a stocking stuffer to give a volleyball player, or even a volleyball fan, the Springbak Performance Enhancing Springsoles could be a perfect fit. The Springsoles are shoe insoles that come in a variety of sizes. In addition, they are used by college and professional teams to improve performance ranging from better jumping to increased running ability. Springbak is also the official sponsor of the 2015 Preseason All-American Teams that will be unveiled in December. To order a Springsole, click here.
Vintage Volleyball Hall of Fame patch
Located in the birthplace of volleyball Holyoke, Massachuesetts, the Volleyball Hall of Fame opened in 1987 with the mission of preserving the sports’ history. The Volleyball Hall of Fame almost 30 years later continues to keep the history of volleyball alive and honor individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport, including inducting new hall of fame members each year. This vintage patch serves as a way of celebrating the museum dedicated to celebrating volleyball. To order this Volleyball Hall of Fame patch, click here.
2000 U.S. Men’s National Team cards
The 2000 U.S. Men’s National Team fell short in its attempt to win an Olympic medal, but the team can still be memorialized with this complete team-set of trading cards. Among players featured in this team-set includes middle attacker and now USC assistant coach Jeff Nygaard, former IPFW All-American setter Lloy Ball and opposite and now host of the national award winning The Net Live volleyball podcast Kevin Barnett. In addition, coaches Doug Beal, Marv Dunphy and Rod Wilde from that U.S. Men’s National Team are included in the team-set. To order these USA Volleyball cards for the 2000 Olympics, click here.
It’s a tradition for some college men’s volleyball teams to toss out mini volleyballs into the stands during starting line-up introductions. For those who weren’t lucky enough to catch one of those volleyball during match last season, now is the chance to get that mini volleyball as a gift. This Molten mini volleyball has four-inch diameter and can be used for all ages. Plus, it’s a simple stocking stuff for players and fans. To order this Molten mini volleyball, click here.
Air Bud: Spikes Back
If you are participating in a dirty Santa event or giving away gag gifts this holiday season, this is without a doubt the volleyball movie to offer as a present. The plot of this Disney movie focuses on a dog that is not only able to play volleyball so well it beats humans, but it is also talented enough to fight crime in the community. Despite the plot — or lack there of — the movie does feature a brief cameo from former professional beach volleyball player Gabrielle Reece. There also are few volleyball movies ever produced so give Disney credit for attempting to grow the game. To order this DVD, click here.