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 underway, Off the Block has scoured the internet to create the 2015 Ultimate Christmas Gift List for college volleyball fans. Everything from books and retro volleyball swag to great volleyball stocking stuffers made the cut on our third-annual volleyball gift list.
Check out these must-haves and must-buys for volleyball fan this holiday shopping season.
Avatar’s Guide to Beach Volleyball
By Ryan Doherty
Professional beach volleyball player Ryan Doherty provides an inside look to everything an individual needs to know about the growing sport of beach volleyball. Doherty, a self-described jokester with the on-court nickname of Avatar, provides a comprehensive breakdown ranging from rules and terminology to complex offensive systems and how players can sign sponsors. In addition, Doherty discusses other lighter topics such as the top tournaments fans should attend and how to flirt with other volleyball players. To order a copy of “Avatar’s Guide to Beach Volleyball: Everything you need to know about the sport from the only professional player that writes,” click here.
The Volleyball Coaching Bible: Volume II
Edited by Cecile Reynaud
After a successful first volume, the latest edition of “The Volleyball Coaching Bible” is now out and available to consume. This in-depth coaching breakdown of the volleyball examines how to establish and maintain a successful volleyball program at all levels. The book features 20 nationally renowned coaches providing their insight to critical coaching issues such as building a positive and winning culture, what type of drills to run in practice and how to recruit players. To order a copy of “The Volleyball Coaching Bible: Volume II,” click here.
The biggest mistake I never made
By Lloy Ball as told by Blake Sebring
In a year when Lloy Ball was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame, it’s only fitting to read his autobiography. This is the only autobiography of the former U.S. Olympic gold medalist and IPFW All-American. 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.
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.
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.
The Volleyball Essentials
By Marv Dunphy and Rod Wilde
The Hall of Fame Pepperdine coach Marv Dunphy and former U.S. setter Rod Wilde co-authored this insightful volleyball book to help players improve their skills on the court. This book focuses on the all the essential skills to play sport and provides drills for players to improve on their individual techniques. It also includes the various offensive and defensive systems for teams and features a chapter about transitions. Dunphy along with his success at Pepperdine, led the United States to an Olympic gold medal and is one of the winningest coaches in NCAA volleyball history. To order a copy of “The Volleyball Essentials,” click here.
VOLLEYBALL CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES TO GET THIS CHRISTMAS
Loyola back-to-back champions shirt
In one of the most dramatic NCAA Tournament finals, Loyola last season became the first non-West Coast team in NCAA men’s volleyball history to win back-to-back national championships. Loyola fought off multiple match-points before defeating in-state rival Lewis in the longest fifth-game overtime in NCAA Tournament finals history to win the national title. This Loyola volleyball T-shirt in the school’s colors of maroon and gold and is a way to help celebrate that NCAA championship. To order this Loyola volleyball shirt, click here.
The Net Live shirt
The nation’s most successful volleyball podcast has unveiled its newest shirt just in time for the Christmas season. “The Net Live” is a national award weekly podcast hosted by former U.S. Olympian Kevin Barnett and AVP Lifetime Achievement recipient DJ Rouche and provides an insightful in-depth examination of the latest volleyball news. The “I Got Next Set” shirt while being stylish also raises an important question of whether the proper volleyball terminology is sets or games in a match. To purchase the “I Got Next Set” shirt, click here
Pepperdine championship shirt
Just 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. Pepperdine finished the 2015 season in third place in the MPSF and narrowly missed the final at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. To order this Pepperdine shirt, click here.
UC Irvine hat
UC Irvine finished last season winning its second MPSF championship in the last four years and advanced to the NCAA Tournament semifinals. The Anteaters also enter the upcoming season a likely preseason top 10 nationally ranked team and return several starters, including All-American outside attacker Tamir Hershko. This UC Irvine volleyball hat is in the school’s official colors of blue and yellow. In addition, it’s a perfect gift for those looking to celebrate the Anteaters’ recent success. To order this UC Irvine hat, click here.
Long Beach State hat
Similar to UC Irvine, Long Beach State is one of the few college men’s volleyball teams that readily sells apparel specifically for the team. 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 ended last season reaching the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals and add one of the top recruiting classes in the nation for the 2016 season. To order this Long Beach State hat, click here.
Pfeiffer ended last season winning the Conference Carolinas championship and earned a berth to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in its program history. In addition, the team forced a game to overtime in its NCAA Tournament play-in match loss to the eventually national champions Loyola. With that success this year, it’s only fitting this Pfeiffer volleyball made the annual list. The shirt is in official school colors of black and gold and features the university’s official Falcon logo. To order this Pfeiffer shirt, click here.
Volleyball Hall of Fame shirt
Located at the birthplace of volleyball in Massachusetts, the Volleyball Hall of Fame preserves and honors the history of the sport. This long sleeve limited edition shirt features the organization’s logo and is available in orange with a green and white font. The Volleyball Hall of Fame also announced all proceeds from these shirt orders will go towards sponsoring a youth volleyball team to march in the 2016 Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade. To order this Volleyball Hall of Fame shirt, click here.
Ohio State volleyball shirt
When a shirt showcases both a volleyball and the mascot Brutus, it’s a near must-have for Ohio State volleyball fans. This Ohio State volleyball shirt features all that and comes in the school’s color of scarlet. Ohio State returns a majority of its starters for the upcoming season after it finished the 2015 season in third place in the MIVA and reached the conference tournament semifinals. To purchase this Ohio State shirt, click here.
USA Volleyball shirt
It’s now time to start getting your USA Volleyball swag leading up to the 2016 Olympics in Rio. The U.S. Men’s National Team won the World Championship earlier this year to earn an Olympic berth as it seeks its first Olympic medal since 2008. In addition, the U.S. Women’s National Team is likely to qualify for an Olympic berth and is among the gold-medal favorites. This USA Volleyball shirt allows you to show your support for both indoor teams as well as the beach volleyball teams. The shirt also has a v-neck and trendy retro-look. To order this USA Volleyball shirt, click here.
George Mason beanie
The Jay Hosack era is underway at George Mason. In honor of the new head coach, this pom-knit winter headwear made this year’s list. The hat is in the school colors of green and gold and includes the university’s logo on the front. The Patriots finished last season reaching the EIVA Tournament finals and is returning a majority of starters for the upcoming 2016 season. Hosack, a former Penn State assistant coach, during the off-season was named the team’s new head coach. To purchase this hat, click here.
Any Stanford fan traveling to the Cardinal’s early-season non-conference matches will likely need this just to keep warm. Stanford opens its season with a two-match Indiana road trip playing Ball State and IPFW. This volleyball hoodie is available in the school’s official colors and has a front-pouch pocket to help keep your hands warm. Stanford enters the upcoming season returning a majority of its starters, including All-American setter James Shaw. To order this Stanford hoodie, click here.
While all the attention may be focused on the Olympics in 2016, the AVP continues to be the leading domestic beach volleyball league in the United States. This AVP grey trucker hat provides a stylish look both on the beach or away from the sand. In addition, the AVP logo is featured on the front of the hat and comes in the popular flat bill. To order this AVP hat, click here.
Lewis volleyball shirt
Lewis earned the No. 1 overall seed to the 2015 NCAA Tournament and came within one-point of winning the national championship. This postseason run also was the third time in the last four years that the Flyers earned a NCAA Tournament berth. Along with its recent success, coach Dan Friend was named the 2015 AVCA National Coach of the Year. This shirt is a way to show your support for one of the top programs in the nation. The shirt also is in the school’s official colors and includes the team’s logo. To purchase this Lewis shirt, click here.
Quincy volleyball shirt
Quincy upset Ball State last season for its first victory against a nationally ranked team in three years. In addition, the Hawks will open the upcoming season on the West Coast at the UC Santa Barbara Asics Invitational. To celebrate its achievement last season and its willingness to schedule tough non-conference matches, this Quincy shirt made the annual list. The shirt not only includes the school’s logo but features the university’s colors of brown and gold. To purchase this Quincy volleyball shirt, click here.
Princeton long-sleeve dri-fit
Winter is coming and some new gear will be need to workout in the elements — or to just walk from your car to the gym. This Princeton long-sleeve dri-fit can provide that necessary warmth during your future winter workouts. The Tigers finished last season reaching the four-team EIVA Tournament for the fourth consecutive year. In addition, Princeton coach Sam Shweisky during the off-season helped coach the U.S. Men’s Junior National Team to an 11th-place finish at the World Championship. To purchase this Princeton dri-fit, click here.
2015 Morgan Classic shirt
Harvard defeated both Concordia-Irvine and Springfield as it won the 2015 Volleyball Morgan Classic championship in February. Outside attacker Branden Clemens also was named the tournament’s most valuable player after having a team-high 17 kills and two aces against Springfield in the championship match. This shirt from the annual non-conference men’s volleyball tournament is a perfect way to celebrate the Crimson’s title. To order this official 2015 Morgan Classic 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.
Volleyball strategy board
The ability to diagram plays can get a little bit easier with this volleyball strategy board. Both sides of the dry erase whiteboard are magnetic. This kit also includes dry-wipe pens, erasers and magnetic colored team pieces to use while diagraming players. Along with the functionality of this board, it is about 18 inches in length to make it easily portable. To purchase this volleyball strategy board from Molten, click here.
VINTAGE VOLLEYBALL ITEAMS TO GET THIS CHRISTMAS
1996 NCAA Tournament shirt
It’s hard to get more mid-1990s fashion than this NCAA Tournament shirt. UCLA in 1996 won its 16th NCAA championship as it defeated Hawai’i in five games in the finals. That championship match lasted almost three-and-half hours and remains one of the longest finals matches in NCAA Tournament history. Stein Metzger, the 1996 Co-National Player of the Year, helped lead the Bruins to their second straight NCAA championship. Along with UCLA’s success, this NCAA Tournament featured Lewis making its program’s first appearance at the four-team event. To purchase this 1996 NCAA Tournament shirt, click here.
1980s BYU Invitational shirt
BYU before it was winning multiple NCAA championships was a successful club men’s volleyball program in the 1980s. This shirt from a BYU Volleyball Invitational is a way to honor the history of the Cougars’ program while wearing some stylish retro apparel. BYU ended last season reaching the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals and is projected to be one of the top nationally ranked teams in the preseason polls. In addition, All-American opposite Ben Patch will return to the Cougars’ roster after missing the last two seasons to serve on a church mission. To order this throwback BYU Volleyball Invitational shirt, click here.
UC San Diego vintage shirt
It’s time to go with a throwback and this UC San Diego shirt has the potential to make for the perfect retro gift. The large shirt features an older version of the UC San Diego school logo and has a volleyball graphic that gives it a definite 1980s and 1990s feel. The Tritons have a majority of players returning from last season’s team that had several non-conference victories but finished in last place in the MPSF. To order this vintage UC San Diego shirt, click here.
1992 Olympic U.S. volleyball postage
The United States won the bronze medal at the 1992 Olympics to secure the nation’s third consecutive medal-finish at an Olympics. The United States went 5-2 throughout the tournament, including defeating Cuba in four games in the bronze-medal match. This handcrafted postage artwork is larger than a typical stamp. It can also serves as a way to celebrate a U.S. team that featured several future Hall of Fame players. To order this 1992 U.S. men’s volleyball postage artwork, click here.
1990 Morgan Classic program
Yes, at one point both San Diego State and Navy had men’s volleyball programs. The 1990 Volleyball Hall of Fame Morgan Classic featured the then-EIVA member Navy defeating Springfield in the championship match. In addition, San Diego State won the third-place consolation match against Rutgers-Newark. This eight-page program from the third-annual Morgan classic includes every team’s roster and a retro diagram of volleyball official’s hand signals. To order this 1990 Morgan Classic program, click here.
1963 Romania volleyball stamps
There is a rich history of volleyball throughout Europe. The popularity of the sport is evident in these vintage Romanian postage stamps from 1963. These vintage volleyball stamps feature a variety of in-match action ranging from players going for a kill to a player setting the ball. In addition, these stamps can be purchased individually or as a group. To purchase these vintage volleyball stamps, 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.
VOLLEYBALL CAUSES TO GIVE TO THIS CHRISTMAS
The Net Live Kickstarter
“The Net Live” has launched a Kickstarter to help raise funds so it can travel to upcoming NCAA Tournament semifinals in Omaha, Nebraska, and produce a live show from the floor of the AVCA Convention. “The Net Live” is a weekly podcast that covers every aspect of volleyball ranging from college to the Olympics. Individuals who donate to the Kickstarter campaign can also receive a variety of gifts including “The Net Live” swag and recognition on the show. To make a pledge to “The Net Live” Kickstarter campaign, click here.
Volleyball Hall of Fame donation
The International Volleyball Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization with the mission of preserving the sport’s history, honoring excellence and promoting volleyball. Individuals can make a donation with the money going towards the Volleyball Hall of Fame efforts to achieve its mission statement. A donation also helps the museum advance various volleyball programs to individuals around the world. To make a donation to the Volleyball Hall of Fame, click here.
VOLLEYBALL STOCKING STUFFERS TO GET THIS CHRISTMAS
2016 NCAA Tournament tickets
Tickets are on sale for the upcoming NCAA Tournament semifinals and NCAA Tournament finals. The tickets for both semifinals and championship match are $25 for adults and $15 for students or people less than 18 years old. Penn State will play host to the 2015 NCAA Tournament with the semifinal matches taking place Thursday, May 5 and the finals on Saturday, May 7. To order NCAA Tournament tickets call 1-800-NITTANY or to find out more information about ticket sales, click here.
Hawai’i mini volleyball
This isn’t just the generic mini volleyballs that gets tossed into the stands by teams during the prematch player introductions. This mini volleyball is in Hawai’i colors and includes the Rainbow Warriors’ logo on the volleyball. Hawai’i ended last season reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time in more than a decade. It also led the nation in attendance, including have a near sellout for its home MPSF Tournament quarterfinals match. To order this Hawai’i mini volleyball, click here.
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.
Team USA socks
This has the potential to be an ideal stocking stuff with the Olympics almost eight months away. These patriotic USA Volleyball socks feature one sock with red and white stripes, while the other sock is blue with white stars. The United States is expected to be medal contenders in all four volleyball events at the upcoming summer games in Rio. In addition, the U.S. Men’s National Team enters the Olympics after winning the World Championship earlier this year. To purchase a pair of these Team USA socks, click here.
All You’ve Got
If you are participating in a dirty Santa event or giving away gag gifts this holiday season, this is volleyball movie to offer as a present. “All You’ve Got” is a MTV movie about three volleyball players who transfer to a rival high school after their private school burns down. It is classic teenage sports drama that even features Ciara in the cast. The 2006 movie received 4.5 out of 10 stars on IMDB. One review on the website calls it “the most horrible movie I’ve ever seen.” A positive, though, is the movie is about volleyball. To order this DVD of “All You’ve Got,” click here.
This is quite possibly one of the worst volleyball movies ever produced. However, “Spiker” can make for a great gift for a diehard volleyball fan. The movie is loosely — and we mean very loosely — based on the 1984 U.S. Men’s National Team that won the Olympic gold medal. The only review of “Spiker” on Amazon calls it “basically a terrible movie” and gives it two stars. “Spiker” is so rare that on Amazon is only available on VHS. To purchase the movie “Spiker,” click here.