In 1971, the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce established an ad hoc committee for the purpose of promoting Holyoke, Massachusetts, birthplace of volleyball, as the future home of the Volleyball Hall of Fame (VHF).
In 1978, the committee incorporated as Holyoke Volleyball Hall of Fame, Inc., a nonprofit corporation established for the purpose of planning, promoting, establishing and maintaining a living memorial to the sport of volleyball.
The Volleyball Hall of Fame, at 444 Dwight St. in Holyoke opened to the public on June 6, 1987. A two-day volleyball tournament was hosted by the Volleyball Hall of Fame to celebrate the grand opening.
William G. Morgan, inventor of volleyball at the Holyoke YMCA in 1895, was honored posthumously as first inductee of Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1985. Morgan was physical director of the Holyoke YMCA in 1895 when he came up with the concept and rules for volleyball - a sport he envisioned as a less-physically taxing sport than basketball, one that middle-aged men could play during their lunch hour.
The first written rules for the game - originally called "mintonette" - reveal a game remarkably similar to the one played today, with a few exceptions, including the structuring of each contest into nine "innings."
Douglas Beal, coach of 1984 U.S. Men's Gold Medal Olympic Volleyball Team, served as keynote speaker for the inaugural induction ceremony.
A total of 112 men and women from 21 countries around the world have since been inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame. The international appeal of the sport partly explains a shift in the pool of inductees over the past decade. The lists of inductees were mostly Americans until about 1998. Since then, inductees have come from around the world and contribute to the honoring of the sport and its home in Holyoke. The Hall provides the opportunity to bring people from different cultures and different parts of the world together to celebrate the sport.
The Volleyball Hall of Fame also grants three additional awards:
The William G. Morgan Award, named in honor of the founder of volleyball, and created in 1994, recognizes continuous support and promotion of the national and international growth of the sport of volleyball and the Volleyball Hall of Fame.
Created in 1996, the Mintonette Medallion of Merit is awarded in recognition of significant individual achievement.
The Court of Honor was established in 1988 to honor an organization or team for its significant contributions and commitment to the sport of volleyball.