The Beginning of a Tradition
Representative schools volleyball made a humble beginning during the year of 1973. In that year an open aged, interstate exchange, between Queensland and New South Wales girls teams was conducted. The boys teams, were not as fortunate, as they had to wait until 1974 before the Departments of Education from each State granted approval for their exchange. However, New South Wales were unable to field a team in that year, so Queensland toured and competed against Sydney High Schools.
Through the years of 1975 to include 1977, an annual interstate exchange occurred between these two States, and so, the Beginning of the Tradition. This competition proved to be the necessary catalyst to inspire other States and Territories into action. In 1978 the inaugural Secondary Schools National Volleyball Championships were conducted. The open age group (19 years and under) was the preferred age group for these Championships. This format continued until 1988 when the schools volleyball program was considered to be duplicating the Australian Volleyball Federation run programs. The rationalisation process recommended that the schools program be offered at the Under 16 years age group. To this day the Australian Secondary Schools Volleyball Championships are conducted at this age group.
Volleyball has touched every State and Territory in Australia. Northern Territory being the latest to be struck by the tradition. The boys ochre uniforms made their debut at the 1989 National Championships in Brisbane. The girls had to wait until 1991 for their debut. Their inclusion, along with the New South Wales teams made 1991 a memorable year in the development of Schools Volleyball. At this stage there has never been a fully represented National Championships. Tasmania competed from 1988 till 1990 but then stopped. Tasmania returned in 2019 so we can hope that before too long so that we will finally have a full complement of states and territories.