Throughout the period of The Chinese Exclusion Act, Chinese American communities began to play in fellowship tournaments. As the laws against immigration and naturalization continued to isolate Chinese Americans, these tournaments united the Chinatown community to bond and forge friendships. In 1948, Washington, DC sponsored and held the 4th Annual NACIVT tournament on the grounds of the ellipse by the Washington monument. By 1960 (16th NACIVT), the tournament were held on H street in DC Chinatown. Since that time, even as gentrification gradually shifted Chinese Americans away from Chinatown communities, the 9Man game became increasingly popularized within the Asian American volleyball communities across North America.
NACIVT rules stipulate that at any given time, each team must have at least six players of “100 percent” Chinese descent on the court. The remaining three players must be of Asian descent; the NACIVT explicitly states who qualifies as Asian based on the country of origin of his ancestors – (Asian: origins from: Myanmar (formerly Burma), Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam). In addition, only men are allowed to play 9-man. Today, 9-man represents the tradition and heritage that has been passed down from generation to generation and is an opportunity for Asian-Americans to celebrate their heritage and build friendships across the major Asian communities through volleyball.