ATTACKING POSITION AND SHOT SELECTIONIN MEN’S INTERNATIONAL VOLLEYBALL
Analysis demonstrated a significant association between team
and court zone used for spike shots (x2(3)= 49.972, p < .001).
The USA were more likely to utilise the 1st zone (SR = 2.9)
and less likely to utilise the 2nd (SR = -3.5) and 3rd (SR = -
2.1). Whereas CHN were less likely to spike from the 1st (SR
=-2.8), and more likely to from the 2nd (SR = 3.4). The USA
maintained a higher frequency of spike (67.5%) in zone 1 than
CHN (47.6%). Moreover the USA produced a higher zone 1
score rate (67.7%) when compared to CHN (60.6%).
Although the USA was more successful at scoring from both
block and spike (Figure 1) results show that there is no
significant relationship between team and shot result (x2(2)=
85.590, p = .061).
1. Bergeles, N et al. Int J Perform Anal Sport. 9: 141-148, 2009.
2. Drikos, S et al. Int J Perform Anal Sport. 9: 1-1, 2009.
3. Eom, H.J et al. Res Q Exerc Sport. 63: 11-18, 1992
4. Palao, J.M et al. Int J Perform Anal Sport. 4:50-60, 2004.
5. Patsiaouras, A et al. Int J Perform Anal Sport. 115: 120, 2010.
This analysis showed that block was not as effective at scoring
points as spike. Findings which support those of Patsiaouras
et al. (5). In addition to this, results indicate that a more
successful team may score more points from both spike and
block shots and reduce the likely hood of their opponents
ability to return a shot.
The distance from the net where a shot is taken from also plays
a significant role in the success of a shot. Zone 1 results in
considerably higher scoring shots. Then as shot location
moves to the baseline the likely hood of scoring decreases
while fault incidence increases. Additionally more successful
teams (USA) possess a greater ability to set up spikes to be
played with in zone 1, thus enhancing their scoring rate.
These findings suggest that while not neglecting blocking as
critical skill in defence coaches should spent more time
training skills such as receiving, setting and spiking.
Particular attention should be payed to the setting, as a teams
ability to set into zone 1, greatly enhances the likely hood
Attack (spike) and defence (block) have been identified as
key components to success in volleyball (3). However the
literature is divided when associating one to success.
Some have concluded that attack is linked with scoring and
block did not effectively stop opposition attackers from
scoring (5). Others (1,4) believe block is, as important as
spike when competing. Bergeles et al. (2) does not negate
the importance of blocking but reinforces the importance
of the setters placement for successful spikes. This study
used notational analysis to assess the importance of block
spike relationships and how court position relative to the
net affects the outcomes of shots.
The specific objectives consisted:
• To examine wether spike or block shots produce more
• To assess how distance, relative to the net affects the
outcome of a shot.
• To determine if successful teams gain greater success form
either or both , block and spike shots.
• To examine wether more successful teams spike closer to
the net than less successful teams.
Notational analysis was conducted on 6 matches played in the
2008 Beijing Olympics. 3 games played by the United
States of America (USA) , the winners. And 3 games played
by China (CHN) who were eliminated in the quarter finals.
Both teams played the same opponents.
The primary variables consisted:
Type of shot
• Spike – any shot resulting from the setting of the ball.
• Block – immediately blocking an opponents shot.
Court zone from which a shot is taken
• Zone 1 - 1st half of front zone (1.5m)
• Zone 2 - 2nd half of front zone (1.5m)
• Zone 3 - 1st half of back zone (3m)
• Zone 4 - 2nd half of back zone (3m)
• Score – any shot resulting in a point win.
• Returned – any shot that is returned by an opponent.
• Fault – a shot resulting in a point conceded.
Four chi-square tests were used to examine relationships
between variables shot type and result, court zone and shot
result, team and shot result, team and court zone.
Within this study the intra tester coder reliability was 0.97.
ATTACKING POSITION AND SHOT SELECTION
IN MEN’S INTERNATIONAL VOLLEYBALL
Analysis of shot type against shot result using combined data
showed shot type was significantly associated (x2(2)= 89.888,
p < .001) with shot result. Spike was more likely to score and
less likely to fault, or be returned, when compared to block
Analysis showed a significant relationship between court
position and shot result (x2(6)= 69.209, p < .001) (Table 2).
• Zone 1 was more likely to result in a score (SR = 3.2) and
less likely to result in a fault (SR = -2.4).
• Zone 2 was less likely to result in a score (SR = -3.7) and
more likely to produce a fault (SR = 2.2) or return (SR = 2.1).
• Zone 3 was less likely to result in a score (SR = -3.2) and
more likely to result in a fault (SR = 3.8).
• Zone 4 produced no results indicating frequency greater than
Score Returned Fault Score Returned Fault
Table 1. Std. Residual values when assessing relationship between
type of shot and shot result.
Score Returned Fault
Type of shot
Block -5.5 1.7 5.2
Spike 3.8 -1.2 -3.6
Table 2. Percentage result from shots taken within each zone.
Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 3 Zone 4
Total No. of shots 683 323 34 1
Score 48 27.2 5.9
Returned 34.1 44.9 41.2
Fault 17.9 27.9 52.9 100
Figure 1. Instances of shot result as a percentage of both spike
Clayton Stanley, Olympic games 2008, Most successful spiker, USA.