Blocking Statistics – Part Three

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I have been thinking about the for a while, and thinking out loud here and here.  But for now, I have a conceptual question.

My object is to measure the value of middle blockers. Traditionally, blocking prowess is measured by number of blocks and block touches, while attacking prowess is measured by attack percentage.  Simple.

But my feeling is that does not necessarily tell the whole story.  I feel that the overall effect of the middle can be better measured by using some version of sideout and break point percentages.  My reasoning is that as well as the raw points that player wins, the team percentages can also at least implicitly measure how opposing teams adjust their tactics to reflect the players they are faced with. Of course, this number includes a lot of noise (surrounding players, defence, transition attack etc etc etc).  So this is my question.

What are the pros and cons of using a team number to measure the effectiveness of an individual player?



  1. There should be a way to isolate the impact of any given player using more advanced statistical methods. Maybe something along the lines of points over replacement value like we see in other sports.


    1. Great point.
      But you still have to choose and weigh the skill areas in order to find your baseline / replacement level.


  2. You could start by measuring the number of one on one or broken block situations your outside hittes are facing.

    Another idea is to create a new value (let’s call it “MI”, Middle blocker Impact) MI = (overall KE) – (poor reception KE).

    So we have a value that shows the difference in side out between when the opposing blockers need to deal with our Middle attack, and when they don’t.


  3. Interesting 3 posts

    1. I like the idea of side out v break points. I actually use that
    But that might be influenced by tactical decisions of the coach (players match up, switching blocking strategies etc)

    2. I had bit look at money and NFL stats last year.
    I like their idea of stats in different parts of the game (like how they convert turn over etc)

    Why I mentioned this is – for me impact of block and floor D is related to how we can convert negative situation to positive ( borrowing your previous post about tennis)

    So I think side out v break points goes in line what ai think



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