Analysis of Top 5 Leagues – Sideout Part 3

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With a little extra time on my hands I have taken started to look at what might be the differences and similarities between leagues, and with it whether there are any structural ‘rules’ in volleyball. Thanks to Michael Mattes and Manlio Puxeddu, who collected the files and Ben Raymond, who wrote the apps that let me crunch the numbers for the whole leagues. The leagues I will focus on are France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Russia. For these leagues, I have almost full data for the 2016-17 season and I also think these are probably the top 5 leagues right now.


so js v fs ex errs

To get a clearer and more accurate picture of the difference between the impact of jump serves and float serves on sideout, I looked at the sideout percentages excluding service errors. As we would expect from the FBSO% numbers in the previous post, general sideout percentage is much higher after receiving a float serve than receiving a jump serve, across all leagues. Also as expected, Poland has the smallest difference. At first glance, it seems that this might be more due to better than expected sideout after jump serves, than a weakness against float serves. France is an interesting case.


On another forum, it was mentioned that the ball may have an impact on the breakdown of sideout between jump and float serve. As all of these leagues use only a single ball, we can rule that out here. However, while the other four leagues use the Mikasa ball, the French league uses the Molten ball. Conventional wisdom holds that the Mikasa ball floats much and less predictably than its Molten counterpart and is therefore much more difficult to receive. The level of sideout in the French league lends some credence to this theory. The level of the jump serve sideout, also suggests that perhaps the Molten ball is easier to receive in all cases.

Part One is here. Part Two is here. More to follow…

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  1. Service errors – Are these not important? If you include service errors in the stats, does the difference narrow, given the expected lower error rate of a float serve?


    1. See Part 2. In 4 / 5 leagues, the large number of errors in jump serves does not change that it is better to jump serve. The exception is Poland. There is it more or less even.


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