2019 VNL – Sideout Phase Analysis

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Here is an overall and team by team analysis of the sideout phase from 2019 VNL.  The overall sideout rate of 67.9% is essentially the same as all major events / leagues.  One interesting point is that the sideout rate for float serves is lower than for jump serves despite reception being better and the FBSO% being 5% higher.  Good jump serves are very effective, but the errors give free points that balance it out.  And setter in 1 is the worst sideout rotation.

SO league totals

How teams win their side outs.  The top two teams, Brazil and Iran, have the highest percentage of sideouts from opponent service errors.  Maybe other teams have to adopt a higher risk serving strategy to try to offset their sideout skill.

sideout teams total

The ranking of teams in different components and areas of sideout.  Brazil the best team in every area, except float serve sideout.  Perhaps opponents should float serve more and take less risk (see above).  USA despite excellent reception and attack after reception ranks only 6th / 7th in overall categories.

SO week 5

All VNL 2019 team and player lists are here.

Tagged Volleyball Analytics, Volleyball Statistics, 2019 Volleyball Nations League, Science Untangled

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  1. Coach —

    Any insight into whether some kinds of float serves are more effective than others? Depth, velocity, zone….looking for any meaningful patterns.

    I’ve been exploring this issue with high level mens play, with the hope of raising float serve point scoring a bit higher even.


    1. The most important is variation. If players/teams receive the same ball every time, they get good at it.
      At men’s level, the hybrid serve (switching from float to spin from the same toss) adds a lot of variation and causes problems with the starting position of the receivers.


  2. There’s the reason Coach Kiraly banned the jump serve, not because it isn’t effective, but because the stats show the higher error rate negates the advantage. Only when you have very high consistency jump servers does it make sense to use it. (Like Zaytsev)


    1. That is exactly correct. In men’s volleyball the effectiveness of the jump serve is greater than the women. It is worth pointing out the the overall difference between jump and float is very small. There will be a lot of players with very effective serves even allowing for a high error rate. I am not sure Zaytsev is one of those.


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