PlusLiga Statistical Review 2018-19 – Attack

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In the course of my job, I have to study some stuff about volleyball.  A lot of the stuff is analytical in nature, or at least statistical.  Because I am doing it anyway, I often post the results here in the name of education.  For example a comparison of Europe’s Top 5 Leagues, and some best player and team analysis for 2018 VNL and 2019 VNL.

I am studying the 2018-19 Polish Plus Liga.  The data set contains 186 matches which includes every match (except one :() from the normal round, all cup matches between Plus Liga teams and all playoff matches where medals were at stake (ie not including position playoffs after 3rd).  As always the data are generated by Ben Raymond’s incredible apps.


In the 2018-19 there were 36,446 attacks recorded.  The breakdowns and basic information is in the table below. For clarification, for the position breakdowns, the player’s primary position is counted.  In the breakdown by type, ‘FAST’ means anything to the outsides that is not ‘HIGH’.  In effect, any ball that flies through the hitting zone is fast, and any ball and falls into the hitting zone is high.

attack by position

attack by type

To summarise, opposites are more effective at attacking than outside hitters, but only just.  Middles are the most effective attackers.  Attacking a fast ball instead of a high ball increases your chance of winning a rally by about 13%.  Suggesting that you are better off attacking a fast ball.  But you are best off, by attacking through the middle of the court, either first tempo or pipe.


As always, I present these by position, as we know that it is not valid to compare totals.  The minimum totals are calculated at about 40% of the maximum by position.

attack OPP

attack OH

attack MB

What is perhaps interesting to note is the number of players in each position who are better than the league position average. It is logical that there are less opposites who reach the threshold, as there are less opposites.  It is also interesting to note the big name players who do not makes the lists, especially opposites.

The next installment will break down the attack by different sets, fast / high balls in position 2, 4 and 1.  It should be fun.

Tagged Volleyball Analytics, 2018-19 Plus Liga, Plus Liga, Science Untangled

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