Volleyball: 1984 v 2019; Part 2

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I posted a couple of videos here showing how the speed of volleyball has changed over time.  These videos focused on sideout phase and how the speed of the serve has changed.  I also had a little look at how defence and transition has changed.  More posts on the topic are about serve and reception and pipes and combinations.

Volleyball now is often characterised as a power oriented game with no defence, in comparison to the past.  In the videos below, you can see that for the same defensive quality the offence is faster.

And how is defence? Defence has changed as well.  Comparing two more or less random matches USA v USSR  from 1985 (incidentally NOT the footage in the videos) with a match between Italy and Australia from 2019 there are some obvious differences.  There are indeed less ‘digs’ (as a percentage of opposition attacks) but the quality of the first contact after attack is better (ie is more # + and ! in the table below) which has the overall effect of better and faster transition attack.

WORLD CUP 1985
USA – 119 digs, 49% attacks USSR – 89 digs, 32% attacks
# + ! / # + ! /
11% 13% 8% 55% 12% 6% 11% 2% 60% 21%
OLYMPIC QUALIFICATION 2019
AUS – 40 digs, 39% attacks ITA – 34 digs, 35% attacks
10% 18% 15% 45% 12% 9% 12% 18% 47% 15%

The videos…

One American and one Soviet transition attack compared with an Australian attack from roughly the same origin, synced on the set.

One example synced on the defence.  As with reception, first contact is higher/slower, second contact faster.

Click for more Volleyball History


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