Slide Attack in Men’s Volleyball – 1990 World Championships

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The question is often raised ‘why don’t we see more slide attacks in men’s volleyball?’. The main reason, as the great German/Greek FIVB coach educator Athanasios Papageorgiou told my course back in 1994, because ‘they don’t have to’. The main reason for the slide attack is to utilise the entire width of the net, especially when the setter is in the frontrow. In men’s volleyball the backrow attack from position 1 is very effective and allows the element of width. The second reason is because of the difference in blocking skills between men and women. The moving approach gets the blockers off balance much more effectively in women’s volleyball than men’s. You can still see the odd slide by some male players, notably Lucas Saatkamp from Brazil. However, it is most often a transition play when the block is on the move and almost never after service reception.

It was not always the case though. In the days of combinations when the serve was ineffective and the block disorganised there was at least one prominent team that used the slide. In 1990, Cuba made the World Championships Final only to lose to the great Italian ‘Generazione di Fenomeni’. They played some slides. Not a lot. But some.

In the video below you can see three different variations:

  • The middle hitting close
  • The middle hitting far
  • An outside swinging from the left side

It was effective here, the few times it was used.

Tagged Volleyball History, Matches From History


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