Win Indicators – Plus Liga 2020-21

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The Plus Liga season is plodding along between postponements and I have been looking at some statistics along the way. You can find all of the previous posts here. Our favourite Science Untangled report app has a new feature that you might not have come across yet. The Win Indicators tab will take our seasons stats and find the level that will give us a certain rate of winning. For example, in the chart below we see the sideout rate charted with winning and losing matches. By setting a particular sideout rate on the sliding scale we can find our likelihood of winning. It turns out that in the current season a sideout rate of 67% ensures that we will win 80% of our matches. Which seems like a pretty good target.

The table below takes some of the more common team statistics and shows the 80% win threshold for each of them. Have a look and scroll down for my comments.

Statistical Category80% Win Rate80% Win Rate
2019/202020/21
Sideout Rate69%67%
Modified Sideout Rate63.5%64.5%
Reception (exp SO%)none64%
Breakpoint Rate31.5%29%
Ace Rate8.2%8.7%*
Serve (exp BP%)33.5%33%
Attack53.5%51%
Block Rate11.5%11%
Errors (not including serves)3.5/1004/100

The first point to make is that the data sets are different sizes. 2019/20 includes 168 matches, while this season includes only the 71 matches played up until now, well less than half the season. The sample size will account for some of the differences we see. Still, there are some oddities. The average sideout and break point rate for the two seasons are almost identical, 68.5%/31.5%. However this season, a team does not even have to reach the league average to be sure to win 80% of its matches. This is unusual and, without delving too deeply, seems to be the result of a relatively large number of ‘bad’ performances, those well below average. The ace rate in 2020/21 is 8.7% for a 77% win rate, but 6 times teams have served 10.5% aces or more and lost the match. And the most fun one is that in 2019/20 there was no level of reception that guaranteed an 80% win rate. Reception is not important, sideout is important.

The one last thing that our new too will show us, is a combination of two factors. So I did some testing on aces v serve errors. Our 80% win rate corresponds to 7% or more aces and less than 19% errors and we find that if we improve to 8% aces, we can ‘allow’ 23% errors to maintain our win rate. We are interested in the bottom right quadrant.

Tagged Volleyball AnalyticsVolleyball StatisticsPlus LigaScience Untangled, 2020-21 Plus Liga


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