Who Attacks The Most? – Plus Liga 2020-21

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Tagged Volleyball AnalyticsVolleyball StatisticsPlus LigaScience Untangled2020-21 Plus Liga

Over the course of the season I have written a lot of stuff with statistics and analytics of the current Polish Plus Liga season. I have tried to look at methods and measures that are not common and in doing so dig deeper into what we think we know. This time I will be looking at individual attack distribution. That is, the amount an individual spiker attacks while they are on the court. That can give us an idea of the tactics teams employ, for example who receives the ball after defence, and who is important for their own team. As always, all the numbers come from the Science Untangled apps.

Who gets the most balls?

There are five spikers who receive more than 35% of sets when they are on the court.
Wassim Ben-Tara receives the most at 37.6%. Looking at Rally Win Rate (our best measure of attack quality) Ben-Tara ranks 5th, and 3rd place Jimenez is 6th. The most effective opposite is Łukasz Kaczmarek, attacks barely 27% of his teams attempts. He is such an outlier though that if you remove him from the list, distribution and effectiveness seem to be more or less independent. Included are 21 opposites who have attacked at least 100 balls.

RANKPLAYERDIST %RWR (RANK)
1Wassim Ben-Tara37.668.9 (5)
2Rafał Faryna35.761.9 (20)
3Ronald Jimenez35.368.8 (6)
4Michał Filip35.366.4 (15)
5Grzegorz Bociek35.262.3 (19)
20Jakub Jarosz28.370.0 (2)
21Łukasz Kaczmarek27.076.0 (1)

Which receiver gets the most balls?

There are three spikers who receive over 28% of their teams attacks – Klemen Čebulj, Tomas Rousseaux and Jose Ademar Santana. There four with over 26% and another five with more than 25%. The ‘top 3’ spikers don’t rank highly in Rally Win Rate. But generally the more effective spikers attack more. The most effective attacking outsides, Bartłomiej Lipiński and Kamil Semeniuk, are both just outside the top 3 in volume. The players with lowest distribution include, not surprisingly, players generally considered to be reception specialists, Penchev, Rohnka and Andringa being the ‘bottom’ 3. 39 outsides attacked at least 100 times.

RANKPLAYERDIST %RWR (RANK)
1Klemen Čebulj28.365.6 (18)
2Tomas Rousseaux28.265.3 (19)
3Jose Ademar Santana28.163.0 (26)
6Bartłomiej Lipiński26.372.5 (1)
38Robbert Andringa17.956.4 (38)
39Nikolay Penchev17.561.0 (32)

Which middle gets the most balls?

There are three middles who receive over 25% of their team’s attack. Bear in mind here that this includes all attacks, including those in which first tempo is not available which means these three middles spike more often than most outsides. In terms of effectiveness, the three rank 9th, 6th and 8th respectively. Jurij Gladyr and Jakub Kochanowski are the most effective middle attackers and spike at a relatively high volume. As with outsides, better spikers tend to spike more, which suggests that teams have their tactics and distributions about right. 30 middles have attacked at least 80 balls.

RANKPLAYERDIST %RWR (RANK)
1Norbert Huber26.375.8 (9)
2Mateusz Bieniek25.979.0 (6)
3Rojas Javier Octavio Concepcion25.876.1 (8)
9Jakub Kochanowski21.681.4 (2)
11Jurij Gladyr20.381.9 (1)
29Moustapha M’Baye16.271.5 (22)
30Patryk Niemiec15.672.1 (19)

If you are interested in the game within the game and / or volleyball analytics, you can check out posts on setting, middle blockers, outside hitters, outside blockers in position 2 and position 4, win indicators, serving, weird stuff, and even weirder stuff. And if you have some pressing question that you need to know the answer for, drop me a line.


The total of 82 practical Coaching Tips can be found here and here.


Read about the great new Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.

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