What Just Happened? – Communication Problem?

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For more explanations of game breakdowns click What Just Happened Part and for explanations of great play click Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

With What Just Happened? posts I explain the steps that led to the play we think we saw. In many cases it is the ‘Hockey Error‘ play that doesn’t get noticed. This is one such play. So let’s look at this rally.

On a superficial view we see the ball land between two players, both of whom start to move to the ball and then stop. Probably one of them needed to call louder.

Let’s stop before we get too far down that track. Calling solves only a tiny proportion of volleyball problems, which we have already discussed here and here. Most volleyball problems are solved by doing the right thing at the right time. So let’s look at the clip again with that in mind. Which player involved in the play did the wrong thing at the wrong time?


There are three or four moments that could qualify for that question, all of them involving the player in position 2. For example, you could argue that he wasn’t still at the moment of the spiker’s contact, or that he was defending too far outside the 3m line. But the key moment is the moment after the contact of the defender. In a scene reminiscent of What Just Happened? – Part 6, the position 2 player takes two steps backwards before he notices where the ball is going. It is those two steps that are the key. Had he stood in position and watched the ball before deciding what to do next, he could have simply take two steps to set the ball before the middle blocker even had time to turn.

The lesson as always, is to watch what happens before the action you want to analyse.

The other lesson is, calling solves much less than you might think.

Check out this extended Setting Presentation. Learn the secrets of Ball and Vermiglio and many others.

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