The influence of defender’s positional gap on the aces in the sport of volleyball

Renata Alvares Denardi, Fabian Romero, Thiago Augusto Costa Oliveira, Silvia Leticia Silva, Bruno Travassos, Umberto Cesar Corrêa


This study aimed to investigate the influence of the defending players' positioning on the service outcomes. Thirty-nine sequences of play involving serves were selected from nine games of a Professional Championship of volleyball held in Brazil. They characterized three main situations: (a) aces (serves that the ball hit the ground of the opponent's court without being touched by any defending player) (n = 13), (b) serves which a defending player touched the ball but there was no continuity in the rally (n = 13), and (c) serves received successfully, that is, a defender received the ball and made possible the continuity of the rally (n = 13). These situations were compared by considering the following variables: (1) defender’s distance to the place of serve finalization, (2) velocity of defender's displacement to the place of serve finalization; (3) variability of defending player’s displacement; and, (4) serve velocity. Results showed that the defender’s distance to the place of serve finalization in the aces were greater than in the both other situations. The findings allowed us to conclude that in competitive performances in the sport of volleyball, the defender’s distance to the place of serve finalization determined the service outcomes.




Corrêa, U.C., Correia, W.R. & Tani, G. (2016). Towards the teaching of motor skills as a system of growing complexity. In: Koopmans M and Stamovlasis D (Orgs.). Complex dynamical systems in education: concepts, methods and applications. New York: Springer, 93-103.

Mood, D.P., Musker, F. & Rink, J. (2012). Sports and recreational activities. 15th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Lee, K.T. & Chin, S.T. (2004). Strategies to serve or receive the service in volleyball. Math. Met. Operations Res. 59, 53–67. doi:10.1007/s001860300315

Quiroga, M.E., Rodriguez-Ruiz, D., Sarmiento, S., Muchaga, L.F., Grigoletto, M. & García-Manso, J.M. (2012). Characterisation of the main playing variables affecting the service in high-level women’s volleyball. J. Quant. Anal. Sports., 8, 1–11. doi:10.1515/1559-0410.1348

Costa, G.D.C.T., Ferreira, N.N., Greco, P.J., Moraes, J.C. & Mesquita, I.M.R. (2010). Relação saque, recepção e ataque no voleibol juvenil masculino. Motriz, 17. doi:10.5016/1980-6574.2011v17n1p11

Fernandez-Echeverria, C., Gil, A., Moreno, A., Claver, F. & Moreno, M.P. (2015). Analysis of the variables that predict serve efficacy in young volleyball players. Int. J. Perf. Anal. Sport., 15, 172–186.

García-Tormo, J.V., Jiménez, A.V. & Rábago, J.C.M. (2015). Methodological proposal for the quantification and analysis of the level of risk assumed in volleyball service execution in female high-level competition. J. Physical Ed. Sport, 15, 108.

Katsikadelli, A. (1997). A comparative study of service tactics in high-level volleyball tournaments. Coach Sport Sci. J., 2, 3–5.

Katsikadelli, A. (1998). The evolution of server tactics of the world’s leading volleyball teams. Coach Sport Sci. J., 3, 21–24.

Lozano, C., Calvo, R., Cervelló, E. & Ureña, A. (2007). Influencia de la dirección del saque en el rendimiento de la recepción de un equipo femenino de voleibol de alto nivel. Rendimiento Deportivo, Com, 5.

Papadimitriu, K., Pashali, E., Sermaki, I., Mellas, S. & Papas, M. (2004). The effect of the opponents’ serve on the offensive actions of Greek setters in volleyball games. Int. J. Perf. Anal. Sport, 4, 23–33.

Tsivika, M. & Papadopoulou, S. (2008). Evaluation of the technical and tactical offensive elements of the men’s European volleyball championship. Phys. Training, http://ejmas. Com/pt/ptframe. Html.

Ureña, A., Gallardo, C., Delgado, J., Calvo, R. & Oña, A. (2000). Effect of the new scoring system on male volleyball. The Coach, 4, 12–18.

Ureña, A., Santos, J.A., Martínez, M., Calvo, R., Hernández, E. & Oña, A. (2001). El principio de variabilidad como factor determinante en la táctica individual del saque en voleibol masculino de nivel internacional. Motric.,1, 7, 63–74.

Boksem, M.A.S. & Tops, M. (2008). Mental fatigue: Costs and benefits. Brain Res. Rev., 59, 125–139. doi:10.1016/j.brainresrev.2008.07.001

Howarth, K. (2001). Space, the final frontier! Space as a key concept in the teaching of invasion games. Teac. Elem. Physical. Ed., 12, 8–11.

Corrêa, U.C., Davids, K., Silva, S.L., Denardi, R.A. & Tani, G. (2014). The influence of a goalkeeper as an outfield player on defensive subsystems in futsal. Adv. Physical Ed., 4, 84–92. doi:10.4236/ape.2014.42012

Travassos, B., Araújo, D., Davids, K., Vilar, L., Esteves, P. & Vanda, C. (2012). Informational constraints shape emergent functional behaviours during performance of interceptive actions in team sports. Psych. Sport Exerc., 13, 216–223. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2011.11.009

Vilar, L., Araújo, D., Davids, K., Travassos, B., Duarte, R. & Parreira, J. (2014). Interpersonal coordination tendencies supporting the creation/prevention of goal scoring opportunities in futsal. Eur. J. Sport Sci., 14, 28–35. doi:10.1080/17461391.2012.725103

Griffin, L.L., Mitchell, S.A. & Oslin, J.L. (1997). Teaching sport concepts and skills: a tactical games approach. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Winter, D. (2005). Biomechanics and motor control of human movement. 3rd ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Duarte, R., Araújo, D., Fernandes, O., Fonseca, C., Correia, V., Gazimba, V., … & Lopes, J. (2010). Capturing complex human behaviors in representative sports contexts with a single camera. Med. (Kaunas) 46, 408–414.

Fernandes, O., Folgado, H., Duarte, R., & Malta, P. (2010). Validation of the tool for applied and contextual time-series observation. Int. J. Sport Psych., 41, 63.

Viera, B.L. & Ferguson, B.J. (1996). Volleyball-steps to success. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Denardi, R.A. (2015). [The volleyball setter’s decision-making of tipping in the Ecological Dynamics ]. PhD Thesis, Universidade de São Paulo.

Machado, A.A. & Araújo, D. (2010). Contexto esportivo e as restrições comportamentais: reflexões a luz da Psicologia Bioecológica. Motriz, 432–439.

Cordovil, R., Araújo, D., Davids, K., Gouveia, L., Barreiros, J., Fernandes, O. & Serpa, S. (2009). The influence of instructions and body-scaling as constraints on decision-making processes in team sports. Eur. J. Sport Sci., 9, 169–179. doi:10.1080/17461390902763417

Passos, P., Cordovil, R., Fernandes, O. & Barreiros, J. (2012). Perceiving affordances in rugby union. J. Sports Sci., 30, 1175–1182. doi:10.1080/02640414.2012.695082

Corrêa, U.C., Vilar, L., Davids, K. & Renshaw, I. (2012). Informational constraints on the emergence of passing direction in the team sport of futsal. Eur. J. Sport. Sci., 14, 169–176. doi:10.1080/17461391.2012.730063



  • There are currently no refbacks.