Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Water polo women's pattern tactical experience of an italian team

Salvatore Napolitano, Daniela Tursi, Gaetano Railoa



In water polo lacks a codified methodology for tactics training, which is thus only left to coach’s discretion. Nine women water polo matches, during season 2011/2012 (Italian female Serie A1), have been analyzed by a water polo coach, helped by a statistician and a performance analyst. Purpose of the analysis process was to identify single events during the matches, to examine the tactical pattern implemented in this events, to obtain by the coach an evaluation on tactical pattern compliance and then to put this compliance in relation to event’s outcome. Aim of the work is to verify the efficacy of different attack patterns, when they were well-performed, in order to create a codified methodology for teaching water polo through tactics. The research approach is integrated and consists of 3 distinct methods: case study (9 matches of the Italian Serie A1 Women's Championship, season 2011/2012, played by the Volturno sc) for the analysis of matches, action research method for coach contribution, and theoretical-argumentative method to deduce a theoretical framework in which define the data processing. The research team examined matches with Dartfish TeamPro, isolating single keyframes relative to attack events, identifying the implemented attack pattern, then the coach expressed an evaluation on attack pattern compliance. The results showed a general efficacy of tactical patterns (when they are well performed), but showed significant differences within correlation coefficients of single patterns, confirming the need for developing a common methodology for teaching water polo through tactics.




HUGHES M, FRANKS I. The essentials of performance analysis: an introduction. Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2007.

HUGHES M. Notational analysis – a mathematical perspective. Int J Perform Anal Sport. 2004; 4(2):97-139.

HUGHES MD, FRANKS I. Notational Analysis of Sport: Systems for Better Coaching and Performance in Sport. Routledge, 2008.

RAIOLA G, DI TORE A. Applied Regression Analysis: study about the incidence of communication skills on the results of volleyball matches over a full season in Scientific Report Series Physical Education And Sport 1/2011. Pitesti: Romania, 2011.

SCHMIDT R, WRISBERG C. Motor learning and Performance. Human Kinetics, 2008.


Copyright (c) 2020 Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.