Differences in the success of the attack between outside and opposite hitters in high level men’s volleyball


  • Antonio Millán-Sánchez University of Granada, Spain
  • Juan Carlos Morante Rábago University of León, Spain
  • Aurelio Ureña Espa University of Granada, Spain




Performance indicators, Volleyball, Player role, Location, Terminal actions


The objective was to determine the success of the three most frequent attackers in elite men’s volleyball, according to their location on-court when attacking. 2925 attacks (terminal actions) were registered from 23 matches of the 2010 Men’s World Championship, registering the player role (1st receiver, 2nd receiver and opposite), the location on the court when the attack took place (front and back court) and the result of the attack (positive (#) and negative (=)). The Chi-square test presented significant results (p<0.000) for the variables. The effect of the association showed a Cramer’s V = 0.152. The adjusted residual analysis showed higher values than expected for the opposite between the back-court location and the attack= and for the front-court location and the attack#. The decision tree analysis performed set the result of the attack as the dependent variable and the player role and the location on the court as independent variables. The model split the sample into two groups: opposite and 1st and 2nd receiver. The receivers presented a probability of success of 72.5% in their attacks, whereas for the opposite it was 55.1%. Additionally, the likelihood of success of the opposite when performing definitive attacks was 48.4% from the back court and 62% from the front court. The lack of significance regarding the location on the court for the receivers means there was no statistical difference in the attack# probability between the front and back court location for them. Hence, all tests performed indicate an increasing relevance of the outside hitters from the back court, contrasting with the use of the opposite in male volleyball as an specialist in back-court attack rather than any of the receivers.


Spanish Science and Innovation Ministry (DEP2011-27503), Spanish Education, Science and Sport Ministry (FPU14/02234)


Download data is not yet available.


Araujo, R. M., Castro, J., Marcelino, R., & Mesquita, I. (2010). Relationship between the Opponent Block and the Hitter in Elite Male Volleyball. J Quant Anal Sports, 6(4), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.2202/1559-0410.1216

Cohen, J. (1960). A coefficient of agreement for nominal scales. Educ Psychol Meas, 20(1), 37-46. https://doi.org/10.1177/001316446002000104

Fleiss, J. L. (2003). Statistical methods for rates and proportions. (3rd ed.): Wiley-Interscience. https://doi.org/10.1002/0471445428

Häyrinen, M., Hoivala, T., & Blomqvist, M. (2004). Differences between winning and losing teams in men's European top-level volleyball. Paper presented at the Proceedings of VI Conference Performance Analysis.

Marcelino, R., César, B., Afonso, J., & Mesquita, I. (2008). Attack-tempo and attack-type as predictors of attack point made by opposite players in volleyball. In A. Hökelmann & M. Brummund (Eds.), Notational Analysis in Sport-VIII (pp. 505-509). Magdeburn: Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg.

Marelić, N., Rešetar, T., & Janković, V. (2004). Discriminant analysis of the sets won and the sets lost by one team in A1 Italian volleyball league-A case study. Kineziologija, 36(1), 75-82.

Mesquita, I., & César, B. (2007). Characterisation of the opposite player's attack from the opposition block characteristics. An applied study in the Athens Olympic games in female volleyball teams. Int J Perf Anal Sport, 7(2), 13-27. https://doi.org/10.1080/24748668.2007.11868393

Millán-Sánchez, A., Morante Rábago, J. C., Álvarez Hernández, M., Femia Marzo, P., & Ureña, A. (2015). Participation in terminal actions according to the role of the player and his location on the court in top-level men's volleyball. Int J Perf Anal Sport, 15(2), 608-619. https://doi.org/10.1080/24748668.2015.11868818

Palao, J. M., Santos, J. A., & Ureña, A. (2004a). Effect of team level on skill performance in volleyball. Int J Perf Anal Sport, 4(2), 50-60. https://doi.org/10.1080/24748668.2004.11868304

Palao, J. M., Santos, J. A., & Ureña, A. (2004b). Effect of the setter's position on block in volleyball. Int J Vol Res, 6(1), 29-32.

Palao, J. M., Santos, J. A., & Ureña, A. (2005). The effect of the setter's position on the spike in volleyball. J Hum Movement Stud, 48(1), 25-40.

Rodríguez-Ruiz, D., Quiroga, M. E., Miralles, J. A., Sarmiento, S., de Saá, Y., & García-Manso, J. M. (2011). Study of the technical and tactical variables determining set win or loss in top-level European Men's Volleyball. J Quant Anal Sports, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.2202/1559-0410.1281

Sheppard, J. M., Gabbett, T. J., & Stanganelli, L. C. R. (2009). An analysis of playing positions in elite men's volleyball: Considerations for competition demands and physiologic characteristics. J Strength Cond Res, 23(6), 1858-1866. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181b45c6a

Zetou, E., Moustakidis, A., Tsigilis, N., & Komninakidou, A. (2007). Does effectiveness of skill in complex I predict win in men's olympic volleyball games. J Quant Anal Sports, 3(4), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.2202/1559-0410.1076


Statistics RUA



How to Cite

Millán-Sánchez, A., Morante Rábago, J. C., & Ureña Espa, A. (2017). Differences in the success of the attack between outside and opposite hitters in high level men’s volleyball. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 12(2), 251–256. https://doi.org/10.14198/jhse.2017.122.01



Performance Analysis of Sport

Most read articles by the same author(s)