1University of Porto, Faculty of Sport, Centre for Research, Education, Innovation and Intervention in Sport, Porto, Portugal
2University of Porto, Porto Biomechanics Laboratory, Porto, Portugal
The Attack in Volleyball from the Perspective of Social Network Analysis: Refining Match Analysis through Interconnectivity and Composite of Variables
This study aimed to develop an instrument for analysing the attack in high-level volleyball considering the refined variables adjacent to the attack action, the interconnection between direct and indirect actions, the impact of the previous action, and the formation of composite variables. The game complexes were approached as interacting subsystems. The primary goal was to understand the influence of game actions adjacent to the attack. Three matches of a National Women’s 1st Division 2018/2019 (nine sets, 415 plays) were analysed, considering all game complexes (except attack coverage due to reduced occurrence). An Eigenvector Centrality network with 420 nodes and 7367 edges was created. The networks showed that ideal setting conditions, and strong attacks by the outside and opposite hitters without having received a perfect ball, were central in side-out. In transition, we highlight ideal setting conditions, preferences of the outside hitter, quick attacks in Z4, and high balls in Z2. This study is distinct because it considers different aspects related to the systemic review of the game by using composite variables and the actions prior to the attack. Of these results, we highlight that players attacked with slower tempos for the double action of receive-attack, and these were either preferably directed to the parallel or explored the block. Moreover, for the double defence-attack actions, attackers sought the soft spike in Z2, Z4, and Z8; and when two consecutive individual errors occurred, the players did not err but instead continued to attack to force the opponent’s error.
performance analysis, game analysis, social network analysis, eigenvector centrality, attack, volleyball
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