Andrea Perazzetti1,2, Milivoj Dopsaj1, Antonio Tessitore2

1University of Belgrade, Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, Belgrade, Serbia
2University of Rome “Foro Italico”, Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, Rome, Italy

Technical and tactical evaluation of ball possession in international youth water polo matches using the Team Sport Assessment Procedure (TSAP) instrument

Monten. J. Sports Sci. Med. 2023, 12(2), 3-9 | DOI: 10.26773/mjssm.230901


In water polo, the playing style of a team is characterized by players’ tactical behaviour. The purpose of this study was to provide an analysis of offensive actions, by means of the Team Sport Assessment Procedure (TSAP) of the first four youth national teams during the 20th FINA Junior Water Polo World Championships. Twenty-nine elite youth (U20) water polo matches, involving the national teams of Greece (n=7), Serbia (n=7), Italy (n=7) and Croatia (n=8) were selected for the analysis. The TSAP included: i) two indicators of gaining possession of the ball; ii) four indicators of disposing the ball. Using these indicators, the following indices of technical performance were computed: Volume of Play (VP), Efficiency Index (EI) and Performance Score (PS). The field was divided in twelve zones. The one-way ANOVA showed no significant differences between teams for all parameters (p>0.05), except that for Offensive Balls (OB) and Successful Shots (SS) occurred in specific zones of the field: for OB significant differences were found in zone 1 (p=.019), in zone 2 (p=.014) and in zone 5 (p=.007); for SS significant differences were found in zone 1 (p=.026) and in zone 2 (p=.008). The main reason of between-teams differences could be explained by the presence of a left-hand player in the game, and by the tactical behaviour of coaches and players. The TSAP instrument could offer productive feedback to coaches to perceive the different requirements of playing and to evaluate how players understand the game.


match analysis, offensive phase, performance index

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