kaufen sie steroide online in deutschland
Systemic Mapping of High-Level Women’s Volleyball using Social Network Analysis: The Case of Attack Coverage, Freeball, and Downball - Montenegrin Journal of Sports Science and Medicine

Marta Hurst1, Manuel Loureiro1, Beatriz Valongo1, Lorenzo Laporta1, Pantelis Nikolaidis2, José Afonso1

1University of Porto, Faculty of Sports, Centre of Research, Education, Innovation and Intervention in Sport, Porto, Portugal
2Hellenic Army Academy, Department of Physical and Cultural Education, Athens, Greece

Systemic Mapping of High-Level Women’s Volleyball using Social Network Analysis: The Case of Attack Coverage, Freeball, and Downball

Monten. J. Sports Sci. Med. 2017, 6(1), 57-64


This work analysed team sports as complex systems in which behavioural variables need to be taken into consideration when studying performance. Within this understanding, the use of Social Network Analysis constitutes a useful research path. As such, this research analysed two of the least studied game complexes: attack coverage and freeball and downball, in eight matches from the first Group Stage of the Women’s World Grand Prix 2015, comprising a total of 1,264 rallies. Eigenvector centrality values were calculated, with each behavioural variable counted as a node and their connections as edges. The results showed that playing in off-system is central in both complexes, although more so in attack coverage than in freeball and downball situations. Results also showed that although freeing a higher number of players for attack action is potentially advantageous, such action would become a disadvantage when faced with an effective blocking action and the sudden need for effective attack coverage. Overall, this study showed that volleyball coaches should take off-system game moments into stronger consideration and devise a strategy of play that will turn off-system play into an advantage.


Off-system Gameplay, Performance Analysis, Social Network Analysis, Volleyball.

View full article
(PDF – 462KB)


Afonso, J. and Mesquita, I. (2007). Estudo Piloto Acerca da Relação entre Jogada de Ataque e Tempo de Ataque em Voleibol Feminino. Revista Portuguesa de Ciências do Desporto, 7, 46-47.

Afonso, J. and Mesquita, I. (2009). Determinants of Block Cohesiveness and Attack Efficacy in High-Level Women’s Volleyball. European Journal of Sports Science, 11, 69-75.

Barab, A. and Kirshner, D. (2001). Guests editors’ Introduction: Rethinking Methodologies in the Learning Sciences. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 10, 5-15.

Bertalanffy, L. (1950). An Outline of General System Theory. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 1, 134-165.

Bonacich, P. (1972). Factoring and Weighting Approaches to Status Scores and Clique Identification. Journal of Mathematical Sociology, 2, 113-120.

Boulding, K. (1956). General Systems Theory – The Skeleton of Science. Management Science, 3, 197-208.

Castro, J. and Mesquita, I.. (2008). Estudo das Implicações do Espaço Ofensivo nas Características do Ataque no Voleibol Masculino de Elite. Revista Portuguesa de Ciências do Desporto, 8, 114-125.

Chow, J., Davids, K., Hristovski, R, Araújo, D. and Passos, P. (2011). Nonlinear Pedagogy: Learning Design for Self-organizing Neurobiological Systems. New Ideas in Psychology, 29, 189-200.

Costa, G., Afonso, J., Barbosa, R., Coutinho, P. and Mesquita, I. (2014). Predictors of Attack Efficacy and Attack Type in High-Level Brazilian Women’s Volleyball. Kinesiology, 46, 242-248.

Costa, G., Afonso, J., Brant, E. and Mesquita, I. (2012). Differences in Game Patterns between Male and Female Youth Volleyball. Kinesiology, 44, 60-66.

Esper, A. (2003). Tiempos de Juego y Pausa en el Voleibol Femenino y Masculino. Revista Digital Buenos Aires, 64.

Esteves, F. and Mesquita, I. (2007). Estudo da Zona de Distribuição no Voleibol de Elite Masculino em Função do Jogador Distribuidor e do Tipo de Passe. Revista Portuguesa de Ciências do Desporto, 7, 36-37.

Fleiss, L. (2003). Statistical Methods for Rates and Proportions: Interscience.

Gréhaigne, J., Bouthier, D. and David, B. (1997). Dynamic-system Analysis of Opponent Relationships in Collective Actions in Soccer. Journal of Sports Sciences, 15, 137-149.

Gréhaigne, J., Godbout, P. and Bouthier, D. (2001) The Teaching and Learning of Decision Making in Team Sports. National Association for Physical Education in Higher Education, 53, 59-76.

Hileno, R. and Buscà, B. (2012). Herramienta Observacional para Analizar la Cobertura del Ataque en Voleibol. Revista Internacional de Medicina y Ciencias de la Actividad Física y el Deporte, 12, 557-570.

Keating, C., Kauffman, P. and Dryer, D. (2001). A Framework for Systemic Analysis of Complex Issues. Journal of Management Development, 20, 772-784.

Laporta, L., Nikolaidis, P., Thomas, L. and Afonso, J. (2015). The Importance of Loosely Systematized Game Phases in Sports: The Case of Attack Coverage Systems in High-Level Women’s Volleyball. Montenegrin Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 4, 19-24.

Lebed, F. (2006). System Approach to Games and Competitive Playing. European Journal of Sport Science, 6, 33-42.

Lebed, F. (2006). A Dolphin only looks Like a Fish: Players’ Behavior Analysis is not enough for Game Understanding in the Light of the Systems Approach - A Response to the Reply by McGarry and Franks. European Journal of Sport Science, 7, 55-62.

Lorenzo, A., Gómez, M., Ortega, E., Ibáñez, S. and Sampaio, J. (2010). Game Related Statistics which Discriminate between Winning and Losing Under-16 Male Basketball Games. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 9, 664-668.

Lusher, D. and Robins, G. (2010). The Application of Social Network Analysis to Team Sports. Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science, 14, 211-224.

Marcelino, R., Afonso, J., Moraes, C. and Mesquita, I. (2014). Determinants of Attack Players in High-Level Men’s Volleyball. Kinesiology, 46, 234-241.

McGarry, T. (2009). Applied and Theoretical Perspectives of Performance Analysis in Sport: Scientific Issues and Challenges. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 9, 128-140.

McGarry, T., Anderson, D., Wallace, S., Hughes, M. and Franks, I. (2002). Sport Competition as a Dynamical Self-Organizing System. Journal of Sports Sciences, 20, 771-781.

McGarry, T. and Franks, I. (2007). System Approach to Games and Competitive Playing: Reply to Lebed (2006). European Journal of Sports Sciences, 7, 47-53.

Muñoz, M. (2007). Construcción de un Sistema Observacional para el Análisis de la Acción de Juego en Voleibol: Universidade da Coruña.

Reed, D. and Hughes, M. (2006). An Exploration of Team Sport as a Dynamical System. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 6, 114-125.

Ruhnau, B. (2000). Eigenvector-Centrality – A Node-Centrality?. Social Networks, 22, 357-365.

Selinger, A. and Ackermann-Blount, J. (1986). Arie Selinger’s Power Volleyball: St. Martin’s Press.

Silva, P., Garganta, J., Araújo, D., Davids, K. and Aguiar, P. (2013). Shared Knowledge or Shared Affordances? Insights from an Ecological Dynamics Approach to Team Coordination in Sports. Sports Medicine, 43, 765-772.

Strogatz, S. (2001). Exploring Complex Networks. Nature, 410, 268-276.

Tabachnick, B. and Fidell, L. (2000). Using Multivariate Statistics: Harper & Row Publishers.

Travassos, B., Araújo, D., Correia, V. And Esteves, P. (2010). Eco-dynamics Approach to the Study of Team Sports Performance. The Open Sports Science Journal, 3, 56-57.