Volleyball is the 4th most popular sport in the world by participation. The indoor version of this sport is played all over the world. Over 200 affiliated national federations are registered to volleyball’s main body, the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (more than any other sport!). It is also a sport with great range of statistics. What are the most important of them? Let’s have a look at 7 key stats, with examples from the Men’s World Championships 2018.

1. NUMBER OF ATTACK ERRORS

There’s one really important rule in volleyball. If you know you can’t end an attack with a point, deliver the ball to the opponent’s team – give them a chance to make the mistake. Some players forget about this and end the action with an attack error. It’s an easy way to “give” rivals points.

Slovenian Mitja Gasparini made 24 attack errors during this year’s World Championships. Mitja, you gave almost one set to your competitors! This is definitely too many, don’t you think?

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2. NUMBER OF SERVICE ACES

A service ace is a serve that lands in the opponent’s court and is not touched, or it is touched, but unable to be kept in play by the receiving team. It’s a very fast way to score  points in a volleyball match.

In a third round match, Serbia had 10 aces, while their opponent – Italy – only 1. It was one of the main reasons why “Srbija” won this match 3:0.

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3. PERFECT RECEPTION EFFICENCY

A stable and precise reception is key to success. If you deliver a good ball to the setter, he/she is able to set the ball in a few different ways and this causes problems for the opponent’s blocking players.

Cameroon players had only 21% of perfect reception during the tournament. No surprise they ended their tournament participation after the First round.

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4. ATTACK EFFICIENCY

(Attack points / Attack attempts ) * 100% – Attack efficiency formula is really easy. Thanks to this statistic we know how often a player ends his attack with a point.

Bartosz Kurek had a 51.95% attack efficiency during the tournament. It was a big contribution for the Polish team, who went on to win the championship.

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5. RECEPTION ATTEMPTS

Teams have their own service tactics. Service players direct the ball towards a chosen player to increase the chance of winning a point. The receivers are really important for the team. If they have problem with reception, setters have limited possibilities when setting the ball.

One player received 236 services. It was Brazil’s Douglas Souza.

6. OPPONENT ERRORS

It can occur that the opposing  team has a bad day. Lots of outs and net services, attack mistakes and player errors. It’s possible that opponent errors can decide the final result of a match.

Why did Tunisia lose their group stage match against Australia? They made 29 errors, while Australia only 18.

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7. POINTS SCORED

Last, but not least, how do you win a set in a volleyball match? Score more points than your rival. Who scores the points? The players!

Bartosz Kurek was not only one of the best attacker. He also scored the highest number of points in the tournament – 171. So it wasn’t a surprise that Kurek, was named the 2018 World Championships, Most Valuable Player.

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