General technical-tactical trends Men’s teams

World Championship 2010 Italy


The 2010 Men’s World Championship in Italy was attractive for the spectators. The number of spectators was varying till 12.000. Especially during the matches of Italy there was an attractive and emotional atmosphere. The top teams were playing at an extremely high technical and tactical level.


·        Teams use effective playing formats with quick setting. Regarding the setting nearly 2 / 3 part of the court on the right side is the responsibility of the setter. The libero is usually responsible for the setting on the left side of the court. Playing the ball by other players is as limited as possible.

·        Specific and original individual signals or visual cues before variation of setting are used: tempo and positions and effective set-distribution, with stable and precise quick attacks, to the middle player as well as to the players in position 4 and 2 and back row combination attacks incorporated in reception. The traditional net attack combinations are often used together with systematic three meter combinations.

·        There are always at least 3 hitters. Very athletic, explosive players with a quick take off, able to jump high with short approach and power in jumping and spiking. Hitters have a rapid start-up and the approach of all the hitters is well synchronized, so attack combinations look like a fast 'wave'.

·        The most successful players score on outside positions with frontal hitting as well as with block out and to the middle of the net with extreme angular hits. Techniques such as tips, drive shots etc. are variations of hitting.

·        In Complex II (defense, coverage and free ball), based on good blocking and defense performance, we see transitions with effective variation of quick and sometimes high attacks. In transition from the block to offense Brazil plays quick backsets to the middle hitter, behind the setter. Back row attack combinations are increasingly incorporated. There is a faster change to counter attack with an increased number of combination attacks. Important is a good balance between the results of serve, blocking and transition. Taking less risks in serve in combination with effective tran-sition patterns lead to a better score in complex II.

·        There is an effective tactical and technical variation in the serve per team: many jump floats and jump spin, also regularly jump control serves. The level of technical and tactical execution is high. Some countries have some individual variation in the serve and take more risks with a high percentage jump spinning serves. The distance float was sometimes used as a tactical variation, for instance by the team of Italy. Other teams primary choose a safe serve. Overall, the error rate is very low. The approach and tossing of the ball for each player is quite different for each technique. The landing is not always in balance, making the follow-through movement is not always optimal.

·        Bulgaria, Cuba and Italy have a score of 3 points or more in the performance in blocking. The middle blocker of Cuba (Simon) was the best individual player at 1.15 point per set. The (middle) blockers read very well where the set is going, so they know when and where to jump. The middle blockers have great quickness for closing the block together with the outside blockers. Middle blockers take a primary responsibility for tips behind and beside the block ("self coverage"). The tipped ball is sometimes directly played during the fall of the ball, with a half opened fist, so the setter can play a set. A good balanced landing is important for a quick transition.





       Abe Meininger and Koos Klein                   

          FIVB Technical evaluators