Short characterization: CHINA

I Team formation

·       Youngest team with average age 22.6 years; average body height of the team 183.8 cm.

·       Compared with OG 2004 six new players in the team; basic formation with six regular players (including libero) plus two young players (attack: player No. 5 Chu - born in 1984, body height 190 cm; block: player No. 15 – born in 1986, body height 189 cm!).

·       Five players born between 1984 and 1988! Team formation with plenty of very young players and experienced players in their high performance age. 

II General impression

·       After getting the gold medal at the Olympics 2004, it seems that they are struggling to be focused on achieving concentration and energy in order to preserve and to develop top performances. At the WGP 2005 they have been testing younger players for one of middle positions and one of outside positions (especially player No. 5 and player No. 15) in order to strengthen the offensive by using tall players.

·       The team performance was not great over all but 3rd was a pretty reasonable result for them at this moment. At the 2006 WC, a highly motivated Chinese team has to be expected, which will even be stronger due to integration of physically strong players in the offensive play (all basic skills).

III Team composition and characteristic of play

·       Physically and technically well balanced team; solid defence connected to fast offence with excellent reading of the game as essential feature of the play. Precise and situationally flexible application of techniques, very good game-conceptual bringing together of the excellent individual playing capacity.

·       They are about to brush upon and to complete their strengths (such as combination attack with great defensive play, outside attack position and the block). Particularly top quality players at the outside position would be the coach’s and the team’s best interest for the future development.

·       From the observer’s point of view and experience the team outwardly seems mentally steady and rational but they are rather emotional in their playing behaviour.

·       Good tactical substitution to achieve their goal at this tournament and to test new players at the same time.

·       Very good direction by experienced setter Feng (player No. 2), similar to Lo Bianco with Italy (No. 14), is a condition of effective utilization of the big potential of game conceptual individual skills (all functions of play).

IV Technical impression

Complex I

Passing:

·       Very solid passing technique of all players (team at first place in the ranking of Best reception); diagonal player (!) player No. 7 first place in the ranking of Best receivers; player No. 16 Best libero.

·       Libero tries to cover large area of the court. CHN started to use their new way to use Libero during this tournament (for one of middle players and one of outside hitters). Libero has played for both middle players for last a couple matches instead.

·       3 player-formation against jump power; 3-player and 2-player reception formations against float service variants; situational fluent transitions between the reception formations.

Setting:

·       Good selection with accuracy; precisely coordinated and timed organisation of set in very quick attack combinations with varied running directions, quick sets with low trajectory to outside .

·       Setter player No. 2 at the same time a good blocker (body height 183 cm).

·       Early anticipation („look towards the opponent“); situational variation of set.

·       Particular affinity to use diagonal player No. 7 (perfect understanding).

Attacking side out:

·       Fast outside attack in conjunction with fast attack at right behind setter; time differential combination attack with middle player and right side player.

·       Well controlled technique.

·       Mostly semi-high set to P4 in situations less organised.

·       With setter P 4/3/2 effective back row attack integrated into the combinations.

Complex II

Serving:

·       Combination of Jump Float, jump power, long distance float and short distance float.

·       At certain times risky serve by majority of players;

·       Jump serve of player No. 3 (Yang) is a positive example (controlled, aggressive, safe, well-aimed and varied with different spin); best server in the individual ranking.

Blocking:

·       Good eye work (visualization) of opponent’s development of attack; to be able to watch the hitter.

·       Outside hitter at P2/4 (setter included) fix block position optimally, „approach” to the ball quickly/actively – synchronously and cohesively in group block, but also effectively as 1-player block (direction of action from outside inward – „tilting” the outer hand inward).

·       Fast and  effective running techniques of the block players to the left and the right

·       Situational support of middle blocker and 3-player block (particularly against outside attack from P4) are tried and tested methods of blocking tactics.

Digging:

·       All players have good body and ball control for defence; excellent digging technique.

·       Basic principle for defence with „6 back” and covering by back row player P1/5 with much situational adjustment.

·       Block P2 (for the most part 2-player and 3-player block situation): back row player P1 depending on situation defence of position or to cover forward; free front player sometimes for short-distance covering.

·       With 3-player block P2 without covering or with back row player to P1. Altogether very  flexible defence tactics with further situational nuances

·       Block P4: defence organisation similar to block P2, libero not exclusively at P5.

·       Block P3: 6 back – P1 and P5 move far forward (defence, quick attack); with 2-player block P3 (e. g. against back row attack) covering by front player – 6 back in 3-player formation with the players at P5/1; here also much situational adjustment in positional play of defence formation forward and backward (e. g. with 3-player block without short-distance covering).

Attacking transition:

·       Efficient outside attack from high and semi-high sets (towards tall player player No. 5 mostly a bit higher); with precise defence many aggressive attacks from quick set to P4 – mostly with average speed). In long rallies the opponent is “kept under pressure”.

·       With easy balls (free ball) from the opponent and/or from covering quick „transition attack” with first/second tempo finish.

·       Diagonal player is useful for attack transition by good setting skills.