Short characterization: Poland

I Team formation

·         Little changed pool of 12 players - 4 new players are integrated under coach Lozano.

·         Poland relies on experienced players, a well-established and nearly stable basic formation – regular formation completed at 2 positions.

·         Team consists of 2 age groups – each 5 players born between 1980/1983 and between 1977/1978.

·         Szymanski No.9 (born in 1978) and Wlazly No.10 (born in 1983) strengthen team at diagonal position.

·         Average age 26.9 years; with 199.4 cm one of the tallest teams.

II General impression

·         Reach the final round as group winner (group C) with 9 victories in 12 games in front of SCG; with place 4 and a balance of won and lost sets they confirm the upward trend.

·         Good symbiosis of older, experienced and younger players with development potential and a future for 2008.

·         Have a broad pool of players with nearly equal substitution options (except for setting) with different strengths and upcoming players. 

·         Miss the final with a score of 2:3 in the semi-final against SCG (after leading 2 sets to 0) - due to lack of cleverness and maturity, they lose 5 sets by small margin with 2-3 points.

·         Good, but not top rankings with the Best Players (1 to 3 players among the top 10) – reserves in defence and in serving (success rate and effect)! 

III Team composition and characteristic of play

·         Exponents of European power volleyball with modern game concept – too small portion of first tempo attack and no stability in back row attack P6!

·         In rotation 3(setter at P3), the quick attacker and setter stand farther on the left, so that quick attacker Golas No.16 always approach coming from the left in front of the setter.

·         Vary their defence system and change short-distance covering between back row players P 1/5 and sometimes by covering of net player (Zagumny No.5) not being in the block.

·         They are strong in attack from outside positions, but have reserves in the actions preceding attack, i. e. passing and defence, as well as in the block at the middle of the net!

·         Vary well in sets (speed/height) to P4; outside hitters have many solution options and with Gruszka No.3 a very variable player!   

IV Technical impression

Complex I

Passing:

·         With only 45% excellent receptions and 5% minus, Poland ranks besides Brazil among the weakest passing teams. 

·         Ignaczak No.8 does not rank among the best passing liberos and has reserves in passing from overhead and hard driven jump serves!

·         Reception of jump floats basically in 3-player formation – libero early tries to take over from neighbouring players and sporadically moves into the wrong direction!

·         Missing passing quality when single variants of jump serves are executed (hard driven and spin)! 

Setting:

·         Zagumny No.5 is convincing as second best setter with strong setting to outside positions (height, and speed) in block and in defence.

·         Prefers sets via P4/2 and likes to play long distances – seldom uses quick attackers, if so then rather from not perfect reception  (2-3 metres distance from the net)!

·         At non optimum reception at the left (P3-4) he likes to overset the quick attacker, so that the outside hitter often executes the final hit against the single block!

·         Position of his shoulder axis as well as positions of arms and hands often shows direction of setting! 

Attacking side out:

·         With Gruszka No.3 and Swiderski No.13 they have two very good outside hitters with good striking force and often with solutions being intelligent and rich in variation! 

·         With Polish teams, the main spiking position 4 is traditionally the most important spiking position and at the same time the most effective one – modification of hitting power, direction, and work successfully with the block (touch the block, slowing down, extreme angles etc.)!

·         Seldom play first tempo and are not so effective – hit the ball close to the setter not in the movement up, but later at the point of return!

·         Wlazly No.10 (born in 1983) and Szymanski No.9 (born in 1978) are convincing in attacking from back row P1 as well as in attacking side out and substantiate the current strength of the team!   

Complex II

Serving:

·         Team with little serving effectiveness – small success rate (2%) at the same time too high error rate (15%)!

·         4 players vary between jump serve and jump float; 3 players do jump serve (partly hard driven and with spin); 2 players only float and/or jump float!

·         Too small portion and no range of variations when jump serves are executed hard driven and with spin (structure of team). 

·         Discrepancy in efficiency of serve between players doing jump serve (Swiderski No.13 and Szymanski No.9) and players doing float and/or jump float (Grzyb No.7 and Zagumny No.5)!

Blocking:

·         Very efficient blocking behaviour and different effectiveness at the positions as well as against defined situations of attack.

·         Strength and clearly higher effectiveness with formed group blocks against attacks from high sets and/or second tempo attacks at the outside positions.

·         Reserves against first tempo attacks at intermediate positions and in single block at quick sets at the outside positions!

·         Setter Zagumny No.5 (7 block points) is best and most effective outside blocker of his team – by far the most effective setter in this element!

·         Close starting position at the net – middle blockers wait and jump late against first tempo; block players P4 help against first tempo with opponent’s setter at the net!    

Digging:

·         Clearly structured defensive behaviour with distinct responsibilities – nevertheless worst defending team with individual technical tactical reserves!

·         Libero Ignaczak No.8 early moves to P5 and basically defends from this position; in exceptional cases changes to P6, in coordination with the block!

·         With setters in back court short-distance covering basically by back row players at P1/5; with setter at the net short-distance covering also by not being in the block Zagumny No.5 (P2) against attacks from back row P1!   

·         Double and triple defence against attacks from opponents outside positions – position defence against first tempo and attacks from high sets!

Attacking transition:

·         Poland relies on the individual excellence of the outside attackers/diagonal players – consistently use their strength in attacking side out!

·         First tempo and back row P6 are seldom played (less than 15%) from free balls and after successfully digging balls!

·         Set to outside positions mostly as clear high/medium-high set – fast powerful sets are played rather seldom! 

·         Very successful in confrontation with formed group blocks (more than 70%) – remarkable broad repertoire (slowing down, extreme angles, touch the block above and on the side)!