FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship

Press release

Left is right with Poland team

The left-handed power of Poland consists of Lukasz Pietrzak (7), Aleksander Sliwka (11) and Bartosz Bucka (8)

Tijuana, Mexico, July 3, 2013 – Since left-handers make up only 10 percent of the population of the world it is somehow weird to find three of them in a volleyball team of twelve members which is the case of the Poland squad taking part in the FIVB Boys’ U19 World Championship.

Bartosz Bucko, Aleksander Sliwka and Lukasz Pietrzak are the lefties on the team coached by Weislaw Czaja that won Pool A of the age-group biennial event.

Bucko (51.11) and Sliwka (47.06) figured among the top-ten spikers in the preliminary phase of the competition, heavily contributing to the success attained by the Polish side. Pietrzak, an opposite player like team’s captain Bucko, has played a lesser role for obvious reasons.

“They play for different teams in Poland, so it is a matter of coincidence to have them in the national team,” Czaja answered to a curious reporter. “I mean, we were not after lefty players and they are here only because they are good.”

Actually, Bucko belongs to Wokniarz Bielsko-Biala, Sliwka plays for Aks Resovia and Pietrzak performs for Skra Belchatow.

“We are lucky to have two of them in our regular line-up because Bucko plays as opposite and Sliwka is an outside hitter,” added the Polish coach.

The experts and scientist can point out many different reasons why left-handed athletes have the advantage over their opponents, but the surprise factor is the most frequently mentioned.

“The fact that left-handers are less common makes very difficult to defend against them because of the surprise effect,” said an expert after watching Poland winning their first four matches. “That’s pretty much like boxing or the effect on the ball served by a tennis player.”

“You grow up playing mostly with and against right-handers, so facing a lefty can find you off guard,” he added. “It is a question about they are the minority of the population and players face mostly right-handed rivals.”

Bucko echoed this comments while explaining the early success of the Poland team and the surprising effect caused by an offense mainly dominated by individuals hitting with the left-arm.

“I think they didn’t know much about us being a team with three left-handers and were not prepared for it,” Bucko said. “We are very happy with the results so far.”

Coach Czaja has to be also very glad about having Bucko, Sliwka and Pietrzak on his side, which is like saying that being lefty is all right with him.

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