Andrea Zorzi: Speed is at the heart of modern volleyball
Lausanne, Switzerland, July 22, 2014 - After the end of the 2014 FIVB Volleyball World League, Italian volleyball legend Andrea Zorzi discussed the difference between his generation and the new generation of volleyball players present at this year’s Finals in Florence, Italy.
Andrea Zorzi: Volleyball today is much faster than it used to be|
“Volleyball today is much faster than it used to be. This is due to a series of ‘natural’ evolutions but also to changes in the rules of the game.
“Serving has changed significantly. Serves today are about 10km/h faster than they used to be and tend to be hit from inside the court. Players in the past privileged vertical jumps while today, they prefer broad jumps that get them closer to the opponents’ side of the court. Moreover, since hitting the net is no longer considered a foul, they can take more risks when they are serving because they can afford to brush against the net and still score.
“Even though new rules have imposed a slightly deflated ball to slow down the speed of rallies, attacks are much faster than before. Setters have become faster. In the past, they preferred high and slow trajectories, while today they tend to set the ball quickly to avoid blocking from the opposite team.
“The shape of players has also changed. Players today are more muscular in the upper body and they tend to be much taller. Paradoxically, this is partially due to the introduction of shorter players in the role of libero. In fact, introducing a player who is exclusively in charge of receiving has allowed players who are tall but not very mobile to be included in teams without creating a defense ‘gap’. This is particularly true for middle-blockers, who can now focus exclusively on attacking and blocking, without being concerned with reception.
“Following the introduction of the rally point system, matches have also become much shorter. Some athletic trainers even say that volleyball has gone from being a marathon to being a sprint. Compared with side-out scoring, the current system - where it is easier for players to score a point - privileges force over endurance.
“All in all, I get the feeling that in the past, players knew how to ‘play’, while today they are more ‘mechanic’. I think we have lost a bit of beauty in this trade-off. It is as if we lost the ability to ‘just play’.”
Andrea Zorzi is a former Italian volleyball star who won two FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship crowns in 1990 and 1994 as well as three World League titles from 1990-1992 where he also won the Most Valuable Player award at both the 1990 and 1991 editions. He was also a silver medalist at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and won the 1989 European Championship in a career which spanned 325 matches. After retiring in 1998, he collaborated with a number of important Italian TV networks as well as international newspapers as a journalist.
Other FIVB news
- Coaches in Trieste expect a close affair
- FIVB Women's World Championship - Day 7 - As It Happened
- Vargas has memory to cherish
- Sheilla: In the heart of Italian fans
- Asian Games favourites show determination in men's tournament
- Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Belgium claim last second round tickets
- President Medina visits Dominican compatriots in Italy
- FIVB Women's World Championship - Day 6 - As It Happened
- Final four spots into Women's World Championship 2nd Round to be settled Sunday
- Korea, Japan, Iran, China men top pools in Asian Games
- Korea, China, Thailand, Japan advance to Asian Games semis
- Fourth day capped by exciting action, big crowds
- China keep a clean sheet; four second round spots still open
- FIVB Women's World Championship - Day 5 - As It Happened
- Fired-up Iran prove too strong for India to claim second win in Incheon
- Teams scramble for open spots into the second round
- Las Panteritas prepare for South American Women's Junior Championship
- FIVB Women's World Championship - Day 4 - As It Happened
- Third international Paidar Demir tournament this weekend in Istanbul
- “Catherine the Great” sets sights on title hat-trick
- Thailand join China, Japan and Kuwait in quarterfinals of Asian Games men’s volleyball
- Down to seven undefeated teams in Italy
- Korea and China top groups in Asian Games women's volleyball
- Seven teams claim second round tickets at FIVB Women’s World Championship
- FIVB Women's World Championship - Day 3 - As it Happened
- Brazilian coaches on both sidelines without Brazil playing
- Were you at the final?
- Russia stay top of European Ranking while Poland move up to fourth
- Maritza adds well-known names to roster before third edition of Kupa Plovdiv
- Korea, India and Thailand remain unbeaten in Asian Games men’s volleyball
- Day three to feature first meetings with eight undefeated teams
- Eight undefeated teams stand in good position to advance to second round after Day 2
- No second day shocks for tournament favourites
- FIVB Women's World Championship - Day 2 - As It Happened
- Dutch earn second win with victory against Thailand
- Italy jersey and official World Championship ball given to the Pope
- Re-live the FIVB Men's World Championship on YouTube
- Japan, China, Qatar men continue strong run in Asian Games
- Day 2 promises to be just as exciting for Women's World Championship
- Korea's women crush Thailand, China beat Hong Kong in Asian Games
- FIVB Women's World Championship - Day 1 - As It Happened
- Poland surge up rankings after gold medal success
- Japan drop points on opening day
- Social Media Wrap-Up - FIVB Men's World Championship
- Kuwait enjoy strong start at 17th Asian Games
- Russia and the returning Gamova out for a hat-trick of titles
- FIVB Women's World Championship - Day -1 - As It Happened
- Pool A coaches honored to play in Rome
- Celebrations in Poland after a record-breaking World Championship
- Trieste pool is the strongest group coaches say