Under great conditions with respect to organization and facilities and in an emotional atmosphere the 12 participating teams played 38 attractive and exciting matches (13% 3:2, 24% 3:1, 63% 3:0). The high portion of clear wins (2004: 42% 3:0) represented differences in the level of performance of the teams and in some cases also of the missing performance stability, but in general the matches were played on a high technical and tactical level. As an introduction to the comprehensive video documentation we present selected summarizing ideas and impressions that are closely connected with the analyses of the 2006 World Championship. In addition you can find more detailed and differentiated findings in the team specific analyses.


·         The long-term top teams again determine the level of performance in women’s volleyball (seven of them among the TOP 8 in the 2006 WCh and in the Olympic Games). Teams with much competition experience advanced to the semi-final (5-8 players who already played in 2004; BRA and USA with the highest mean age of 27,5 resp. 28,1 years; only 32% of the players born 1984/85 and later). ITA and JPN too had a similar mean age and 7 resp. 9 players who already had been Olympians in 2004.  In all the players’ age ranged between 19 and 38 years.

·         Well established team-work and fighting spirit, an excellent individual playing ability (optimum development of functional profiles, especially with respect to the setting function, top-scorer-abilities) and a high level of personality traits were indispensable to perform on the international top level.

·         We found an improvement in all elements of the individual technical-tactical action repertoire with interesting nuances (precision, stability, versatility, speed of execution and efficiency). We also found an increasing symbiosis of features of “power volleyball” based on athletics and the application of “technical and tactical means on a very high level”. The connection of these two elements again determined the international development. Compared to the 2006 World Championship no serious new changes or innovations could be observed.

·         The trend of an progressive increase in body height is vanishing, also a hint that teams turn to a playing approach based on an even higher execution speed of players with a universal training background, who are in possession of a broad variety of technical options. The team performance relies on a high degree of good organization and variable adaptation of the tactical behavior. But, depending on their function within the team, even in future very tall players will be requested as team members.

·         The effective playing structure aiming at the match result with simply structured attacking combinations again dominated. The high portion and efficiency of quick attacks behind the setter and the increasing number of 1st tempo attacks in the middle of the net was striking. Caused by the development in the serve the serve reception formation with three players was applied almost exclusively.

·         The improved playing structure and efficiency in the whole complex II has to be mentioned as special feature that also was one superior element in the play of the Olympic champion. The degree of development of that complex II in general had a great influence on the final team ranking. That both refers to the consequent serve strategy and tactics, the flexible and efficient design of „block/field defense“ actions, and finally, reinforced quick and high counter attacks.

·         Attacking performance in both complexes is mainly determined by the intelligent set distribution, its individually adapted perfect adaptation to the playing situation as well as by a variable playing speed (higher setting resp. setting speed).

·         The increasing role and quality of competition coaching and scouting was impressive. Computer-based network approaches with significant staffing and technology effort was applied in the tactical preparation of matches and during matches for fine-tuning tactics.










HELGI THORSTEINSSON