Short characterization




RANKING 2000 - 2008

OG   2000


WGP 2001


WCh 2002


WC   2003


OG   2004


WGP 2005


WCh 2006


WC   2007


OG   2008



Thanks to its vigorous offensive play the Cuban team ranked first after the preliminaries (15:3 sets) and had almost no problem to advance to the semi-final (3:0 against SRB). With the surprisingly clear defeat against the USA the team lost the chance to play the final. The frustration certainly also influenced the loss in the bronze medal match.  


General remarks

·         Looking at the composition of the team one can see still much potential for further development (still 7 players of the 2004 Olympics, 4 players born 1986-1989, average age 25,1). Stable starting lineup, not many substitutions.

·         Playing concept dominated by the traditional 4:2-system (resp. 6:2-system: both setters also act as main attackers) and the excellent attacking performance.



·         Mix of actual techniques from varying positions (mainly powerful floats, jump spin power serve by 3 players. No 2 Santos – with many jump spin power variations - rank 1 in individual players‘ ranking.

·         Discrepancy between point wins/point losses (27 direct errors in the two matches of the final round).


Serve reception

·         No specialization in serve reception, serve reception formations with many nuances     

·         Jump power and distance floats: Formation 4 with two major serve reception players.

·         Backline floats and jump floats: Formation 3 (the field position of the fourth players makes it possible for her to become incorporated into serve reception, but in most cases she was not incorporated but preparing the attacking action).


Set / Attack Complex 1 and Complex 2

·         Both setters apply setting techniques in standing position only. Variable distribution of the passes, mainly somewhat delayed powerful set with short movement impulse (slight stretching of the arms, very active wrist and finger actions).

·         Big differences in the level of performance between attacks in Complex I and II. Among the TOP 4 nations the team with the smallest portion of backcourt attacks.

·         Quick attacking play in Complex I: More than 70% of the attacks as part of quick attacking combinations. Extraordinary performance in all elements: Outside attack position 4 (No 12 Calderon / No 1 Ruiz - rank 1 resp.. 3 in players‘ ranking), Quick attacks position 3 (No 3 Carrillo - rank 2 in players‘ ranking), quick attacks position 2 (effective attack with both setters in both functions in „set-attack“ actions).

·         Attacking play in Complex II: Compared to the medal winning teams and caused by differences in the level of performance in the elements blocking/field defense less options for counter attacks (defended balls per set: BRA: 15, CUB: 9). Domination of outside attacks from position 4.

Backcourt defense-attack: mainly outside attacks from position 4.

Coverage-attack: alternating repetition or directing the play to another option.

Freeball-attack: variable pass distribution with a trend towards „quick outside attack from position 4“.


Block / Defense

·         Compared to other TOP 4 nations no superior blocking performance: Average by set: 2,4 compared to 3,7 for BRA; only MB No 3 Carrillo ranking among the TOP 10 in individual players’ ranking. Very active movement of the MB to become part of the outside block and often exemplary single block technique.

·         Improved libero performance (rank 2 in players‘ ranking). Well coordinated quick move-ment in the defense system “6 back” / block coverage from position 1 and 5“.

·         Still much (tactical) potential for improvement in the development of the whole action chain in Complex II (Digs by set: 9 compared to 15 by BRA).