Short characterization KOR







HA, Joon-Eem

WCH 2002



KIM, Sa-Nee  (C)


KIM, Hae-Ran (L)

OG 2004



LIM, Hyo-Sok


KIM, Yeon-Koung

WCH 2006



HAN, Yoo-Mi


HAN, Song-Yi

OG 2008



JUNG, Dae-Young


HWANG, Youn-Joo

WCH 2010



YANG, Hyo-Jin


KIM, Hee-Jin

OG 2012



Lee, Sook-Ja



The Korean team had an average age of 27, 4 years. The age distribution ranges from players with an age of 21/22 until 31/32 years. That makes a good mixture of younger and older players (with both setters being older than 30 years). Six players had already participated in 1-2 World Championships, setter No 4 Kim and one attacker had already played in the 2004 Olympic Games. The average body height of the team (without libero) was 183 cm. Thus and considering the two setters playing on an identical level of performance with a body height of 175 resp. 177cm and with two middle blockers with a body height of 183 resp. 190cm plus the extraordinary attacker No 10 Kim with a body height of 192cm the team compares, with respect to body physique on the important playing positions, to the level of Brazil and the USA.

With its refreshing and powerful and impressive mode of playing KOR enriched the Olympic tournament. Regarding the quality of its play especially its great variety of attacking combinations/tempo’s (overload and spread, compare Japan) has to be emphasized. We saw a very well matching first line-up (with direct substitution of setters or as a double substitution, in individual cases tactical substitutions) acting in a very concentrated manner and with track of the match situation. The players showed an extraordinary level of technical performance. Their ambition to be successful was very high and the elegance and ease of selected players in precise and efficient playing actions were striking (setter No 20 Lee, quick attack player 13 Jung and attacker No 10 Kim).

The Korean team played in the stronger pool, but showed an unstable performance (- USA 1:3, - SRB 3:1, - BRA 3:0 !!, - TUR and CHN 2:3). Thanks to the sensational win over Brazil and the points/sets won in the 2:3-matches Korea ranked third after the round-robin matches with two wins ready to play the quarter-final against Italy. The 3:1 win against the ambitious Italian Olympic team was first of all based on a good blocking performance (12 kills), the unpredictable combination attack (between No 17 / No 10 resp. No 13 / No 12 in overload situations) and the precise serve reception (77:71% success). After having no chance in the semi-final (0:3 against the USA) the high load and the signs of wear of a long Olympic tournament which the starting line-up had to manage also became obvious in the bronze medal match (0:3 against JPN). But nevertheless, with its innovative playing mode, the Korean Olympic team has been a really refreshing element of this tournament.


Complex I – Attack (first ball side out)

The serve reception formations are very well adjusted to the intended attacking combinations. The two extraordinary setters got identical shares of playing time and directed very precise and variable attacking combinations. The number of up to four attacking versions is one of the striking differences between Korea and the other teams. The quick attackers offer themselves very offensively for 1-tempo-attacks and are successfully applied to terminate the attacks. With a variable running paths and perfect adjustment of the position as well as with precise timing the team had alternatives to incorporate other attacking players  into quick attacks (2nd tempo) as part of combinations. In singular cases back-court attacks are terminated. No 10 Kim played an extraordinary role in scoring for the Korean team (best scorer / best spiker: rank 3 with 185 points). With its mode of playing KOR showed  combination volleyball with its many variants until 1996 (Olympic Games Atlanta) and might signal to other teams too to reconsider their actual playing mode.


Complex II – Block

Caused by its inconsistent performance KOR only ranked 7th in block performance with an average of 2,19 kills per set. 68 kills are an indication of the performance potential in this feature (high concentration and attention when adjusting the block, exact timing and compact block formation). When observing the Korean team we recommend to have a closer look on the efficient single-block actions (precise adjustment of the position, offensive block) in the middle as well as on outside positions. The setters are always included into the arrangement of the block.



Alongside the attacking combinations the Korean mode of play is characterized by its efficient serve arrangement. With a mix of jump floats (long, until jump accelerating approach, sometimes unusual partial movement) jump floats with one leg take-off and controlled jump spin power serve (No 10) the team really puts pressure on the opponents. By the way of executing the serve (including the concentration phase) the time for the opposing team from the referee blowing the whistle until the serve reception (serving direction can be seen quite late, higher demands regarding observation and decision making process) is extended.  


Complex II – Attack (transition)

In successful defense rallies (no touch, blocktouch) KOR demonstrated a well adjusted arrangement of the defensive formation (diagonal defense, flexible movements in case of blocktouch). For a successful termination of attacks the team played a lot with top-spiker No 10 Kim (many back-court attacks following blocktouch).

In attack and block coverage the players are very observant and well arranged. They make use of any chance for a quick transition of the play using variable attacking techniques (tips, application of the wrist, faked) also incorporating back-court attacks. It has been striking to see their precise setting with underhand-techniques.

The players act with exemplary consistency (quick, powerful, variable) to terminate freeball situation with a point, in most cases they apply quick attacks in front of the setter (perfect „relay” between P3/4) and No 10 demonstrates perfect back-court attacks.