The 16 participating teams in the 2011 Volleyball Girls' Youth World Championship in Turkey were faced with high demands. Within ten days the young female players had to play eight matches each. Among the 64 matches played, 43 had the result 3:0, 13 times the match ended 3:1 and eight times 3:2. The high share of 3:0 results is an indication for the relatively high differences in the level of performance of the teams. Finally the most stable teams of Turkey, China and Serbia with the best performances in technique and tactics, the highest physical and conditional level and the best psychological skills and abilities won the world medals. The teams had a really homogeneous roster and a remarkably well balanced mode of play. Thus they represent to actual international top level in female youth volleyball. Besides Poland, finally ranking 4th, the teams of Germany, Brazil and Japan performed on a level that could have given them a TOP 4 ranking. Independent of their final ranking the following teams showed good performances and progress in their development. Indications for that statement are close set results in individual matches (for example BRA vs. MEX – 2nd set 23:25/ 3rd set 25:22; EGY vs. POL – 3rd set 24:26) and selected match results (for example EGY vs. PUR 3:2; ARG vs. BRA 2:3). The good positioning of European teams in the final ranking are noteworthy (four among the top five), and indicate the increased level of performance in the European female volleyball in general.
During the entire tournament the best teams were using in most cases up to 8 players in rotation but all teams were having 12 players ready to step into the game at any moment for some tactical reasons.
Coaching and team management in general were characterized by a practical-emotional teamwork. Especially the coaches who have managed to develop well functioning new teams within only a very short period of time have to be given respect for their good work.
The major target for youth national teams which are playing together for a relatively short period of time in their composition only is to support the development of the players and to prepare them for the junior and senior national teams. From that perspective many talented players could present themselves in the world tournament which are on the pathway to top senior players (compare „individual rankings“ and the remarks in the „short characterization“ and the selected video clips).
Considering the relative comparison of performance parameters with senior female volleyball from the VIS-analyses the biggest performance gaps were found in the features „service“(share of actions with excellent quality) and “attack” (percentage of successfully executed attacks).
In the application of servicevariants the youthteams follow the general trend with powerful and tactical floats to designated areas of the opponent’s court (many jump floats, among them an increasing number of distance floats). And the players already perform on a level of performance that compares to that of the senior female players.
We saw a lot of good examples in our video analyses for the good level of technical development and the level of performance in block and fielddefense as well as in the counter-attacks (transition). The increasing number of long rallies underlines that trend.
We are not intending to go more into detail of the technical-tactical performances as you can read more about these features in the short characteristics of the top teams. With the example of the top four teams the state of international volleyball for female under 18 players is described. In the teams specific analysis we present differrentiated information on the general technical-tactical approach and the match concepts of these teams.