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Medicina dello Sport 2008 March;61(1):29-43


language: English, Italian

Comparison between player specialization, anthropometric characteristics and jumping ability in top-level volleyball players

Ciccarone G. 1, Croisier J. L. 3, Fontani G. 1, Martelli G. 1, Albert A. 2, Zhang L. 2, Cloes M. 3

1 Dipartimento di Fisiologia, Sezione di Neuroscienze e di Fisiologia Applicata, Università di Siena, Italia 2 Service de Statistique de la Faculté de Médecine, Université de Liège, Belgium 3 Département de Médecine Sportive, Université de Liège, Belgium


Aim. Volleyball is an open skill sport with predominant anaerobic alactic acid power. At higher skill levels, performance characteristics are mainly determined by speed and vertical jumping ability. The aim of this study was to compare anthropometric parameters and jumping ability in a group of elite male volleyball players in relation to technical skills required by player position.
Methods. The study population included 36 elite male volleyball players (coming from the Italian First and Second Division Championships). Subjects were grouped by playing position on the court: setters (7); blockers (10); hitters (16); liberos (3). Assessment included anthropometric parameters such as height, weight, body mass index (weight in kg/height in m2), indirect calculation of body fat mass by means of the Katch method (%BFM), measurement of reach with one hand (R1) and two hands (R2); and indirect measurement of explosive strength by means of the Bosco method: squat jump, countermovement jump (CMJ), CMJ with arm swing (CMJas), and repeated jumps for 15 s (R15”); measurement of motor coordination and jumping ability by means of the Vertec test combined with specific offense (Vertec attack [VA]) and defense (Vertec block [VB]) skills.
Results. Significant differences were observed between player specialization and anthropometric parameters (height, weight, BMI, R1 and R2). Results of the Bosco (SJ, CMJ, CMJas) and Vertec tests (VA and VB) also differed significantly among the player groups.
Conclusion. Functional assessment protocols that evaluate anthropometric characteristics and jumping ability by means of two different unrelated methods, confirming that the two measure different aspects of the same performance, provide more complete indications for selecting players, workload planning and monitoring of player development during training.

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