Comparison of Rally Length between Women and Men in High-Level Spanish Volleyball
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National Institute of Physical Education of Catalonia, University of Lleida, Lleida, Spain
Núcleo de Estudos em Performance Analysis em Esportes (NEPAE/UFSM), Centro de Educação Física e Desportos da Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Santa Maria, Brazil
Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Almería, Almería, Spain
Submission date: 2022-12-29
Acceptance date: 2023-03-21
Online publication date: 2023-07-06
Corresponding author
Lorenzo Laporta   

Núcleo de Estudos e Pesquisa Avançada em Esportes (NEPAE), Centro de Educação Física e Desportos, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Santa Maria, Brazil
Journal of Human Kinetics 2023;89:171–185
The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the rally length in high-level Spanish volleyball was longer in women than in men. A total of 1,786 rallies were observed: 792 for women and 994 for men. The recorded variables were match (quarter-final 1, quarter-final 2, semi-final 1, semi-final 2, final), gender (men, women), rally length (seconds), pseudo-rally (no, yes), and terminal event (ball out of sight, ball in/out, fault). Different non-parametric statistical techniques were used to compare the rally length between groups or subsets of data, i.e., the Kruskal-Wallis H test, the Mann-Whitney U test, quantile regression, and survival analysis. The mean and median rally length was significantly and slightly longer in women than in men. The rally length difference between genders was barely 1 s in quantile 0.5 or median, while in quantile 0.95, it was just over 4 s. In women, the probability of ending the rally at 3.9, 5.1, 10.2, and 43.9 s (at 4.4, 6.3, 11.6, and 43.9 s without pseudo-rallies) was 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%, respectively. In men, the probability of ending the rally at 3.2, 4.3, 7.9, and 29.1 s (at 3.9, 4.8, 8.8, and 29.1 s without pseudo-rallies) was 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%, respectively. These temporal thresholds can help volleyball coaches to train their players in a coherent manner.
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