Anthropometric and psychophysiological characteristics of top female volleyballers in relation to the players’ position on the court
Keywords: female volleyballers in different positions, anthropometric measurements, psychophysiological tests
AbstractThe aim of the current study was to find if the players who play in different positions in Estonian top female teams can be differentiated by their body build and psychophysiological characteristics. The study involved four female teams of the Estonian league: Viimsi Spa, Viljandi Metall, Tallinn University and the Junior National Team. In total, 41 female volleyballers were studied; they were divided as follows: first tempo attackers – 13, setters – 8, diagonal attackers – 6, second tempo attackers – 9, liberos – 5. Twelve anthropometric measurements were taken and eight indices were calculated from the measurement results. Psychophysiological tests were conducted, using the computer program WinPsycho, on all the 41 subjects three times during the season. Psychophysiological studies consisted in measuring simple and complex reaction times and anticipation time. Anthropometric and psychophysiological variables were statistically analysed according to the players’ positions on the court. The mean values of variables of the four participating teams were also analysed.
Anthropometric data – both basic characteristics and indices – show great individual variability. However, there were statistically significant differences between the groups of players only in height, weight and horizontal arms spread. The results of psychophysiological tests did not differ statistically significantly between players in different positions. Still, the reaction times shortened towards the end of the season. The analysis of volleyballers’ mean reaction times according to teams showed that the reaction times of three teams improved during the season. Tallinn University was the only team whose reaction times worsened. Viljandi Metall was statistically significantly better compared to Viimsi Spa. Both of them were also the strongest clubs during the 2011/2012 season. Consequently, psychophysiological tests reflect the intensity and level of coaching in the teams.