Sotirios Drikos, Ioannis Ntzoufras and Nikolaos Apostolidis
In volleyball, due to the sequential structure of the game, each outcome results from events that follow consistent consecutive patterns: pass–set–attack–outcome, serve–outcome and block–dig–set–counter attack–outcome. There are three possible outcomes: point won, point lost, and rally continuation. With the aim of quantifying the importance of volleyball skills, data of world champions of the male International Volleyball Federation tournaments for three age categories (Youth, Juniors and Men) were used to construct a transition matrix between subsequent moves and skills within the game. A Dirichlet-Multinomial Bayesian model was used to estimate the transition probabilities between the subsequent moves along with the marginal probability of success of each skill in the complex. The prior distribution of each transition probabilities between moves/skills was elicited to incorporate experts' opinion. For the final evaluation of the skills a simple Monte Carlo scheme was applied to obtain a random sample from the posterior distribution. The findings of the study indicate that the relative importance of volleyball skills is robust across world champions of different age categories. Slight variations are observed on specific skills. A new index (Quantile Mid-range Ratio) is proposed for highlighting skills that are valuable for team’s gameplay.
Christos Marmarinos, Nikolaos Apostolidis, Nikolaos Kostopoulos and Alexandros Apostolidis
Team offense in basketball games consists of a set of offensive actions carried out with the cooperation of two or more players. Of these actions, the most commonly used in the last decade is the on-ball screen called the “pick and roll.” The aim of this study was to analyze all of the pick and rolls conducted in the Euroleague championship from all of the 24 participating teams and to investigate the possible relationships between success in the pick and roll and overall success of the teams. For this purpose, 12,376 pick and rolls from 502 matches were analyzed and classified in categories according to the end result of the offensive possession. The results showed that the most effective type of pick and roll offense was when a shot was attempted after 2 passes from the pick and roll occurrence, followed by the screener’s shot when he rolled to the basket. Additionally, linear regression analysis confirmed that pick and roll effectiveness could predict the final classification of the teams. Conclusively, coaches of the high level European clubs should focus on training the players to the most efficient phases of the pick and roll offense, so that the chances of winning the championship to be maximized.