Damjana Cabarkapa1, Dimitrije Cabarkapa1, & Andrew Fry1

1Jayhawk Athletic Performance Laboratory – Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance, Department of Health, Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas

As one of the most fundamental skills in volleyball, countermovement vertical jump (CVJ) has been commonly implemented in the applied sports setting as a non-invasive and time-efficient assessment of athletes’ lower-body neuromuscular function. PURPOSE: The purpose of the present study was to examine the differences in CVJ characteristics between starters and non-starters within a cohort of professional female volleyball players. METHODS: Nineteen athletes (age= 21.6±2.8 yrs; hgt= 181.5±7.0 cm; wgt= 74.2±8.3 kg) competing in one of the top European leagues (i.e., SuperLeague) volunteered to participate in the present investigation. The athletes were divided into two groups: starters (n=9) and non-starters (n=10). Following a standardized dynamic warm-up protocol, each athlete performed three maximal-effort CVJs with no arm swing (i.e., hands on the hips) while standing on a uni-axial force plate system sampling at 1000 Hz, with a 15-sec rest interval between each jump trial. The following force-time metrics were used for performance analysis purposes: braking phase duration and impulse, eccentric and concentric duration, mean and peak force and power, contraction time, jump height, and reactive strength index-modified. Mann-Whitney or independent t-tests were used to examine statistically significant differences in each dependent variable between the starters and non-starters (p<0.05). In addition, Hedge’s g was used to calculate the magnitude of between-group differences. RESULTS: No statistically significant differences were observed in force-time metrics during both eccentric and concentric phases of CVJ between the players included in the starting lineup and their substitutions, with the effect sizes being small to moderate in magnitude (Table 1). CONCLUSIONS: The findings of the present study reveal that starters and non-starters have similar CVJ characteristics. While further research is warranted on this topic, these results suggest that securing a position in a starting lineup at the professional level of volleyball competition may be more contingent on the player’s ability to proficiently execute sport-specific skills (e.g., blocking, attacking), rather than the performance on the CVJ assessment, considering that the observed values for both groups fall within the desired ranges.

Table 1.docx (15 kB)
Table 1

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