Influence of Contextual Variables on Performance of the Libero Player in Top-Level Women’s Volleyball

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Antonio Garcia-de-Alcaraz, Laura Usero

Sports performance changes dynamically according to multiple variables during a match. Contextual variables play an important role in complex situations and influence player’s performance depending on the player’s role. The aim of this study was to analyze performance of the libero player in terms of contextual variables in top-level women’s volleyball. The sample comprised 1,597 actions performed by libero players in 49 sets (13 matches) played in the Spanish Queen’s Cups from 2015 to 2017. The variables analyzed were: the game phase, the match period, the set period, match status, the type of the match, and action performance. The results revealed higher participation in the reception and digging, and top performance in reception and setting. The participation of the libero player decreased at the end of the match and the set as well as in advantage score situations, while performance got worse at the end of the set (especially in digs, p < .05) and improved in score advantage situations (especially in receptions, p < .05). Performance remained stable regardless of the type of the match (p > .05). These results may be useful to coaches in order to plan and design specific tasks coherent with libero competition demands and performance values.
DOI: 10.2478/hukin-2019-0032
Key words
team sports, performance analysis, game phase, player’s role

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