Comparison of Morphological Profiles and Performance Variables Between Female Volleyball Players of the First and Second Division In Portugal

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Alberto Carvalho, Paulo Roriz, Daniel Duarte

Knowledge of players’ anthropometric profiles may contribute to a better understanding of the differences between their performance levels. For example, vertical jump height, which is a major indicator of a volleyball player’s performance, is influenced by favorable anthropometric variables. This study’s aim was to describe anthropometric profiles of elite female volleyball players competing in the 1st and 2nd divisions in Portugal and to link these profiles with performance skills such as jump height obtained during blocking and spiking actions. Fifty-nine volleyball players were analyzed according to their competitive level, forming three independent groups: GA (n = 20, A1 division, ranked first), GB (n = 21, A1 division, ranked last) and GC (n = 18, A2 division). Anthropometric data collected included body mass and height, arm span, seven skinfolds (triceps, biceps, subscapular, suprailiac, abdominal, thigh and calf), four body perimeters (relaxed brachial, contracted brachial, thigh and calf), and two body diameters (humeral and femoral). Performance data included the height obtained during block and spike actions. Significant differences were found between groups (GA/GB from A1 and GC from A2). Players in the GA had the highest body mass (68.05 ± 6.62 kg, p < 0.05), body height (176.35 ± 6.21 cm, p < 0.05), arm span (177.59 ± 6.09 cm, p < 0.05), lean mass (53.51 ± 4.94 kg, p < 0.05) and vertical jump heights (block: 0.36 ± 0.06 m and spike: 0.43 ± 0.05 m, p < 0.05). As expected, the fat mass percentage of GA players was the lowest (21.30 ± 2.61%). The results suggest that anthropometric profiles of volleyball players may vary according to the competitive level. The higher body mass, body height, arm span, and lean mass presented by GA players in comparison with GC players suggest these variables are important for top-level performance, since these athletes also exhibited higher jump heights. Variables such as height and arm span have a considerable genetic influence and could be important for early talent identification in volleyball. Other variables such as body mass, lean mass and vertical jump performance are more complex, since they also reflect the effects of environmental and training conditions.
DOI: 10.2478/hukin-2019-0076
Key words
anthropometric characteristics, volleyball, somatotype, vertical jump

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