Beach Volleyball Timeouts


There has been a lot written about the impact of indoor volleyball timeouts, with the findings that timeouts don't impact the chances of siding out immediately afterwards. (A collation of which an be found here.)

Recently, through the generosity and support of Volleyball Australia, I was able to obtain a database of match analysis (similar to the work done using Datavolley for indoor volleyball), and analysed this, looking for indications of the impact of timeouts on match flow.

The data is predominantly from international competition, ranging through Olympic Games, to World Tour, to continental tour, to national tour. Nearly 1,300 matches were analysed, (over 3,700 timeouts).

The results of the analysis was that:
  • Sideout percentage after a timeout was not different to the overall sideout percentage for rallies not preceded by timeouts.
  • Specifically, the sideout percentages in points where there was no timeout taken immediately prior was 64.9%. The sideout percentage after a Technical Timeout was 65.0% and the sideout percentage after a regular Timeout was 64.0%.
So, from this analysis, there is no evidence that a timeout makes a difference to the likelihood of siding out the next rally.

There is a thorough explanation of the process gone through, by the spectacular Ben Raymond, here.

After investigating a number of different subsets of this data, there was some evidence found that timeouts make a difference in the following scenario:
  • When looking at data only from competitions lower level than World Tour, there seemed to be an increase in sideout percentage after a timeout (though the sample size is relatively small).
  • Specifically, there seemed to be an increase in sideout percentage if a timeout was called after losing one point on serve receive. That is, two points in a row. Particularly in the second half of a set. (A lesser increase was found after a run of 3 points against.)

Once again, thanks to Volleyball Australia for their support in this project.

(Photo Credit)

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