Part of the purpose of this website is to provide unbiased information on volleyball. I’ve had an opportunity to use a number of different statistical programs and each has its pros and cons. There is no perfect statistical system out there, but I don’t think there will ever be a perfect statistical software because each coach has different wants and needs. Just as different players fit a coach’s style better, so does a statistical system.
Rotate 123, which we use at Winthrop for rotation and match-ups, has developed a statistical software, SoloStats 123. I have had a quick overview of the product from co-founder Kyle Mashima, and believe it has great functionality for a single coach to take stats, thus “Solo Stats”. The software will be able to tie in to video just like iVolleyStats. I believe a coach is able to take statistics during a match using this software or iVolleyStats or other software like StatEast or even Data Volley, but what is the rate of return during the match? Are the stats you are taking helping you to win that game or are the statistics you are taking being used for post match or tournament analysis? As a coach, you have to decide the “rate of return” on coaching the match vs. taking stats.
Following is from a comparison of iVolleyStats and SoloStats 123 from NC Volleyball Academy, Coach Jim Crossett. Jim is also an executive at IBM and graduate of Harvard Business School 😉 Jim provided this information to the Operations Manager at NC Elite and has allowed me to post this information:
“I haven’t used iVolleyStats myself but have looked at it, seen other coaches use it, and gotten some feedback from people I trust.
I think your choice depends on what you as a coach is trying to accomplish. I apologize for the long note below.
Pros for programs like iVolleyStats: Can capture in-rally stats, including non-point producing items like attack effciency as attack attempts are recorded, successful digs are also recorded, and often passing accuracy (i.e. 0-4 scale) can be collected by these in-rally tools.
Cons for programs like iVolleyStats: Using programs like this is difficult, if not impossible, for the head (active) coach to use while attempting to coach the game. Ideally you need an assistant coach or coaches, or possibly tech savvy parents to use the program to correctly collect the data. The lower end, affordable programs like iVolleyStats do not capture data by rotation, which often is very important to a coach for practice planning and can be heavily leveraged during a tournament day.
Pros for using SoloStats123: With practice, a head coach can record every point earned or lost by player and the skill used when winning or losing the point, while coaching the game. I find that helpful as I don’t have an assistant coach with me at tournaments and I don’t have any parents this season who really want to collect stats for me. So this is a life saver. As this program only records what caused the point to be earned or lost, I just touch 3 buttons (name, action, and enter) to record the rally result.
So every rally recorded in SoloStats123 has a record of the last touch (earned point or error) by your team and your opponent. The detail programmed in that collection through use of serving order, and therefore lineup rotations, means you receive a large amount of useful data real time and for analysis later via its web reports.
For example, Suzy on your team serves an ace. In this program you touch (I punch) the button labeled “Suzy”, touch the green earned button labeled “Ace” and then touch the button “Enter”. The program automatically updates the score. Records that ace for both Suzy and that rotation, and shows that your team, and Suzy specifically has the serve for the next rally.
When Suzy serves the next ball long and out of bounds, I touch “Suzy”, the orange error button “serve” and then touch “enter” to record the error. The program automatically records Suzy’s serving error, records an error and loss of point to both Suzy and that rotation, increases the running score by a point to the opponent and now shows that the opponent now has the serve for the next rally.
You get the idea.
I think that most teams at the Junior Club and High School levels are working on consistency in skills and increasing the termination frequency of the offense. SoloStats123 collects all the data required to do that.
Cons for SoloStats123: If you do still want to collect standard stats like passing accuracy (e.g. 0-4 scale), attack efficiency (recording all attack attempts), or successful digs (playable balls from opponent attacks), then another program or tally sheets would need to be used in conjunction with SoloStats. Again, I believe this would need to be done by an assistant coach or parent to collect all the relevant stats like that while the head coach stay engaged in the play at hand.
OR, you could collect those stats by watching the video of the matches at a later time. Which is what I tend to do for passing and set distribution.
I hope this helps you in some small way. If you and others in your club would like a demo, I could probably work something out to show you in a session we could arrange sometime after Big South. Just let me know.
As you can tell I am a convert to SoloStats123 for my particular coaching needs!”