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iVolleyStats vs SoloStats 123 for iPad

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!”

7 comments

  1. Don’t forget, iVolleyStats has a connection to TouchStat to easily allow you to split video to the contact level. iVolleyStats and TouchStat combined gives you an incredibly powerful solution – similar to the basic approach of DataVolley which costs many hundreds of dollars!

  2. istatvball 2 — seems to be far better than both.

    I agree that solostats is easier for a coach to use, but for me I can’t use either and still coach.

    The data you can get from istatvball 2 is amazing!

  3. solostats also can’t seem to show more than like 8 players on the screen, so I”m not sure how you stat a team with say > 8 players … I also wish it had some kind of lineup capability

  4. Bruce Shainwald

    Latest version (1.2) of SoloStats shows all of your teams players on the screen at the same time. (Older version you had to scroll up or down to get to those other couple of players.) New revision also provides in-play collection of data such as digs, hit attempts, and pass rating (1-3, plus receive error). I used it at my last tournament of the season and plan to use it exclusively next season in place of iStatVBall 2, which I also loved. Kyle Mashima is very open to suggestions and willing to discuss the rationale behind their implementation decisions.

  5. I always wanted to design my own stats recording apps for scouting purposes: to record down other team’s set distribution or setter’s habit / tendency. I totally agree with you that there’s no perfect apps as different coach has different needs. I normally look for set distribution of a setter with respect to different incoming pass (1,2,3,4), hitters’ hitting habit or tendency (line, cross, deeep cross or tips) and the depth of the hit (deep or sharp) with respect to the assist and numbers of blocker(s). I have huge problem here in Malaysia as we don’t have assistant coach and not much of other coaches are familiar with doing statistic. Headache…

  6. I am in step one and need to buy our team an iPad first, then using all of your wonderful feedbacks to figure out a software to try. Do any of you need more then 32GB to do the job? I plan to have an app on it to review skills forms also, but that is all.
    Thanks!

  7. Hi Marnie,

    The largest files will come from video and I only have an 8GB iphone that stores a ton a video clips. If you upload HD matches to your iPad, then I can foresee having issues, but if you are recording using your iPad camera, I don’t think you’ll need anymore than even the 16GB. It also depends on how long you want to save those videos on you iPad. You could always use iCloud or YouTube to upload videos too.

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