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Perfect 10 Statistics

Perfect 10 StatisticsStatistics in volleyball have come a long way, especially with the advancement of technology and the myriad of statistical softwares. After attending the AVCA Convention in Seattle and sitting-in on a few educational sessions, I’ve come to the realization that the statistical pendulum has swung too far. Coaches and players have become inundated with statistics to the point where it is overwhelming, time consuming and a resource hog. We are over-analyzing every movement to the point of paralysis. “Paralysis by analysis”.

Complex statistics has it’s place, for some coaches, but I believe statistics today are ultimately separating coaches and players. There are a few players that can grasp statistics, but a vast majority do not understand the true benefits. In addition, most players do not know how to correlate statistics and effectively apply them to improve a specific movement or skill (for that matter, many coaches do not know how to explain statistics in simplistic terms to better a player). Coaches are speaking Chinese to the Twitter-Americans.

We need to simplify – Keep It Simple Stupid. I have been chewing on what I call “Perfect 10 Statistics” for awhile, but have yet to implement it. Maybe Coaches will find value in an easier form of statistical information that coaches and players can not only understand, but apply in the practice environment. I also believe that current statistical software can easily adapt to utilize this form of keeping stats. Ultimately, it is a Team stat, that puts together all the skills during a rally.

Perfect 10 Statistics records the pass, set, and hit and based off of all three of these skills, the team has an opportunity to earn 10 points. The maximum number of points each skill can earn (pass, set, or hit) is 3 points. Therefore, a passer can earn 3 points, a setter can earn 3 points, and a hitter can earn 3 points. 3 + 3 + 3 = 9 points. If the team earns 9 points, I give them a bonus point to make it a “Perfect 10”.

This statistical system is based off the  3 point passing scale. If you are not already familiar with the 3 point passing scale, the scale works like this:

3 points – a passer receives for a perfect pass to the setter (based on the coaches parameters of a perfect pass) that allows 3 setting options (outside, middle, and opposite)
2 points – a pass that pulls the setter off the net and allows only 2 setting options
1 point – a pass that only allows for 1 setting option
0 points – an errant (shanked) pass
This same stat is used for a dig rating.

For setters, the 3 point setting scale works like this:

3 points – a setter receives for a perfect set. A perfect set allows 3 hitting options (line, angle, roll/tip)
2 points – a set that only allows 2 hitting options. For example, an inside set typically only allows the hitter angle or roll/tip
1 point – a set that only allows 1 hitting option. Typically, this would be a tight set that only allows the hitter to tip over the block
0 point – a setting error (such as a double contact)

For hitters, a 4 point scale is as follows:

4 points – a hitter receives 4 points for a kill
3 points – a hit that takes the opposing team Out of System (the opposing team’s dig has only 1 setting option)
2 points – a hit in which the opposing team’s dig has 2 setting options
1 point – a hit that is dug perfectly with 3 setting options
0 point – a hitting error

In addition, we can now track digs with this system using the passing 3 point scale (after the initial pass received from serve, all digs are kept with this same passing scale). I believe this is one of the least kept statistics, but one of the most important.

Obviously, I believe there are great benefits to this simplistic system and of course it does not keep into account every contact (such as the block or serve – although serve is the inverse of the pass), but I believe teams can benefit greatly by everyone understanding the importance of each contact and how it affects the whole. Typically, passers do not receive the same “celebratory” attention as hitters, but this system stresses the importance of the pass. Obviously, if the pass doesn’t get to the net, the next two skills are not performed.

Something to chew on. Your opinions are greatly appreciated.

20 comments

  1. I love the simplicity of it Chuck. It is definitely better then nothing. Because what gets measured gets managed and what gets managed gets done. Some would argue that it is better than what we have just by it’s simplicity. I agree that some stats are more noise than clarity.

    My one complaint is that it doesn’t predict future results directly. However, over a period time, the information gathered will give you information on what you need to get better at. Information that helps a teacher/coach tremendously.

    One other thing… I like the sound of 10, but not as much as 9 if it means giving an arbitrary point.

    Love it. Thanks for sharing!

    DH

  2. Hi David,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, as they carry much weight coming from you.

    Good point about not providing proactive information. This system is obviously in its infancy, if it grows, I assume it can be expanded upon in that way. But again, it should stay simple, for the players and coaches.

    I’m honestly not fond of the arbitrary point either. I question how it could skew real data, but the purpose of the system is for the players. Using the terminology “Perfect 10” could be a psychological motivation for the players…and it is easier to remember.

    Thanks again…Chuck

  3. Hello Chuck,

    I like the perfect 10 idea. We are always looking for ways to challenge our athletes more than just the traditional you hit .300. I like the team concept that it adds to the rally. I think grow it in a practice setting where the setter gets a 3 option pass and wants to deliver a 3 option set, now the hitter doesn’t want to be the one to lower the number with 1 hit. By learning this team competitiveness in practice will only enhance the results in matches.

    JB

  4. Well, if you are trying to fit it to 10, why not create 4 points for passing. Add a “4” for a perfect pass, not just a pass that gives the setter three effective options?

  5. Hey Chuck,

    I really like this and the way that it can apply to scoring drills in practice as well as in the match. My team is struggling with their overall consistency out of serve receive and I am already putting together a perfect 10 scoring serve receive drill.

    Thanks for that.

    I also like the idea of scoring each rotation. The rotations with the highest average score would be your most successful and let you know which rotations you are weakest in. It would be easy to keep track of this by hand on the bench and would likely provide some valuable feedback about where subs may be best used later in the match.

    By introducing the scoring during practice and making it a game, you can teach your players the scoring and increase the possibility using it effectively to motivate in match situations.

    I’m going to stop now. The possibilities for this are abundant. Thanks for sharing. I will give Coach Rey credit every time that I introduce this to a team.

  6. Thanks JB!

    Hitting % is not an easy number for players to comprehend during a match (statistics typically aren’t considered during play anyway). Hitting % is Kills – Errors/Total Attempts. It teaches: make a kill, don’t make an error. What about the swings, the attempts, that are dug?

    The Team concept is the focus. It can also be easily remembered by a coach or even some players during a rally…

    Chuck

  7. I considered 4 point for perfect pass situations too. I know some teams use a 4, 5 and even 6 point scale, but that makes it more complicated already. I know it doesn’t sound like it, but with a 3 point scale for each skill, each contact is weighed the same. In addition, players can easily remember each scale through the system.

    It’s not a perfect system, and certainly room for growth. Each coach can also manipulate to fit their needs.

  8. Hi Mati,

    Thanks for the awesome input! I’d love to know more about the drill that you are putting together!

    I haven’t even gone the route of scoring rotations yet. Sounds like a great set of numbers to easily tell the best rotations.

    I’m certainly not looking for credit, I’m looking for ways to improve our game (and grow it too!).

  9. Hey Chuck,

    I really like this system you have created for a few reasons…

    1) It places a strong emphasis on the initial pass, not just the end result of an attack.
    2) It is not a “this or that” stat (kill vs hitting error). The varying degree of success will also push passers who normally only produce 2 point passes to strive for 3 point passes because the team is counting on them. Setters will focus on delivering a perfect set, not just something that is “good enough”
    3) It is simple to understand for the players and can be used as a motivational tool during games. Ex) let’s try to keep our average play above 7 points and keep our opponents under 5 points.
    4) the setter and hitter can “make up” for points lost previously. Ex) a passer delivers a 1-point pass but the setter scrambles and makes a great play so that they can still add their 3 points to the total.

    In terms of the bonus point, I think team movement before receiving an attack / serve and during the hit is just as important as the attack itself. So.. if the defense was set up correctly and every other player covered the hitter then the team could earn a “Perfect 10”. However, if one player didn’t perform all of their defensive responsibilities then they would hold their back.

    Your system is something that I will absolutely be incorporating with my team, starting at tonight’s practice. I’m sure I can come up with some fun games to play incorporating this scoring system.

    Thanks for the idea!

    -Matt

  10. Thanks Chuck,

    I’ve been struggling with topic. This is very helpful info. I will keep you posted on my progress. Take care.
    – RAD

  11. Hey Chuck, I like the system because it allows a team score every time the ball crossed the net (I assume you could use it beginning with digs as well?). One idea to get rid of the arbitrary point would be the four point passing scale. How would that affect this scale? Someone above mentioned not being able to predict future performance. But I think that the reason stats have become so insanely and overly in-depth is because coaches are trying to do that very thing…and it’s not possible.

  12. Big John,

    Definitely for digs too! I considered the 4 point for perfect pass situations too. I know some teams use a 4, 5 and even 6 point scale, but that makes it more complicated already. I know it doesn’t sound like it, but with a 3 point scale for each skill, each contact is weighed the same. In addition, players can easily remember each scale through the system.

    The system certainly room for growth. Each coach can also manipulate to fit their needs.

  13. Chuck,

    I think that this would be a great idea for practices if you are using some time of a “cauldron” in your practices.

  14. Coach Rey, I recently came across your website and have really enjoyed reading the posts and comments from other coaches. I started taking stats on digging last year, but never thought about combining with setting and hitting. There have been comments about making this a true 10 point scale by adding a 4-point scale for passing. I like the idea of having a true 10 point, but I use a 4-point scale for hitting. I also use a 4 point for serving. Could it be a 4 point attack scale, 3 point pass/dig scale, and 3 point set scale? It’s easier for me to think about matching up results with each other. I use the same scale for serving/passing and attacking/digging.

    K OS PD E
    Attack – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 – 0
    Digging- 0 – 1 – 2 – 3

    Thanks for your posts!

  15. Like others, I love the simplicity of the idea. I have been developing an app that will allow for easy skills tracking, practice evaluations and many other volleyball related necessities.

    I would love to build this into the app with your permission. Let me know your thoughts…if you or anyone else has any other ideas I am willing to join forces and build them. You can see a what is in beta right now at by checking our facebook page ivolleybug

  16. Hi Skip,

    Thanks for appreciating the new thought process on stats! Please feel free to include Perfect 10 Stats with your App. Looks like a cool new app.

    Chuck

  17. Nephtali Delgado

    Hi Coach : I hope that everything is great fro you, thanks for share thatinformation to the volleyball community! Really enjoy when i read your articles and all the information you posetd in the website.

    Good luck,

    Nephtali

  18. Coach Rey, I really like the simplistic approach and mindset this concept provides. It will definitely allow the players to be more mindful of their touches and bring some synergy to the TEAM sport.

    One question is, how do you recommend tracking touches which do not comform to the standard three touch (pass, set, hit) concept? For example, a player digs a ball resulting in a perfect pass to the setter (3 points!) and the setter chooses to dump or hit the ball instead of setting one of the hitters. How does the setter’s action get scored in this Perfect 10 Statistics concept?

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