Blocking analysis

Analysis of team and individual blocking performance from DataVolley files. See the 'About' tab for details on methods. Contact: .

Dataset selection

You can also upload a file and it will be added to the datasets list.

Report settings

News and updates

March 2020

- Adjustments to cope with some scouting conventions

August 2019

- Middle blocker detail tab added

- App has been rewritten with improved interface, rotation options, and support for VBStats files

February 2019

- Example data set added, other minor updates

August 2018

- Additional detail added to the blocking report

Blocking reports

Note: values for TEAM are based on all opposition attacks. Values for individual players are based on attacks against this blocker (i.e. when this blocker participated in the block).

Your uploaded files are processed and combined into a working data set. The output from the processing script and summaries of the data set are shown in this section. It is worth checking this log to make sure the processing went OK.

In particular, you will want to ensure that the team_id and player_id values are consistent across different data files. The team_id and player_id values are used to uniquely identify each team and player, and so if a player has different identifiers in different files, the app will think that these are different players.

Data processing log

The output from the processing script is shown below. It is worth checking this log to make sure the processing went OK.

Teams summary

The list of team names and team_id values. If a team appears more than once, it likely has different team_id values in different files.

Matches summary

A summary of the matches in this data set. This might help find duplicate or missing matches.

Players summary

The list of player names and player_id values. If a player appears more than once, they likely have different player_id values in different files.

Three subscription options are available:

Single user

  • $12 AUD per month (approx. $9 USD or €7,50 EUR at current exchange rates)
User plus 3 subaccounts

  • the main user is responsible for data upload and management
  • up to three additional 'subaccount' users have read-only access to the main user's data
  • subaccount users will see all data sets in the main user's account
  • $24 AUD per month (approx. $17 USD or €15 EUR at current exchange rates)
User plus 15 subaccounts

  • the main user is responsible for data upload and management
  • up to 15 additional 'subaccount' users have read-only access to the main user's data
  • the main user can control which data sets are visible to the subaccount users
  • $40 AUD per month (approx. $29 USD or €24 EUR at current exchange rates)


The results will be logged to help improve the app. Your DataVolley or VBStats files (if uploaded) will not be kept.

Blocking report

The app calculations can be broken down into three broad steps:

  1. Figure out the position in which each player blocks when they are front row.
  2. Figure out which blockers participated in the block against each opposition attack.
  3. Use that information to generate a range of performance indicators for individual and team blocking.

For this app to be useful, you either need files in which the number of blockers has been recorded on all attacks (these can be VBStats or DataVolley files), OR you need files that use the standard attack codes (X5, V5, etc).

The options that you choose will be determined by the source of your data files, the scouting conventions that you have used.

Inferring player positions (#1 above)

  • If your data have been scouted using VBStats, we do not have reliable player role information (the files do not reliably tell us which players are middles and which are outside hitters, for example). Choose one of the "Fixed rotation" options for the "Infer player positions from" setting. A fixed "S-H-M" rotation means that an outside hitter follows the setter in the rotation (e.g. when the setter is in position 1, the hitter is in 2 and the middle in 3). "S-M-H" means that a middle hitter follows the setter in the rotation (e.g. when the setter is in position 1, the middle is in 2 and the outside hitter in 3). Opposites are always opposite the setter.
  • If you have players that change roles from match to match (or even set to set) then you should also choose one of the "Fixed rotation" options.
  • If your files have been scouted using DataVolley, and your target team does not follow one of the fixed rotation options (or you do not know what rotation the target team uses), then you can choose the "Player roles" option. However, in our experience (especially if files have been scouted by different scouts) the player role information in files can be inconsistent, which might give inaccurate results.

Figuring out blocker participation (#2 above)
There are two components to this. The first is the "Blocking strategy" selection, for which there is currently only one option - "Standard" strategy. This means that we are assuming that outside hitters block in position 4, middles in 3, and opposites/setters in 2. The exception to this is when the blocking team is receiving with the setter in position 1, in which case the opposite blocks in 4 and the outside in 2.
The second component is the "Number of blockers from" selection.

  • Choosing "Scouted number of blockers" will make use of the number of blockers that was recorded against each attack. Based on this number, and our tabulation of which players block in which position, we can make an educated guess as to which players were participating in the block against each opposition attack. For example, for an attack from position 4 that was scouted with 1 blocker, the blocker in position 2 is expected to be the blocker. If the scouted number of blockers was two, then the middle is assumed to also be blocking. Quick attacks (other than slide attacks) are always assumed to be blocked first by the middle blocker, and then joined by whichever other blocker is closest if multiple blockers were scouted.
    Choose this option if you have data files that were scouted using VBStats, or if you use DataVolley with non-standard attack codes.
  • Choosing "Probability table" means that the blockers that are expected to participate in the block on a given attack are figured out based on the scouted attack code and start zone of the attack. For example, for a high attack from position 4 (attack combination code V5) the middle and position-2 blockers would always be expected to block, and the position-4 blocker would be expected to join (to make a triple block) about half the time. For a faster-tempo outside attack (attack combination code X5) only the middle and position-2 blockers would be expected to block.
    Note that this option only works with standard, unmodified DataVolley attack codes.

Generating performance indicators (#3 above) Based on this information, the number and types of block attempts are calculated for each blocking player, and player statistics (block kills, opposition attack percentage and efficiency, etc) are calculated.

This approach can be more informative than traditional blocking stats (simple counts of block kills or touches) because it gives a more accurate reflection of the participation of an individual blocker, including in double- or triple-blocks. It can reveal blockers that have an influence on the opposition's attack, even if that influence does not show itself as direct block kills or touches.

Customized reporting

Variations to these assumptions are possible if your team does not follow the above patterns. For example, the front-row blocking position of each player can be inferred from the data, rather than assuming the blocking positions described above. For this or other functionality (e.g. recognizing your custom attack combination codes, or bulk processing of multiple files), contact .


Example data set

The '2017-18 PlusLiga' example data set (16 matches from that season) was kindly provided by Mark Lebedew.

Version: , using datavolley version 0.16.6