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Showing posts from July, 2009

JQAS Article Examines Match-Length Implications of Rally- vs. Server-Only Scoring

In the latest issue of the online Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, Balazs Kovacs presents an article entitled "The Effect of the Scoring System Changes in Volleyball: A Model and an Empirical Test" (the journal requires subscriptions, but free guest privileges are available). The article focuses on the change, implemented about a decade ago in many different levels of volleyball competition, from server-only scoring (with side-outs) to rally scoring.

Back when only the serving team could score, matches could drag on indefinitely if the receiving team kept winning rallies (i.e., siding-out); several plays would go by and the score would remain unchanged. Rally scoring was not necessarily adopted to make matches end more quickly, as the number of points needed to win a set (also known as a game) was increased from 15 to either 25 or 30 (depending on league) coinciding with the introduction of rally scoring (except for fifth games of a match). Rather, the change…

Yahoo Group: VolleyStats

A while back, I joined a Yahoo discussion group called VolleyStats. As a result, I've been receiving e-mails from the group that fall into two categories: junk messages and serious reports of statistical analysis from someone named Leo van Hal. Because van Hal's reports are written in Dutch, I really didn't learn anything more about volleyball from them than I did from the junk e-mails.

That situation recently changed, however. I found a new Google application website (new to me, at least) called Google Translate, which is quite easy to use. You simply type (or copy and paste) text from the originating language into a box, select the "from" and "to" languages, and click! van Hal's reports often contain graphs, so rather than copy and paste his entire paper into Google Translate, I do it a few paragraphs at a time, avoiding the graphs. The translations aren't always perfect, sometimes leaving me with odd English constructions. With a litt…