Background Some time analysis studies in men's top-level volleyball have been reported, but no studies exist from the youth boy's top-level. The purpose of this study was to conduct a time analysis in men's and youth boy's top-level volleyball to update the current data and to compare the results between men and boys.
Design, setting, and methods Four men's matches (finals and semi-finals of the 2008 Olympic Games, OG08) and four youth boy's matches (finals and semi-finals of the 2009 Youth U19 Boy's European Championships, YEC09) were analyzed using Dartfish TeamPro 5.5 -software. The duration of the rallies, sets (no fifth sets), breaks between rallies (no time outs or breaks between sets) and sets were analyzed. The accuracy of the time analysis was 0.04 s. The t test for independent samples was used to compare the results between the groups.
Results The duration of the rallies in OG08 and YEC09 was 5.45±4.77 s and 5.76±4.40 s (ns), the number of rallies per set 45.3±5.1 and 44.0±6.7 (ns), the duration of the breaks between rallies 23.54±5.55 s and 19.99±5.70 s (p<0.001), the duration of the sets 1582±133 s and 1412±143 s (p<0.01) and the duration of the breaks between sets 217±17 s and 213±20 s (ns), respectively.
Conclusions The duration of the rallies in men's matches was very close to the previously presented values. The number of rallies per set has constantly been around 45 in the Olympic matches in the 21st century. The duration of the breaks between rallies on the other hand has increased and thus the total length of the sets has increased approximately 4 min. In the boy's matches the duration of the breaks between rallies was significantly shorter than in the men's matches and thus also the total duration of the sets was shorter.