Procedural Knowledge, Decision Making and Performance in Women's Volleyball According to Age Group and Specific Experience

Rui Manuel Flores Araujo*, Jose Afonso Neves, Isabel Maria Ribeiro Mesquita
Center of Research, Education, Innovation and Intervention in Sport, Faculty of Sport, University of Oporto, Portugal

© 2012 Manuel Flores Araujo et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Faculdade de Desporto da Universidade do Porto Rua Dr. Plácido Costa, 91, 4200.450, Porto, Portugal; Tel: +351225074776; Fax: +351225500689; E-mail:


The purpose of this study was to analyze the procedural knowledge in action, decision-making and performance of the left-side attacker according to age group and specific experience, in women's volleyball. Four Portuguese women's teams participated in the present study: one under-16, one under-18 and two adult teams. A verbal interview protocol was implemented immediately after randomly chosen live game actions. The left-side attackers had to verbally respond to this question immediately following the execution of an attack, in 6 vs. 6 situations in practice. Players' decision-making and performance were analyzed by video images. Procedural knowledge was analyzed trough non-parametric statistics, namely Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney tests. Decision-making and performance were analyzed through Chi-square (ο2) testing. Results showed that adult teams and the more experienced left-side attackers generated more goal concepts and fewer condition concepts, were more often concerned with the opponent and less with teammates. Moreover, no differences in player's performance and decision-making were observed according to age group and experience as left-side attackers. Further research should consider the characterization of the training process, mainly focusing on the tactical contents, as the information provided could provide a better and deeper understanding about the players' tactical development.

Keywords: Expertise, Female Volleyball, Knowledge, Left-side attacker, Tactical indicators, Team Sports.