In an effort to incorporate Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD), Volleyball Canada is recommending that Tripleball be the official competition format for regions able to run 13U and younger age categories. It is not recommended that Tripleball be used in the 14U age category when a 13U age category exists. It is recommended that Tripleball be played during the first half of the season in the 14U age category when a 13U age category does not exist. The goal of Tripleball is to promote better skill development, participation, meaningful competition, and fun.
The main catalyst for Volleyball Canada’s recommendation of Tripleball was the increased probability of creating a rally (more than one or two contacts). The committee strongly believes that successful rallies are an integral part of learning and enjoying the game.
Further, a series of statistics were compiled across Canada that revealed the following:
By initiating the rally with a serve in the 13U age group:
- 57% of rallies contain 2 or less contacts
- 29% of all serves were missed
- 28% of all serves were aces
- a second contact volley by the designated setter occurs 13% of the time in sideout
- a third contact attack occurs 16% of the time in sideout
- the average rally contains 0.28 attacks
- the average rally contains 4.16 contacts
By initiating the rally with a toss in the 13U age group:
- 99% of rallies contain 2 or more contacts
- a second contact volley by the designated setter occurs 64% of the time in sideout
- a third contact attack occurs 49% of the time in sideout
- the average rally contains 0.85 attacks
- the average rally contains 5.61 contacts
To compare, by using a toss to initiate a rally as opposed to a serve we see:
- 4 times the number of second contact volleys by the designated setter in sideout
- 3 times as many attacks in sideout
- 3 times as many attacks overall
- 1.5 more contact per rally
To summarize the data, tripleball provides more opportunities to volley, attack, block, play defense and transition than the adult version of volleyball. We also feel that having the outcome of the game more dependent on a team’s ability to build up a rally, play defense and transition encourages coaches to train these aspects of the game more during practice.
The rules not allowing players to switch positions during the rally lets every athlete experience the challenges of each position and helps them develop a wider range of abilities and a deeper understanding of the game.