AN EXAMINATION OF THE BIOMECHANICAL FACTORS THAT PRODUCE SPIN ON A VOLLEYBALL IN THE SKILL OF SPIKING

  • J. Pierre Baudin
  • Pierre Gervais
  • Tom Wu

Abstract

Spiking is the most important attacking skill in the sport of volleyball and its effectiveness is in large part determined by the amount of topspin it has after leaving the attacker's hand. A spinning volleyball, because of the lift forces produced by the Magnus effect, has the advantage of being able to be hit with greater velocity, higher above the net, and at flatter angles over the net than balls with little or no spin while still landing in the court on the opposite side. For spin to be produced on the volleyball a torque must be applied by some external force not acting through the axis of rotation found at its center of mass. The technique that produces this in a volleyball spike seems to be agreed upon in the instructional literature (Howard, 1996; Scates, 1993). It is described as being produced by the heel or palm of the hand contacting first and then the fingers wrapping over top. However, very little research done on spiking has examined the hand contact with the ball (Alexander and Seaborn, 1980; Maxwell, 1982) and none has examined the actual torque production mechanism. Therefore, it was the purpose of this study to determine the biomechanical factors that produce the spin on a volleyball during the spiking action.
Published
2008-03-25
Section
Coaching and Sports Activities