Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the anthropometric and physiological profiles of senior elite volleyball players according to their playing position.
Methods: Thirty six national volleyball players (age: 24.5±4.5 years) participated in this study. Players were classified to 5 groups according to playing position: setters (n=7), liberos (n=6), middle blockers (n=8), receiver attackers (n=9) and back court attackers (n=6). Physiological variables consists of aerobic fitness (shuttle run test), anaerobic fitness (15s ergojump test), flexibility (sit and reach test), speed (40 yard running), agility (4×9 m test), explosive power (vertical jump) and anthropometric variables consists of weight, height and body fat percent (5 sites skinfold) of participants were measured. Also, their somatotype characteristics were calculated.
Results: Liberos were the thinner and shorter than other players (p<0.05), they also had more agility (p<0.05). Middle blockers and receive attackers were more ectomorph and mesomorph than other player, respectively (p<0.05). Setters and liberos had poorer vertical jump performance than other groups (p<0.05). In addition, Setters and liberos had more flexibility than others (p<0.05). There were no other significant differences in physiological and anthropometric variables across playing positions.
Conclusion: These results suggest that anthropometric and physiological differences exist among volleyball player who play in different position. These differences fit with their different workload in a game. From a practical perspective, sport scientists and coaches should take the physiological and anthropometric characteristics of volleyball players into account when designing individualized position-specific training programs and talent identification.
Key words: Volleyball, Physical fitness, Body composition, Somatotype