Factors that differentiate winners and losers in water polo shooting
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Water polo research is limited in the area of match analysis and tactics, due to the majority of research concentrating on the technical side of the game. The purpose of this study was to identify differences between winning and losing team’s shots and their efficiency in water polo, and also between genders. Variables were grouped into four categories: shot situation, type of shot, position across the pool the shot was taken from and distance from goal line shot position. Efficiency of these were also observed to determine the shot success rate from each variable. 22 matches (12 women’s and 10 men’s) from the classification rounds, quarter finals, semi-finals and final of the water polo tournament London 2012 Olympic Games were analysed. Wilcoxon Signed Ranks tests were used to compare winners and losers, while Mann Whitney U tests were used to compare genders. Apart from goals, the only significant difference found between winning and losing teams were the number of power shots (winners: 14.1 ± 3.15, losers: 16.0 ± 3.31, p=0.035). However 11 significantly different variables were revealed between genders, in particular: Tip shots (women: 1.0 ± 1.1, men: 2.5 ± 1.7, p=0.002), Penalties (women: 1.3 ± 0.7, men: 0.6 ± 0.9, p=0.004), Lob shot (women: 3.5 ± 2.0, men: 1.7 ± 1.4, p=0.002) and Bounce shot (women: 8.5 ± 3.3, men: 5.4 ± 2.5, p=0.002). Therefore more differences were identified between genders than winning and losing teams, showing that genders play water polo in a different manner to the other. The results from this study could allow coaches to plan training sessions that focus on the specific areas that are found to be more successful in matches, in order to improve shot success rates in future matches.
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT AND EXERCISE SCIENCE
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