The present study aimed to analyze the water polo matches of the men's World Championships, comparing technical and tactical aspects of winning and losing teams, during closed (≤ 3 goals of margin of victory at the end of the 4(th) quarter; winning, W; losing, L) and unbalanced (>3 goals; winning, MW; losing, ML) games. Therefore, 42 of the 48 (6 were draw at end of the 4(th) quarter) matches were considered. According to each game situation (i.e., even, counterattack, power-play, transition), a notational analysis was performed in relation to the following aspects: occurrence of actions, action outcome, execution and origin of shots, and mean duration. In addition, the occurrence of the offensive (and role) and defensive arrangements of even and power-play were analyzed. To show differences (p < 0.05) in terms of margin of victory, an analysis of variance was applied. Although ML (74 ± 11%) performed more even actions than W (68 ± 7%) and MW (69 ± 6%), the latter teams (W = 9 ± 6%; MW = 13 ± 6%) performed more counterattacks than L (3 ± 2%) and ML (5 ± 5%). Power-play is more played during closed (W = 20 ± 3%; L = 22 ± 3%) than unbalanced games (MW = 17 ± 4%; ML = 16 ± 7%). Moreover, differences in terms of margin of victory emerged for mean duration (even, power-play, transition), action outcome (even, power-play), zone origin (even, counterattack, power-play) and technical execution (even, power-play) of shots, and even and power-play offensive (and role) and defensive arrangements. Divergences mainly emerged between closed and unbalanced games, highlighting that the water polo matches of the men's World Championships need to be analyzed either considering the winning and losing outcome of match and specific margins of victory. Thus, coaches can advance their knowledge, considering that closed and unbalanced games are largely characterized by the opponent's exclusion fouls to perform power-play actions, and by a divergent grade of defensive skills regardless of game situation, respectively. Key pointsThe water polo matches of the men's World Championships need to be analyzed considering successful/unsuccessful teams as well as specific margins of victory.Closed matches are mainly characterized by a high occurrence of the opponent's exclusion fouls to perform the power-play actions.For the unbalanced matches, a divergent grade of defensive skills between teams has been highlighted.Coaches can improve their training, considering the opponent's exclusion fouls to perform the power-play actions towards a closed match, and caring the defensive skills of each game situation towards an unbalanced match.
Notational analysis of elite men’s water polo related to specific margins of victory / Lupo, C; Condello, G; Tessitore, A.. - In: JOURNAL OF SPORTS SCIENCE AND MEDICINE. - ISSN 1303-2968. - 11:3(2012), pp. 516-525.
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