Postural sway in volleyball players

V. Agostini, E. Chiaramello, L. Canavese, C. Bredariol and M. Knaflitz
Human Movement Science

The aim of this work was to analyze the postural sway of volleyball players in bipedal quiet stance. The center of pressure (CoP) was measured in 46 athletes and 42 non-athlete controls. Each subject was tested in 10 different conditions, 5 with their eyes open and 5 with their eyes closed. Volleyball players showed greater CoP ellipses, suggesting a different model of sensory integration in their postural stability. A multivariate approach to data analysis demonstrated that the postural sway of the two groups was different when the subjects kept their eyes open, but it was not with visual deprivation. This could partially be explained by the better ‘dynamic’ visual acuity of athletes, since possible (‘static’) refractive errors were corrected for both groups. Furthermore, we expected that national players, engaged in more intensive training programs, were more different from controls than regional ones, and that defensive players, whose role requires the quickest reaction times, were more different from controls than hitters. Our results confirmed these hypothesis. The protocol presented might be useful to assess the efficacy of intensive sport training programs and/or to select elite players with an aptitude for a specific playing position.

Read more