Non-Verbal Communication and Volleyball: A New Way to Approach the Phenomenon


  • Gaetano Raiola University of Salerno, University of Basilicata, Italy
  • Alfredo Di Tore University of Salerno, University of Basilicata, Italy


Too often in sports the qualitative aspects of performance are addressed with superficially and approximation because
it believes that it is not scientifically possible to explain everything that is not easily quantifiable and expressible in the form of
numbers. In volleyball, the ball is rejected, both among members of a team and between the two opposing teams, with a
frequency significantly greater than in other team sports. For this reason, in volleyball, not immediately quantifiable aspects of
the game action are greater than other team sports. The qualitative aspects in volleyball concern technical skills, tactical
decisions, strategy and more. Among these, non-verbal communication has not yet been considered as an object of study and
thus not yet investigated. This study provides the initiation of an integrated research between social science and sports science
to allow technicians, coaches and physical education teachers to learn more about another important aspect of quality for the
purposes of training and education. The aim is to identify applications of the principles of nonverbal communication, which has
its own epistemological framework, to volleyball through the systematic analysis of specific game situations. The method
integrates the theoretical-argumentative and descriptive approach. Communicative events attributable to non-verbal
communication were classified into three categories: communication tactics, functional communication and diagnostic
communication. The frequency and outcome of these events were investigated in relation to three specific volleyball technical
skills related to nonverbal communication: a) the second ball goes to the opposite court instead of setting for attacking; b) the
attack as fast as possible in the middle of the net; c) the off speed hit instead of power spike over the block; The results show a
significant incidence of communicative events related to non-verbal communication on the final outcome and, therefore, suggest
that non-verbal communication is subject of interest to technicians, coaches and physical education teachers


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How to Cite

Raiola, G. ., & Tore, A. D. . (2012). Non-Verbal Communication and Volleyball: A New Way to Approach the Phenomenon. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 3(2), 347. Retrieved from