Constructing an instrument to observe and analyse interactions in waterpolo

Sebastião Santos, Hugo Sarmento, José Alves, Jorge Campaniço


This study describes the development and validation process of an ad hoc observational instrument for waterpolo games. During the exploratory phase of the study, we identified central criteria and observed respective behaviours for each of these criterion based on: i) a literature review; ii) meetings with experts on this sport; iii) unsystematic observation of several games. Subsequently, we asked a panel of waterpolo experts to give their opinion on the relevance of these variables, considering their representativeness in relation to fundamental aspects of the game. For this purpose, a five-point rating scale was constructed (Likert scale). Categories were considered to be representative when over 60% of the coaches awarded a rating of four or five. The experts chose the following as the most representative variables: (i) the area of the field where the game action happens; (ii) goalkeeper activity; (iii) players without the ball; (iv) opponent team-players without the ball; (v) opponent players in comparison with the player in possession of the ball; (vi) players without the ball from the team in possession of the ball. The resulting instrument, characterized by a combination of field formats and systems of categories, can help coaches, players and researchers to improve their interpretation of the reality and dynamics of individual and collective performance.

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Copyright (c) 2014 Sebastião Santos, Hugo Sarmento, José Alves, Jorge Campaniço