Serving Speed

Andrea Zorzi wrote an (very brief) analysis of modern volleyball that appeared today on FIVB website.  Among other things that I may or may not agree with, he stated that serving speeds are “…about 10km/h faster than they used to be…”.  This is true.  When the FIVB changed to the current ball, the serving speed was around 110 km/h.  It is now in the low 120s.

However… my recollection is that at the Olympic Games in 2000, with the old Mikasa leather ball, the fastest serves were around 127/128 km/h, from Iakovlev.  Also at around the same time in Italy, using the old Molten leather balls, the fastest serves were in the 138 km/h range, from Dineikine and Iakovlev.  When they first changed to synthetic balls in 2001, the speeds dropped and again in 2008.

Does anyone have some documentation or old articles or videos on this topic?

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4 thoughts on “Serving Speed

  1. Clay Hales

    About 2006, I was in a men’s college volleyball practice with a radar gun and the fastest server was in the 140s in kph at his best. I don’t know how accurate the radar gun was, and that is with some quick and dirty English to metric conversions, so take that for what it’s worth.

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    1. markleb Post author

      So around 88 km/h?
      Do you remember what ball? The leather balls fly much faster than the synthetic ones.

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      1. Clay Hales

        The gun read about 90 mph, my quick math said 140 kph. It was a Molten Pro Touch ball. That was at elevation, so I don’t know how that would scale to lower elevations. I know there is a big difference in how much it floats or drops with topspin at that kind of elevation.

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