Losing to the Old Guys, Again – Are Older Players Really More Crafty?

An analysis of point-ending plays by players’ stage of career

Today, Big Time Stats are coming from yours truly, Lindy Gullett. Like Adam, I’m maybe, a little bit, sorta obsessed with beach volleyball. I’ve played volleyball since I was 9 years old. But up until a couple years ago, I was always an indoor volleyball player. 

The first time that I played volleyball on a real honest-to-God beach, I was one month shy of my 32nd birthday. And exactly two years after I played beach for the first time, I competed in my first coed beach volleyball tournament. Some of the players were younger than I am. Some of them were more experienced. One was even AAA-rated. (Full disclosure: that AAA-rated player did beat us in pool play.) But at the end of the day, my partner (host of the Big Time Stats Blog, Adam Vagner!) and I Continue reading “Losing to the Old Guys, Again – Are Older Players Really More Crafty?”

Top 10 Bad Boys (and Girls) of Beach Volleyball

Evaluating Bad Boys (and Girls) as Judged by Referee Calls (Part 1)

Beach Volleyball has a different kind of vibe than the respectful, hushed crowds of tennis or golf. Smack talk, intimidation, flexing, and gamesmanship are fairly common. But how can we quantify the biggest, baddest players of the game? While not perfect, I judged “bad boys” and “bad girls” based on illegal actions called by referees. This “% Faults” ratio identifies the likelihood that on any given point a player might commit an illegal action which is called by the referee.

Continue reading “Top 10 Bad Boys (and Girls) of Beach Volleyball”

Battle of the Sexes: Top 3 Differences in Beach Volleyball

Part 1 of a point-by-point, deep-dive analysis into shot selection differences between men and women

Like me, you probably watched the latest Beach Volleyball tournaments and the epic race to qualify for the Olympics. You probably just loved watching volleyball. But I was excited about something else. I couldn’t wait to analyze a new batch of data. The FIVB doesn’t report out match stats like the AVP, so I gathered a new point-by-point dataset from past FIVB tournaments. In my first analysis, I examine the shot selection differences between men and women.


  1. The women’s game is more “crafty” than the men’s game. Women do more Continue reading “Battle of the Sexes: Top 3 Differences in Beach Volleyball”

2020 Champions Cup vs. Career Stats – Who over-performed?

Last week, I compiled career match stats for players in the 2020 Champions Cup. With the completion of the tournament, I wanted to compare how player’s actually performed versus their career-based expectations.

This allows us to call out any notable performances and gives players the ability to adjust going into next week’s tournament, a continuation of the AVP summer series.

We’ll go over the same stats from last week. Check them out here to get a quick refresher.

Continue reading “2020 Champions Cup vs. Career Stats – Who over-performed?”

The 5 BEST Beach Volleyball Data Analyses from a Tidy Tuesday Hackathon

My favorite visuals and analyses from a Tidy Tuesday community hackathon based on my Beach Volleyball database

TidyTuesday, a data science and R learning community, recently published my beach volleyball match database. I wanted to take the time to share some of my favorite community made use cases.

1. Ricardo Santos is the Most Traveled Player

Ricardo Santos traveled to 14 countries in 2005 alone, being one of the most traveled players on the tour! Shows some amazing charisma going from tournament to tournament.

Travel Santos(credit: @geokaramanis)

Continue reading “The 5 BEST Beach Volleyball Data Analyses from a Tidy Tuesday Hackathon”

Road to Hawaii – AVP Beach Volleyball Stat Trends

Player Performance Data Visualization

With the AVP Hawaii Open starting September 20th, I used my match database to examine recent player stat trends. The analysis covers all players currently scheduled to play in the tournament.

What’s the purpose of this visualization?

The intent is that players, coaches, fans, and commentators can see how different players have progressed over the last 2 years leading up to the Hawaii Open.

Players and coaches can specifically make adjustments to focus on key underperforming areas. They can also study their opponent’s strengths and weaknesses to make adjustments. Continue reading “Road to Hawaii – AVP Beach Volleyball Stat Trends”

Introducing Beach Volleyball Match Charting

Analyzing AVP match stats and player tendencies

With the AVP Seattle Open underway, I thought it might be a fun exercise to chart a professional beach volleyball match. The process of collecting the data is manual but I wanted recreate the AVP match stats that are published online to test their validity. In addition, I track shot type and direction, which adds a whole new dimension to analyzing player tendencies.

I watched yesterday’s quarterfinal match-up of Chase Budinger/Casey Patterson vs. Tim Bomgren/Troy Field. Here was my setup during charting:


Continue reading “Introducing Beach Volleyball Match Charting”

2019 AVP Season Data Primer, Player Trends, and More

Beach Volleyball Data

With the AVP season just around the corner (Huntington Beach on May 3-5), I thought it would be a good time to refresh the beach volleyball match database

The database now contains matches from the year 2000 all the way until April 6th, 2019.

Let’s examine some recent trends with the data update!

Continue reading “2019 AVP Season Data Primer, Player Trends, and More”

AVP & FIVB Beach Volleyball Match Database

New match database that contains top players such as Phil Dalhausser, Nick Lucena, Kerri Walsh, and April Ross

Welcome to BigTimeStats, the TenniStats rebrand, now with beach volleyball match data. Drawing inspiration from Jeff Sackmann’s tennis match database, I’ve compiled all AVP and FIVB matches going back to year 2000, available as open source csv/excel files on Github. Continue reading “AVP & FIVB Beach Volleyball Match Database”