The rotation controversy is a hot topic in the volleyball world these days.
Rotation means that 6 players on the court move one position in a clockwise direction and the player on the far right of the court serves. It is similar to the batting order in baseball. It’s hard to understand unless you’re a hardcore fan. The rotation has been recognized as an area of the manager’s strategy and tactics. Thanks to Heungkuk Life Insurance, who suddenly fired coach Kwon Soon-chan on January 2, many people were forced to study volleyball rotation.
⓵ Setter (S) ⓶ Outside Heater (OH) ⓷ Middle Blocker (MB) ⓸ Opposite Spiker (OPP), ⓹ Outside Heater (OH), ⓺ Middle The positioning of the blocker/libero (MB/Li) is fundamental to the rotation. If our team scores, we retain the right to continue serving, so continuous serving is possible. If a point is lost, the serve is handed over and moved clockwise one space at a time.
Depending on where the setter ⓵ starts, which is the standard, and which players are placed in the front and rear positions, ⓶⓹ and ⓷⓺, the manager prepares for the opponent’s blocking and formulates a strategy for what kind of attack. If you change the rotation, it means that the manager has prepared a specific game plan. In this situation, Heungkuk Life Insurance coach Kwon Soon-chan raised a topic. There is something that stands out in the rotation he has chosen. ⓵ Setter’s right hand ⓶OH mainly set up players with good offensive abilities, but he made a different choice.
The basic rotation used by Heungkuk Life Insurance this season is ⓵ Da-Sol Kim (S) ⓶ Da-Eun Kim/Mi-Yeon Kim (OH) ⓷ Na-Hee Kim (MB) ⓸ Yelena (OPP) ⓹ Yeon-Kyung Kim (OH) ⓺ Joo-A Lee (MB). Kim Yeon-kyung and Yelena return as a pair. In the 18 matches played up to the third round, this rotation won 42 sets and lost 22 sets. 64% win rate. Hyundai Capital coach Choi Tae-woong also uses this method. Place ⓸ Heo Soo-Bong (OPP) and ⓹ Oreol (OH) side by side and turn them. Number ⓶ is full-light (OH). On the other hand, Korean Air has ⓶ Jeong Ji-seok (OH) and ⓹ Kwak Seung-seok (OH). In this way, the position of the players is determined according to the coach’s judgment and the characteristics of the team play.
There were also people who were dissatisfied with director Kwon Soon-chan’s rotation. They claim that if Kim Yeon-kyung and Elena move in pairs, there are many consecutive goals when there are two people in the rear. In fact, the most difficult position for Heungkuk Life Insurance to score is when there are Kim Mi-yeon (OH), Kim Na-hee (MB), and Kim Da-sol (S) in the front line. However, in any team, when the rotation rotates, there are spots where it is difficult to score.
Those who criticize Heungkuk Life Insurance’s double rotation point out the phenomenon that Yelena is attacked and Kim Yeon-kyung does not get the ball often. Up to the third round, Yelena attempted 825 attacks and succeeded 363 times (44% success rate). Kim Yeon-kyung recorded 670 attack attempts and 315 successes (47.01% success rate). Usually, the setter’s pass goes to the main striker more often, but for those who only watch the game centered on Kim Yeon-kyung, the results until the third round seem to have been unsatisfactory.
There have been voices constantly criticizing this rotation, especially in the volleyball community. Coincidentally, there were circumstances to support their claim. It was the Incheon game between Heungkuk Life Insurance and Korea Expressway Corporation in the third round. Heungkuk Life Insurance started the 1st and 2nd sets with the existing rotation, but lost consecutively. The defense and blocking tactics specially prepared by the road construction manager Kim Jong-min worked. In the first set, Kim Yeon-kyung only scored 2 points. Expressway Corporation Jeong Dae-young caught 7 blocks in the 1st and 2nd sets alone. Heungkuk Life’s attack was well blocked by the defense of the Korea Expressway Corporation.
Director Kwon Soon-chan swapped the positions of OH Kim Yeon-kyung and Kim Mi-yeon from the third set. As a result, the rotation rotated in the order of ⓵ Kim Da-sol (S) ⓶ Kim Yeon-kyung (OH) ⓷ Kim Na-hee (MB) ⓸ Yelena (OPP) ⓹ Kim Mi-yeon (OH) ⓺ Lee Joo-ah (MB). The change that separated Kim Yeon-kyung and Yelena worked. They fought back easily with 25-19. Yelena came alive with 8 points. Same with the 4th set. Kim Yeon-kyung and Yelena combined for 11 points and won 26-24. The 5th set started with a rotation that started Kim Yeon-kyung in the front ⓸ position. There are many scenes where Kim Yeon-kyung is in the front line and Yelena attacks from the back and easily scores. It ended in a lopsided victory of 15-8.
Expressway Corporation coach Kim Jong-min said, “The reason the game, which had a good flow in the 1st and 2nd sets, changed not because the opponent’s rotation changed, but because Kim Yeon-kyung found gaps in our defense and attacked well. When one place collapsed, another place opened up,” he said. Coach Kwon Soon-chan recalled the game, saying, “I changed Kim Yeon-kyung’s position to attack in front of the setter where the opponent’s blocking is low, and the game worked out well.”
That rotation appeared again in the third round against GS Caltex. The situation was the same this time.
Kim Yeon-kyung and Yelena gave the 1st and 2nd sets in a rotation that moved in pairs. The 3rd and 4th sets switched to a rotation that separated the two. Up to this point, it was a déjà vu in the road construction game, but the 5th set was a problem. Director Kwon Soon-chan again chose the rotation of sets 1 and 2. Normally, if you win the previous set, the rotation for the next set remains the same, but Kwon did not. The result of the match was a one-sided victory for GS Caltex, 15-8.
Coach Kwon Soon-chan said, “The rotation we use puts blocking and defense first. When Kim Mi-yeon enters, the blocking is lowered and it is easily penetrated by foreign players facing each other. To increase blocking, Kim Yeon-kyung and Yelena are put side by side and turned. If the game is not resolved, Kim Mi-yeon and Kim Yeon-kyung are swapped in a more aggressive way. (In the 5th set against GS Caltex) The reason why Kim Yeon-kyung and Yelena were put together was to prevent the opponent’s foreign player MoMA 토토사이트. Usually, in the 5th set, attacks are driven by foreign players. Anticipating this, the rotation was returned to its original position. This time, at GS Caltex, Kang So-hui made an easy attack in front of our setter Da-sol Kim. Because of that, there was a miscalculation,” he confessed.
After that match, criticism of the manager’s rotation intensified. There are also articles that agree with their claim. A reporter kindly sent the article to director Kwon Soon-chan via KakaoTalk. Although the meaning is unknown, director Kwon Soon-chan asked people close to him, “How should I interpret this?” In the midst of this, the club also moved. Based on the negative reaction from the fans who were boiling over on social media, I talked to the manager about the rotation. Depending on how and with what voice this was done, advice, intervention, or coercion could be given. It completely depends on the heart of the person receiving it.
In this situation, the game against Hyundai E&C was held on December 29th. Coach Kwon Soon-chan won with his usual rotation. However, three days after the game, he was sacked. While everyone was curious about the reason, the club said, “Because each other’s direction is different.” On January 5th, ahead of the 4th round with GS Caltex, the new head of Heungkuk Life Insurance volunteered for a press conference. At this spot, the topic of rotation suddenly appeared. As a basis for persuading the validity of replacing the manager, the topic of rotation came up. Of course, the response was not good. At first, I couldn’t convince the reporters. When asked, “Is the club’s important policy a reflection of the voices of YouTubers or volleyball communities?” the new manager could not properly answer.
There is another absurd thing. Those who criticized coach Kwon Soon-chan so much turned the arrow of criticism to the club, claiming that the rotation in question was directed by the club after the change of manager. Fans can. Criticism and opinion are their right. Besides, you don’t have to take responsibility for your own words. Clubs, on the other hand, are different. Take responsibility for your actions and words. Heungkuk Life Insurance fell into a dilemma here.
Acting manager Lee Young-soo, who declared that he would leave the team after the game on the 5th, put an end to the rotation controversy. He won with a rotation that had been blatantly criticized. In the 5th set 6-6, Heungkuk Life Insurance took the win by scoring 5 points in a row with Kim Yeon-kyung and Yelena in the rear. Acting manager Lee Young-soo said, “I don’t know where (the story of the rotation that separates Kim Yeon-kyung and Yelena) comes from, such as the fan club or the volleyball world. As a result of practicing so far (the way two people stick together), I thought it was the best position.” In the match against IBK Industrial Bank on the 8th, the problematic pair rotation appeared again.
In the game under the command of acting coach Kim Dae-gyeong, Kim Mi-yeon was put in position ⓶, and Da-eun Kim replaced Kim Yeon-kyung, who was absent due to poor physical condition, in position ⓹. So, Yelena and Kim Da-eun turned around in pairs. The result was Heungkuk Life’s set score 3-1 victory. I wonder how those who have been criticizing coach Kwon Soon-chan’s rotation will accept the recent results and remarks related to the rotation.
No matter how much the trainers talk, experts find the best way to prepare for the game. This is probably why none of the Heungkuk Life Insurance players expressed dissatisfaction with this rotation. Because of the loud voices of these self-proclaimed experts and the people who sympathized with them, Heungkuk Life Insurance is now in an endless pit. I’m curious how to find a solution to that.