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Application of the discussion groups and initial
phases of the qfd methodology to the study of
valencian ball trinquetes
ANA M. MONTANER SESMERO
1
, CARLOS MONTANER SESMERO
1
, PEDRO PÉREZ SORIANO
2
,
VICENTE CARRASCO EMBUENA
3
, SALVADOR LLANA BELLOCH
2
1
Physical Education Teacher at Secondary School, Regional Ministry of Education (Valencia), Spain
2
Department of Physical Education and Sports, University of Valencia, Spain
3
Department of General and Specific Didactics, Faculty of Education, University of Alicante, Spain
ABSTRACT
Montaner AM, Montaner C, Pérez-Soriano P, Carrasco-Embuena V, Llana-Belloch S. Application of the
discussion groups and initial phases of the qfd methodology to the study of valencian ball trinquetes.
J.
Hum. Sport Exerc.
Vol. 6, No. 4, pp. 629-638, 2011.
The purpose of this research is to show an opinion
study about the specifications that the valencian ball
trinquetes
should have according to the players’
opinion. The valencian ball game is a native sport with a great cultural tradition in the Valencian
C
ommunity and it has been practised in the
trinquetes
since the XIV century. Despite its history, these
facilities do not have the normative requirements for suitable sport development. The information
provided by the
users of the
trinquetes
is the first necessary step to improving the
trinquetes
facilities
.
Two methodologies based on the User Oriented Designed were applied in this study: discussion groups
and initial phases of QFD - Quality Function Deployment. The opinions gathered have demonstrated
the necessity for promoting actions to modify reform and modernize these kinds of facilities, in order to
improve the practice of valencian ball.
Key words:
OPINION STUDY, FACILITIES, STANDARD RULE.
1
Corresponding author.
Universidad de Valencia, Departamento de Educación Física. C/ Gascó Oliag, nº 3. 46010
Valencia. Spain.
E-mail: salvador.llana@uv.es
Submitted for publication September 2011
Accepted for publication December 2011
JOURNAL OF HUMAN SPORT & EXERCISE ISSN 1988-5202
© Faculty of Education. University of Alicante
doi:10.4100/jhse.2011.64.06
Original Article
Montaner et al. /
Discussion groups of valencian ball trinquetes
JOURNAL OF HUMAN SPORT & EXERCISE
INTRODUCTION
This work is part of the project "Study of the Valencian ball", funded by the Regional Secretary of Sports
in Valencia and carried out by the Institute of Biomechanics of Valencia (IBV). The general purpose is
to improve the
trinquetes
facilities.
The valencian ball
is a traditional and autochtonous sport which has been played at the
trinquetes
since
the fourteenth century (Conca et al.,
2003
; Conca & Perez,
1999
). The
trinquete
is an asymmetric
installation similar to a fronton, where the two main modalities are played:
Escala i Corda
and
Raspall
(Llopis,
1999
; Miller,
1976
; Moreno,
1992
; Olaso,
1994
; Soldado,
1999
). The game room consists of
four walls, the floor and the
escala
(degrees). The side walls are called
murallas
(
walls).
The two front
walls are known as
rebots.
There are two types: the
dau rebot,
so named because there is a square of
2 to 3 meters where you have to kick the ball in the serving and the
rest rebot
located on the opposite
side (Conca et al.,
2003
; Conca & Pérez
,
1999
; Vilalta,
1986
) (Figure
1
).
Figure 1.
Parts of valencian ball trinquete.
To ensure the safe practice of sports, the facilities must be in good condition. Besides, the facilities
need a variety of aspects to be met such as maintenance, comfort, accessibility and performance as
they affect the quality of the sport activity. In many sports the quality of the facilities is controlled and
improved through regulations. In this sense, the
trinquetes
lack such regulations to standardize these
facilities. In addition, it is not clear which aspects should be monitored and assessed. Therefore, it is
necessary to conduct an opinion survey. So we can identify the specifications to be met by a
trinquete
,
with the aim of characterizing those that are currently active, and this will provide a wealth of
information on the potential needs of users (
pelotaris
) as well as gaps and areas for improvement.
Montaner et al. /
Discussion groups of valencian ball trinquetes
JOURNAL OF HUMAN SPORT & EXERCISE
The line of research followed in this work is based on a paradigm of product design study called User
Oriented Design (UOD) (Page et al.,
2001
). In this paradigm, the information provided by users about a
product is the key to its final development. Thus, the management model is based on ensuring that new
products fulfill the needs, expectations and requirements of users from a functional and emotional point
of view.
The UOD philosophy follows the maxim that the best-designed products are perfectly adapted to the
people who will use them. So, the interaction with users allows to gather perceptions and opinions,
facilitating the design process from the earliest stages of product development. Figure
2
is an example
of the concept of UOD:
Figure 2.
Picture exemplifies the UOD philosophy (Page et al.,
2001
).
The first sequence shows how the product designer and potential user envisage the product differently,
so the user ends up with a product that does not meet their expectations. In the second sequence the
user takes part in the process, guiding the design, so that the final product has the characteristics
expected. This is a simple model in concept but not always taken into account.
Some of the tools used to attract the user's opinion are Emotional Engineering: Product Semantics,
Kansei Engineering, and User Oriented Design: QFD - Quality Function Deployment. Kano´s Model,
Value Analysis, Conjoint Analysis and Analysis of Hierarchies of Saaty (Page et al.
,
2001
).
At the Institute of Biomechanics of Valencia, UOD methodology has been used to study the interaction
between users (ball
players), and the product or environment (the
trinquete
).
Montaner et al. /
Discussion groups of valencian ball trinquetes
JOURNAL OF HUMAN SPORT & EXERCISE
Considering everything mentioned, the main objective of this study is to identify the technical
specifications "a priori" a
trinquete
must meet, in the opinion of the
pelotaris
. The information provided
by users of these facilities constitutes the first step to meeting needs and identifying areas for
improvement. These specifications also facilitate the variables to be measured in a
trinquete
.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Two methodologies were used to characterize the
trinquetes
: discussion groups and initial phases of
the QFD methodology, Quality Function Deployment (Bergquist & Abeysekera,
1996
; Page et al.
,
2001
;
Perez,
2004
; Perez & Alcantara,
2006
). These techniques are used in user oriented design (UOD) and
are important during the inquiry phase of a new product or redesigning an existing product, as is the
case in the valencian ball
trinquete
s.
Discussion Groups
The Discussion Group technique is a method of generating ideas which comes from the field of social
intervention, and uses a variation of group dynamics to enhance user participation. The overall
objective of this technique is to achieve qualitative information about the perceptions, opinions and
attitudes of users / professionals in the valencian ball, promoting all kinds of contributions and views
without restriction.
It should be noted that this is a confirmative and not an exploratory technique because the objective is
based on an understanding of information, not inference. For this reason, the components of the
discussion group should be selected to create a homogeneous group, avoiding excessive
randomization or dispersion of parameters, which may produce different opinions or expectations about
the product.
It is important and convenient to introduce and define the analyzed aspects used in the discussion
group. In this case, these were grouped into the following concepts or families:
-
Functionality:
related to the use of the installation in accordance with the intended purpose,
i.e. its operation.
-
Performance:
referring to the suitability of the
trinquete
to the game and improving it.
-
Usability:
ease of use of the
trinquete
by players.
-
Perception:
how the
trinquete
is perceived by the user, their conceptual interpretation which
comes from the way the
trinquete
is used and perceived.
-
Quality:
referring to how the user perceives and interprets the adequacy of the installation to
the activity, as well as certain features of the facility itself. Also related concepts of durability,
resistance, adaptation of materials, etc.
-
Avoiding health problems:
so that nothing alters the user's health.
Montaner et al. /
Discussion groups of valencian ball trinquetes
JOURNAL OF HUMAN SPORT & EXERCISE
Regarding data measurement, this analysis model uses audio recordings of the session and records of
observation to compare the data with the environment in which they were expressed, roles of
participants, etc.
12 professional players
were involved in these groups as they were familiar with the problems and
needs of the sport. The results were converted into technical specifications (using QFD methodology)
which allowed recognizing the variables to be measured on a
trinquete
.
The procedure used in the focus groups was as follows:
1.
Performing a search and selection of users,
specifying the required profile, the number of
meetings to be held and the issues to be discussed at the sessions.
2.
Writing the script
of the session from different aspects to be analyzed, along with an index of
ordered questions that will guide the discussion to the aspects of interest.
3.
Development of the
session
: an hour and a half to two hours.
4.
Treatment
and drafting a report with the
results.
The processing of data consisted of an interpretive analysis of content. This analysis is based on a
descriptive model in which the participants' responses are summarized creating brief descriptions and
also inferring the meaning of the data.
The following analysis is a systematic and verifiable result, conducted by the session moderator and
contrasted by the observer and the expert in the product. The ideas, opinions and feelings have been
used as a core part of the analysis. The most frequently recurring data has been identified, showing the
range and diversity of experiences.
QFD Methodology
The acronym QFD (Quality Function Deployment), usually translated as Function Deployment Quality
refers to a methodology that consists of obtaining the requirements that users want of a product and the
translation of these to the technical design (Bergquist et al
.,
1996
; Page et al.,
2001
; Perez
2004
; Perez
et al.
,
2006
).
RESULTS
The following views were obtained in focus groups involving players with extensive experience in the
field of valencian ball
.
These players were asked about different aspects of the
trinquetes
, which were
grouped into families of needs (Table
1
).
Montaner et al. /
Discussion groups of valencian ball trinquetes
JOURNAL OF HUMAN SPORT & EXERCISE
Table 1.
Focus groups results. Players´ opinion and requirements grouped into "family" needs.
FAMILIY NEEDS
PLAYERS´ OPINIONS AND REQUIREMENTS
FUNCIONALITY
Glass walls "spit" the ball too fast.
The walls must be uniform and do not wear out the ball.
A non squeeze surface.
That the surface has a best friction.
PERFORMANCE
The walls must be smooth and "spit" the ball well.
The ball should see well in all areas of the
trinquete
.
Both shoes and floor should have good grip.
A non dazzling lighting.
AVOIDING HEALTH PROBLEMS
ASSOCIATED WITH THE INSTALLATION
It does not worry too much.
A protective surface.
Non-glare lighting to prevent falls becoming out of step, etc. Poor lighting in
most of the
trinquete
s is a serious problem that is often associated with
injuries, especially muscular, because the ball can not be seen, players can
be late to hit the ball and so on.
PERCEPTION
A colour of the installation that allow the ball to be easily seen.
Ideally, for this to be possible the ball should be white and the
trinquete
green or blue. This also would be perfect for television. This is something
that, despite the traditionalism that has prevailed in the Basque Country, has
been carried out in recent years, improving the view of the game and thus
the show and the popularity of the ball.
The ball impact must emit a good level of sound and it must has a nice
sound.
Clean and dust – free floors.
Improvement of traffic areas and changing rooms.
Lighting: the ball must not be reflected by the light.
The light must be located on the side wall (not on
scale
) and as high as
possible.
A homogeneous light throughout the playing area (to avoid injuries).
Natural light is ideal. It is best to locate the lighting on the opposite wall to the
muralla
and to elevate it as much as possible, will not affect the game or
cause glare.
USABILITY
QUALITY
The different elements of the
trinquete
should be homogenized.
No cracks or irregularities.
The walls and
escala
should have straight edges, preventing the ball from
moving in an unexpected way.
When the walls are rough spoil the ball and its behavior changes and makes
it more flying (the ball spends more time in the air and moves strangely).
The floor is made of stone slab (Monóvar tile).
Well cleaned
trinquetes
and cared for.
In Table
2
, we provide the technical specifications along with the opinions of the players on the different
elements of the
trinquete
. The table shows the variables to be measured in a
trinquete
.
Montaner et al. /
Discussion groups of valencian ball trinquetes
JOURNAL OF HUMAN SPORT & EXERCISE
Table 2.
Technical specifications obtained in the discussion groups.
TECHNICAL
SPECIFICATIONS
VARIABLES
TRINQUETE´S ELEMENTS
Size
Dimensions
Trinquete
Good grip
Longitudinal friction
Rotational friction
Surface
Noble boat
Vertical Boat
Uniformity of boat
Smooth floor
Flatness
"Spitting the ball"
Boat angled on the
floor
Boat angled to the
wall
Walls
Lighting
Lighting in the
playing area
Trinquete
playgrounds
Lighting stands
Terraces
DISCUSSION
The most prominent analysis that comes from the results of the focus groups is the
interest
and
willingness shown by the players. All agreed on the need for
development and promotion
within
valencian ball
,
in order for it to be recognized and appreciated as a traditional and original Valencian
sport.
The views expressed in the discussion groups about different elements of the installation have
highlighted the areas for improvement in the ball
trinquete
s. In this sense and in relation to the
surface
the following specifications have been recognised:
1.
The surface offers a
good grip,
i.e. there is optimum friction between it and the players´
footwear. These views corroborate several studies that show that incorrect friction levels
negatively affect the performance (Cham & Redfern,
2002
; Li et al.,
2007
). However, it must be
remembered that high friction rates are related to high rates of injury. (Ekstrand & Nigg,
1989
;
Frederick & Himmelsbach,
1995
; Nigg,
1990
; Olsen et al.,
2003
; Pasanen et al.
,
2008
;
Renström,
1995
; Stiles & Dixon
,
2006
). Therefore we have to find a balanced solution that
allows a good surface grip without compromising the health of athletes.
2.
It must to be
uniform,
as some uneven pavement may increase the risk of injury and / or
decrease athletic performance.
3.
The ball must
"spit"
well on the pitch. The term "spit" in valencian ball is understood as the
behavior of the ball when it bounces off the floor or wall
(angled pot).
Since this feature is of
concern to the players it is necessary to establish values of this aspect, to allow proper
development of the game.
Montaner et al. /
Discussion groups of valencian ball trinquetes
JOURNAL OF HUMAN SPORT & EXERCISE
4.
The floor slab should be made of stone
(Monóvar tile).
One reason why it is made of this
material may be the tradition and the physical characteristics of the same (high stiffness), which
benefits the athletic performance (Nieto et al.,
2001
).
Regarding the
trinquete
walls,
which greatly influence the game as part of the playing field and the ball
can bounce on them, the following have been identified:
1.
The walls must be smooth and
"spit"
the ball well
(boat angled wall).
In this sense the walls
should have no irregularities, chipping or deformation, and be as smooth as possible.
Considering and improving this aspect is crucial since it directly influences the game.
In relation to
lighting,
one must take into account the following specifications:
1.
Focus
on the
trinquete
s, so that discomfort is not caused to the ball player in the game, nor the
spectator following the game.
2.
Homogeneity of light
should be present in the court and in the stands. The provision of
artificial lighting is a prime need, therefore, that the installation provides light is a decisive factor
for the development and diffusion of valencian ball
,
increasing the hours of practice, and the
number of practitioners. Also, the lighting should be adapted to EN 12193:1999 according to
lighting in sports facilities.
3.
Finally, note that the players prefer
natural lighting
. This aspect is greatly influenced by the
orientation of the
trinquete
and the windows through which light enters. Thus, the most
appropriate guidance is one in which the longitudinal axis of the
trinquete
is north-south, thus
maximizing the amount of light and preventing glare largely due to the rising and setting sun. It
is also important that the roof and windows allow the entry of
trinquete
sunlight.
Another specification provided by the players is the
size
of the facility, in order to
standardize
the
measurements of the
trinquete
s. This should measure the
dimensions
of different parts of the
trinquete
.
In addition, through discussion groups it was found that
the evolution of the
trinquete
has been
minimal in recent decades. In fact, these facilities have experienced virtually no changes over the years
and what is worse, there is a rather run down group of
trinquete
courts. Many have fallen into disuse
and others do not have the necessary characteristics to carry out the development of the game. In
addition, the maintenance and repair cost is high and, in most cases, the owners can not afford it, or do
not dare to do so by the lack of criteria to develop properly and guarantee to maintain and even
improve demand for dynamic and active facilities.
Finally, it was observed that a large part of the current
trinquetes
, are not in good condition for the
proper development of sport; costumes in disrepair, lack of minimum conditions of hygiene, facilities
(surface and play area) inappropriate for the athlete, and so on. It is clear that for a healthy sport, the
trinquete
must possess
ancillary spaces, changing rooms and bathrooms
in good condition, being
necessary to reform and conditioning in those facilities where they are deficient. Also, proper
maintenance and cleaning
of the floor are required, highlighting the need to minimize the risk of injury
and the safe practice of sports. The poor state of repair and maintenance of the surface can reduce
delivery and performance of athletes, as well as showmanship and quality of play.
Montaner et al. /
Discussion groups of valencian ball trinquetes
JOURNAL OF HUMAN SPORT & EXERCISE
CONCLUSIONS
The opinion-identification study of specifications ball players, has contributed to the views of this group
regarding the characteristics to be met by
trinquete
s. The views expressed have highlighted the need to
promote actions to reshape, reform and upgrade these facilities in order to improve the practice of the
valencian ball
.
Besides, variables have been determined to be measured in a
trinquete
, in order to
enforce standards in the future.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This study was made possible through the support of the Secretariat of Sports in Valencia Autonomous
Community and the collaboration of the Institute of Biomechanics of Valencia (IBV) and players of
valencian ball.
This survey comply the law of LOPD (
1999
).
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