The purpose of this investigation was to examine the potential strength, power, and anthropometric contributors to vertical jump performances that are considered specific to volleyball success: the spike jump (SPJ) and counter-movement vertical jump (CMVJ). To assess the relationship among strength, power, and anthropometric variables with CMVJ and SPJ, a correlation and regression analysis was performed. In addition, a comparison of strength, power, and anthropometric differences between the seven best subjects and the seven worst athletes on the CMVJ test and SPJ test was performed. When expressed as body mass relative measures, moderate correlations (0.53-0.65; p < or = 0.01) were observed between the 1RM measures and both relative CMVJ and relative SPJ. Very strong correlations were observed between relative (absolute height-standing reach height) depth jump performance and relative SPJ (0.85; p < or = 0.01) and relative CMVJ (0.93; p </= 0.01). The single best regression model component for relative CMVJ was the relative depth jump performance, explaining 84% of performance. The single best predictor for relative SPJ was also the relative depth jump performance (72% of performance), with the three-component models of relative depth jump, relative CMVJ, spike jump contribution (percent difference between SPJ and CMVJ), and relative CMVJ, spike jump contribution, and peak force, accounting for 96% and 97%, respectively. The results of this study clearly demonstrate that in an elite population of volleyball players, stretch-shortening cycle performance and the ability to tolerate high stretch loads, as in the depth jump, is critical to performance in the jumps associated with volleyball performance.