Volleyball Scoring System

Kaitlyn Kwan
Pakmen Research Team

Volleyball scoring is essential to the game. It determines which teams wins and loses.

Basic rules of volleyball scoring:

A side out is used as reference to an absolute rule, this is when only the serving team can score. Although, now the meaning of side out has changed . A side out now referred to when the receiving team gets to serve even if they get a point or not. The scoring system was changed to the Rally system. A rally is a sequence of playing actions that decides each point from the moment the ball is served until the ball is out of bounds. If the serving team wins the rally they continue to serve, and if the receiving team wins the rally they receive the opportunity to serve.

Rally Scoring:

Rally scoring is when a team gets a point when the other team fails to return the ball over the net,  or when the ball goes out of bounds, commits an infraction or makes a service error.

Sideout Scoring:

When the opposing team fails to return the ball over the net, hit the ball out of bounds, commits an infraction or make a service error, the serving team scores a point. This also counts for the receiving team.

Rally Game Parameters:

Games are played until a team hits 25 points and at least has a two point lead to win the set. Most games has five sets, so to win a team must have won three out of five sets. The last set goes up to 15 points and a team must have a two point lead to win the set. With sideout scoring, all sets are played up to 15 points and the team must at least have a two point lead. Some organizations say that the first team to win 17 points wins the set, so in this case the two point margin is not needed. There are numerous ways for a team to score a point in Volleyball such as:

  • By successfully grounding the ball on the opponent’s side of the court
  • When the opponent hits the the ball more than 3 times before returning the ball over the net
  • When the opponent hits the ball outside of the legal boundary
  • When the opponent’s team commits a service fault
  • When the opponent touches the ball on the other side before the player’s attack hit
  • When the opponent touches the net while playing the ball