How Does Scoring Work In Volleyball?

How Does Scoring Work In Volleyball

The goal of volleyball games is to score 25 points with a margin of victory of two points. There are five sets in a game, and a team needs to win three of the five sets to win.

First to 15 points is the final set. It is possible for a tournament to have a score cap, meaning that if a team wins and reaches 17 points, no matter how big the margin, they win the game.

How Does Scoring Work In Volleyball? [2 Methods]

How Does Scoring Work In Volleyball

There are two types of scoring in volleyball: rally scoring and side out scoring.

Side Out Scoring

When a serving team wins a rally, they earn a point by side out scoring.

By using this technique, the receiving team tries to win the service to start scoring points. For a team to get the ball back and begin collecting points again if they lose their service, they must win a rally. In this case, it is referred to as a “side-out,” and no point is awarded to either team. Serving teams always compete to win the point, while receiving teams rally to win the serve.

Rally Scoring

Each rally in volleyball results in a point being awarded to a team regardless of who is serving. 

The team does not have to serve to score points, unlike side out scoring.

No matter whether or not a team was serving during the previous play, when they win a rally, they receive both the point and the serve. If play is stopped during a game, one team will receive a point.

Olympic Volleyball Scoring

Olympic volleyball uses rally scoring to score points. A best-of-five set format is used in these matches. One team plays until it reaches 25 points in a set.

During a fifth set, both teams will play until they reach 15 points. The set must be won by a margin of two points.

Olympic Beach Volleyball Scoring

Each team earns a point for each serve regardless of which team serves. A best-of-three format is used to play games to 21 points.

During the third set, whichever team reaches 15 points first will win. There must be a two-point margin of victory in all Olympic volleyball games.

International Volleyball Scoring

The Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) sanctions professional volleyball matches around the world.

A FIVB-controlled league scores volleyball matches the same way Olympic indoor volleyball does, with five sets of 25 points, one set of 15 points, and a final set of 15 points.

College Volleyball Scoring

A best of five set format is used in NCAA and other levels of college volleyball. The rally scoring system in college volleyball is similar to that used in Olympic volleyball.

It is not possible to determine the winner of a set until one team scores 25 points and has a two-point advantage over the other team. With the same two-point advantage rule, the final set is played to 15 points.

Also, read Defensive Specialists In Volleyball

High School Volleyball Scoring

High school volleyball follows the same scoring rules as collegiate and international competitions.

There are five sets in a match, with each set consisting of 25 points, scored using rally scoring with a two-point margin of victory. In the final set, 15 points are scored. There are some rules that vary from league to league.

What information is shown on a volleyball scoreboard?

How Does Scoring Work In Volleyball

In a volleyball scoreboard, the current score is displayed along with the set number and who is serving. On the scoreboard, there will be two numbers, one for each team, with the numbers on the left representing the home team and the numbers on the right representing the away team.

It is usually displayed in a larger font or a different color to make the set number more noticeable. There is an important difference between this and the scoreboard, as it indicates which set is currently being played, and how many sets have been won by each team so far.

There will also be a symbol pointing toward the team currently serving on the scoreboard. During the game, the serve can change frequently, so this helps spectators and players keep track.

Some volleyball scoreboards display more information than these basic elements, such as the remaining time in the game, timeouts left for each team, and statistics such as aces, blocks, and kills.

In general, volleyball scoreboards are designed to provide players, officials, and spectators with an easy-to-read overview of the current game state.

Scoring Points

The scoring method in volleyball involves athletes continuously trying to save the ball from their opponents by putting it over the net so they can’t return it. Points are awarded according to the scoring system.

Multiple scoring methods are available in volleyball. For a side-out point to be scored, the team must be serving. Any team can win a rally point. In volleyball, the point can end in a variety of ways:

  • The point is over if the ball hits the floor.
  • When the boundary lines on the court define out-of-bounds, the ball is out.
  • Without crossing over to the other side, the ball is hit into the net.
  • The service is faulty.
  • When a player touches the ball, the net is touched.
  • Two consecutive balls are hit by the same player.
  • On a team’s side, the ball is hit more than three times.
  • During the rally, any penalty violation earns a point.

Also, read When Does Volleyball Season Start and End?

Digging Deeper: Advanced Scoring Situations

Bonus Points: Elevating the Stakes

It’s not just about basic scoring in volleyball; bonus points make it even more interesting. Explore the intricacies of advanced scoring in volleyball, uncovering scenarios where teams can earn additional points. How Does Volleyball Scoring Work? When there is more at stake?

Tiebreakers: Breaking Deadlocks

Tiebreakers play an important role in intense matches. Learn how to score in volleyball by discovering the rules that govern tiebreakers. The race for victory is neck-and-neck when two teams are neck-and-neck.


What is the scoring system in volleyball?

Volleyball scores are based on points. The winning team in a rally is awarded a point for a sequence of plays that begins with a serve and ends with a point. When a rally is won by the serving team, only that team receives points. There is a two-point margin of victory required for sets up to 25 points. In the final set, a victory margin of two points is mandatory.

What is a volleyball game played to?

The set must be won by a margin of two points for volleyball games to be considered a win. Olympic tournaments are played over three sets out of five. Again, the final set goes to 15 points, with a two-point margin of victory.

Can Bonus Points Change the Outcome?

Definitely. Exceptional plays can earn bonus points, which can change the game. It adds excitement and unpredictability to the game by boosting the team’s score.

What Happens During a Side Out?

The ball and serve transfer from one team to another when the serving team fails to score or makes a fault. It adds strategic depth to the game when possession shifts.

How does volleybal serving work?

Volleyball servers hit the ball to their opponents over the net, and each rally lasts until one team wins a point. Whenever the team serving the ball loses a rally, the other team gains the service. 
If a server serves out of bounds or into the net, they will lose the pointhe court, will be in the serving position.

Are Tiebreakers Common in Volleyball?

High-stakes matches often require tiebreakers, especially if they are close. Tiebreakers determine the winner of games when teams are evenly matched.

What are the two types of scoring in volleyball?

You can score volleyball points either side out or rally out. . When side out scoring is used, only the team that serves can score points after a rally is completed. To earn points, the team that receives the ball aims to gain possession of the service. Rally scoring allocates points based on possession, regardless of which team holds the ball.

Is Serving Crucial for Scoring?

Serving is an integral part of volleyball scoring. Well-executed serves not only start rallies but also provide opportunities to score points. Success on the volleyball court depends on mastering the art of serving.


Getting a Better Understanding of Volleyball Scoring? Playing or watching the game is made more enjoyable by this. This guide explains everything you need to know about the scoring dynamics in volleyball, from serving to bonus points.

You can also read The Opposite Hitter Position

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