6 Volleyball Scoring Rules Explained in Details

Volleyball scoring rules can be complex and confusing, especially for new players and fans. They are essential to understanding and enjoying the game. In this blog post, I will explain the different types of scoring systems, the rules for winning a rally, and the tie-breaking rules in detail. Overall, volleyball scoring rules are well-designed and contribute to the excitement and competitiveness of the sport.

What is volleyball scoring?

Volleyball scoring is the system used to determine the winner of a volleyball match. The objective is for teams to score points by hitting the ball onto the opposing team’s court floor. However, many specific rules govern how points can be scored, and these rules have changed over time.

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When did volleyball scoring rules change?

The current volleyball rules for scoring, known as rally scoring, was introduced in 1999. Prior to that, a team could only score a point if they were serving. Under the rally scoring system, points can be scored by either team, regardless of who serves.

Rally Scoring vs. Side-Out Scoring

Rally scoring is the current volleyball scoring system used in all international and professional competitions. Side-out scoring was the previous scoring system used in volleyball.

Rally Scoring

Teams score a point in rally scoring every time they win a rally, which is a sequence of play that starts with a serve and ends with a scored point. The team that wins the rally gets a point and the opportunity to serve next.

Side Out Scoring

Under side-out scoring, a team can only score a point if they serve. If the receiving team wins a rally, they earn the right to serve, but they do not score a point. The serving team must continue to serve until they make a mistake or the receiving team wins a rally.

Official Volleyball Rules For Scoring

  • The official volleyball rules for scoring are as follows:
  • A team scores a point whenever they win a rally. (A team can win a rally by grounding the ball on the opposing team’s court or by forcing the opposing team to make a fault.)
  • A rally begins with a serve and ends when a point is scored. (The serve is the only way to start a rally.)
  • A point can be scored in one of the following ways:
    • The ball grounds on the opposing team’s court.
    • The opposing team makes a fault, such as hitting the ball out of bounds or touching the net.
  • A team must win by two points and have a two-point lead.
  • If the score is tied at 24-24, the game goes into deuce. In deuce, teams must win by two points, but there is no cap on the score. (When the score is 24-24 in any set, it’s called a Deuce. )

Tie-breaking rules for volleyball

In the event of a tie, the following tie-breaking rules are used:

  • During the first four sets, teams continue playing until one team achieves a lead of two points.
  • In the fifth set, teams play until one team has a fifteen-point lead and a two-point margin.
  • If there is a tie at 14-14 in the fifth set, teams continue playing until one team has a two-point lead.

Handling Tied Scores

The game enters a state of Deuce when the score is tied at 24-24 in any set. In this situation, both teams need to secure a two-point lead to win, and there is no limit on the score. The game continues until one team achieves the necessary two-point lead.


Volleyball scoring rules can be complex, but they are essential to understanding the game. The transition from side-out scoring to rally scoring has brought a new dimension, ensuring every rally counts towards the path to victory. Volleyball scoring rules are also designed to be fair and equitable. Both teams have the opportunity to score points on every rally, and there is no advantage to being the serving team. This makes volleyball a genuinely level playing field.


Does a volleyball game end at 25 points?

No, a volleyball game does not end at 25 points. If the score is tied, the game can continue past 25 points until a team wins by two points.