What Does The Term “Side Out” Mean In Volleyball? (All You Need To Know About This Volleyball Term!)

Last Updated on March 25, 2021 by

In the “side-out” scoring system of volleyball, just the team that served the ball may score a point. Under this scoring system, the very first team to 15 points will win the game. Have you been hearing the term “side out” during a volleyball game but couldn’t figure out what it actually means?

 Or do you know what it means but you still wonder why it’s heard from most spectators and sideline crowds despite its original definition being made obsolete by the modern volleyball rule changes? But what does a “side out” mean in volleyball? And where did the term originated from? In this article, we are going to talk about the side-out scoring system and some other important things you need to know about the volleyball scoring system. Let’s check out some interesting facts about the volleyball term “side out.

Basically, a “side out” scoring system only allows the serving team to score on any given rally. Meaning that it’s until the serving team gets penalized or the non-serving team wins the rally that they will get the opportunity to serve. It is now that the non-serving team has the opportunity to score because they are serving. As you can imagine, this scoring system leads to long stretches of play without a score from either side. A side-out in volleyball happens once the staff that served the heel fails to win the effort on the play, causing a loss of work on the opponent. Under the rally scoring system currently used worldwide, there aren’t any side outs in the conventional sense of the term.

Pros Of Side-Out Scoring

The side-out scoring system still has some good benefits despite the fact it has mostly been eliminated from volleyball. Here are some pros  of side-out scoring 


1. More Creative Play

Some people preferred this type of scoring system because they feel offenses could be more creative since there is no threat of “losing points”. 

2. Rewards Quality Teams

Some enforcement errors have made many teams stay in matches. Removing these errors from being costly would definitely reward teams with great qualities. 

The table below contains questions and answers on what volley and rally are in volleyball, and how to rally scoring works. 

Rally In Volleyball The time between the end of the play and the serve is referred to as a rally. You can as well refer to a rally as a volley in some volleyball terminology. 
Volley In Volleyball A volley is a popular term used in volleyball. It is when players try to keep the in play and returning it to the opponent without any play errors
How Rally Scoring Works In VolleyballIn a rally scoring system, a point is awarded each time the ball is touched more than three times consecutively by a team, ends up in the net, hits the ground, or lands out of bounds. In 1999, USA volleyball switched from the side-out scoring to really scoring.

Rally Scoring

After some changes in the game of volleyball, there comes the emergence of the rally scoring system which completely wiped out side-out scoring at almost all competitive levels. With the rally scoring system, whether you serve the ball or not you will gain points. In a rally scoring system, a point is awarded each time the ball is touched more than three times consecutively by a team, ends up in the net, hits the ground, or lands out of bounds. Except for the final deciding game, all other games are played to 25 points. However, when the third game is placed, it’s normally played to 15 points. 

On the other side, the side-out scoring method of volleyball, just the team that served the ball may score a point. Whenever the team without the serve triggered the ball to get to the ground in the opposite team’s court, if the opponent hit it out of bounds, if the serving team hit it within the areal, or even if the serving team touched it over 3 times, that is going to be a side out, which means they provide alternates on the opponent. Under side-out scoring, the very first team to 15 points will win the game.

Scoring System Changes

The Federation Internationale de Volleyball switched out of the side out scoring system to the rally scoring method in 1999, with the shift being compulsory in 2000. The switch was created to make the length of matches much more predictable to bring fans and increase broadcast opportunities.

What Is A Side Out In Volleyball Definition?

In volleyball, a side out scoring system is basically a scoring system that terminates a team’s right to serve. 

When A Team Earns A Side Out What Happens To Them?

The side out scoring system was used in volleyball when games were in 15s, instead of 25s. The meaning of this scoring system has changed a bit, with a side out mainly about earning the right to serve only when a rally or point is won. 

How Many Side Out Volleyball Are There?

In the game of volleyball, there are two major scoring methods used. The first to be used in the game of volleyball is the side-out scoring system which only awards the right to serve to the team that won a point or a rally. 

What Does Spike Mean In Volleyball? 

Spiking is slamming the ball over the net into the opponent’s court aggressively and effectively to score a point. The mechanism of volleyball spiking is not that different from the act of smashing in the game of tennis or slam dunking in the game of basketball. 

Final Words – Closing Thoughts!

The “side out” scoring system just let the serving team score on any rally. Normally, the non-serving team only gets the chance to serve when serving team gets penalized or maybe the non-serving team wins the rally. We’ve come to the end of this informative article. We hope you were able to find resources in your quest to know the meaning of side-out in volleyball. Please do not hesitate to contact us for questions or comments. Thanks! 

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