How Many Points to Win a Volleyball Game?

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If you’re new to the world of volleyball you might wonder how many points you need to win a volleyball game. While you do need to reach a certain score to win, there are additional rules that make it a little more complicated.

How Many Points to Win a Volleyball Game?

To win a professional volleyball game, you need to score 25 points and must have at least a 2 point advantage over the opposing team. If you reach 25 points and do not have a 2 point advantage, the game continues until one team is 2 points ahead of the other.

An image of a volleyball match

However, there are many other factors that influence the results of a volleyball match (such as the fifth game, which is only played to 15 points). To fully understand this you need to know how many games are played, how scoring works, the types of scoring, and the related rules.

How Games Affect the Points on a Volleyball Game

To win a professional volleyball match, you need to win three games out of five. If you reach the fourth game and the teams are tied, the fifth game needs to be played. In this one, the teams only need to score 15 points and have at least a 2 point advantage over the other.

For example, if your team wins the first three games, it simply wins the match. On the other hand, if your opponents win the first two games while your team wins the other two, then a fifth one needs to be played. This final game will solve the tie.

The rules are similar for this fifth game. If you don’t have a 2 point advantage, you keep scoring. Yet, in this case, the game is not prolonged for too long. Whoever reaches 17 points first, is the winner.

How Does Scoring Work in Volleyball?

There are two types of scoring used in professional volleyball games. These are the key to determining who wins and who loses.

Side-Out Scoring

In side-out scoring, only the serving team can win a point. This is done by winning a rally. Here, the opponent’s objectives are to win the serve to start scoring points for their team. When a team loses its service, it is called a “side out” and no team receives points.

Rally Scoring

On the other hand, with rally scoring, both of the teams can win points, no matter who’s serving. Here, if a team makes a mistake or simply loses the ball at any given time, it will result in a point for the opponent.

A player trying to win points in a volleyball game

Volleyball Scoring Rules

There are a lot of rules in volleyball that influence how points are earned throughout the game. If a team breaks one of the rules, the opposing team benefits from it by scoring a point, earning a sideout, or both. Here are the rules that impact scoring:

  • If your team has possession of the ball and it touches the opponent’s side of the court, it is a point for your team.
  • If your team has possession of the ball, and it goes out of the boundaries of the court, it is a point for the opponent.
  • If your team has possession of the ball, and it touches your side of the court, it is a point for the opponent.
  • If your team has possession of the ball, and it touches anything else other than the top of the net (such as the antenna), it is a point for the opponent.
  • If the server touches the serving line, the point goes to the opponent.
  • A player can not touch the net while contacting the ball, if he does, the opponent gets the point.
  • A player can not touch the ball twice in a row. If this happens, the opponent gets the point.
  • The ball can not be touched more than three times by the team. If a fourth touch happens, the point goes to the opponent.
  • If a player touches the ball for too long, it is considered a “lift” and it benefits the opponents.
  • The player’s arm can not go over the net when blocking. This is called a reach violation, and it benefits the opponent.
  • A hitter cannot spike the ball if it is already on the other side of the net. If he does, the opponent gets the point.
  • Players can not have any part of their bodies over the centerline. This is penalized and it benefits the opponent. However, if you are digging in to save a ball, you can go under the net as long as the ball remains on your side.
  • The team has to rotate every time there is a side out. If the team fails to do it or does it incorrectly, the serve and the point go to the opponents.
  • Players in the back row are only allowed to hit the ball behind the 10-foot line on the court. If they step over that line, the team loses the point.
  • Players in the back row are not allowed to jump and block. If they do, the point goes to the opponent.
A player trying to win a point on a beach volleyball game

Related Questions

These questions will allow you to dig deeper into this subject:

What Is the Volleyball Scoring Sheet?

The volleyball scoring sheet is a document used to write down the actions of the team and its players during a match. Additionally, it is used to track the line-ups, the points of the match, every substitution, delay, penalty, and even certain information about the referees.

Is Beach Volleyball Scoring Different?

Beach volleyball scoring is different. Unlike indoor volleyball, beach volleyball matches consist of only three games. Whoever wins two out of those three, is the winner of the match.

In each game, you need to score 21 points with a 2 point advantage in order to win. Similar to indoor volleyball, the last game is only played to 15 points.

Conclusion

Winning a volleyball game requires a lot of effort and skill. Ultimately, the game is won by how much a team can efficiently score points.

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.