How to score a point in volleyball (1)

The modern volleyball world should be counting its lucky stars… Rally scoring has made the game infinitely more interesting! In this post, I am going to cover just a few of the myriad ways to score in volleyball.

Every Point Counts!

With rally scoring – every point counts. That means missed serves, successful hits, block outs, touches, everything. Previously, in volleyball, you could only score by having possession of the serve. This scoring was called “side out” scoring – It’s no longer used for regulation volleyball. In side-out scoring, missed serves didn’t count against you. Today we have the luxury, although sometimes a double-edged sword that every single rally will award a point to one team.

Your best options to score a point

  1. Aim for the long angles in the court when spiking
  2. Tip or roll the ball in the middle of the court
  3. Use the opponents block to make a block out
  4. Serve between 2 receivers, not directly to the player

Scoring the point after the volleyball rally

First, a rally is the duration of time between the first whistle blow, which initiates the serve and the second one That one denotes the end of the rally. Usually, it’s when the ball hits the floor. There are always exceptions to the rule, players can break the rules of the game which counts as a point against them. The first whistle tells the server when they are allowed to serve. You may use whatever method you prefer to put the ball into play on the other side of the court. Check out the article on How to overhand serve in volleyball?

Scoring a point with a serve

Generally speaking, in higher levels of volleyball, the number of successful serves is around 80% for men, and somewhere around 90% for women. This is the nature of how both teams initiate their serves – a majority of men use top-spin serves (Jump serve) and most women use float serves. The height of both the players and the net is a factor in why there is a large discrepancy in who uses which serve more often. Note that men have more power and can use that to their advantage on a top-spin serve. The lower net height for women allows them to target

Scoring a point after the side-out

Whenever you are the team receiving the serve, you are in the “side out” portion of the game. It is possible to gain a point before the service even reaches you. For example, the player may step over the back line. That’s a fault and counts as a point for the other team. Other times the serve may fall short of crossing the net or may go beyond the bounds of the court on your side.

Being in side out allows you to have the first opportunity to score a point. You can win a point in this situation by making the ball touch the floor in the bounds of your opponent’s side of the net. Another way you may earn a point is by making the opponent touch your ball before it goes out of bounds. Conversely, this is also how they may earn points. The main goal of volleyball is to get the ball to the floor of your opponents side. If that cannot be done, you may have noticed that there are other ways to earn points. This happens when players break certain rules of the game.

Reduce the number of mistakes

Like I mentioned, players break the rules of the game all the time. I’ve said it once, and it’s a running theme on this website, but volleyball is a game of mistakes. While strict rules can be annoying, they are first and foremost for the safety of the players. Secondly, it’s to stop any unfair advantages.

With that in mind, think about all the ways you can score points by not making any mistakes. The players who make the least amount of mistakes are the ones you should rely on. I would argue that having players who make a lot of points, but also a lot of errors are risky for teams. It decreases reliability and takes away precious opportunities for another chance. Because this is something I could talk about forever, I will resist from doing that in this article.


There are so many ways to score points in volleyball. Get great at a few of them and then spend your time developing other areas of your game. Another way to think about winning points, is to not give any up, either. The more mistakes you make, the easier you make the other teams job. Be good at your job – find ways to earn points wherever you can! Great serving, tricky dumps (for the setters), blocking, attacking, tipping, tooling etc. Don’t give away points! Just as you earn them…make the opponent earn them too!

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