All About Volleyball- What Does Side Out Mean In Volleyball

What Does Side Out Mean In Volleyball?

We will start with the basics in this part of the article. A side out in volleyball occurs when the serving team fails to score a point.

This results in the loss of serve for the opponent. However, this is only valid under the rally scoring system internationally and not under the traditional account. 

Side Out In Volleyball:

According to the side our scoring system in the sport, the team that serves the ball scores a point.

If a team not serving, drops the ball in the other team’s court or if they hit it outside the boundary or if the serving team hits on the net, or if they touched the net thrice, it results in a side-out.

What Does Side Out Mean In Volleyball?
What Does Side Out Mean In Volleyball?

In other words, the serve goes back to the opponent. As per this scoring, the first team to score 15 points would win the game. 

What Is Side-Out Scoring In Volleyball?

Side out scoring is a popular scoring method in volleyball where the serving team earns a point by winning a rally. 

In this method, the target of the receiving team is to be on the lookout for opportunities to win the serve to begin winning points for the team.

If a team loses their serve opportunity, they have to win a rally to get the ball back and start getting the points again.

This process is called side-out, and eventually, none of the teams get the point. Generally, the serving team often plays to win a point while the receiving team ends up rallying. 

Side Out In Volleyball Hand Signal

As a game, volleyball has multiple hand signals, and it’s important to know them to keep the game running smoothly.

When the ball overreaches the bounds without any defender touching it or if the ball hits the antennae or crosses the net, the signal commonly used is raising both arms while keeping the upper arms parallel to the floor.

The forearms are held perpendicular to the floor with the elbows opened at a 90-degree angle. 

What Does Sideline Mean In Volleyball?

Officially, the two lines running parallel to the court are called sidelines.

What Does Side Out Mean In Volleyball?
What Does Side Out Mean In Volleyball?

The total of the two lines is 60 feet and lines up with the antennas that denote the side boundaries of the court. The server has to serve from between these two lines.  

What Does Kill Mean In Volleyball?

Simply put, killing a ball is an offensive attack that is unreturnable to the opponent and makes way for scoring a point or a side out for the other team.

While that is the official definition, a kill can be an attempted attack resulting in a point scored for the other team. 

On the other hand, an attack is an effort put in by the offense to put the ball in the net and score. Ideally, anything the opponent does intentionally to get the point is an attack. 

Ideally, an attack includes: 

  • An overhead hit
  • A dink or tip

However, there might be situations where the ball passing overhead is not taken as an attack, but most importantly, official kills result from attacks. 

Dead Ball In Volleyball:

A dead ball in volleyball is deadly serious and is an unfortunate scenario. Any ball in volleyball that touches the ground or violates any rules of the game resulting in the end of the game, is a dead ball.  

What Is The Difference Between Side-Out And Rally Scoring

Side out is often used as a reference to the absolute rule. And as mentioned earlier, it’s only when the serving team gets to score.

However, recently the meaning of side has been changed. Currently, it’s used when the referring team serves, irrespective of whether they get the point or not. The current scoring system is the rally system.

What Is The Difference Between Side-Out And Rally Scoring
What Is The Difference Between Side-Out And Rally Scoring

A rally is nothing but a chain of playing actions that determine each point as soon as the ball is served and until the ball is out of the boundary. 

In case the serving team wins the rally, they continue serving, and likewise, if the opponent wins the rally, they get to serve. 

Rally scoring is usually played for 25 points. Like side out, rally scoring too is played for best of three matches. Such a scoring creates a more consistent game flow, eliminating side-out scoring delays. 


1. Why do volleyball players say side out?

Players usually ask for a side-out only when the team that serves the ball wins a point.

If the opponent drops the ball, if the serving team hits it to the net or the serving team hits the ball on the net thrice that would be side-out. 

2. What is volleyball side out scoring?

It’s a form of scoring system where only the serving team wins the point. 

3. Is side out a violation in volleyball?

Penalties and violations are usually called out by the referees and are applied to players who break the rules during the game.

Violations can result in side-out, leading to the ball and score both going to the other team. 

Volleyball is a competitive game, and knowing a bit about the various rules and scoring types will help you get an idea about the game and help you play better, harder. 

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