What Does Sideout Mean in Volleyball: Everything You Need to Know

by | Jun 11, 2023 | Volleyball Questions, Advice & Skills

Have you ever found yourself engrossed in a volleyball match and heard the referee shout, “Sideout!”?

You look around, and everyone seems to get it, but you’re left scratching your head, wondering, “What does sideout mean in volleyball?”

Well, buckle up because you’re about to become the volleyball guru in your group!

If you’ve ever played volleyball, watched a match, or even had a conversation about it, you’d know it’s not just about bumping a ball over a net. It’s a game of strategy, strength, and quick reflexes. But most importantly, it’s a game with a language of its own, and that’s where we come in.

In volleyball, ‘Sideout’ is a term that hails from the traditional scoring system. It refers to a situation where the serving team loses their serve due to a fault, or the opposing team wins a rally. This pivotal moment changes who serve and the game’s potential course, making ‘side out’ a term you’ll want to remember.

But there’s more to this term than just its basic definition.

Picture this – the score is tied, the tension on the court is palpable, and suddenly the serving team fails to get the ball over the net. The referee calls, “Sideout!” and the whole game takes a twist.

What just happened there? Stick around, and we’ll unveil the magic behind these volleyball terminologies and transform your viewing experience from casual to insightful.

In the whirlwind of spikes, sets, and serves, understanding the rules can be your golden ticket to fully appreciating the sport.

This includes knowing when a team earns the right to serve or, as those in the know say, when a ‘side out’ occurs. The rule might seem a little tricky at first, especially compared to the rally scoring system commonly used in today’s game, but don’t sweat it. We’ve got you covered!

Together, we’ll demystify one of the most iconic phrases in volleyball history – “side out.” Game on!

Understanding Volleyball Scoring Systems

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of the term ‘sideout,’ let’s take a step back. Picture the game in its entirety. Every jump, every serve, every spike is part of the bigger picture: the scoring system.

So, let’s get our feet wet and start from the basics. After all, you can’t fully appreciate the symphony without understanding the notes, right?

The Scoring System in Volleyball: How Does It Work?

Ever watched a volleyball match and found yourself lost in a sea of numbers? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. The scoring system in volleyball might seem like a complex web, but in reality, it’s as straightforward as a clean serve.

Traditionally, there are two primary ways to keep score in volleyball – the ‘side-out scoring’ system and the ‘rally scoring’ system. Both systems have their unique flair and can drastically change the pace and strategy of a game.

Side-Out Scoring vs Rally Scoring: The Showdown

But what’s the difference between the two, you ask? Great question!

In the old days of volleyball (think the 90’s and before), the side-out scoring system reigned supreme. Under this system, only the serving team could score points.

This means if the serving team won a rally, they scored a point. But if they lost, well, no harm done; the score remained the same.

However, losing the rally meant they gave up the serve to the other team – hence, a side out occurred. You’d hear “sideout!” and the right to serve would switch sides. Talk about a see-saw of a game!

On the other side of the court, we have the rally scoring system. Introduced to make the game more exciting and TV-friendly, it transformed volleyball as we know it.

In rally scoring, a point is up for grabs in every rally, regardless of who served. Win the rally, win a point – as simple as that. This means the game is faster, every serve counts, and no moment is without suspense.

The Phase-Out of Sideout Scoring: A Nostalgic Goodbye

As time passed and the speed of the game picked up, many types of volleyball phased out sideout scoring.

Rally scoring became the norm from the Olympics to local high school games. It didn’t matter if you were the serving or receiving team; if you won the rally, you scored a point. This shift brought a fresh wave of dynamism and excitement to the sport.

But this doesn’t mean the term ‘sideout’ was tossed aside. Oh no, it’s still very much alive and kicking, especially in the world of beach volleyball.

There you have it, a brief run-through of the volleyball scoring systems. With this newfound knowledge, we’re ready to bump, set, and spike our way into the heart of the topic – sideout.

Ready to uncover the magic of volleyball? 

What Does Side Out Mean in Volleyball? The Real Score

Now that we’re all warmed up, it’s time to serve the main course. The term that brings a wave of nostalgia to old-school volleyball enthusiasts (that’s Me, lol) – sideout.

It’s time we unmask this elusive term and understand its essence in the game we all love. Ready to dig deep? Let’s get started!

Unraveling the Volleyball Lingo: What is a Sideout?

In the simplest of terms, a sideout in volleyball is when the receiving team wins a rally, causing the right to serve to switch, or ‘side out,’ to them.

It’s like seizing control in the most thrilling way possible.

Picture this: the opposing team is serving, and you’re on the receiving end. You manage a stunning save, set up a perfect spike, and bam! Point for your team, and now you get to serve. That’s a sideout for you, a brilliant comeback and a shift in the momentum of the game!

How Does a Team Earn the Right to Serve? Say Hello to Side Out!

But how does a team earn the right to serve, you ask? It all boils down to the concept of sideout.

Under the traditional side-out scoring system, only the serving team can score points. No point is scored if the receiving team wins the rally, but they earn the right to serve.

It’s like stealing the limelight and turning the tables. So, next time you see the serve switch sides without a change in the score, you know a sideout just happened.

When Do Side Outs Occur in Volleyball? The Power to Change the Tide

Now, let’s talk about when a sideout occurs in volleyball. It could be due to a fault by the serving team, such as a missed serve, a serve that hits the net, or a serve that sails out of bounds.

Or it could be a successful attack by the receiving team that lands the ball on the serving team’s side of the court.

A sideout can also occur due to a violation by the serving team, such as a player touching the net or stepping on the service line. In short, a sideout is like a surprise twist in the game, always ready to shake things up!

Deciphering ‘Side Out Scoring’ in Volleyball: The Old Guard

Lastly, let’s clear up any confusion about ‘side out scoring.’ In this system, only the team that served could score points, and if they failed to win the rally, it was a ‘side out,’ and the right to serve passed to the other team, but without any points.

It’s like a classic duel where you have the advantage when you have the weapon (in this case, the serve).

But if you slip up, your opponent snatches that advantage, even though they don’t score any points. It makes for a slower-paced but equally intense game.

The Tides of Change: Transitioning from Sideout Scoring to Rally Scoring in Volleyball

Volleyball, a popular sport, has witnessed a significant evolution in its rules and scoring system. The game transitioned from the old sideout scoring system to the current rally scoring rule, amplifying the game’s thrill and spectator engagement. So, what does side out mean in volleyball and how did it shape the game?

The Dawn of Rally Scoring

Rally scoring, a new scoring rule in volleyball, emerged as a game-changer.

Unlike the side out scoring in volleyball, where only the team that served the ball could earn a point, rally scoring means that a point can be scored by the team playing either side of the net, whether they’re serving or not.

Consider it as a free-for-all round where every successful move gets a point!

Side Out Scoring vs. Rally Scoring: The Showdown

The side out scoring system and rally scoring can be compared to two different styles of play. In the side out scoring system, the team serving the ball had to successfully rally to earn a point.

On the other hand, rally scoring increased the pace of the game, as each rally, regardless of the team who served the ball, results in a point.

The Reason behind the Shift

Keeping the game running smoothly and excitingly was a significant reason behind the shift from side out scoring to rally scoring.

The new system ensured that each rally resulted in a point, making the game more engaging for spectators and giving volleyball teams a more predictable timeline, which is essential for broadcasters.

Sideout in Today’s Volleyball

The term “side out” is still used in volleyball today. It’s referred to when a team wins the rally, and the serving team loses its serve.

The opposing team is now allowed to serve, signifying a “sideout.” Even though rally scoring is the norm, the essence of sideout— the quest to regain the serve—remains integral to volleyball’s strategy.

Even with the introduction of rally scoring, the old sideout scoring rule was not completely phased out. In certain types of volleyball games, like the “sideout at 60,” the sideout scoring system is still practiced.

This keeps the game’s heritage alive while ensuring every game of volleyball is thrilling.

This transition from sideout scoring to rally scoring gave volleyball a different meaning.

It transformed the game’s pace, made every rally crucial, and intensified the competition.

So, while volleyball’s scoring style has evolved over the years, the core tenets of team play, strategic serving, and seizing opportunities to score remain as relevant as ever.

Now that you know how volleyball has evolved and what sideout means, you’re ready to spike your way into any volleyball conversation or game! Let’s keep the ball flying high!

Side Out in Modern Beach Volleyball: An Explainer

Even though the term ‘side out’ has a historical significance in volleyball, its meaning and usage have changed with time, particularly in modern beach volleyball games.

The Notion of Side Out in Beach Volleyball Today

In the contemporary language of beach volleyball, ‘side out’ has a slightly different meaning. It no longer pertains to a scoring system, as in the side out scoring of yesteryears.

Instead, the term is now used to denote the instance when the receiving team wins a rally and subsequently earns the right to serve.

How the Game Unfolds

In the sandy arena of beach volleyball, the teams’ primary objective is to volley the ball over the net and ground it on the opposing team’s court.

Meanwhile, each team employs a defensive strategy to prevent the opposing side from grounding the ball on their court.

The action continues until one team scores a point, either by successfully landing the ball on the opposing team’s court, causing the opposing team to hit the ball “out,” witnessing an opponent commit a fault, or receiving a penalty awarded to the opposing team.

Scoring System: Rally Scoring Takes Over

Modern beach volleyball games primarily use the rally scoring system. Under this system, each rally won, irrespective of which team served the ball, translates to a point for the winning team.

So, whether the serving or receiving teams win, a point gets added to their score.

Matches typically consist of the best of three sets, with each set played to 21 points. The deciding set, if needed, is played to 15 points.

While the term ‘side out’ continues to be used in beach volleyball, it no longer stands for the scoring style.

Instead, it now refers to when a team successfully defends a serve and earns the right to serve, thereby taking control of the offensive side.

Understanding these subtleties of volleyball language enhances one’s appreciation of this dynamic game.

The Intricate Web of Rules: Understanding Side Out in Volleyball

Volleyball is a popular sport enjoyed by millions across the globe. To fully enjoy and understand the game, we must delve into the rules that guide it, particularly those related to ‘side out.’

Let’s explore what ‘side out’ in volleyball means and its significance in the scoring system of volleyball.

Scenarios Resulting in a Side Out

Even though side-out scoring was the norm in the past and has been phased out in most types of volleyball, the term ‘side out’ is still an essential component of volleyball lingo. Understanding the definition of ‘side out’ helps us make sense of several match scenarios:

  • For instance, when a team must pass the ball over the net within the prescribed three touches, failing to do so triggers an automatic side out. The opposing team, the one that was on the defensive side, gains the right to serve.
  • The first team to touch the ball in a way that it lands outside the side boundaries results in a side out. An exception to this rule occurs when a player from the receiving team hits the ball out following a block.

Keep in mind the game of volleyball comprises various other scenarios, like when a player hits the ball twice in succession or touches the net during a play, which can also result in a side out.

When The Receiving Team Wins the Rally

In the current system of scoring used, known as rally scoring, the term ‘side out’ signifies that the team serving the ball has lost its serve. The team wins when their opponent makes a mistake, causing a side out, and shifting the right to serve to them.

While the phrase ‘side out’ doesn’t contribute to scoring in the traditional sense, it plays a critical role in the ebb and flow of the match, dictating the momentum.

It offers the receiving team an opportunity to go on the offensive, putting pressure on their opponents.

At the end of the game, understanding these rules, such as ‘side out,’ deepens our appreciation of volleyball.

You’re not just watching players pass, set, and spike; you’re witnessing a strategic battle where every serve, every point, and every ‘side out’ shapes the game’s outcome.

In the heart-pounding excitement of a match, these are the nuances that make volleyball a game of wit, skill, and endless excitement.

Can You Block the Serve in Volleyball?: To Block or Not to Block

Serving the Final Point…

As we step off the court and wrap up our deep dive into the game of volleyball, it becomes clear that understanding terms like ‘side out’ is as crucial as nailing a killer serve or executing a perfect spike.

These terms and rules construct the unique language of volleyball and shape the game’s thrilling rhythm.

Looking back at the evolution of the scoring system of volleyball, from the side-out scoring system to rally scoring, we see a sport that has continually adapted to maintain its pace, excitement, and accessibility.

In the ever-evolving arena of volleyball, change is the only constant. Yet, the heart of the game—teamwork, strategy, and skill—remains the same, as does the electrifying moment of scoring a point or the strategic shift signaled by a ‘side out.’

Remember, the game is as much a mental challenge as a physical one. Understanding the rules, adapting to changes, and mastering the lingo is all part of becoming a seasoned volleyball player or an informed spectator.

If you found this information valuable, why not serve it up to your friends and fellow volleyball enthusiasts? You might just help someone score the winning point in their next game!

Don’t stop here. Explore more on our website, volleyballsportgoodvibes.com, to fuel your passion and elevate your game. We have plenty more articles waiting for you.

See you on the court!