What Is A Side Out And What Happens During A Sideout in Volleyball?

Learn what is a side out, what happens during a sideout and why its called a sideout which is how your team earns the right to serve the ball and score a point. 

Learn what is a side out, what happens during a sideout and why its called a sideout which is how your team earns the right to serve the ball and score a point.Learn what is a side out, what happens during a sideout and why its called a sideout which is how your team earns the right to serve the ball and score a point.

What is a SIDEOUT?

The act of winning a rally when your team is not serving is called a sideout.


When you’re playing volleyball, at the beginning of each rally, one team is serving and the opposing team is in serve receive also called service reception


The Story Behind Sideout Scoring vs Rally Scoring
Here's some history about what is a sideout


Up until the late 1990's sideout scoring was the norm... the old rule was that the only team that could score a point would be the team that served.

So if your team was in serve receive, you guys would have to win the rally, rotate, a new server would serve and then only if you won the next rally would your team be awarded a point.

And yes, you can see that with the old sideout scoring rule the games and matches were much longer because it took much longer for teams to score points.

In the early 2000's the rules changed to rally scoring which allowed games and matches to finish faster making them more appealing for television audiences.


What Is A Side Out? Four Ways To Earn A Point And The Right To Serve
What's rally scoring?


With rally scoring, a team that is serving earns a point and the right to serve when they score a point.

When the team in serve receive wins the rally, they earn a point for their team, they rotate one position, and a new server earns the right to serve to start the new rally. 


Volleyball Sayings and Phrases Players Say In Serve Receive


Here's a fun fact...Did you know that the phrase sideout in volleyball is used as a noun and a verb?

What I described at the beginning of this page is the noun form.

But when a team is in serve receive you'll often hear the players that are in passing formation say "Come on let's sideout!"

Using the phrase in this action form, players are encouraging each other to win this rally so that they can get the next point and win the right to serve. 


What are different ways to earn a sideout?


You and your team can earn a sideout using several different skills to win a point in a rally. 

  • Setter Dump
  • Overpass
  • Kill

Click here to read more on the three ways to get the ball back so your team can serve the ball to start the rally and potentially score more points. 

Do You Follow Me on Instagram?


Follow me on Instagram @coach_apchap to improve your game even faster!

I share alot of individual, partner and easy-to-do volleyball serving drills we do in class with my followers.

Many of these volleyball practice drills you can do at home by yourself or try at your next practice with your teammates.

If you're a B team or JV player trying to make varsity next year...your goal should be to complete 1000 reps a day of at least three of the basic skills on your own...volleyball passing, serving and setting should be at the top of the list. 


What Is A Side Out And What Happens During A Sideout in Volleyball?:
Where Do You Go From Here?

Good times! Where do you need to go now? Here are three options: 

  1. Learn more about the Rules.
  2. Follow the suggested reading on our Sitemap page Learning How To Play (Sitemap)
  3. Or visit the pages in the Volleyball Rules section in the drop down menu at the top of the page 

Learn more from these volleyball rules pages!



  • Improve Your Volleyball Skills with Private Volleyball Coach April Chapple
  •  ›
  • Volleyball Game Rules: Serving, Score, Skill, Rotation and Regulations
  •  ›
  • What Is A Side Out And What Happens During A Sideout in Volleyball?
  •  ›

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