What Is A Sideout In Volleyball?

Are you curious to know what is a sideout in volleyball? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about a sideout in volleyball in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is a sideout in volleyball?

Volleyball is a dynamic and fast-paced team sport known for its exciting rallies, powerful spikes, and strategic plays. One fundamental concept that greatly influences the flow of a volleyball game is the “sideout.” In this blog, we will delve into what a sideout is in volleyball, its significance, and how it affects the momentum of the game.

What Is A Sideout In Volleyball?

In volleyball, a sideout is a term used to describe the situation when the serving team loses the serve to the opposing team. This means that the serving team was unsuccessful in winning a point and, as a result, relinquishes their serve to the other team. When a sideout occurs, the teams switch positions on the court, and the game continues with the team that just received the sideout serving the ball.

Key Points About Sideouts:

  1. Switching of Sides: After a sideout, the teams switch positions on the court. The team that was previously in the receiving position becomes the serving team, and vice versa.
  2. No Points Awarded: A sideout does not result in any points being awarded to either team. It is simply a change of possession, akin to a turnover in sports like basketball or football.
  3. Importance of Serving: Serving is a critical aspect of volleyball, and a successful serve can put the receiving team on the defensive, making it challenging for them to set up an effective attack.
  4. Continuous Play: Volleyball is known for its continuous play, with teams gaining points on their own serves. The objective is to win points while serving and prevent the opponent from doing the same.

Significance Of Sideouts

The significance of sideouts in volleyball cannot be understated, as they play a crucial role in determining the outcome of a game. Here’s why sideouts matter:

  1. Momentum Shift: Sideouts can lead to significant shifts in momentum. When a team successfully earns a sideout, it not only gains the right to serve but also gains confidence and momentum, making it more likely to win points on its serve.
  2. Pressure on the Receiving Team: The receiving team faces the pressure of not only defending against the serve but also trying to sideout and regain control of the serve. This can be particularly challenging when facing a skilled serving team.
  3. Strategic Element: Teams strategize their serves and attacks with the goal of earning sideouts and scoring points. The serving team aims to disrupt the opponent’s offense, while the receiving team looks to pass effectively and set up successful attacks.
  4. Game Management: Managing sideouts is an integral part of game management for coaches and players. Understanding when to take risks with aggressive serves and when to focus on consistent serves is key to success.
  5. Game Length: The number of sideouts in a game directly affects its length. Longer rallies and more sideouts can extend the duration of a match, making it mentally and physically demanding for both teams.


In volleyball, a sideout represents a pivotal moment in a game when the serving team transitions to the receiving team due to an unsuccessful serve. Understanding the significance of sideouts and their impact on momentum, strategy, and game management is essential for players, coaches, and fans alike. As teams strive to earn sideouts and gain control of the serve, the ebb and flow of the game continue, creating the exciting and competitive atmosphere that makes volleyball such a thrilling sport to watch and play.

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What Is A Side Out In Volleyball?

Volleyball side-out may also be defined as the team receiving (not serving) the ball will win and gain the right to serve the ball. This occurs in Volleyball when the team who served the ball does not win the rally, therefore not winning a point, and the opposing team is now allowed to serve.

Why Is It Called Sideout?

Before rally scoring, “side-out” referred to when a team won a rally but did not have the serve. The NCAA switched to rally scoring in 2001, making the term “side-out” obsolete. Volleyball teams still use it as a motivational phrase on defense.

Is Side Out Scoring Still Used In Volleyball?

The Adoption of Rally Scoring

Rally scoring was officially adopted in 1999. The shift from side out scoring to rally scoring was primarily made to make the average length of volleyball matches more predictable, as well as to make them more spectator- and television-friendly.

Why Is It Called Weak Side In Volleyball?

Weakside hitter – Usually the outside hitter on the right side, where right-handers have more trouble hitting down the sideline. Most left-handed hitters will hit from the right side because it is their strong side, where the shot down the sideline is more of a weapon.

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What Is A Sideout In Volleyball

What Is A Sideout In Volleyball