Commonly Asked Volleyball Game Questions

So How Does Volleyball Work?

Indoor volleyball is a game played by a team of 6 players who defend their 30×30 foot side of the court. The objective of the game is to score on your opponent by getting the ball to hit the ground on their 30×30 foot side of the volleyball court. The one catch is you have to do this by moving the ball over a 7 foot 4 and 1/8 inch high net which divides the two teams.

We have compiled all of the most commonly asked volleyball questions into one page for your convenience. If you are a new parent or fan trying to understand what happens in a volleyball match and how a team wins, we have everything you need to know.

How Does A Volleyball Game End?

These categories will discuss the scoring system that volleyball uses and how a team will win.

A volleyball game will end when a team wins the majority of the games in a match. This is traditionally the best 3 out of 5 games to 25 with a 15 point tie breaker

It is important to note that volleyball’s scoring method changed to rally scoring in 2001. This dictated that points were scored after every serve and that teams could score even when they did not serve the ball. The original scoring system was called side-out scoring. With side-out scoring a team had to have served to score a point.

Winning An Indoor Volleyball Match

How Many Sets In A Volleyball Game?

High school and college volleyball games are played the best 3 out of 5 games or “sets” where as club volleyball games are played the best 2 out of 3 games. An indoor volleyball match will end when one team manages to win the majority of the games in a match.

An indoor volleyball game or “set” is won when one team reaches 25 points. Volleyball games are always win by two scoring, so if a game between two teams is 24-24 the teams must get 2 points before their opponent scores one in order to win.

This volleyball game went all the way up to 33 points because the teams were so evenly matched and they had to win by 2 points.

Winning A Beach Volleyball Match

Beach volleyball matches are played the best 2 out of 3 games (aka sets). Each game will be played to 21 points except the 3rd set which will be played to 15 points. The games are always win by at least 2 points. Once a team manages to win two of these three games, the volleyball match will be over

How Long Is A Volleyball Game?

These categories discuss the length of time you will spend watching or playing a volleyball game on average. High school and college level games will be longer than club volleyball and beach volleyball games.

High School and College Volleyball Game Length

You can expect high school and college volleyball matches to take at least an hour and a half from start to finish. Better matched teams will play for longer as they battle for the victory of the match. Here’s how we got that number.

High School Volleyball Matches are typically played via best three out of five games. So each Match will have between 3-5 individual games (aka sets) to 25 points. The tie breaker or 5th set in a match is played only to 15 points, so it is a bit shorter.

Indoor volleyball games , on average take around 30 minutes to complete. The tie breaker game to fifteen points will generally take around 20 minutes.

Indoor Club Volleyball Game Length

Club volleyball matches on average take around an hour to complete from start to finish. You can expect the match will last at least 45 minutes.

Each game will last between 20 and 30 minutes and the matches are played best two out of three games.

Beach Volleyball Game Length

Beach volleyball Matches on average take an hour to finish. The best out of 3 games are played to 21 points with a 15 point tie breaker.

Each game will on average take about 25 minutes to complete and each match will have 2-3 games.

How Many Players On A Volleyball Team

6 vs 6

An indoor volleyball team will have six players on the court at a time. They will play against another team who also have six players. This is the traditional indoor volleyball game invented in 1895. High school, college and indoor club volleyball tournaments will play with 6 players per team.

2 vs 2

Beach volleyball will traditionally have two players on each side of the net. This version of the sport was originally invented in California in the 1920’s. Beach volleyball played with teams of two has grown increasingly popular and became an Olympic sport in 1996 and an NCAA sport in 2012.

4 vs 4

In some cases you will see grass tournaments where the sport is played in teams of four. This is less common than the 6 vs 6 and the 2 vs 2 player lineups. There is no official volleyball organization which recognizes 4 man volleyball.

When and Where Was Volleyball First Played

Volleyball was first invented in the United States at a YMCA in Massachusetts by a man named William G. Morgan. This was in the year 1895 and the sport was originally named Mintonette. Inspiration for the sport came from a combination of tennis, basketball, baseball and handball.

Soon after a fan watching a game proclaimed that a more appropriate name for the sport would be volleyball as the teams seemed to volley back and forth over the net.

Though volleyball was invented in the USA it only just recently got to be as popular in the country as it was in the rest of the world. There are over 46 million people in the United States who play the sport of volleyball regularly. In comparison over 800 million people around the world play the sport on a weekly basis.

The sport has changed quite a bit since it was invented over 125 years ago. Here are some main events that led to the popularity of the sport

Timeline Of Volleyball

1895- The sport of Mintonette was invented in the United States

1896- The sport is renamed volleyball

1900- The first volleyball was invented exclusively for the sport

1916- Variations of the set and hit were added to the game

1920- Beach Volleyball is invented in California

1920- Rules were amended to three hits per side and back row attacking

1928- USAV was formed to facilitate rules

1948- The first beach volleyball tournament with 2 player teams was held

1949- The first ever world championship was held for volleyball

1964- Indoor volleyball was added to the Olympic Games

1978- The AVP was created

1996- 2 player beach volleyball was added as an Olympic sport

2001- rules ammended did away with side out scoring replacing it with rally

2020- Today volleyball is 125 years old and is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. It is currently the 3rd most popular sport in the world and boys volleyball is the fastest growing sport in North America.


Coach Alyx

CEO and Founder of Volleyball Solutions. Coach Alyx has been playing and coaching women's indoor volleyball for over 15 years. "Volleyball is my culture. It is an incredible opportunity I have to share my knowledge of the sport, as well as the raw character it develops, with our next generation of players."

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