volleyball players encouraging with a thumbs upHow To Keep Score on an official Volleyball Score Sheet

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Whether you are playing tournament or high school volleyball, indoor or outdoor, or a handful of other situations, rules may vary but how to keep the score rarely changes.

How to keep score in volleyball is the most consistent thing across all the different types of games.

Just follow the step by step illustrations below to learn the basics.

The score sheet is divided in half; one team's scores on the left and the other team's score on the right. 

Start by writing down everything shown in red. 

I purposefully wrote just outside the lines to show you that is totally okay to relax and be a bit messy, as long as by the end of the game you can read what you have written.

Also, use a pencil to keep score (you'll find out why later) and I like to have 3 sharpend pencils with me because everyone at that table, including the referees need them.

Before the games begins, you can enter the following information shown in RED.

volleyball score sheet with instructions on it
1. Enter in the name of each team.  It is very helpful if you write them on the side of the sheet that corresponds with the side of the court they will be begin playing on. 

This will be a visual aid as you enter the scores.

2. This the first game of the match, so enter "1" in the top center square as shown. 

Whether the match is best 2 out of 3, or 3 out of 5 doesn't matter at this point.

3. Each coach is going to hand you a line-up for their team.  All you need from that line up are the players' numbers. 

The player listed first will be that team's first server, and each player will be serving after him/her in that exact order. 

List these numbers on the appropriate side of the score sheet as shown.

4. Make a note of which team is serving first and which team is receiving.  Some score sheets only have a space for which team is serving and that is OK. 

A coin toss will usually decide which team will be serving first, and if you missed it, just ask the referee. 🙂

Now the game is ready to start and you are going to add the information in BLUE.

learn how to keep score in volleyball, volleyball score sheet, volleyball
1. Highland High School serves first and they score a point.  Simply write "1" in the first square as shown and then tally a point from the center column by crossing through the number "1".

2. Having scored that point, Highland HS serves again and they score another point.  You will write a "2" in the next square and tally that point.

3. Highland serves and scores another point, and you repeat your work with a "3" in the next box and tally that 3rd point.

4. Having won the last point, Highland gets to serve again.  This time the server puts it into the net.  This is a "side out" and the other team gets a point, and they now get to serve. 

First, you indicate a side out by entering "/" or "-" in the next line*. This closes that line of scoring. 

You now put a "1" for the other team's first point and circle it because player #21 on Lowland's team did not actually serve that point.

Remember to cross off the number 1 in their tally column also.

5. Now Lowland is serving, and after the rally, they score a point.  You write "2" in the next square and tally off the number 2 in their center column.

6. Subs.  As you continue this back and forth of recording scores, Lowland makes a substitution of players. 

The coach is sending in player #8 to play where #3 was in the rotation and the ref will blow his/her whistle and will look to you to be sure you got this substitution written down ok on your score sheet. 

All you need to do is cross through the number "3" on your line up, and next to that write the new player's number – in this case "8". 

Then tally that a substitution has taken place by crossing off the number "1" in that section on the bottom.

Later when 8 is subbed out and 3 is subbed back in, you just cross off the "8" and next to it, write "3" and tally another sub on the bottom.

**As you are keeping score of points and the number of substitutions, the referees are also counting on you to watch for just one more thing. 

If you ever notice that the player who has just served for one of the teams is not the player you have listed on your score sheet as up next, you must immediately tell the referee.

Now let's wrap up this game and show you how to enter the information in BLACK.

volleyball score sheet, how to keep score in volleyball

You are continuing through the game, scoring points for both teams and remembering to both circle those points that team did not serve and tally in the center columns.

7. Highland takes a timeout.  To record a time out, you do two things. 

First you record a "T" in the next immediate box for the player who is serving. 

If it was the server's team who has called the time out, then it is just a "T", and if it was the other team, you record it with a "Tx" as shown. 

Then, you go to the side of the team who took the time out, in this case Highland, and in the Time Out boxes, you record the score as it stands at that moment.  In this case, we enter "10-19". 

You always enter the teams who called the time out first.

Each team gets three time outs.  And the referee will double check with you how many are left for each team through out the games.

8. In our example game, the first team to reach 25 points is the winner.  You can see how all your numbers add up to 25. 

Can you see something that is missing in our example above? 

That's right!  Our score keeper needed to continue marking the tally's down the center point columns and she didn't.  Good catch! 

Normally, those tally's will match your written score.  This is your built in method for double checking yourself. 

It is also a great idea to occasionally compare your paper score with the electronic score board, if there is one.  It helps everyone stay on track.

9. When the game is over, enter the final score in the bottom center boxes.  Make any notes you wish to on either side and you're done….but the match isn't over….

On to the next game, let's see what is left to know about by looking at the information in GREEN.

volleyball score sheet, learn how to keep score in volleyball
The teams have retreated to their sidelines before the next game begins. 

You are looking at your score sheet and realizing that this wasn't so hard after all.  In fact, it's kinda fun!

Now you just need to set the score sheet up for the next game. 

Enter in the number "2" in the Game box. 

And this time, since you know the teams are going to switch sides, you are going to help yourself out by changing the sides you write them on your score sheet also, as shown.

Coaches must turn in a new line up for each game, so when you get that, enter in the numbers just like before and you are all set for the next game!

Members, click here to go to the volleyball forms page for your free download of a volleyball score sheet.


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