Scoring System: 25 or reset

Here’s something you can use if you want to work on your team closing out a set (and fighting back). It’s a scoring system we’ve used at Midwestern State, and a variation on stuff I’ve seen in other places and have used myself.

In our case we started the scoring at 19-19 for a 6 v 6 game. The sides alternated receiving down balls until one side reached set point. When that happens, they serve for set point. If they fail to win the point, their score resets to 19. Play continues until one side wins on their serve. We ran this game by rotation as in this version there is no rotation.

There are a number of potential variations:

  • You could start with a different score. You can even use an uneven score if you have unbalanced teams, for example.
  • Make it a regular game by having rallies start with a serve and normal rotation
  • You can incorporate bonus points if there’s something you want to have as a focus, though you would still want the winning point to only come via the service rally.
  • You can use this scoring system for small-sided games, and not just for 6 v 6.
  • A missed serve after a certain point (e.g. 20) could reset that team’s points.
  • Instead of initiating with a coach’s down ball you could have a player send over a free ball, or have them attack and out-of-system ball.

These are just some possible ways you can tweak things to do what you want to do. I’m sure you can think of others.

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John Forman
About the Author: John Forman
John most recently coached for an NCAA Division II women's team. That followed a stint as head coach for a women's professional team in Sweden. Prior to that he was the head coach for the University of Exeter Volleyball Club BUCS teams (roughly the UK version of the NCAA) while working toward a PhD. He previously coached in Division I of NCAA Women's Volleyball in the US, with additional experience at the Juniors club level, both coaching and managing, among numerous other volleyball adventures. Learn more on his bio page.

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