How Many Sets Are Played in Volleyball

Coach Stuart
September 6, 2019

Volleyball is a sport that generally has a different set of rules depending on the level of play. Although many of the rules do overlap, there are some small differences in how rules are interpreted and applied. Another difference can be the number of sets that are played at each level. Here is a list of the number of sets that are generally played at each level of volleyball.

Middle School – Best 2 out of 3 Sets

Junior Varsity – Best 2 out of 3 Sets

Varsity – Best 3 out of 5 Sets

College – Best 3 out of 5 Sets

International Indoor – Best 3 out of 5

International Beach – Best 2 out of 3

In Indoor matches that are played Best 2 out of 3 Sets, the first two sets are played to 25 (a team must win by at least 2 points). The third set is a tie-breaker set that is played to 15 points (a team must win by at least2 points).

In Indoor matches that are played Best 3 out of 5 Sets, the first 4 sets are played to 25 (a team must win by at least 2 points). The fifth set is a tie-break set that is played to 15 points (a team must win by at least 2 points).

In International Beach volleyball, the first two sets are played to 21 (a team must win by at least 2 points). The third set is a tie-break set that is played to 15 points (a team must win by at least 2 points)

Club Volleyball is a little bit different as it depends on the tournament. Club tournaments are generally divided up into Pool Play and Bracket Play. In most club tournaments, Pool Play matches are only 2 sets played to 25. There is no tie-breaker. There are some Pool Play tournaments that are played Best 2 out of 3.

In Bracket Play, most matches are played Best 2 out of 3. The first two sets are played to 25 (a team must win by at least 2 points) with the third set being a tie-break set that is played to 15 (a team must win by at least 2 points).