Dodgeball Rules

1. Equipment/Set-Up

Team captains are responsible for bringing the 2 supplied dodgeballs to each game.

Teams are responsible for keeping track of the score.

2. Game Time/Default

Games are approximately 75 minutes in length, with roughly 10 minutes to warm up before and no stoppage for a halftime. If one side of a venue has a potential advantage (i.e. stage at one end, etc), teams should agree BEFORE the game that they will be switching sides at approximately the mid-point of the game (and agree on the time to switch). A captain that requests a switch pre-game MUST be accommodated.

Teams are comprised of 6 players with a minimum of 2 women (there is no minimum for the number of men on a team or on the court). A default will occur if any team cannot field a squad by 10 minutes after the official start time.

A team can play with a minimum of 4 people, as long as 2 of the players are women (gender is based on self identification). Captains may agree to waive the rules regarding minimum people but this should be decided before the game starts. IF IT IS AGREED THAT THE GAME COUNTS, IT COUNTS!

The 6 players that start each game are the ONLY players that can play during that particular game (i.e. for that point). Substitute players must wait until the next game before playing. Teams can alter their roster for each game, as long as the gender requirements are met. Exception: Injured players can be substituted midway during a game if necessary (male for male, female for female only)

3. Starting the Game and General Rules

  1. 4 dodgeballs will be used for each game.
  2. To start the game, each team stands at their respective back wall with two dodgeballs each. The timekeeper (or a substitute player) will start the match by shouting, “1, 2, 3, Dodgeball”. Balls must be thrown within 5 seconds of the count ending. If any balls are not thrown within this time, they must be rolled to the other side of the court (Captains are responsible for enforcing this).
  3. Once play has started, players must remain on their own side of half.
  4. Players can lean over the half line to retrieve a ball, but the player cannot touch any part of their opponents half of the court. If any part of a player touches their opponents’ side of half, that person is out. You are not permitted to use the ball or wall in any way to reach a ball on the other side of the court.
  5. Players cannot remain static in areas that conceal or partially conceal their body. e.g. door entrance ways, climbers, etc.
  6. A ball is considered “dead” as soon as it hits the floor, walls, ceiling or any other obstacles around the court (e.g. basketball hoops, etc). In addition, a ball that strikes a player who is already out and is leaving the floor is considered “dead”. A player is not eliminated after being hit by a dead ball (i.e. if the ball hits the wall, then hits the player, the player is not eliminated). All other balls are considered “live”. Balls that collide in the air are NOT dead (i.e. If two balls hit in mid-air and one continues over the line and hits someone, that person is out.).
  7. Eliminated players should sit on the opposite side/corner of their team bench (in an effort to clarify who is participating in that particular game).
  8. Teams, and especially team captains are responsible for enforcing rules and ensuring fair play. If there is a stoppage in play (i.e. to discuss a play or settle an argument), reset the game to before the stoppage.
  9. Players cannot use obstacles during play e.g. a player cannot jump onto a bench, stage, etc to dodge.

4. Throwing the Balls and Eliminating Players

  1. Players can only be in possession of ONE ball at any given time. Players may catch an incoming ball while holding a ball in their hands (this counts as a catch), but must place one of the balls on the ground before throwing. Players may also place/drop the ball they are holding to catch an incoming ball. Players are permitted to pick up additional balls solely for the purpose of passing said ball(s) to a team mate. You are not permitted to do anything else with the ball(s) (i.e. block, throw, etc.). If a player purposely blocks a ball while holding two (or more), that player must roll ONE ball over to the other side of the court. If a player throws a ball while holding another ball, the opposing player is not out if they are hit, but if the ball is caught, the thrower is out.
  2. Players can throw a ball in any manner (with the exception of squeezing the air out of the ball. DO NOT SQUEEZE THE BALL!) from anywhere on their own side of the court. A player/team cannot hold a ball in their hands in an effort to “stockpile” the balls on their own side of court, therefore balls have to be released (thrown – not dropped or placed on the ground) within 5 SECONDS. While you may drop/place a ball on the ground to catch an incoming ball (Rule 4a), the player still needs to ensure that a ball is thrown across the center line before the 5 seconds runs out. If a ball is not thrown over the line within 5 seconds of picking one up, the ball must be rolled to the other side of the court (Team Captains need to enforce this rule).
  3. Balls that are able to be picked up must be done so within 5 seconds. If the ball is not picked up within 5 seconds, the ball must be rolled over to the other team (Team captains are responsible for enforcing this rule.).
  4. To eliminate an opposing player, a “live” ball must hit the player from the SHOULDER downwards. An opponent that is hit in the head is NOT eliminated. Neither is the thrower. NOTE: that the ball’s first point of contact is what matters (i.e. if a ball first hits the player in the leg or off a ball being used to block, and then bounces up and hits their head, the player is OUT). Players that have been eliminated should place a hand in the air to indicate that they have been hit and leave the court while trying not the screen players or interfere in the game in any way.
  5. If a player catches a “live” ball that is thrown at them, the thrower is OUT. IN ADDITION, the team that caught the ball can return a previously eliminated player to the court. The player that returns to the game MUST be the first player who was ruled “out” during that particular game (and the order of returning players should be maintained…i.e. the third player to be eliminated will be the third player to return to the court). Reminder: substitute players must wait until the next game. It is the responsibility of the player entering the court to be aware of the game.
  6. Balls must be thrown in a manner intended to get an opposing player out. For example, players cannot intentionally throw the ball at the wall (obviously well to the left/right or above a player) to “recycle” the 5-second timer on a throw in order to sync up throws with their team.
  7. A player that is holding a ball can use it to deflect/block another ball that is thrown at them by an opponent. However, if the ball being held is dropped due to the second ball, the person who dropped the ball is OUT. A deflected ball is still considered “live” until it hits the ground/wall/obstacle. (i.e. if it hits another player or the player using the ball to block before hitting the ground or wall, the hit player is out).
  8. A live ball that rebounds off of a player (from an unsuccessful catch, hits off their body, is deflected by another ball, etc) may be caught by any other in-bounds player prior to the ball becoming dead (hitting ground or wall). As usual, the thrower is OUT, and the catching team can return a player.
  9. Every time that only 2 players remain on the court (1 from each team), the timekeeper should announce that the two players have “one-minute” to eliminate each other. After the one minute has expired, if the game has not yet ended, each team will return one player to the court. (again, each team must abide by their order of returning players). Similar to Rule 4f, a player cannot intentionally throw the ball at the wall (obviously well to the left/right or above the opposing player) with the intent of running down the 60 second timer.
  10. If there are any contested calls, call it a wash and keep the game going.

5. Scoring/Winning

Matches will consist of as many games that can be played in the 75-minute time period.

Each game won will count for one point.

If a game is still being played when time expires, the team with the most live players on the court at the time will win the game.

Ties are allowed during the regular season. If a match is tied at the end of a playoff game, a sudden death game will be played to determine the winner.