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Dodgeball League Rules

Behavior & Conduct

  1. Each player is required to display good sportsmanship, and respect to the League Officials, Staff and other players at all times.
  2. Rude, aggressive, vulgar language or behavior may result in either ejection from the game or by being banned from the league altogether.
  3. Crushed or squished balls: Intentionally removing the air from the dodgeball by squeezing it together is not allowed and considered unsportsmanlike. Any player found to be doing this will be called out.
  4. Hiding a ball inside your shirt is considered unsportsmanlike. Any player found to be doing this will be called out.


  1. Children are allowed, but must be SUPERVISED AND PROTECTED at all times. Our dodgeball facilities are for adult recreation and are not intended for young spectators. Children not able to protect themselves from a overthrown ball must have an attentive adult present. Children cannot be running around next to games being played.


  1. All players must be 18 years of age and over.
  2. Team rosters shall include a minimum of 8 players, including at least 4 of each gender.
  3. Rounds start with a maximum of 6 players per team, with a maximum of 3 male players on the court. If a team is short female players, teams may play with a different coed requirement (e.g. 2 girls / 4 guys) if BOTH captains agree to it.
  4. If a team does not have 6 players available, they may start with as few as 4 players with at least 1 being female. Note: just because a team is short of players does not obligate the other team to play short.
  5. In the event of injury, a player on the sideline may substitute for the injured player.
  6. Subs from other teams may only be used if a team does not have 6 players or 3 of each gender available for a game. Subs from outside the league may only be used if you don't have 8 players or at least 4 of each gender available. Subs must sign the waiver before playing or be added to the team roster.b
  7. Late Registration: the team captain may add players after the season starts to the roster.
  8. No new players for the upper postseason tournament. Players must have played in 1 regular season game to be eligible.


  1. Each game shall be officiated by a league-assigned referee.
  2. Dodgeball is officiated by the honor system. If you are hit, you are required to call yourself out and exit the playing area.
  3. A referee may call a player out or eject a player from the game if the player engages in unsportsmanlike conduct or uses abusive language, or argues with the game official.

Playing Area

  • The dodgeball court typically is the dimensions of a regulation volleyball court. The court shall include a center line and attack lines approx. 10 feet from each side of the center line.


  1. Games will be played using 8.25-inch rubber-coated foam balls.
  2. Players must wear soft-soled, close-toed shoes. Please bring inside shoes to wear to the gym.
  3. Please remove all jewelry before playing.

Opening Rush

  1. Players shall line up along the wall on their respective side of the court, behind the end line.
  2. The referee shall blow the whistle to start the round.
  3. Teams may advance to the center line and retrieve the balls on the right hand side ONLY.
  4. Upon retrieving a ball, the ball must completely move behind the attack line before it may be used against the opposing team. This can be achieved either by carrying the ball across or tossing/rolling the ball to a teammate who is standing behind the attack line.

Game Play

  1. Players must stay in the playing area at all times, except when retrieving a ball out-of-bounds. The referee shall issue a team warning if this rule is not followed and can call a player out for repeated violations.
  2. The objective of each team is to eliminate all players on the opposing team.
  3. A player is eliminated when one of the following occur:
    • Any part of the player's body or clothing below the neck is struck by a live ball thrown by an opposing player. A live ball is ball that has not touched anything (the ground, wall, ceiling, another ball, any player or referee).
    • A player is hit in-bounds and the ball is caught out-of-bounds. The player is still out and the catch does not count.
    • The player's thrown ball is caught by an opposing player in-bounds (catches out-of-bounds do not count; if the player is hit with a ball in the playing area, they must complete the catch with at least 1-foot in-bounds with no part of their body touching out of bounds otherwise they are OUT). The ball may be caught off of deflections or off another teammate. The ball may not touch the ground or an out-of-bounds object (basketball hoop, wall, ceiling, etc). If the ball is caught, the thrower is out and no one is out on the team that caught the ball.
    • The player completely leaves the playing area to avoid being hit by a ball. (warning shall be given by referee for the first offense)
    • The player steps over the center line except during the initial rush.
    • The player's held ball is knocked out of his or her hands by an opponent's thrown ball.
    • The player throws a ball at the opposing team before the ball has retreated past the attack line on the opening rush.
    • A player kicks the ball at the opposing team (friendly kicks during hoarding rule ok)
  4. Shielding your teammates from dodgeballs after you are 'out' by intentionally walking slowly/stopping in front of them is not allowed. This is a judgement call by the referee. Additional players may be called out by the referee for teams in violation.
  5. Players that are out shall line up in a �¢??resurrection�¢?? line in the order they went out. If a ball is caught by a teammate, the first person in line may come back for that team.
  6. Hitting a player above the shoulders (a �¢??head shot�¢??) will result in NO ONE being out. A player who is judged to be ducking or otherwise maneuvering into a position that caused themselves to be hit in the head will be called OUT. On the other side, any player judged to be intentionally throwing repeated headshots may be called OUT or ejected from the game by the referee.
  7. A player is NOT out if hit when out of bounds while retrieving an errant ball.
  8. Saving. If the ball hits a player, but is then caught by a teammate before touching the floor, the thrower is OUT and the person originally hit is �¢??saved�¢?? and NOT OUT.
  9. Blocking. A player may block an incoming ball using a held ball. The thrown ball must be deflected completely, that is, it must not immediately strike the holder of the ball after hitting the held ball.
    • If the ball is a 'clean deflection' and popped up into the air, the ball is considered dead and the blocking player may attempt to catch it before it touches the floor.
    • If a player blocks a throw with a ball and drops the held ball, he or she is OUT.
  10. Catches after blocks: It is considered a catch if an opponent�¢??s ball hits a blocking ball and is then caught by the blocker. The blocker, however, must have the blocking ball in possession when making the catch.
  11. Balls that leave the playing area, including balls that land in the bleachers or stands, may be returned to the playing area by out-of-play teammates, spectators or players. The player must immediately return to the playing area and the player is eligible to be hit as soon as he or she re-enters the playing area. RULE ADDITION FOR GAMEON SPORTSPLEX VENUE: Teams may not have players or spectators stationed directly behind the baseline specifically for the purpose of returning dodgeballs to the playing area.
  12. Players are not allowed to set balls out of bounds or abuse the errant ball retrieval rule to get an advantage (e.g. intentionally step out of bounds when a ball is being thrown at them or about to be thrown). This is a judgement call by the referee. Players in violation may be called out by the referee.
  13. 10 Second Holding Rule: The intention of the 10 Second Holding Rule is to prevent stalling and encourage continuous play. Players can only hold the ball for 10 seconds. After 10 seconds, the ball is dead and must be turned over. It is the responsibility of players to know their ball�¢??s countdown status. Refs may employ a ten second count if players are holding onto balls too long and not throwing them in a timely manner.
  14. Hoarding: Teams may not "hoard" the balls. If one team is in possession of ALL of the game balls, the team must roll (not throw) one ball over to the other team. If one team has significantly fewer players on the court and is having difficulties not hoarding the balls the official may walk on to the court and send a ball over to the opposing team to help streamline the match. Players cannot intentionally put a ball just over the centerline to reset the ball count. During 'hoarding' infraction, players may not roll the ball and then fire at them when they bend down to pick up the ball--this is a judgement call by the referee.
  15. Players must respect their opponent's half of the court in the out-of-play area by not attempting to retrieve errant balls past the center line.
  16. 'Kamikaze' jumps are not allowed.
  17. Deflections, i.e. Blocking Scenarios Further Explained:
    • If you deflect a ball and it immediately hits you before touching the ground, YOU ARE OUT.
    • If you deflect a ball and it hits someone else, NO ONE IS OUT.
    • If you deflect a ball and it is caught in-bounds before touching the ground, either by you or another teammate, THE THROWER IS OUT.

Matches & Rounds

  • Each match will consist of (2) 15-minute halves. The score will reset at the half. Teams do not have to switch sides at halftime at Jane Boyd unless one team requests it. Each half counts as a game in the league standings.
  • If teams have an equal amount of rounds won in a half, one overtime round with a 3-minute time limit will be played to break the tie.
  • The clock shall be a running clock. No timeouts except for an injury. Substitutions must be made between rounds.
  • Each round will continue until either:
    • All players on one team are eliminated.
    • 5 minutes has elapsed.
      • If 5 minutes elapses, the team with the most players remaining will win the round.
      • If 5 minutes elapses and both teams have the same number of players remaining, the round will be a draw.

Forfeits / Mercy Rule

  • Any team not ready to play within 10 minutes of posted start time shall forfeit
  • The default score of 2-0 shall be recorded for any forfeited match
  • Optional mercy rule if a team is up 6 rounds in a half

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