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NEW RULE (Aug 2019): You CANNOT block a thrown ball with a held ball as this will lead to elimination.

NEW RULE (Aug 2019): You are out if: 1) you step over the centerline; 2) a thrown live ball hits you ANYWHERE including a held ball; 3) you throw a live ball and it is caught by an opponent.

NEW RULE (Aug 2019): If the game comes down to 1 player per side, "Showdown" comes into effect. The centerline is dissolved. The first player to get the other player out wins.

NEW RULE (Aug 2019): Players cannot lean over the half line to retrieve balls. If any part of a player goes onto the opponent's side, they are eliminated.


1. Equipment/Set-Up:

  • Team captains are responsible for bringing the 3 supplied dodgeballs to each game.
  • Teams are responsible for keeping track of the score. Please designate one person/team to keep score.
  • Each team should bring both light and dark coloured shirts to each and every game.
  • Players are not permitted to wear gloves [Update: January 08, 2009]

2. Game Time/Default:

  • Please arrive 15 minutes early so that you can start your games on time.
  • Games are 55 minutes in length, with 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.
  • Please agree on one person to act as timekeeper.
  • Teams are comprised of 6 players with a minimum of 2 women and 2 men. 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 and 2 are men. 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:

i. The Dodgeball court is about the size of a small Volleyball court, with a centerline, and 2 sidelines.

ii. Dodgeball is self-refereed, and played with the honour rules.

iii. The game is played with 6 balls.

iv. To start a game, each team stands on their respective back line. Six balls split into two groups of three are placed near the ends of the centerline. The point will then be started by shouting "READY, SET, DODGEBALL!". During the opening rush, teams may only grab the balls to their right.

v. Once play has started, players must remain on their own side of half.

vi. Players CANNOT lean over the half line to retrieve a ball. If any part of a player touches their opponents' side of half, that person is out.

vii. Players cannot remain static in areas that conceal or partially conceal their body. e.g. door entrance ways, climbers, etc.

viii. 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). 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".

ix. 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). A bench area should be defined (using a bench turned on its side) and this area is out of bounds. Live players may only enter this area to retrieve balls.

x. Teams are responsible for enforcing rules and ensuring fair play.

xi. Players cannot lean up or jump against the walls in an effort to avoid being hit.


4. Throwing the Balls and Eliminating Players

i. Players can only be in possession of ONE ball at any given time.So, a player already in possession of a ball cannot catch/touch another "live" ball. A player that touches two or more "live" balls is eliminated. You CANNOT block a thrown ball with a held ball as this will lead to elimination. "Dead" balls that are on the floor are okay to be kicked or rolled to a teammate.
NOTE: Since the player who attempts a 'second catch' is out, the thrower is not out if the ball is indeed caught..
NOTE: Under no circumstances can a player (with or without a ball in their hands) be eliminated by being hit with a "dead" ball.
NOTE: As per above, if a player holding a ball is hit by a second ball, that player is out. However, if a teammate catches the second ball while it is still "live", then the teammate has effectively 'saved' the hit player, the thrower is out, and the team that caught the ball returns a player to the court as usual. (See rules 4vii and 4ix). Also note that the deflection of this second ball into the hands of a teammate can occur either accidentally (i.e. the hit player was unaware that the second ball was coming) or on purpose (i.e. the hit player purposely tries to deflect the ball into the air for a teammate to catch).

ii. Players can throw a ball in any manner (with the exception of squeezing the air out of the ball) from anywhere on their own side of the court.

iii. A player/team cannot hold a ball in their hands in an effort to "stockpile" the balls on their own side of court, therefore players must release a ball within 10 seconds of taking possession (which includes touching with hands and/or feet). As well, teams cannot use delay tactics by hoarding balls on their side of the court. This includes, but is not limited to, not picking up balls, throwing a ball high against the back wall to get it back, throwing a ball with spin against the side wall so that it comes back to your side of the court, bouncing a ball on the other side of half so that it comes back or can be retrieved by your team.

iv. Once in possession of a ball, a player cannot under any circumstances place a ball back down on their own side of the court. By doing so, that player is out. This includes putting a ball down in an attempt to catch on a second incoming ball. If you drop the original ball (by accident or on purpose), you are out.

v. NEW! Players may pass a ball to their teammates. However, if the receiving player does not catch or fumbles the ball - the player who attempted the catch is eliminated. Furthermore, since a team only has 10 seconds to throw the ball, a pass to a teammate does NOT reset the 10 second clock, and the ball must be thrown within 10 seconds from the time the first teammate touched the ball. And, remember that no player can touch two "live" balls at the same time - or they are out. NOTE: a ball is "live" once released, so a purposeful pass to a teammate, an accidental release of the ball that might hit a teammate or a throw meant for your opposition that hits your teammate all falls within this rule.

vi. NEW! To eliminate an opposing player, a "live" ball can hit a player ANYWHERE, including a held ball. You CANNOT block a "live" ball with a held ball as this will lead to elimination.

vii. If a player catches a "live" ball that is thrown at him/her, 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. A player that is already holding a ball cannot "catch" a second ball (as per Rule 4i)

viii. 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.

NOTE: When a player is hit by a ball and the deflects upwards, there is the possibility that the original ball will either be caught by a teammate (saving the hit player) or the ball will hit the ground/wall/obstacle (meaning the ball is dead and the hit player is out). In this split second window of time, the hit player may be involved with another ball. However, that players' ability to make a successful play on the second ball (i.e. attempt to catch it) depends on the outcome of the first ball. If the first ball does become dead, the player is out and cannot make a play on a second ball - even if the second ball was caught BEFORE the first ball hits the ground. If the original ball is caught by a teammate (saving the player), and that player has caught a second ball in the meantime, the catch is a valid one, and the thrower of the second ball is out. (and the catching team returns one player to their court as usual).

ix. It is the responsibility of all players to make a fair and honest call as to whether or not they were hit. Please remember, "it's just dodgeball". Ultra-competitive players are not welcome.

x. If the game comes down to 1 player per side, "Showdown" comes into effect. The centerline is dissolved. The first player to get the other player out wins.

5. Scoring/Winning

  • Matches will consist of as many games that can be played in the 55-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 3-minute overtime session will break the tie. (a new game should be started right away with a full 6 players). If this final game is not completed within the 3 minutes, then the team with the most players remaining on the court will be declared the winner.  If, after 3 minutes, there are the same number of players left on both teams, then the team that eliminates the next player wins the game.