Dodgeball Rules

Copyright Dodgeball UK, 2010

There are variations of dodgeball rules throughout the world and these are the Dodgeball UK rules which we hope are simple but also the most fun!

The Court
The court is divided into two c.30′ x 30′ areas, with a ‘neutral’ area separating the two sides at the centre of the court. It is a similar size to a volleyball court. Sizes can vary depending on the venue.
Players must remain in the court at all times unless they are out – they are not allowed to go and fetch the balls from outside of the court – there will be ballboys/girls to do this.

 6 official Dodgeball UK dodgeballs – 4 of 8” diameter, and two small spongier balls which only the female team members may throw. The main balls are not as hard as on the film “Dodgeball”, but they are not foam either. They generally don’t hurt – honest!

Each team normally consists of 6 players, with a minimum of two female players in the league – other events depend on the specific tournament rules. Teams may change their personnel in between sets but not during, except in the case of injury when they may use a substitute.

Each match consists of a pre-defined amount of sets (normally best of 3), which are usually timed (2.5 mins per set). Once the time is up, the team with more players remaining wins the set. If it is level, the team to get the next person out wins the set! If it is the final set, then instead of this the court is shortened and this normally results in a fairly swift conclusion! The court is also shortened when it is down to one-on-one, and the clock stopped whilst players get a ball to start with and position themselves on the shorter baseline.

The ‘Rush’!
Each team stands behind the baseline. Six dodgeballs are placed along the centre line. On the referee’s whistle, players rush to get the balls in the centre. You can choose how many of your team do this. Once you have a ball, you have to return that ball to the baseline before it is in play, you can’t just pick it up and throw it. You can get the ball back to baseline by either running back with it yourself, or throwing it back to someone who has waited there. Once it has reached the baseline, you can start to throw at your opponents. You may move about the court as you wish, throw between players, bounce it, whatever. You just have to stay in your side of the court. You cannot venture further forward than the neutral zone, although you may follow through into this area after throwing the ball from behind it. You may also enter the neutral zone to collect a ball during the set.

A player is ‘out’ when:
• a LIVE ball hits their body or their clothing
• an opposition player catches a LIVE ball they have thrown. So if you throw it and your opponent catches it cleanly then you are out and one of their team comes in. A double swingggggggg! If you catch it then it is your job to call in your teammate who is first in the line. The referee will not necessarily do this for you. If you are caught please leave the pitch straight away.
• Once you are out, you must leave the court immediately and go to the queue of players already eliminated from your team OUTSIDE and BEHIND the court area. If someone on your team catches a throw and you are first in the queue, you go back in via the baseline.
• Please be honest. If a ball brushes your clothing you are out. Please don’t try to cheat. There will be a referee there but we don’t want any Drogba’s or Ronaldo’s! Just be honest and enjoy the game. Anyone seen blatantly cheating will receive a red card and be suspended from the next match. A “LIVE” ball is one that has not bounced or hit a wall/ceiling. Any ball that has bounced does not count and play continues as normal. It is like cricket/rounders – until the ball bounces you can still catch someone out. You could be hit with the ball but one of your team-mates catch it before it touches the ground, and the thrower is out. However if the ball touches you and other players then bounces, you are all out! In venues where there are walls constituting the court area, if it hits the wall (or ceiling) first then that ball is not LIVE. If you parry the ball onto the wall or ceiling you are out even if you catch it after it has hit the wall.

A player can block a throw with a ball they are holding and play carries on as normal. If however the player blocking drops the ball they are holding, that doesn’t count as a block and they are out. They have to remain in control of the ball they are holding to be safe. A player can parry the ball away with their ball, and if they or a team-mate catches it then the thrower is out. If it hits the blocker’s hand(s) holding the ball they are blocking with, that is not out. Once it hits the ball you are holding, or the hand holding it, you and your teammates are safe for that play, and only the thrower can potentially be out.

Out Of Bounds
Players must stay inside the court at all times unless they are out, when they must line-up appropriately. If you catch a ball and momentum takes you out of the court area, you are out. If you momentarily go outside the baseline, and are not dodging a throw in the process, you will not be out as long as you come straight back into the court. If however this is a regular occurrence, the referee has the right to warn you and then call you out. If you leave the court area in the act of dodging a throw, you are immediately out. If the game has reached the shortened court stage, you must stay within the baseline at all times. There is no leniency on this, and no exception.

Players have to be hit at shoulder height or below to be out. Anyone purposefully doing head-shots will be sent off for the duration of that set!

Finally, enjoy it, be honest and don’t forget to dodge, duck, dip, dive and... erm... DODGE!