Official Dodgeball Rules



    1. Team rosters shall include a minimum of 15 players, including at least 4 of each gender. The League may opt to alter the rules for the purpose of accommodating smaller teams or a smaller playing space by reducing the roster size to 12, and starting players to 8 per team and 2 of each gender.
    2. Rounds start with a maximum of 10 players per team, including at least 3 of each gender. Exception: mercy rule extra players are not bound by this rule.
    3. If a team does not have 10 players and at least 3 players of each gender, they may start with as few as 6 players.
    4. All players must be registered with the League to play with the team. Unregistered substitutes are not permitted. Any team found to be playing with an unregistered player will forfeit the game. See: Late Registration below.
    5. When a team has fewer than the required number of players of a specified gender available, players of one gender may not be substituted for members of another gender. For example, if a team has 10 total players available at game time, but only 2 are female, the team must play short start with 9 players.
    6. One team being short players for a full starting lineup does not obligate the opposing team to reduce their starting lineup.
    7. In the event of injury, a player of the same gender on the sideline may substitute for the injured player. The injured player may not play for the remainder of the match.
    8. Late Registration: a team may add players to the roster through the 4th game provided the team captain approves. The league fee shall be pro-rated for the remainder of the season. All players must be formally registered with the League and paid in full prior to playing.


    1. Each game shall be officiated by at least one League-assigned referee, who shall act as the head referee. A second League-assigned referee may also be used.
    2. Referees are responsible for:
      1. Maintaining the game clock.
      2. Recording the game score.
      3. Enforcing the honor system.
      4. Enforcing penalties.
      5. Enforcing the five second rule.
      6. Readmitting players who mistakenly called themselves out.
    3. A referee may call a player out for any of the following reasons:
      1. The player does not voluntarily leave the court when required.
      2. The player engages in unsportsmanlike conduct.
      3. The player argues with the game official.
      4. The player uses abusive language.
    4. The referee shall eject a player from the remainder of match if that player engages in any of the above behaviors repeatedly, behaves in an egregious manner, or cheats.
    5. An ejected player must leave the field and facility immediately; failure to do so may result in removal from the league.

      Playing Area

    6. The dodgeball court shall roughly approximate the dimensions of a regulation volleyball court: 60 feet long by 30 feet wide, extended to the wall on both sides. The court shall include a center line and attack lines 10 feet from each side of the center line. These dimensions may vary depending on the facility used.


    7. Games will be played using eight (8) 8.5-inch rubber-coated foam balls.
    8. Players must wear their League-provided t-shirts of the appropriate color for their team.
    9. Players may modify their League-provided t-shirts, provided that they do not remove or alter League or sponsors logos.
    10. Players must wear soft-soled, close-toed shoes.

      Opening Rush

    11. Balls shall be placed along the center line prior to the opening rush, equidistant from each another and the sidelines. On a standard width 30-foot wide court, the distance between each ball and sideline is 3 feet, 9 inches.
    12. Players shall line up along the wall on their respective side of the court, with at least one foot or hand touching the wall.
    13. The referee shall blow the whistle to start the round.
    14. Teams may advance to the center line and retrieve the four balls on their right. They may not touch or interfere with the balls on the left, which are intended for the opposing team.
    15. Upon retrieving a ball, the ball must move back past 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

    16. The objective of each team is to eliminate all players on the opposing team.
    17. A player is eliminated when one of the following occur:
      1. Any part of the player's body, or any part of his or her clothing is struck by a ball thrown by an opposing player. Only thrown balls are live; kicking balls is illegal.
      2. The player's thrown ball is caught by an opposing player.
      3. The player steps out of bounds, unless they are attempting to retrieve an errant ball in accordance with the errant ball retrieval rules.
      4. The player steps over the opposing attack line. Reaching over the attack line is permitted provided no part of the body comes into contact with the court's surface opposite the attack line.
      5. The player is the nearest to an out-of-play teammate who steps or touches in-bounds on the court. Reaching into the court is permitted provided no part of the body comes into contact with the court's surface.
      6. The player's held ball is knocked out of his or her hands by an opponent's thrown ball.
      7. The player retrieves an opposing team's ball on the opening rush.
      8. The player throws a ball at the opposing team before the ball has retreated past the attack line on the opening rush.
      9. The player intentionally hits an opposing player who is already out.
      10. The player kicks the ball.
    18. A player is NOT out if the ball hits them after hitting the floor, the wall, any other object or another person.
    19. A player is NOT out if hit when out of bounds while retrieving an errant ball, including on while retrieving ball on bleachers.
    20. When a player is eliminated, he or she must raise his or her hand and exit to the nearest side of the court. That player must remain outside the sideline until the conclusion of that round.
    21. Catching. If a player catches a ball thrown by an opponent, the thrower is out, unless the ball hits a wall, the floor or another object. If the ball hits another player first, but is then caught, the thrower is out and the person originally hit is NOT out.
    22. Blocking. A player may block an incoming ball using a held ball. The thrown ball must be deflected completely, that is, it must not strike the holder of the ball after hitting the held ball.
    23. Friendly Fire. Friendly fire does not result in an out. A player who is hit by a teammate shall not be called out.
    24. Deflections, i.e. Blocking Scenarios Further Explained:
      1. If you deflect a ball and it hit you after, YOU ARE OUT.
      2. If you deflect a ball and it hits someone else, NO ONE IS OUT.
      3. If you deflect a ball and it is caught, either by you or another person, THE THROWER IS OUT.
    25. 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. If a player retrieves an errant ball, he or she may exit and reenter the playing area only from the back court area behind the nearest line to the wall, and must immediately return to the playing area. Players that are actively retrieving an errant ball may not be hit by the opposing team and may not catch balls from the opposing team while they are out of bounds. Stepping out of the playing area for any other reason will result in the player being called out.
    26. 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.
    27. When the court is longer than 60 feet, the court shall be divided by a "neutral zone" located between the attack lines. Players from both teams may play inside the neutral zone.

      Matches & Rounds

    28. A match shall consist of two 20-minute halves, with a 2-minute half-time between halves.
      The clock shall be a running clock.
    29. No round shall begin after 18 minutes into the half.
    30. At half time, teams will switch sides of the court.
    31. Teams shall play as many rounds as time allows in each half. Upon the conclusion of each round, the balls will be replaced on the center line and the next round will begin at the whistle.
    32. Each round will continue until either:
      1. All players on one team are eliminated. The winning team will score one point for the match.
      2. 5 minutes has elapsed.
    33. If 5 minutes elapses, the team with the most players remaining will win the round and score a match point.
    34. If 5 minutes elapses and both teams have the same number of players remaining, the round shall be considered a draw and no point will be awarded.
    35. Each match won shall count as 2 points in the league standings. A tie shall count as 1 point. Losses and Forfeits shall count as 0 points.

      Stalling/Hoarding (Ten Second Rule)

    36. A player may not "stall", i.e. retain possession of the ball without intent of playing the ball for more than 10 seconds. If a player holds on to the ball for more than 10 seconds, and in the judgment of the official is not actively making the effort to play the ball, the referee will warn the player. If the player continues to stall by failing to release or play the ball within a reasonable time after the warning, the player shall be called out.
    37. Teams may not "hoard" the balls. If one team is in possession of ALL of the game balls, they must make a conscious effort to roll (not throw) at least one ball to the opposing team. If one team has significantly fewer players currently on the court and is having difficulties doing so, the official(s) may walk on to the court and send a ball over to the opposing team to help streamline the match. After a warning, matches will be called immediately in favor of the opposing team who will receive a point for the match. If hoarding continues throughout the ensuing games, at the discretion of the official(s), matches will continue to be called in favor of the opposing team.

Mercy Rule

  1. If a team trails by 4 or more points, that team may start the round with one extra player (for a total of 11). For each additional 2 points the team trails, they may add an additional person to the starting lineup. These players must be removed once the team has made up these points. Extra players may play even if the team is playing short-handed due to insufficient players of a particular gender.


  2. Teams must be ready to play and meet game start requirements at the posted game time. Any team not ready to play at this time shall forfeit, and the opposing team shall take a default win.
  3. If neither team is ready to play, both teams shall forfeit.
  4. Any team found to be playing with a player not registered with the League or team shall forfeit the game.