Dodgeball Rules

Last updated: April 8, 2024

•• Rules For All Sports: To be eligible for playoffs, participants must play in at least 3 regular season games for their team. The purpose of the League Rep(s) are not to referee the games. Team captains and their teams are expected to referee their own games accordingly and responsibly. League Rep(s) will step-in to make important calls and clarify rules at their own discretion. If issues arise, team captains are asked to speak with the League Rep(s). No players except for captains should approach the League Rep(s) with issues. ••


  1. Teams are advised to be at the courts 10 minutes before the start of the match.
  2. Teams are comprised of 6 players on the court, with a minimum of 2 players of each gender on the floor at all times.
  3. At minimum, a team must field at least 4 players. If only 1 female player is present, the team must play with one less player; if NO female players are present, the team will automatically forfeit the game.
  4. Each week, teams are scheduled to play for 50 minutes. Each team will play 2 other opponents allocating 25 minutes for each match.
  5. Teams will play as many games allowed within the time period (25 minutes). After 10 minutes, there will be a 2 minute break. Each win equals one point in the overall match. The final score after 25 minutes indicates how many games each team has won. The team with the higher number of points at the end of each timed match will be awarded with the win. 
  6. Teams will be awarded 1.5 points for a win, 0.5 points for a tie, or 0 points for a loss, for a maximum total of 3 points.
  7. Regular season games may end in a tie. For playoff games, please refer to the Playoff Rules page.


  1. Dodgeball is self-refereed, and played within the honour system. Follow this motto: WHEN IN DOUBT, YOU ARE OUT.
  2. The league reps will be there to help with starting each game and resolving issues, if needed.
  3. Opening: There are 6 balls placed in two groups of 3 at opposite ends of the centreline. Players must be touching the back wall at the start of the game.
  4. A countdown of “3, 2, 1, Dodgeball!” by the league rep will signal the start of each game, where teams may approach the centreline to grab the balls to their right. On the opening rush, teams are NOT allowed to grab the balls to their left — which belongs to the other team.
  5. After players retrieve their side of the balls at the opening rush, the ball must touch the back wall before being thrown. Following that, all balls are considered active and can be used by any player on the court. Once any of the six balls touches the back wall, the 10-second count for ALL balls will begin. 
  6. Players attempt to eliminate opposing players by hitting them with balls or catching their throws. If a player is hit with an active ball and the ball then makes contact with anything or other person, that player is out. If a player catches an opposing ball prior to it touching any other player or object, the thrower is eliminated.
  7. Once a player is eliminated, they must line up on the outside sidelines — opposite of where their bench is. Players must line up starting at the centre line in the order in which they were eliminated. Once a teammate catches a ball cleanly, the player at the start of the elimination line may come back onto the court, but must FIRST touch the back wall. (Note: A player must be already in the elimination line at the time of the catch to be eligible to return.)
  8. The game ends once all players from one side are eliminated. Teams will switch sides after every game.
  9. Thrown balls cannot eliminate a player if it hits an object, surface, or teammate prior to making contact with a player.
  10. Dead ball: A player can only hold a ball for 10 seconds. After that, the ball will be considered dead and must immediately be rolled over to the other team. Teammates that are not playing are permitted to perform the ball count on the opposing team. A player can hold more than 1 ball at the same time, but the 10-second rule begins the moment they pick up the ball.
    • The 10-second count starts the moment the ball is picked up or when downward pressure is placed on the ball while it is on the ground. The 10-second count does not stop/reset if a player places the ball back on the ground or passes the ball to a teammate.
    • A dead ball should be rolled forcefully to the other side in a manner that is prompt and with enough effort to touch the back wall. The other team must touch the ball before it is considered active again, so if it rolls back past centre without being touched, it is still a deadball. 
    • If all 6 balls are situated on one side of the court and none are picked up, the 10-second rule will start for one of the balls. Once it becomes a dead ball, it must be rolled over to the other side.
  11. Showdown: In the event where there is only 1 player remaining on both sides, a 10-second countdown will begin. If neither player manages to eliminate their opponent during this time, a “Showdown” will be declared. The game is momentarily paused, with each player standing against the wall on their side with possession of 2 balls each. Two other balls are lined up at the centre line — with one on each end. Once the rep restarts the game with “3, 2, 1, Showdown!”, both players will attempt to eliminate the other with any of the balls still in play. The first player to do so will win that game.
    • Note: Players are allowed to cross the centre line during a Showdown. However, sidelines are still considered out of play.
  12. If an issue arises and is indicated by team captains, league reps can pause the game at any point by saying, “Stop.” At that point, all events after and during are void.
    • The game restarts with remaining players lined up against their respective walls in possession of the ball they were already holding.
    • All balls on the ground remain where they are.
    • Reps will restart the game with “3, 2, 1, Dodgeball!”


  1. An active ball can only eliminate 1 player. If the thrown ball hits the ground, wall, other balls (exception to this is Rule C4), or other objects before hitting the opponent, it is considered not active and is ineligible to eliminate a player from the game.
  2. A player is out if:
    • they step on or over a sideline or centreline (except on the opening rush).
    • a thrown active ball hits any part of the body or clothing and the ball makes contact with anything or other person.
    • the active ball thrown by them is caught by an opponent.
  3. If a player steps on or over the sideline or centreline in the process of a throw or on the follow-through, the thrower is out and the thrown ball will not count or eliminate any players.
  4. In the scenario where a ball hits and bounces off a player, that player is considered eliminated when one of the following situations happen:
      • the ball touches another teammate
      • another teammate catches the ball
      • the ball hits the ground, wall, another ball, or other inanimate object
    • Theoretically, if a player is hit and the ball bounces up in the air, the player can still throw their ball and eliminate an opponent prior to any of the aforementioned situations occurring.
    • If a ball hits and bounces off a player, the player who was hit can continue to catch the ball (as long as it doesn’t touch anything) which would then eliminate the opponent who threw it. This is considered a good catch.
  5. A player may block a thrown ball with a ball they are already holding. A live player may block a ball and subsequently catch the same ball as long as the ball has not hit another surface, player, or object. The player must retain possession of the blocking ball and remain a live player while completing the catch, otherwise it is considered a failed catch. However, if the player drops the ball-in-hand during the act of blocking, or if the blocked ball still hits or grazes the blocking player’s body (including fingers or legs), that player is considered eliminated. If the ball is blocked in the same manner but hits another player on the team, they are considered safe. A player blocking with a deadball is considered out.
  6. Headshots: All direct shots to the head count as a hit and the player is considered out. However, the opposing player who threw the headshot will also be deemed out — even if accidental or coincidental. This will only apply if the ball directly makes contact with the opponent’s head and not if it was deflected in any way. In accordance with league regulations, any intentional headshots, repeat violations, or intent to injure by throwing at an opponents’ head may result in a warning, and subsequent removal from the set and/or game by a league rep. Further disciplinary action may be taken by the committee. In the event where only one player is left on a team, the game can NOT be won with a headshot. If the remaining player is hit in the head, they will be considered safe while the player who threw the ball will be out — and play will resume.
    • During 1 on 1 or a Showdown, if a headshot occurs, the thrower is eliminated and the headshot recipient is safe. If a player intentionally blocks the ball with their head during a showdown or 1-on-1, they will be eliminated.
    • If a player is in the act of diving / sliding headfirst on the floor, or lying flat on the floor — and is subsequently hit in the head, it will not count as a headshot as the diving player is putting themselves at risk. The diving player will be considered out even if hit in the head, and the thrower is safe.
  7. There are NO sacrificial throws allowed. That means players can not deliberately jump over or cross the middle or any boundary lines to throw a ball — that thrown ball will not count and the player who threw it is automatically out. However, if the thrown ball is caught, the catch will still count (the next eliminated player in line may re-enter the game).