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Dodgeball Rules

Teams

Teams will be made up of 6-10 players. Six (6) players will compete on a side; others will be available as substitutes. Substitutes may enter the game if a ball is caught and there are less than six of their teammates on the court. Only six member of one team are allowed on the court during the game. The only other time player may enter the game is during timeouts or in the case of injury. In the coed games, men must be substituted for men players and women must be substituted for women, teams are not allowed a cross gender substitution. A minimum of four (4) players must be present to start a game.  All participants must wear athletic court/gym shoes to participate.  Uniforms are required, dark for the home team and light for the away team.  Matching uniforms will also work for home or away teams, white or gray may not be used for team uniforms. 

Field and Equipment

A basketball court will be used for the game of dodge ball.  There are marked sidelines, end lines, attack lines and one Centerline. Six (6) balls will be used for every match.  Jail will be located along one side of the court on benches.  The “inside” line of the court is not used, the court extends to separating wall.

Boundaries

All players must maintain one point of contact in boundary lines unless going to retrieve a ball. The field of play is the basketball court between the electric partition wall and the far sideline and the total area behind the baseline extended from one wall to the other wall. When retrieving a ball, players must pass through the end line and immediately re-enter the playing area through the end line. A player not immediately re-entering the playing area will be declared out. If a player goes into the safe zone and no ball is located in the safe zone that person will be called out. A player may be handed a ball, provided the player receiving the ball remains completely within their team’s field boundaries. A player may not enter or exit the court through the sidelines at any time, including avoiding being hit or attempting to catch a ball. Players must not have any part of their body cross the centerline and contact the ground on the opponents’ side of the court. An automatic out will occur if player leaves or enters through the sidelines or crosses the centerline.

Beginning the Game

Game begins by placing the dodge balls along the centerline – three (3) on one side of the center hash and three (3) on the other. Players then take a position behind their end line. Following a signal by the official, teams may approach the centerline to retrieve the balls. Anyone caught pushing an opponent at the start will be called out. Do not touch the other team “intentionally” at the beginning. Sliding will not be allowed at the beginning of the game, an out will be called. If a player is called out due to sliding, they cannot re-enter the game via catch.

Then they must retreat beyond the attack line before throwing the ball at opponents. After running up to retrieve a ball at the beginning of the game the player’s feet must travel across the red/yellow line and both feet must be on the ground before the ball can be thrown. A player is not allowed to jump back across the line and throw the ball in midair. The player’s feet must be one the ground behind the line.

Object of the Game

The object of the game is to eliminate all opposing players by getting them "OUT". This may be done by:

  1. Hitting an opposing player below the shoulders with a LIVE thrown ball.
  2. Catching a LIVE ball thrown by your opponent before it touches the ground, basket or other object out of bounds.
  3. Crossing the centerline or exiting or entering the court from any line but the back line when retrieving loose balls.
  4. Kicking the ball at the other team with the intention to get a member of the opposite team out. A player may only kick the Dodgeball to pass it to a member of their team or to pass to the opponent.
  5. More Guidelines can be found in the “Outs and In’s,” section.

Declaring a Winner

Each match consists of as many games that can be played within the given time. 

Play continues until one team is eliminated. At that point, the referee calls time and awards the winning team one point for each remaining player for that game.

At the end of the given time the referee will tally up all the remaining players from the games played and determine a winner for the match.  The team with the highest score, most cumulative players not “out,” at the end of the match wins. 

Jail

A person struck by a legally thrown ball must go to jail. Jail is located along the sideline of each team’s half of the court. All players in jail must remain seated on the bench at all times. The player sitting closest to the ref will be the next to enter the game, any player that is not sitting on the bench will not be allowed to enter the game. Players must re-enter the court in the order in which they were sent to jail.  (Keep your order of “out” while sitting on the “jail bench.”) If a ball rolls into the jail area, a player in jail may roll it back on the court, but must remain on his bench. Players who have been called out and are in jail cannot leave the bench to retrieve stray balls for their teammates; you may how ever roll the ball back into play if they are in arms reach of jail.  Players are released from jail when a teammate catches a legally thrown ball before it hits the ground, wall or ceiling. A maximum of (6) players may be on the court for each team unless otherwise specified before the start of the match. If called out, move directly to the back of the court and out of play. Players will be warned if caught protecting teammates from getting hit. If that team is caught protection a second time a penalty shall be declared. The last player of a team remaining in the game may release their entire team from jail if a basket is made in the opponent’s basketball hoop.

Timing, Time-Outs

There will be a running clock throughout the time given for each match.  There is no time limit to any individual game. However, a new point cannot be started within 5 minutes of the next game. For example, if Game 1 starts at 6:00, the latest they can start a new point is 6:24. If it is 6:25 when the last point ends, the game ends there.  When the given time has run out the game in progress will be ended immediately.  The remaining players on both sides of the court will be tallied and factored into the final score.  During the regular season ties will be accepted.  Each team will be allowed one (1) 30 second timeout per game. At this time a team may substitute players into the game.

Outs and In’s “a guide to what is considered an out or is not a out.”

In order to reduce stalling, the referee will have discretion to call a “stall attempt”. The referee will signal this by raising his/her hand and loudly saying “stall warning”. If the offending team has not made a legitimate throw, the referee will count down from 5 seconds. If the referee reaches zero on his/her countdown, all of the balls will go over to the non-offending team. Play will resume once the non-offending team has possession of all the balls.

Uniforms are considered part of a player's body.  If the uniform is hit you are out. (Thus baggy clothing can be a disadvantage). 

Any ball that touches the ceiling or wall is a dead ball and does not result in an out. 

If a defender attempts to catch a live ball, but drops it, the defender is out.

The defender may block a live ball with another ball. That ball is still a live ball however, until it hits the floor, wall or ceiling.

If a blocking ball is dropped as a result of contact from a live ball, then the player who drops the ball is out.

A player shall not leave the playing field to avoid being hit or in an attempt to catch a ball.  The player violating this rule will be considered out. 

A player hit in the head while ducking or dodging IS out.

Unsportsmanlike conduct (intentional head shot, explicit language, or badgering the referee…) will result in immediate ejection from the game, and one less starting player for any further games in the match.  In the case of a headshot the thrower will be out.

Players may not drop their blocking Dodgeball for any reason; even if you deflect a ball into the air and set your blocking ball down, you will be called out. DO NOT DROP YOUR BLOCKING BALL.

Player must have one point of contact in bounds and on the ground for the play to be ruled a catch. If the ball is bobbled or the catcher steps out of bounds then the catch is no good. Players are allowed to throw the ball while in the air.

All outs will be based off the honor and/or referee system.  A referee will be on hand to call outs but cannot follow every thrown ball.  If a dispute occurs the referee will solve the problem any way deemed appropriate.  This may result in a double elimination or one player out.  All decisions by the referee are final.

IM Dodgeball and rules may be changed during the course of the season as deemed appropriate.   All teams will be notified of any changes.   Input from all players and team managers are encouraged.

Play-off over time

In the event of a tie game in the playoffs, the “1/2 circle of death” will be played.   This consists of two “shoot out” rounds followed by a “sudden death” round if needed.  Set up:   One ball is placed in either half circle of the free-throw line circle with each player facing each other.  Six players from each team face off, team with the most points at end of shoot out wins.

Procedures:    

1 point is awarded for each of the following:

Players steps out of the half circle for any reason.

A player is hit by ball and does not catch it, throwing team receives point.

If ball is caught, catching team received point.

No point on missed throw.

Sudden death round: 

Each team selects one player for a round and play continues until one round is not tied.