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Regular Dodgeball Rules


Live Ball:  A ball is considered a Live Ball after it has been thrown and remains a Live Ball until the ball: (a) touches a Dead Object; (b) collides with another live ball in mid-air; or (c) has been caught by an active player on the opposing team.



 Anything that is not an active part of

the match; i.e., the ground, ceiling, permanent fixtures (e.g., the

scoreboard), dead players walking off the court, referees, spectators or supporters.

Unused balls (i.e. untouched by players) that are on or off the court are also

considered to be Dead Objects and Dead Balls (see "Dead Ball" below).



 A ball that is no longer a Live Ball for

any reason described in "Live Ball" above. Note: a ball that is

blocked (see "Blocking" below) is not a Dead Ball until it touches a

Dead Object.

Out: A player is Out if the player: (a) is hit by a live ball

which subsequently touches a Dead Object; (b) throws a Live Ball which is

caught by a player on the opposing team; or (c) steps/touches the ground

outside the designated boundaries for the match (see "Boundaries"


Set: The duration it takes to get ALL 6 players of the opposing

team Out. Each set is worth 1 point for the match.

Match: A contest between two teams to accumulate the most number of

sets/points within 30 minutes.




are enforced primarily by the "honour system". Players are expected

to act honestly and rule whether or not a hit was legal or whether they were

legally eliminated. However, because of the fast-paced nature of the sport,

sometimes a player would not feel a ball skim their clothing or hair. The

referees are only responsible to rule on situations in which teams cannot

agree, assist with the countdowns for teams to throw a ball and calling

boundary line violations. In any case where a referee makes a call, THE

REFEREES' DECISION IS FINAL. NO EXCEPTIONS. Blatant dishonesty or failing to

adhere to the referees' decision may result in penalties either during or after

the match upon review. In the case where the two playing teams cannot agree on

a call (i.e. player on Team A was hit and did not go out but Team B noticed

it), any one player may approach the referee and calmly let them know of the

situation. There will be no heated arguments nor shouting at the referees to

make calls. If there is a problem with a referee, a director may be called over

to help resolve the situation.




though the nature of dodgeball is fast-paced and competitive, it is expected

that each and every player act with sportsmanship and conduct that upholds the

integrity of the game. A blatant case of poor conduct or sportsmanship will

result in a player's expulsion from a match after which his/her team must carry

out the rest of the sets in the match one player down.


constituting misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • fighting or attempting to assault another player
  • racist, sexist, or homophobic comments
  • rude verbal taunting
  • throwing a ball at an opposing player despite having been clearly called Out
  • excessive use of foul language
  • cheating
  • causing constant distraction to the game by a player that is not on court
  • distracting the referee
  • squeezing, pinching, and crumpling the ball before throwing it
  • kicking or spiking the ball


physical assault or attempt of physical assault to another player is an

automatic and instant expulsion from the league and no refund will be given.

GBS takes a zero tolerance stance for any harm against any player.




will be removed from the match at the discretion of a referee or director.

Directors may impose additional penalties to the individual player.




active players per team will compete during any given Set. Player substitutions

are only allowed if a player is injured. If a team makes a catch, it may revive

a player that is Out. The order of players re-entering play shall be based on

the order in which they left play. Players coming in out of order will be

called Out and the team will lose that opportunity for a player to come In.



balls will be used in the game. All balls will be 7" foam balls. One ball

shall be a distinct colour from the other four - this ball will be the drag

ball. To prevent injuries, it is recommended that players wear

tennis/cross-training shoes for the match. Kneepads are strongly encouraged to

protect the knees as well.




Match consists of 30 minutes of game play. The game clock will run continuously

and clock does not stop between each set. As long as time remains on the game

clock, a new set may be started. Near the end of the match, no new set will

start if it is under 60 seconds remaining. At the referee's discretion, the

time counts in the final set may be faster from 10 seconds to 5 seconds to

ensure the set finishes on time allowing the schedule for the evening to flow



referees shall maintain the official match time and have discretion to stop the

clock for any injury, etc. In the event that the final set of the match extends

beyond regulation time shall continue in sudden death (even if the death is not

so sudden).




object of the game is to score points by eliminating ALL 6 players on the

opposing team by getting them Out. This may be done by:

1.     Hitting an opposing player with a Live Ball anywhere on their person, including their clothing, without such Live Ball subsequently hitting the ground or a Dead Object. A player that has been hit by a Live Ball is not Out until that Live Ball touches the ground or hits a Dead Object.


  • If a Live Ball hits an opposing player and ricochets to strike another opposing player before hitting the ground or a Dead Object, then both players are Out.
  • If a Live Ball is blocked by an opposing player (see "Blocking" below) and strikes another opposing player before hitting the ground or a Dead Object, then that player will be Out. However, if a ball blocked by an opposing player hits a player on the throwing team while still a Live Ball, the hit player on the throwing team is not Out, but the ball is still a Live Ball which may yet be caught by the opposing team until it hits the ground or a Dead Object.
  • If a Live Ball ricochets off a dead player exiting the court and hits another player, the ball is deemed a Dead Ball and the hit does not count.
  • Since a player that has been hit by a Live Ball is not Out until that Live Ball touches the ground or hits a Dead Object, any action that the player performs following the hit, but before the first ball touches the ground or a Dead Object, shall be deemed as "in play."
  • Live balls that collide from opposing teams are considered as dead balls. Therefore, if a player gets hit after the fact, the player is still safe.
  • A ball must be thrown to kill a player from the opposing team. In other words, the ball has to leave the hand and be airborne to be a Live Ball, so tagging a player with a ball in hand will not result in the opposing player being Out.




 Two Live Balls are thrown at a player.

The first ball hits and bounces in the air while the second ball is caught

before the first ball hits the ground. The catch is deemed a good catch;

however, the player is still Out the instant the first ball hits the ground.



 Player A throws a ball at Player B, but

right before the ball hits Player B; Player B throws a ball at Player A. Both

balls thrown are Live Balls and both players are Out if Player A got hit by

Player B's ball. Such is called a "double Out".



 If Players A and B are the last players

remaining (i.e., there is a one-on-one) and there is a "double Out,"

the set shall be awarded to the team whose last player died last, keeping in

mind that a player is not Out until the ball that hit him/her hits the ground

or a Dead Object. If Player A's ball hit Player B before Player B's ball hit

Player A, but Player B's ball hits the ground before Player A's ball, Player A

died first and Player B's team is awarded the set. If the hits are close, it

may be up to the ref's discretion to call it a wash and continue with the game.



 Player A is hit by a Live Ball which

bounces high into the air. Player A throws a ball at Player B while the ball

that hit him/her is still in the air (i.e. before it hit the ground or a Dead

Object). The ball thrown by Player A is still a Live Ball capable of getting

Player B Out.


Catching a Live Ball thrown by

your opponent before it touches the ground or a Dead Object. The instant a Live

Ball is caught, the person who threw the ball is Out. To complete a catch, the

catching player must have complete control of the ball and be touching ground

inbounds. In addition, only players in the current set may return to the court,

in the order they were killed.

Note: The revived player must re-enter the court from the back of

the court and touch the back wall BEFORE touching a ball. The revived player is

deemed active the instant he/she touches the back wall. If a player touches or

grabs a ball before touching the back wall, that player will be called Out.


  • If a Live Ball ricochets off an opposing player and is caught by another opposing player before hitting the ground or a Dead Object, then both opposing players are safe and the player that threw the ball is Out.
  • If a Live Ball that is blocked (see "Blocking" below) is caught before the Live Ball hits the ground or a Dead Object, then the player that threw the ball is Out.
  • If a player trying to catch a Live Ball loses balance and falls out of bounds, walks out of bounds or is hit by a Live Ball which hits the ground or a dead Object before that player has complete control of the Ball, then it is not deemed a catch and that player is Out.
  • If a player throws a ball and is hit and killed before his/her ball is caught by an opposing player, the catch still counts if the ball was still a Live Ball and the opposing team may revive a player. For the purpose of statistics, however, the kill would also count if the kill was completed prior to the catch.
  • If a player is hit by a ball and steps off the court prior to that ball being caught by a teammate, that player is Out. That player or any other previously eliminated player may be revived by the catch, but only ONE player may return.
  • If a Live Ball is thrown at an opposing player and is blocked or ricocheted back to the throwing team while it is still a Live Ball, catching that Live Ball does not constitute a catch.




Death will occur when either (1) there is only one player remaining on each

side, or (2) the 30-minute time-limit runs out. During Sudden death, players

nor balls are reset and remain as is. No blocking with the ball will be allowed

during sudden death  Any player who

blocks is Out.


the case of sudden death at the end of the 30 minute timed game, the referee

will call out "no blocking", all remaining players in the game will

no longer be able to block until one side has no players left. Catches do not

bring on a player during sudden death. When a set is in Sudden Death mode

during the 30 minute game clock, the team with the first player Out for any

reason will lose the match, and the opposing team will be deemed the winner of

that set. In a case where an Out occurs on both sides at the same time (or the

ref is uncertain which Out occurred first), the set will continue until the

next Out.



player struck anywhere on their body, including their head, will be Out as

described elsewhere in this document. The thrower of a ball that hits another

player in the head may, at his/her discretion, recall a player struck in the

head (i.e. allow the player to remain on the court and in play).


players repeatedly throwing balls at a standing person's head height

(approximately 5' to 7' from the floor) will be given balls and then eliminated

from play as follows:

  • If a player throws two balls at standing head height (5' to 7') within a single round, the player will be given a warning.
  • If a player throws a third ball at standing head height in the same round after receiving a warning (i.e. 3 balls in one round), the thrower will be called Out. (Note: The implication of "standing head height" is that the ball is thrown quickly enough to remain and that height across the gym, and is not slowly arcing; players who have trouble controlling their throws will not receive a penalty if the speed of throw is reduced since the ball will no longer be a quick level throw).
  • If a player is called Out under this rule twice in a 30-minute game, they will be eliminated from play for the remainder of the 30-minute game. This is an individual penalty; not a team penalty. However, if a team does not have enough players to replace the eliminated player, the team will play with less players or substitute players according to those rules.



may use the ball(s) in their hands to block an incoming ball. A successful

block is one where the player retains control over the ball that is used to

deflect the oncoming ball. If the player drops the ball used to block, the

player is deemed Out even if the Live Ball did not otherwise hit that player.

In instances where a player is using more than one ball to block and in doing

so drops one or more balls used to block a Live Ball, the blocking player may

still be Out even if he/she drops a ball that was not used to block if that

ball was dislodged directly or indirectly by the impact of the Live Ball. The

referees have the final say on whether a ball was dislodged on account of a




 Player A is holding three balls, one in

each hand and a third trapped between the other two. Player A attempts to block

an incoming Live Ball with the ball in his/her right hand, but in doing so

drops the third ball that was trapped. Even though the third/middle ball was

not apparently hit by the Live Ball, the ball was dropped concurrently with and

due to the impact of the Live Ball and Player A is Out.



 Player A is holding three balls when

opposing Player B throws a Live Ball. Player A clearly drops one ball before

using the other two balls to block Player B's Live Ball. Since Player A did not

drop the ball due to the impact of the Live Ball, Player A is still alive.



 Player A is holding two balls and uses

one ball to block an incoming Live Ball. The ball used to block the Live Ball

was held out in front of Player A's face while Player A dropped the ball he/she

was holding at his/her side at the time of impact. Since the dropped ball was

not clearly a result of the impact of the Live Ball which was blocked, Player A

is still alive. A blocked or deflected ball is still a Live Ball until it

either touches the ground or a Dead Object, so a deflected ball that hits

another player may still result in an Out if it hits another player, or

considered a catch if it is caught.



The court will be of suitable size with clearly

marked boundary lines. The court consists of:

  • A centre line
  • Two sidelines
  • A referee box


Centre line is the only hard line. Sidelines on both sides of the court are

soft lines. There is no back line as players can play to the back wall.


Line (Hard Line)

Should a player step over or otherwise make contact across the centre line at

any time, the player will immediately be deemed Out. If a player touches the

hardline but does not go over it, the player is still alive.


Lines (Soft Lines)

Should a player end up fully outside a sideline (both feet outside the line) in

order to dodge a ball, catch a ball, or intentionally delay the game, the

player will be called Out. If a player has at least one foot in bounds, the

player is ok. A player may leave the court over the sidelines to retrieve balls

that may be out of bounds at any time, re-entering from the back of the court.

They may not throw, catch, or be hit until they return to the court.


  • A thrown ball released BEFORE a player steps beyond one of the boundary lines will be deemed as a Live Ball and all action from the ball counts even though the throwing player is Out regardless.
  • A thrown ball released AFTER a player steps on or beyond one of the boundary lines will be deemed as a Dead Ball as the player is Out the instant he/she stepped over the line.
  • If a player trying to catch a Live Ball loses balance and falls out of bounds, walks out of bounds or is hit by a Live Ball which hits the ground or a dead Object before that player has complete control of the Ball, then it is not deemed a catch and that player is Out. The catch only counts if at least one foot/any part of the body is still within the sideline.
  • If a player dodges outside the boundary with both feet completely out of the sideline, that player will be called Out. If a player dodges and only one foot is outside the sideline, the player is still alive.



A clearly marked area of space along one

sideline and straddling the centre line will be declared the referee area. This

area is for a referee and cannot be impacted by any inactive players. Balls

which come to a stop within this area will be placed on the centre line by the

referee. If an inactive player retrieves a ball that has gone into this space,

that team will lose possession of the ball.



 Boundaries are subject to change based

on the gymnasium being used. Before any tournament or as a new season begins,

anything related to boundaries will be mentioned before the games begin.




team will line up against the wall. When the referee calls out "3-2-1-

DODGEBALL!", teams can attack.


the beginning of a set, all players must have a hand on the wall. Players who

do not have their hand on the wall when the referee says "3-2-1-DODGEBALL" will

be declared ineligible for the round. Play will continue with a reduced number

of players.


team will start with two balls in their possession.


the beginning of each game, the drag ball will be assigned via a game of chance

(rock-paper-scissors, etc). For subsequent sets, the loser of the previous set

will start with the drag ball




first team to legally eliminate ALL 6 players from the opposing team will gain

1 point towards the match. The team with more points at the end of the full 30

minutes time frame will be deemed the winner of the match. There is no time

limit on individual sets within the match.


keep games moving, the team with the majority of balls on their half of the

court will be required to initiate a throw. Even if some balls are on the

ground outside the boundary, the team is obliged to throw as long as more balls

are on its half of the court.


the referees have indicated who must throw first, the team that is required to

do so has 10 (TEN) SECONDS to initiate a throw. If at least 1 ball is not

thrown by the end of the 10 seconds, the team with ball possession will forfeit

all their balls to the other team.


will start on time, or at the Director's discretion. Teams who are not in

position or are without a minimum of 4 starting players within 10 minutes of

game start time will forfeit. Games forfeited are worth 3 points to the

opposing team.




a player is deemed to be Out, s/he must leave the court in a timely manner from

the nearest point of exit. If the player is still HOLDING one or more balls

when s/he is Out, the player IS ALLOWED to pass those balls onto his/her

teammates. If a player is NOT in possession of a ball at the instant when s/he

gets Out, then that player is NOT ALLOWED to touch any balls that may be on the

court. At the discretion of the referees, a team may have a ball stripped from

them and given to the opposing side, if an infraction occurs.




not playing can retrieve balls for their teams if it goes out of bounds or onto

the other adjacent court. Non-active players should NEVER enter the dodgeball

court to retrieve or give balls to a player. This includes ball retrievers

reaching on to the court to retrieve a ball from the active playing area or to

stop a rolling ball from rolling across the centre line. Ball retrievers

entering the active playing area will be considered off-court interference and

shall be penalized accordingly. Further, if an inactive player reaches on to

the court to prevent a ball from rolling across the centre line to the opposing

team, that ball must be forfeited to the other team.


a dodgeball leaves the court's boundary lines, team members not in play may

collect the ball and roll it to an active player at any time and from any

sideline location, provided the inactive player does not enter the court or

otherwise interfere with any balls in play, and provided the ball being inbounded does not interfere with any ball in active play. If a ball passes over the half

court line, a ball retriever CANNOT crossover to the other team's side of the

court to retrieve the ball. Failure to abide by these rules will result in that

ball being forfeited to the opposing team. If a ball comes to rest ON the

half-court line, the referee will place the ball on the centre line and only

active players may retrieve it. Ball retrievers are advised to act fairly and

reasonably to avoid any unnecessary altercations.


balls will be returned to the side of the court from which they were retrieved

regardless of where they exited the court.


there are any disputes, the referees have the final say on which team gets the





a ball is close to the centre line but is on the opposing team's side, a player

may reach for the ball provided that no body-part touches the other side of the

court. A player may use a ball to extend their reach since their hand is not

technically touching the ground of the other team. If a player crosses the

centre line or if any part of their body touches the other team's court, they

will be called Out.


a team wants to strategically place a ball over the centre line to give ball

majority to the opposing team (forcing them to throw), the ball must be placed

far enough from the centre line that it is not in reach. For example if Team A

puts a ball over the line and if the ball is still in reach, Team A still has

the majority to throw. This does not stop the 10 second countdown. If the

countdown reaches 0 (Zero) and if Team A hasn't moved the ball further from

reach nor thrown a ball, they will forfeit all their balls to the opposing




a team has less than six players, they may request substitute players to top them

up to six. Substitute players may never be used to exceed six players and no

more than two substitutes may be used in any match (so if a team has five of

its own players, it may add one substitute; if a team has four of its own

players, it may add two substitutes). Substitute players may be found within

either of the GBS Dodgeball leagues (only registered players from one of the

leagues are permitted to play). For each player substitution, the opposing team

will be immediately be awarded two points towards the match.



are no 'lifes' allowed. Teams are responsible to ensure they have adequate

players prior to matches, and may add up to two player substitutes as per the

substitution section above. If a team chooses not to add substitutions or is otherwise

still short of the 6 players allowed on the court, the match is played as is.


Teams must still have 4 players physically present to be allowed to play for playoffs.

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