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Northeast Regional Dodgeball Rules


Playing Area

1. The playing area consists of the basketball court boundaries during the first 4 minutes and the volleyball court boundaries for the last minute and any overtime play. Players not "out" must be inside these lines at all times, unless retrieving a stray ball.

2. Players that are retrieving a ball out of bounds must re-enter the court as soon as possible. A player that is out of bounds cannot be hit by a ball, catch a ball or hit anyone on the opposing team while out of bounds. If this is done, the officials will recognize that the player is still in. Prolonged time out of bounds or multiple boundary infractions may eliminate a player at the official’s discretion.

3. A player that steps on or over the boundary line when trying to avoid being hit by a ball will be called out by the official.

a. In the event of a player being hit, that player or a teammate has an opportunity to save the hit player by catching the ball inbounds. In this case, the thrower is out and the catching team earns a player back in. Any ball caught out of bounds will be considered a "retrieval" and the thrower will remain in and the person hit is out. If the ball is dropped out of bounds when a teammate is trying to save a hit player, the player hit is out and the player who dropped the catch is unaffected and still in.

b.A player attempting to catch a ball may travel IN THE AIR into out of bounds territory. If the catcher lands out of bounds, anyone in contact prior to the ball being caught is not out. If the player attempting to catch the ball fails to do so, all players touched by the live ball are out.

4. Players that step on or over the centerline or ten-foot line (when inside volleyball court) in an attempt to throw or retrieve a ball will be called out.

a. On the initial face-off, officials will consider players momentum in crossing the centerline while retrieving balls.

b. The balls must be checked back to the white volleyball line prior to engaging opponents. Players should not immediately retrieve the balls and start throwing them at the opponents. Any players hit will be considered in and teams that constantly break this rule could receive yellow cards for unsportsmanlike conduct.

5. A ball that hits another ball, the floor, walls, curtain, officials, baskets, backboards, and ceiling are “dead balls” and will not be counted if a player is hit or for a catch after striking these things. Any player struck prior to the ball becoming dead will be out, unless the ball is caught prior to becoming dead.


Length of Match

1. Matches will be best of 3 games series.

2. 5 minute time limit for each game:

a. The game clock will start with 4 minutes. When that time expires, the game will be stopped. If neither team has been eliminated at the end of the 4 minutes, a 1-minute period will be played using the white volleyball lines as boundaries. Play will be stopped after the duration of 4 minutes so that the remaining players will move inside the white volleyball lines. Each team will be give 3 balls at their back line to start the last minute. During that time opponents may cross the mid-court line and advance to the 10 foot line.

b. At the end of the 5 minutes the team with the greater number of players remaining will be declared the winner. Prior to meeting with teammates, all players on the floor must pause so the officials and scorekeepers count remaining players as it impacts standings in regards to players remaining tracked throughout the pool play.

c. If each team has the same number of players remaining after regulation time expires, a one minute sudden death overtime period will take place. This period will take place using the volleyball court boundaries, and the first team to successfully get an opposing player out will be declared the winner. Each team will start with 3 balls on their back line.

  • If teams successfully eliminate players simultaneously, the players will be considered out and the remaining players will continue the sudden-death overtime. In the event that each team only has one player in overtime and there is a simultaneous out, a second overtime period will begin.

3. Each team is permitted one (1) sixty (60) second time-out per game. Time-outs can only be called when all balls are in player possession and not in the air. All balls will remain in the team/player possession on their back court lines after the time-out expires. Prior to teams being granted the timeout the officials and scorekeeper must track the remaining players and the # of balls per team, so at the end of the timeout the remaining players are in the game and they will start with the balls they had at the endline to re-start the game.

a. No substitutions will be allowed during time-outs unless there is an injury to a remaining player.


1. Each team will consist of six (6) players. Co-Rec teams must have 3 males and 3 females. At no times can a Co-Rec team have 4 males on the court.

a. If a team has extra players, they may choose to use the players as the first players to re-enter the game on a catch. No more then six players from a team are permitted on a court at once. In the event that an extra player does enter the court, that player and an additional player will be eliminated.

2. Teams may begin play with four (4) players. Co-Rec teams must have at least 2 females to start, but may only have a maximum of 3 males on the court if only 2 females are available


1. Substitutions can only be made during a timeout in the case of an injury.


1. The Intramural Department will supply the dodgeballs and officials.

2. Players must have proper athletic footwear and athletic apparel to participate.

a. No players are permitted to wear jewelry of any type during their games.

b. Players are not permitted to wear any sort of glove

The Game

1. The object of the game is to eliminate all opposing players by getting them “OUT”. Players will be called out when:

  • A player hitting an opposing player with a thrown ball

  • A player catching a ball thrown by your opponent before becoming dead. Catches must be made within the boundary lines, in order to get the thrower out.

  • A player dropping a ball being used to deflect

  • A player dodging out of bounds to avoid being hit by a ball thrown by the opponents

  • A player crossing the centerline during play except for the start of the game

  • Discretional infractions called by the referee (intentional headshot, extra player entering the court, unsportsmanlike behavior, etc)

  • Concealing the ball in one’s clothing to gain an advantage is considered an unfair act. That player is automatically OUT

2. If a player catches a live ball (one that has not become dead), the thrower is out and everyone hit by the thrown ball remains in. Additionally an eliminated player may enter the game because of the caught ball.

Example:  Player A1 throws a ball and hits his/her opponent, Player B1.  The ball bounces off of Player B1 and is caught by Player B2.  Because the ball is still live and caught, Player A1 is out and both Player B1 and Player B2 remain in the game, with an additional player from B team allowed in for the caught ball.

3. Every player hit by an opponent’s ball (including a deflection from one player to another) will be called out providing that ball is not caught by another teammate.

Example: Player A1 throws a ball and hits his/her opponent, Player B1. That ball continues to be airborne and hits Player B2 and is not caught by a Player on team B. Both Player B1 and Player B2 are out.

4. Using the ball to shield. When a thrown ball is deflected from a ball held by a player, that ball becomes dead. (A caught deflected ball will not count to get opposing team’s thrower out or an additional player’s re-entry).

a. If the ball being used for the deflection is dislodged from the player’s grasp that player is out. (The ball will remain dead and the player cannot be saved by that ball being caught.)

5. A player may attempt to save themselves or another player on their team by continuing to catch a ball that is out of bounds, however once that ball hits a "dead ball" object, the ball becomes dead and the players hit will still be out. If a teammate attempts to "save" a teammate the individual will be out if they do not catch the ball prior to it hitting a "dead" object. If the ball hits a dead area first, the player attempting to save a teammate will still be in.

Example: Player A1 throws a ball and hits player B1. The ball bounces off of B1 and is heading out of bounds towards the back wall; B2 follows the ball, which hits off of the wall, B2 then catches the ball. Player B1 is out and B2 is safe.

6. Players may attempt to get someone out by suicide kill.

  • This is when a player jumps over the center line to hit an opponent with the ball and get them out.

  • Player attempting must release ball before hitting the ground

  • In this situation both players are out

7. Center line infractions will void out a players throw.

  • Example: Player A attempts a suicide kill but steps on the center line as he jumps. Player A hits player B with the ball. Ruling: Player A is out since he stepped on the center line voiding his throw. And player B is still in play.

Starting The Game

1. The game will begin by placing 3 dodgeballs for each team on their white volleyball boundary line nearest their endline.  Players will take a position behind their respective back lines.

2. The intramural official will blow their whistle to start the game at their discretion so players may not time the start. Teams that constantly start prior to the whistle may be penalized with a yellow card for multiple infractions.

3. When the whistle is blown each team will sprint to the white volleyball line to retrieve the balls.

4. Once the balls are retrieved players may immediately engage in throwing at their opponents.

5. Players may not step on or cross the centerline and players will be eliminated if their foot touches or crosses the line.

a. Players may lean over the centerline to retrieve dodgeballs.

b. At no time can a player use their feet to kick the ball or retrieve the ball (including the beginning of the game to get the balls from the center line). The officials at their discretion may call a player out. Incidental contact by the feet that is unintentional will be disregarded.

6. The first team to legally eliminate all opposing players or if time runs out, the team with the most remaining players will be declared the winner.


1. Eliminated and extra players should line up on the sideline. They should remain in order with the next player entering being closest to the end line. This will prevent players from being immediately hit during re-entry.

2. Any player that has been eliminated or a substitute may not interfere with the game. Any attempts to obstruct the opponent or retrieve a ball will result in elimination of a player on the court. This decision will be at the discretion of the official.

3. Players re-entering the court incorrectly (elimination-substitution order) will cause the player who caught the ball to additionally be out due to the illegal procedure.

Delay of Game

1. Delaying the game (i.e. holding all of the balls, standing in the corner) is not allowed. If a player holds a ball or does not attempt to retrieve a ball on their side for more than 10 seconds, that player is out. Any player deemed to be not actively making an attempt to engage an opponent (hiding to protect players) shall be declared out by an official.

2. Players may not roll balls to the other side of the court on purpose or lob the balls into areas where the opponents are not standing. AN ATTEMPT MUST BE MADE TO THROW THE BALLS AT THE OPPONENT AND GET THEM OUT. If this is not done, the officials may declare a player out for not attempting to throw the ball at the opponents.


1. Accidental “head shots” will occur. The player hit will still be out. Rulings on “head shots” will be at the official’s discretion.

a. Any player that is deemed throwing at the opponents’ head will be warned and those that intentionally throw at the head will be automatically ejected and suspended. That participant must then meet with the Tournament Director in order to be eligible to play in additional games.

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

Team may be subject to:

1. Team warnings (Yellow card assessed to Captains)

2. Player warnings (Yellow cards assessed to Player)

3. Player ejections (Red card or two yellow cards to the same player)

a. If a player is ejected, the team must play shorthanded the remainder of that match

b. Ejected players must meet with Tournament Director before they are allowed to continue tournament play

c. A total will be kept of yellow and red cards for the matches and tournament, a total of four yellow cards or two red cards during one match will result in forfeiture of that match.  A total of six yellow cards or three red cards during the tournament will result in forfeiture of the entire tournament.

Games will be stopped when yellow or red cards are assessed

1. A yellow card will result in the loss of that player if on the court, or if the player issued the card is “out” or a substitute, the captain will choose a player on the court to be “out”

a. The player “out” due to the yellow card will be the last substitute in and can return to the game

2. When the game is stopped, each team will start on their end line with the # of balls they had when the time was stopped.

Teams that exhibit poor sportsmanship may, at the discretion of the officials and supervisor, be forfeited out of the tournament

Teams must have a match average of 3.5 sportsmanship points in order to be eligible for playoff bracket play consideration

Any teams below a 3.5 sportsmanship average will be under review by the Tournament Director & Tournament Coordinator to be considered for the playoffs