Dodgeball Rules

We follow a modified version of the World Dodgeball Federation rules with soft boundaries, no refs, and a marker to help determine advantage in casual leagues.

The team

  • Each team has six players on the court.
  • At least 2 players of the opposite gender must be on the court at all times.
  • We recommend a team of nine to 12 players, so you have enough subs.
  • Player substitutions are only allowed between sets, or if there is an injury.
  • Subs who are not on the roster are allowed to play but need to sign a waiver before the game.
  • You need at least four roster players at the posted game time. If you don’t have the minimum, you lose by default. Forfeits must be confirmed with both teams and the coordinator before the game begins.
  • For Competitive games only: If you’re inviting subs to play a game, you can have no more than 8 players in total.

The game

  • The court is half the gym split into two opposing sides.
  • Some courts will have sidelines or out-of-bound areas depending on the gym.
  • Each team starts with six players on the court.
  • The goal is to get all six players on the opposing team out (a set).
  • Each set is worth one point toward the score for the game.
  • The games are 50 minutes long.
  • The team with the most points at the end of the game wins!

Starting the set (opening rush)

  • For the Opening Rush, dodgeballs are set on the centre line with 3 balls on the left and right wings. Players may only retrieve balls to the designated right centre-line area on their half.
  • Players line up in contact with the back wall, and once the teams are ready and the balls are in place, one person from either team calls the starting countdown (e.g. “3, 2, 1, dodgeball!”), and then players can retrieve the balls from their half.
  • Players may touch or cross the centre line while retrieving those balls during the opening rush. Any balls retrieved during the opening rush must fully cross the designated attack line to become a live ball. It can be used to block immediately and does not need to be activated to be used to block.
  • In beach dodgeball, each team starts with 3 balls and players line up with one foot touching the back line. One person from either team calls the starting countdown (e.g. “3, 2, 1, dodgeball!”), and then players can throw.

Gameplay rules


  • A throw must leave a player’s hand. The thrown ball becomes a live ball once the player is no longer in contact with the ball. Kicking a ball does not count as a throw.
  • A throw must be a valid attempt to hit an opposing player out. A valid attempt is a throw that lands or passes within 1 meter of a player or a player’s position at the moment the ball was released.
  • Teams have 10 seconds to throw a ball. If gameplay stalls, the team must follow the advantage rule to determine which team should throw first (see more on advantage below).
  • A ball must not be held in ways that would damage it and must not be distorted in a way that would alter its normal flight pattern when thrown (i.e. squishing or compressing it).

Live balls vs. dead balls

  • A live ball becomes a dead ball once it touches another live ball, a surface or a dead object, or once it is caught. A live ball remains a live ball after it has been blocked.
  • Players can pass balls to teammates, drop balls, and hold more than one ball at once.
  • Players can use one or more balls to block a live ball from hitting them.

Boundaries & exiting/re-entering

  • In games with boundaries, designated ball retrievers or out players can retrieve balls outside of the boundaries on their side of the court. Ball retrievers may not touch any boundary line or any surface, ball, or live player within the court boundaries, and may not retrieve balls that have crossed the centre line. They may pass balls to live players or other ball retrievers and place balls within court boundaries.
  • In games with no boundaries, there are no designated ball retrievers and out players cannot retrieve balls.
  • When a ball is caught, the first out player on the catching team is allowed to reenter the court. Players must re-enter in the order they were out (first out, first back in).
  • Players re-entering the court are considered live as soon as both feet are within court boundaries. If court boundaries are not in effect, players must immediately touch the back wall to signify they have re-entered the court.


  • "Advantage" refers to which team is required to throw. The team with advantage has 10 seconds to make an attempt. This time resets if any ball is thrown.
  • In Casual games, advantage is given to the team that:
    • is in possession of the majority of the balls in play, or
    • is in possession of exactly half the balls and has more players, or
    • if both teams have equal amounts of balls and players, is in possession of a different coloured "hot" ball that counts as 2.
  • In Competitive games, advantage is given to the team that:
    • is in possession of the majority of the balls in play, or
    • is in possession of exactly half the balls and has more players; or
    • if both teams have equal active players, have not thrown last; or
    • if neither team has thrown, that last won a set.


Getting hit

  • A live player is deemed out when a live ball that hits them on any part of their body, including hair or on any part of their clothing and uniform, touches a dead object (such as another live ball or a surface).
    • Other live players are not considered dead objects, so if a ball hits two people before touching a dead object, both players are out. Additionally, if a ball hits one person and then a teammate catches the ball, the first player is “saved” and the thrower is out.
  • A hit player can continue to make valid actions until any live balls that hit them come in contact with a dead object.


  • Hitting another player in the head counts as an out, but headshots are discouraged.
  • Players who intentionally throw headshots should be reported to the league coordinator and may be asked to leave the game if they don't change their behaviour.


  • If a player’s throw is caught by the opposing team, that player is out. The catcher must have control of the ball, and the ball cannot have come into contact with a dead object before the catch is complete.


  • Blocks must be clean — if the ball hits the player after they’ve blocked, that player is out. Additionally, if a blocked ball hits a teammate, the teammate is out. Remember: A live ball remains a live ball after it has been blocked.
  • If a player loses control of the ball they’re holding while blocking and does not regain control of the ball, they’re considered “disarmed” and are out.

Boundaries & exiting

  • For courts with boundaries, players must keep at least one foot inside the boundary at all times. If both feet leave the boundaries, the player is considered out.
  • If any part of a player touches the opposing team’s territory they shall be considered out of bounds.
  • An exiting player must raise their hand over their head to indicate that they are out and leave the playing area as quickly as possible over the nearest boundary line. They must not intentionally impact play.
  • Players must leave the court entirely before they can come back in — if a catch is made before they leave the court, they still need to exit the court before re-entering.

Simultaneous plays

  • If a simultaneous play occurs where two or more plays happen at the same time and the players cannot determine which play was completed first, the results of the play are resolved simultaneously (e.g. if two players hit each other at the same time, both are out).
  • In one-on-ones, if a simultaneous play occurs, players reset to the back wall with a ball, and the opening rush countdown is called to restart the one-on-one.

Ending the set

  • When one player remains on both sides (a one-on-one), after 5 seconds there is NO BLOCKING. A blocked ball is out.
  • When all players are out, the set is over, and a point is scored for the winning team.
  • Teams can choose to play an "all-in" round at the end of the game where all players join the court. All-ins don't count toward the final score, and should only be played if the round doesn't change the outcome of the game (no all-ins on a tie game). Both teams need to agree to the all-in. During an all-in round, players cannot re-enter the court if there's a catch.

Player Conduct

  • Games are self-officiated. You are responsible for calling yourself and your teammates out. Be honest!
  • All players are bound by Play Sask’s Policies & Procedures document, including our Code of Conduct.
  • Respect the league rep — they’re not a referee, but they’re running the event, and their decisions are final.
  • Do not throw excessively hard — this is a fun league! Lighten up.
  • Be respectful of the facilities — don’t wear marking shoes and clean up after yourself.

Sportsmanship policy

At Play Sask, we value good sportsmanship, which we define as fair and generous behaviour towards or treatment of opposing players and our own teammates.
If you see an individual or team consistently displaying good sportsmanship, you can nominate them for a Spirit Award! Individuals or teams that have received nominations throughout the season will be awarded a prize at the last regular-season game.
If a Play Sask member or team displays poor sportsmanship or breaks our code of conduct:
  1. 1.
    We encourage Play Sask members to talk to the individual or team captain calmly and respectfully about their behaviour.
  2. 2.
    If the behaviour does not improve, Play Sask members should speak to the league coordinator about the issue. The league coordinator will then speak to the individual or team captain, and let the Play Sask leadership know about the incident.
  3. 3.
    If the behaviour does not improve, the Play Sask leadership will speak to the individual or team captain about the behaviour. Play Sask will keep a record of the conversation and issue a final warning to the individual or captain that if there are any further complaints, the individual or team will be suspended from the league either permanently or for a set period of time.


Subs that play during the playoffs must have previously subbed with the team during the regular season (no ringers).
Tiebreakers are determined as follows if tied for most wins:
  1. 1.
    Higher total in-game points
  2. 2.
    Higher overall spirit point score