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We have had a fantastic team helping put in place rules and formats for our USA Dodgeball Premier Tour which has the official rules published at the bottom of this page. We are also very fortunate for the groundwork laid down by Elite Dodgeball. We have published a rule set and highlighted any differences from previously established rule sets so it will be easy for players to know what is new and/or different. We encourage all players to always read and familiarize yourself with the rules often. Below you can also find a more general set of rules and basics for those unfamiliar with the game.

Understanding The Basics of Dodgeball


The Start and Ball control

  1. Each team starts behind the back line on their respective sides.
  2. Once the referee whistles the start of the game, each team’s rushers will run to grab the three balls designated for their side.
    1. Each team will go for the balls to their right.
  3. The rushers must clear the attack lines with their body, after retrieving their balls, before being able to throw towards the opposing team.
  4. The team with the burden ball (odd-colored ball) and two matching colored balls must throw before the 10 second count is completed by the referees.
    1. This also applies to teams that have the majority of the balls. So if a team has 4 balls and none are the burden ball, they still must throw before the completion of the 10 second count.
    2. The team that has the burden to throw is considered to have ball control.
The Start and Ball control

Rules of Getting Out

  1. Whenever a player is hit by an active ball, that player is out.
    1. There are multiple conditions to determine if a ball is active, but the most important determination is if it has been thrown by an active player on the opposing team and if it did not hit an inactive object (floor, wall, inactive player or ball) before hitting you.
    2. If an active ball hits multiple players before becoming inactive, then all of those players are out.
    3. A ball deflected/blocked by a ball is still active and can still get you or your teammate(s) out.
  2. If a player catches an opposing player’s throw, the thrower is out and a player from the catcher’s team out line can come in.
    1. A player is able to catch any live ball thrown by the opposing team.
    2. If the catch came from a ball hitting a teammate, then their teammate is safe as well.
    3. Both feet must be inbounds for a catch to count.
Rules of Getting Out

Winning the game

  1. A team scores a point every time they successfully get out every single member of the opposing team‍
  2. Matches are either timed or a “best of” series
    1. At the end of a timed match, the team with the most points wins
    2. A series is won by whoever reaches the target goal first
    1. Example: Best 2 of 3
Winning the game

The Court

The standard court dimensions are 50 ft. by 25 ft. with a center line and a 10 ft. neutral zone around it. International dimensions vary. Many recreational leagues do not have a neutral zone and have only the center line to divide the court.

  • The center line is used for ball placement at the opening rush.
  • 3 balls (6 total) are placed on each opposite side of the center line
  • The neutral zone boundaries are also considered the attack/clear line.
The Court

The Team

Each team must have four to six players on the court with three females and three males on court for co-ed divisions. Leagues around the country alter their team size and gender requirements for coed at their discretion.

Each player has different unofficial positions that players refer to.

  • The two players on the outside are called wings, corners, or snipers
  • The center two players are considered the mids
  • The remaining two players are your support
The Team

Ball Types

There are multiple ball types used Nationally and Internationally but there are 4 commonly used in the United States tournament circuit

  1. No-Sting: Soft rubber typically inflated to 7”. Ideal for anyone to pick up and throw/play with ease. Sold by member league WeHo Dodgeball.
  2. 8.5 Rubber: Harder rubber typically inflated to 8.5”. Historically used by organizations such as Elite Dodgeball & National Collegiate Dodgeball Associate (NCDA).
  3. Cloth: Rubber ball covered in cloth and inflated to 8”, similar to a water polo ball. Used in International Competition at the World Dodgeball Federation (WDBF) World Championships. Main ball type used by the European Dodgeball Federation (EDF).
  4. Foam: Soft foam with outer coating to seal. Used in International Competition at the World Dodgeball Federation (WDBF) World Championships. Sold by USA Dodgeball.
Ball Types

Official Rulebook of USA Dodgeball is reviewed regularly. Check back often to ensure you have the latest version!