Dodgeball Regulations


The Intramural sport convener may modify these rules at their discretion. The Intramural sport convener and officials have the discretion to rule on any matter not covered by these rules.

Click here for Intramurals eligibility rules.

Number of Players

• 6 people begin on the court at the start of each game. Each team must have a minimum of 2 players of each gender (M/F) on the court.
• In cases where teams only have 1 of a particular gender, they must play shorthanded (i.e., 5 [4M:1F] vs. 6), you may not replace the missing person with someone of the opposite gender. If this is not possible, the offending team will default.
• The maximum roster size per team = 13 (with a minimum of 2 of each gender).
• In order to play, a team must have a minimum of 4 players, (including a minimum of one of each gender) ready to play.

The Game


In general, our rules are governed by NADA. Please see our house rules below for exceptions.

Beginning of the Game

I. 2 balls will begin in each team’s possession, one large and one small. Two more small balls will be placed on the centre line.
II. Teams will start each game with exactly 6 players on the floor, including at least 2 males and 2 females.
III. All active players will start each game with one hand touching the wall
IV. All non-active players must remain seated.
V. The game begins at the sound of the referee whistle.
VI. At the sound of the first whistle, players will may run for the balls. 
Note: Balls on the center line may be thrown immediately after possession is gained. there is no attack line.

Game Play

I. Players cannot touch the centre line. Players will be called out if they touch or cross the centre line.
II. Players must throw the ball across the centre line. If the ball bounces on the thrower’s side (on the floor or the wall) before crossing the line, the thrower will be called out.
III. To eliminate an opponent with the ball, a player must throw the ball and hit an opposing player anywhere below the head. Headshots will not result in a player being called out. Exception: If a player is crouched, ducking or jumping and the ball makes contact with the head, the player may be called out.
IV. When a player is called out they must drop any balls held and go straight to the sideline to sit out.
V. Any ball thrown by a player already called out will be considered a dead ball. No one can be called out by that ball until it's touched by another player.
VI. All intentional interferences will result in a player being called out at the referee’s discretion. Examples of interference include but are not limited to:
a) a player intentionally blocking a ball or passing/bumping a ball to a teammate while on his/her way to the sidelines.
b) Players on the sidelines intentionally stopping balls, passing/bumping balls to their teammates, or keeping balls from crossing the line.
• If balls are unavoidable, players should let balls bounce off them as naturally as possible.
VII. All balls are in play all the time. If a player walks into a ball on the ground, may it be stopped, rolling, or bouncing, the player will be called out.
VIII. In all situations, the walls and curtain are to be treated as the floor. For example, if a player makes a catch off of the wall, it does not eliminate a player from the opposing team, nor does it permit re-entry to the game by a teammate. If a ball that bounces off the wall hits a player, that player will be out.
IX. If a player is struck with a ball anywhere below the head (including loose clothing) the struck player will be called out. However, if a player is struck but the ball is caught either by the struck player or by a teammate before it touches the ground or the wall, the player who threw the ball will be called out.
X. If a player catches an opponent’s throw, the player who threw the ball will be called out, and a team member on the catcher’s side will be allowed back into the game. If there are already six players still on the floor, the thrower will still be out, but no new player will be allowed back in.
XI. No player can catch anyone on his or her own team out.
XII. Players re-entering the game are considered active as soon as the teammate catches the ball allowing them in. Players must re-enter play as soon as the teammate catches the ball.
XIII. A player may block an oncoming ball with another ball. If a thrown ball is deflected upward and is caught by a teammate, the thrower of the ball will be called out. If a player deflects a ball with another, but drops the ball used to deflect, that player will be called out.
XIV. Players can pass balls to teammates, but the balls cannot touch the ground. If a ball is dropped/missed, the last player to touch the ball will be called out.
XV. Players cannot roll balls on their own side. Rolling balls will be considered fumbled balls and players will be called out. Rolling balls by bumping them with other balls is legal.
XVI. Players cannot drop a ball they no longer wish to hold. Players must place any balls they do not want to hold on to the ground. If a player drops a ball, that player will be called out.
XVII. Players cannot dribble the ball. Doing so will result in the player being called out.
XVIII. Players must keep the game in play. If referees feel any team/player is delaying the game by not throwing/holding too many balls, they may order a team/player to throw any number of balls by counting down from 5. If the team does not throw any of their balls by the time the official finishes their countdown, that team forfeits all their balls to the other team.
XIX. If a ball hits more than one player on any throw, all players hit will be called out.
• If a player throws the ball striking an opposing player, and the ball is caught either by the thrower or another player on the thrower’s team, only the struck player will be called out. Players cannot catch themselves or teammates out.
XX. Any player who touches or crosses the centre line at any point will be called out, however suicide play will be allowed - jumping over the line and throwing the ball before touching the ground. In order for the throw to count, the ball must be released prior to making contact with the floor on the other side.
XXI. Balls are always to be thrown, not kicked. Any intentionally kicked ball will result in the player being called out/suspended at the referee’s and commissioner’s discretion. (Exception: The reasonable use of all limbs is acceptable to deflect balls upward in attempt to make a catch.) Likewise, any other destructive acts done to the ball may lead to a player being warned, called out or suspended at the referee’s and commissioner’s discretion. 
XXII. A legal throw involves the player having full control of the ball before throwing. A ball swatted from the air/ground will not count as a throw, and the action will be treated as a fumbled ball.
XXIII. A player may leave the court to retrieve an active ball; once the ball is retrieved the player must immediately return to the court. Any player who leaves the court may be called out at the referee’s discretion if they are thought to be giving their team an unfair advantage (hiding, stalling, etc.). A player may also leave the court to catch an active ball.
XXIV. Honesty is essential in dodgeball. If a player is hit, it is the player’s responsibility to call themselves out, whether the referee sees it or not. The referee has the final say in any hit.
XXV. Unsportsmanlike conduct will result in a removal from the game, as judged by the referees.
XXVI. If the last player on each team is eliminated in the same play, the team with the player struck last will win the game. In the event that no referee can make a call on any play and no player admits first elimination, the referees can make the decision to have the game continue with no one being called out.
XXVII. Referees always have the final say. Arguing with the referee may result in being called out, removed from the game, or a forfeiting of the game/match.
XXVIII. Both the head referee and the league commissioner have the right to amend any rule as they feel necessary. They must provide a valid reason for the rule amendment, and their decision will be expected to be followed and respected. The individual making the call will be expected to have that rule implemented immediately, publicly announced, and added to the written official rule list as soon as possible.


I. As players are called out they will sit on the bench. If a ball is caught by a player on that team, the league does not enforce who the next player back on is if there are 2 of each gender already on the floor or if there is 1 male and 1 female still in play.  If there are less than 2 of either gender on the floor, players must return to the floor in a sequence where there are 2 of each gender on the floor.  For example, if there are 2 male players and 0 female players on the floor or 2 and 1, the next ball caught must result in a female returning to the floor and visa-versa if the scenario was reversed until there are 2 players of each gender back on the floor. 
II. Non-active players may not switch with active players unless in the event of an injury. Substituted play must be the same gender as the injured player leaving the game.


I. Any player crossing half-court as a result of any dispute will be ejected indefinitely.
II. Any player leaving the bench as a result of a dispute will be ejected indefinitely.


• The required uniform includes: closed toed athletic shoes, shirt, and shorts.
• Safety gear optional (mouth guard, jock strap, helmet, knee pads, etc.) 


• Matches will be played in a best 2 out of 3 format, with each match taking approximately 15 minutes.
• To keep games on time, the court may be reduced to the gym’s red lines in size at the official's discretion.
• When the court size is reduced, a player may not leave the playing surface under any circumstance or they will be called out. Stepping on or across the boundaries is treated in the same manner as the center line.
• Teammates on the outside of the lines (the eliminated or non-active members) are to retrieve the balls for their team (on their own side) and place them on the outer boundaries. Passing the ball to their teammates by throwing or rolling the ball will result in that teammate being called out. Any other interference with game play (reaching into the court or touching players) may also result in the player being called out at the referee’s discretion.   


• Playoff formats will be determined by the Intramural sport convener.


Campus Recreation Intramural Sports at Western University holds sportsmanship as “Our Golden Rule of Sport”. Sportsmanship is a great tradition in sports and competition that means playing clean, handling both victory and defeat with grace, style, and dignity, respecting the judgment of referees and officials, and treating opponents with respect. Sportsmanship is a style and an attitude, and it can have a positive influence on everyone around you.

Playing Field Conditions

• Intramural staff has full authority to suspend/cancel games if they believe the playing conditions are unsafe. Games will be rescheduled, if possible.
• In the event of a problem with lights or leakages, captains will be notified and games will be rescheduled, if possible.
• When in doubt, players should expect the game to be played and arrive at the indoor facility on time. If games get/are to be cancelled the sport convener will send out a message to those affected as soon as the decision to cancel has been made.

Game Reschedules

I. Cancelled Games (due to weather, space conflicts etc.) will be rescheduled whenever possible to ensure you get the Intramural experience you paid for, however facility availability is limited, and games may not always be able to be rescheduled.
II. Team Requests for a Reschedule - Unfortunately, once our schedules are released online we only make changes due to facility closure, etc.
III. If you need to reschedule a game, email your opponent to gain their permission to a possible rescheduling. Only if the opponent agrees to a change of game time can you email your Intramural sport convener at least 48 hours prior to the game with your request (and proof of opponent’s agreement). Requests will be accommodated when possible, but are not guaranteed. If you wish to swap game times with another game in your division, you must contact the captains of all teams involved in the game swap. The swap can only occur if all parties agree. This must be completed at least 48 hours prior to the originally scheduled game. Proof of all agreements must be sent to the Sport Convener before the game time swap can be executed.
IV. Forfeit the game: If you give at least 48 hours’ notice to your sport specific convener that your team won't be playing and that the game is a ‘forfeit’. You will lose the game, but not your Performance Bond.