Cloth Dodgeball Rules

These are official WDBF rules for cloth-style Dodgeball.

World Dodgeball Federation Cloth Style Rules
Date Last Revised: 3/10/2018
Authored by: European Dodgeball Federation


The Playing Area

The playing area is the area which contains the court, free space, player out box, penalty box and substitution area. It should be enclosed by barriers or netting on all four sides to prevent balls from exiting.

Section 1 – Dimensions

1 – The court is a rectangular area that must be 16 to 18 meters in length and 8 to 9 meters in width. It is surrounded by a free area of 1 meter on all sides. For official EDF events, the court must have the dimensions of 17 x 8 meters. If the available space doesn’t allow for a free area of 1 meter behind the back lines, the court will be up to 18 meters in length and the back of the court will be enclosed by solid barriers instead.

Section 2 – Playing Surface

1 – The playing surface must be flat and horizontal. The surface must not present any danger to players, staff or match officials. Overhead obstacles should be at least 4 meters above the court surface. It is not allowed to play on a slippery or rough surface.

Section 3 – Court Layout

1 – All lines should be 5 cm wide. They must be of a uniform color, that is different from the floor or other lines.

2 – The court boundary is marked by two side lines and two back lines. They are drawn outside of the dimensions of the court, as they are not part of it.

3 – The centre line must be marked exactly halfway between each back line. The line should extend 1 meter outside of the side lines to indicate the retriever’s territory.

a – Markings on the center line should be placed to aid with ball placement. There are 5 markings, starting from the centre point of the court towards each side line marked 1.5 meters apart.

4 – The attack lines are marked 5.5 meters from the centre line, parallel to it and enclosed by the side lines.

5 – The neutral zone lines are marked 7 meters forward from each back line, parallel to it and enclosed by the side lines.

Section 4 – Zones & Areas

1 – Fair territory
The fair territory is the area from the back line to, but not including, the neutral zone line on each side of the court and enclosed by the side lines.

2 – Neutral zone
The neutral zone is the area between, but not including, the two neutral zone lines and enclosed by the side lines.

3 – Player out box
The player out box is an area of at least 0.5 meter in width, located at 1 meter away from the sideline of the court, extending from the back line for 5 meters. The player out box must be marked with lines and should be placed diagonally opposite to the referee where sufficient space is available.

4 – Substitutes area
The substitutes are is an area of at least 0.5 meter in width, located behind the player outbox. The substitutes area should be marked with lines. If the available space doesn’t allow for a Substitutes area it may be omitted provided adequate provision for easy access to the court area has been provided for substitutes to enter from either end of the court boundaries. For official EDF events, the substitutes area must be included.

5 – Penalty box
The penalty box is an area extending from the player out Queue, towards the direction of center line by 1.5 meters and should be the same width as the player out queue & substitutes area combined. The penalty box must be marked with lines.

6 – Coaches, Assistant Coaches & Managers

a – Coaches, Assistant Coaches & Managers are confined to the combined areas of the Player Out Queue, Penalty Box & Substitutes Area.


Section 1 – The Official Dodgeball

1 – All EDF sanctioned events must use EDF approved balls.

2 – EDF sanctioned dodgeballs can be designed in any way appropriate with designs and sponsor’s logos as approved and deemed acceptable by EDF.

3 – Balls used in EDF regulation play must, in the sole opinion and discretion of the official, be appropriate for match play.

4 – Approved dodgeballs will be made of a butyl bladder, covered by webbing and a textured no-sting cloth covering which has a 2 mm layer of foam directly underneath it.

5 – Approved dodgeballs shall be 7 inches/17.78cm. in diameter when measured across the width of the inflated ball.

6 – The ball pressure should be set at 1.6-1.8 psi (pounds per square inch) or 0.110-0.125 bars.

Section 2 – Uniforms and Protective Equipment

1 – Uniforms must be worn by each team player, and must be similar in colour and graphic style, sleeves may be of differing lengths. The uniform should display the team name or logo along with a visible number unique to each player.

a –  A player must maintain the same unique number throughout a competition i.e. A player can be registered for both the mixed and gender competitions under two different numbers providing the numbers used remain unique within each team. A player must not be penalised for a uniform mismatch as result of the blood rule or should their uniform become damaged in the course of a game.

b – Sponsor’s names and logos must be approved by EDF before they can be displayed on a team uniform at EDF events.

c – Offensive and/or otherwise obscene and discriminatory graphics and text will not be allowed.

d – All protective equipment must be worn correctly and be in working condition.

2 – Headbands and protective helmets are the only optional headgear for players.

a – Ball caps, visors, and other head coverings are not allowed in tournament play. Bandanas do not qualify as headbands and cannot be worn around the head, neck, or wrist/arm.

3 – Cast/Prostheses.

a – Prostheses may be worn. All casts, braces, and splints with exposed hard surfaces must be padded.

b – No player will be allowed to play should an official determine their equipment poses a significant risk to the safety of other players, or which changes the fundamental nature of the game or enhance the ability of a player such as to give them an advantage.

4 – Gloves must not be worn. The only exceptions shall be when a player can prove there is a medical or health requirement for them to wear a glove or hand covering. If a glove or gloves are allowed for medical reasons they must not be able to enhance the ability of a player to play the game.

5 – Exposed jewellery, if judged by an official to be dangerous, must be removed and may not be worn during the game.
If a player wears jewellery which is not noticed by an official and the item causes injury to the player wearing the jewellery or to another player on either team, the player wearing the jewellery will be held fully responsible for all personal injury caused by not following rules. Medical alert bracelets/necklaces are not considered jewellery. If worn, they must be secured to the body so the medical alert information remains visible.

6 – Goggles/Sporting Glasses may be worn and must be secured with head straps.

7 – Must be worn at all times.

a – All shoes must be made of canvas, leather, or similar material and possess a rubber non-marking sole.

b – An official may deem any footwear unsafe at their discretion. A player will only be allowed to play with footwear deemed safe.

Section 3 – Uniform Guide

Uniform or equipment which affects the safety of all participants, officials, and spectators.

1 – No uniform or equipment will be allowed which is deemed dangerous or harmful to the wearer or to other players.

2 – No equipment or uniform items will be allowed which significantly enhances player performance beyond the normal limits of individual skill.

3 – An Arabic whole number (0-99) of contrasting colour, at least 6 inches (15.24cm) high must be worn and be visible on the back of all uniform shirts.

a – No player on the same team may wear identical numbers. (Numbers 0 and 00 or 3 and 03 are examples of identical numbers.) A player without a number will not be permitted to play.

b – Players with the same number will not be permitted to play.

c – Players not wearing the number they were registered in the competition will not be permitted to play. A player instructed to replace their shirt due to blood injury occurring earlier in the days play will be exempt from this rule for the remainder of that days competition only.

4 – All team members must wear shirts that display unique player numbers and are similar in colour and graphic style, sleeve lengths may vary.

a – Visible undershirts may be either long or short sleeved, no restrictions on colours or style apply. No player may wear ragged, frayed, cut off, or slit uniform items.

5 – Teams may choose to wear sport pants/leggings or shorts as long as they are alike in colour and style for all members of the team that are wearing them.

a – No player may wear ragged, frayed or slit legs on exposed pants or leggings.

b – Mixed Team Female players may choose alternatives to shorts such as sport pants, skorts, sports skirts, sports dresses, leggings as long as all female members of the team are wearing the same style of apparel. Black is an alternative acceptable lower apparel colour to the team’s base colour.

c – Players can wear visible sports base layer garments underneath the required uniform clothing. Black is an alternative acceptable lower apparel colour to the team’s base colour.

d – No player may wear ragged, frayed, cut off, or slit uniform items.

Section 4 – All Equipment

1 – The EDF reserves the right to withhold or withdraw approval of any equipment which in the sole determination of the EDF significantly changes the character of the game.

Section 5 – Exterior Substances

1 – Substances applied to the exterior of team uniform or onto the skin of a player which enhance the ability to throw or to catch are not allowed.

a – Substances applied to the exterior of players skin, which are applied for medical reasons are allowed, but they must be covered by a dressing which is not in breach of Rule 2. Section 2.3 or Rule 2. Section 2.4

b – Substances applied to aid a player injury, such as a heat spray or cold spray, are allowed to be applied.

Players, Coaches, Retrievers & Substitutes

Section 1 – Discipline

1 – Players, substitutes, retrievers, coaches, managers and any assistants are subject to the authority of the match officials at all times, any situations between the team’s representatives involved in the match occurring 5 minutes before or after a match will be considered as part of that match and appropriate actions will be applied as though they occurred during the match.

Section 2 – Players

Teams consist of 6 players with up to 6 substitutes. All players must be in uniform with their name and numbers listed
on the line up sheet. Players cannot be added after the match has begun.

1 – A team can consist of no more than 12 players. A player may only participate in a tournament they have registered for.

a –  Mixed teams must field a team consisting of both genders but no more than 3 players of a single gender may be on court at any time.

Section 3 – Coaches, assistant coaches, manager

1 – The coach, assistant coach or manager is a person who is responsible for the team’s actions on the court and will represent the team in communication with the match officials and opposing team.

2 – A player may be designated as a coach. In the event the coach,assistant coach or manager is absent or that player is acting as a player-coach. In the absence of a coach or player-coach the team captain will represent their team. Coaches must be neatly attired or dressed in the team uniform.

3 – In championship play, coaches shall not display the names and/or logos of any other dodgeball associations on their uniform, other than the logo of their national governing body.

4 – Coaches must not use language that will reflect negatively upon players, officials or spectators.

5 – A coach must address only their team members and the officials when they are making a genuine appeal of incorrect procedure.

6 – A coach, assistant coach, manager must remain confined to the combined areas of the Player Out Queue, Penalty Box & Substitutes Area for their team. They must not enter the court without justification from an official.

7 – Coaches, assistant coaches, managers are subject to all rules of conduct.

Section 4 – Line-up cards

1 – A lineup card must be completed and submitted to the competition coordinator or to a head referee before their team’s first set of a match.

2 – A lineup card cannot be changed once the match has begun.

3 – Players shall be official once the lineup card is inspected and approved by the head referee,coach, team manager, or representative at the pre-match meeting.

4 – The lineup card must contain

a –  Players section. The first name, last name, and uniform number of each player including substitutes. If an incorrect number is written on the lineup card, an official should correct it, and allow a team to continue playing with no penalty.

i –  Except in the case of a blood injury a player must not be allowed to play unless wearing the correct registered numbered shirt.

b –  Coaches section.

i –  The first name, last name of anyone the team designates to be allowed in the coaching area.

ii – Only a player listed on the lineup card or a person named under this section.On the submitted lineup card will be allowed in the coaching area.

c –  Retrievers section.

i –  The first name, last name of each retriever that is not included as a player.

ii –  Only a player listed on the lineup card or a person named under this section on the submitted lineup card will be allowed to act as a retriever.

Section 5. Substitutions

1 – Substitutions must be made prior to the start of a set. No substitutions can be made during a set, except in cases of injury.

2 – Should a player become injured that player is replaced by the next available player in the queue. A substitute will come into the match by taking the last place in the queue, the substitute will join the queue immediately from the bench.

3 – In a mixed team match, the substitute player must be of the same gender and in queue order. If there are no other same gender players, that team will play shorthanded.

4 – If a substitute is discovered to be an ineligible player, that player must be replaced immediately by an eligible player.

Section 6. Short-handed rule

1 – Starting a game.

a –  A team must begin a set with at least one player, If no players are available at the start of a set the set must be forfeited.

b –  If there would still be no players able to start the set the match officials will reduce all the match and penalty timers by the amount remaining on the next penalty timer to expire and increase the opponents score by 2 points for each 20 second reset that would have occurred during that penalty time i.e., a penalty timer with 1 min 29 seconds left to run would incur a 10 point penalty (89 seconds rounded up to the next 20 second division then divided by 20 second reset allowance).

2 – Games in progress.

a –  A substitute may not enter a set in progress until the start of a new set, except in the case of an injury.

b –  Should a player listed on the roster arrive late and is of the proper gender, they must enter the line-up at the start of the next set.

c –  Any player removed on a yellow card offence (see Rule 3 Section 8) must remain in the penalty box until 5 minutes of match play has completed.

d –  Any player removed for a penalty set offence (see Rule 3 Section 8.6) Must remain in the penalty box until the end of the following set.Of the match in progress.

i –  If as a result of a penalty a team is unable to start a set apply Rule 3 Section 6.1.1.  Tournament Regulations will dictate the minimum number of players required at the commencement of each day’s play for a team.

Section 7 – Ineligible players

1 – An ineligible player is

a – A player who is not part of the official team roster for the competition.

b –  A player not listed on the lineup card.

c –  A player not wearing a shirt with their correct registered number for the competition.

d –  A player which has received a red card within the competition the match is for. A red card within the mixed competition would not prevent a player from participating in their gender competition and vice versa.

2 –  A player will not violate the ineligible player rule until a match has begun.

3 – If the player is deemed ineligible the official will:

a –  Remove the ineligible player from the court.

b –  The offending team will continue to play without the ineligible player being replaced for the remainder of the match i.e, a team with 2 players that are ineligible would be allowed to continue with 4 players only for the remainder of the match.

Section 8 – Ejected player/team penalty/penalty set (Yellow card offence)

1 – An ejected player is restricted to the penalty box for 5 minutes of live play. The 5 minutes can take place across the half time break. The time in the penalty box will be paused during half time or if there is an injury timeout.

2 – An ejected coach must remove them self from the playing area and remain outside the barriers and/or nets which enclose the court, for the rest of the day’s play.

3 – Should an act be determined to be flagrant, aggressive or abusive the player or coach may be required to leave the venue or the event. The offending player or coach will be recorded as receiving a red card by the match official or tournament officials.

4 – Any ejected player discovered participating in the game will constitute a forfeit.

5 – Team penalty (team yellow card offence)

a –  The number of players that may line up to start each set within the 5 minute penalty period will be reduced by 1.
As no specific player has been penalised no player is required to wait in the player out box.

i –  The 5 minute period will be timed by the match officials and will begin from the starting whistle of the team’s next set.

i.a – If the team penalty occurs in the final set of a match half or of a match it will begin from the first set of the next match half or match.

i.b –  A team penalty timer will be paused during half time and between matches.

ii –  Once the team penalty timer has expired the amount of starting players can increase by 1 up to a maximum of 6.

ii.a –  The team penalty timer must have expired before the match officials call the team’s to line up for the next set in order for the starting number of players in the team to be increased.

6 – Player penalty set

a –  Match officials may choose to award players a player penalty set. For behaviour that does not warrant a yellow card

b –  A player receiving a player penalty set must remain in the penalty box for the remainder of the current set and the following set.

Section 9 – Retrievers

1 – A retriever is an individual designated to retrieve balls that go out of play. Team’s are responsible for providing retrievers. Each team should have 2 retrievers. Tournament officials will specify if there are further requirements.

a –  A retriever may not enter the court at any time.

b –  A retriever may not wear a jersey of the same colour as their team uniform.

c –  A retriever is only allowed to field balls that are outside of the courts boundaries and have not passed the court’s half way line.

i –  Each team will designate retrievers.

i.a –  Retrievers may be changed during the reset between each set.

ii –  Retrievers must put balls into play as soon as possible.

iii –  When returning a ball to play a retriever may either toss a ball to any active player behind the team’s attack line or place the ball on court behind the team’s attack line.

iv –  Balls being returned from out of bounds must be returned to play by passing them onto the court behind their team’s attack line.

d –  For events not requiring retrievers the following rules apply:

i –  If there are players in the queue:

ii –  Active players may not go out of bounds to retrieve balls.

iii –  One player may leave the queue to retrieve a ball out of bounds.

iv –  A player leaving the queue to retrieve a ball is subject to all retriever rules and regulations.

iv.a – If there are no players in the queue:

iv.a.i –  One active player may go out of bounds to retrieve a ball.

iv.a.ii –  A player retrieving a ball must return promptly to their side of the court. Intentional delay will result in a penalty.

iv.a.iii –  A live player leaving the court to retrieve a ball must leave the court behind their team’s attack line.

iv.a.iv –  The player remains a live target until they have made contact outside the playing area of the court.

iv.a.v –  The retrieving player must come back into play by stepping back on to court over the back line. –  A live player retrieving balls is subject to all retriever rules and regulations.

2 – A retriever may not

a –  Touch, move or interfere with a ball that is within the court boundaries either through direct contact with the ball or by deliberate use of a ball they have retrieved.

b –  Cause a ball to be transferred to the opposite team through any means.

c –  Make contact with an opposition retriever.

3 – If a retriever commits an infraction the match officials may apply the following actions in order of severity and occurrence.

a –  Choose to give a team retriever warning depending on the nature of the infraction examples of which but not limited to are:

i –  Entering the court.

ii – Stalling play.

iii –  Passing a ball to a player in front of the attack line.

b –  Ask the opposing team to choose the distribution of all balls examples of which but not limited to are:

i –  Transfer of balls to the opposition.

ii –  Entering the oppositions area.

c –  Choose to give a yellow card or red card depending on the nature of the infraction examples of which but not limited to are:

i –  Repeated occurrence of infractions.

i.a –  Entering the court.

i.b –  Stalling play.

i.c –  Transfer of balls to the opposition.

i.d –  Passing a ball to a player in front of the attack line.

i.e –  Entering the oppositions area.

ii –  Unsporting conduct.

Section 10 – Spectator interference

1 – Spectators may return a ball to play that has gone out of bounds by giving it to an official or retriever.

The Match

Section 1 – Approved style of play

1 – There is currently one approved style of play that is sanctioned by the EDF (see Rule 4 Section 5)

Section 2 – Home team

1 – The home team should get first choice of court side.

2 – In absence of a home team, choice of sides shall be determined by a coin toss.

Section 3 – Bench conduct

1 – Coaches, assistant coaches, managers, substitutes, players, must only occupy their designated area, personnel not taking part in live play, i.e., During a set, must not be allowed inside the boundaries (barriers and/or nets) which designates the area of court play.

2 – Violation of Rule 4 – Section 3.1 can result in a team forfeit of the set being played.

Section 4 – Fitness of the court

1 – The official shall determine the fitness of the court prior to the start of the match.

2 – The court must fit EDF standards and be free of slip or trip hazards.

3 – Over the course of the match, should the court be become hazardous, the official must call a timeout to clear the hazard. A reset will be called to resume play once the court is again fit for play.

Section 5 – Regulation match and game type

1 – Match:

a – A regulation match will consist of two 15 minute halves, with a 5 minute half-time break.

b – The 15 minutes for each half will be a running clock, i.e.15 Minutes without pausing.

i – If less than 90 seconds remain of a match half after a set ends the match officials will announce that a final set will be played and the match clock will be set for a final set.

i.a – All penalty timers will be paused when match officials announce the final set and will restart when the final set begins and will be paused again when it ends.

i.b –  A final set will last a maximum of 90 seconds.

i.b.i –  In the event of any false start the final set 90 seconds timer will be reset to the full final set time all other timers will continue to run.

i.b.ii –  Should the set be won through a total elimination before the 90 seconds timer expires no further set will be played unless during knockout stages the final match score is a draw then an overtime set will be played.

c –  The head referee or other match official can halt play and call for a time out to stop the match timing when they deem this to be necessary. (See point 6)

d –  Teams will change ends at half-time.

2 – Sets:

a –  A match will consist of an indeterminate number of sets.

b –  A set is when 2 teams line up behind the back line to start play with 1 to 6 players and they play until one team is eliminated, or until the time for the set expires.

c –  A set is played as an elimination game with a point awarded towards the match score for the winning of each set.

d –  The maximum time allowed for each set is 3 minutes of continuous play.

e –  If the referee declares a set ended due to 3 minutes of time being played, the winning team for that set will be the team with the most players, on court when the referee has ended the set. If both teams have an equal number of players, still in when time expires at the end of a set, it will be declared a draw and both teams receive 1 point towards the match score.

f –  When a team is eliminated, or the time expires, teams will reset for the next period. Teams must reset immediately. Match officials will allow 20 seconds for teams to reset.

g –  Upon completion of a set the winning team receives 2 points towards their match score if a set is drawn both teams will be awarded 1 point.

h –  After the match has been completed, the points are totalled to determine a winner. The team with the highest points total wins the match.

4 – Overtime set

a –  In knockout tournament play, an overtime set is played at the end of the match when both teams have won an equal number of sets in the match. An additional overtime set starts.

b – If this is drawn at 3 minutes the match officials will call “sudden death!” And the first team to eliminate an opposing player wins the match.

5 – An official is empowered to stop a match at any time because of darkness, rain, fire, panic, or any other causes that place the patrons or players, in peril.

a –  A match stopped by an official is deemed regulation if 3 or more sets have been completed.

b –  If the match is considered regulation, the team winning the majority of the sets is declared the winner.

c –  Matches not considered regulation shall be resumed at the exact point where they were stopped.

d –  Stopped matches that result in a tie, may be resumed with a reset, consisting of the same number of players, at the point the set was stopped.

Section 6 – Forfeited match and forfeited set

1 – A forfeited match shall be declared by the official in favour of the team not at fault in the following cases:

a –  If an official is physically attacked by any team member and/or spectator.

b –  If a team fails to appear on the court or is on the court but refuses to begin a match at the scheduled or assigned time.

c –  If a team refuses to continue to play after the match has begun, unless the match has been suspended or terminated by the official.

d –  If, after the official has suspended play, one side fails to resume play within two minutes after the official signal to resume play.

e –  If a team employs tactics noticeably designed to delay the game examples of which but not limited to are:

i –  Delaying the reset through any unsporting behaviour.

ii –  Repeatedly removing balls from the playing area to stall play.

f –  If after a warning by an official, any one of the rules of the game is wilfully violated.

g –  If the order for the ejection of a player, coach or team manager is not obeyed.

h –  If an ejected player is discovered participating.

i –  If a player is injured or becomes ill, leaving the team with less players, than the required number of players, for a full team.

j –  Once a match has been forfeited, the forfeit cannot be changed.

2 – When a team is not on court to begin the first set in a match at the scheduled time and when the match officials and opposing team are present a forfeited set will be declared.

a – The head referee will declare the first set forfeit and then allow the team who has forfeited a maximum of 3 minutes to be ready for the second set of the match.

b –  Should the team still not be present and/or ready to begin play they will forfeit the match.

c –  A forfeit set can also occur when a team receives a team yellow card.

Starting The Game

Section 1 – Beginning play

1 – Play begins with all players positioned on or behind their team’s back line.

a – The head referee or other designated starter will address each team with these instructions:

b – “line up!” To order teams to take their places.

c – The official then states “teams ready!” For the teams to get into position to rush.

d – The official will pause for approximately 1 second and then blow a whistle to signal the start of the set.

2 – False starts

a – After the match officials call “teams ready!” The players should remain stationary and not move forward until the starting whistle if a player does move forward before the whistle and crosses the attack line it will be considered a false start.

b – In the event of a false start the offending team will forfeit 1 ball to their opponents starting with the centre ball and the teams are then reset.

i – Forfeited balls are live from the start of the set.

ii – If both teams false start the team which was deemed to have begun the false start will be classed the offending team.

ii.a – If the match officials are unable to determine which team initiated the false start the match officials will reset

c –  At the reset the offending team will only be allowed to have a maximum of 2 runners for the uncontested balls designated for their team if any remain.

d –  In the event of any additional false start the balls are given to the other team in the order of outside to inside, starting with the non-offending teams balls first. Any balls given to the non-offending team are deemed a live ball immediately upon the start of the set, as soon as the player in possession has fully stepped onto the court.

Section 2 – The rush

1 – The rush occurs at the beginning of each set or reset.

2 – Upon an officials signal, both teams rush to centre court and attempt to retrieve the two balls to their left designated for their team and the one ball in the centre (which is open to either team).

3 – A maximum of 3 players per team are allowed to rush for the balls available for the team to collect, any players above the required amount that cross the attack line will be called out.

4 – All players who are not rushing for the balls, but who are waiting for the balls to be made live must step onto the court at the start of the set.

a – The non-rushing players have until the rushers have reached the centre line to step onto the court and enter the game.

b – If a player has not stepped onto the court by the time the first rusher, from either team, has reached the balls on the centre line, that player will be called out for being off the court.

5 – When retrieving their 2 designated balls on their left, only one foot of the player is allowed to cross the centre line.

a – If a designated ball is knocked off of the centre line in the opponent’s direction the ball will be considered a live ball for the opponents which can be used immediately without needing to be returned to a player behind the attack line.

b – Only a player with a live ball may fully cross the centre line

i – Once a live ball has been thrown or taken past the centre line any player may fully cross the centre line.

6 – Players rushing for the centre ball are not allowed to put their feet across or onto the centre line while trying to gain possession of the ball. The rushing players are not allowed to contact the line or the court over the line with any part of their body, including their uniform.

7 – There is no limit to how many balls an individual player may retrieve.

8 – A player may not slide or dive head first towards the centre line of the court when rushing to gain possession of a ball on the centre line. The offending player will be called out.

9 – No deliberate physical contact between players is allowed, the offending player/players will be called out. This applies to pushing, grabbing and leaning on to a player from the opposing team. Incidental contact when competing for the centre ball will not be penalised.

10 – If two players both have hold of the centre ball they are both allowed to keep hold of it and try to gain possession, as long as they do not initiate intentional physical contact (see rule 5 section 2.9). If one player is pulled over the centre line by the other competing player without the pulling player being in breach of rule 5 section 2.9, The player who touches the court over the centre line will be called out.

11 – A team may cross the centre line fully into the neutral zone once they have retrieved all of their available uncontested balls behind the attack line.

12 – Once all of a team uncontested balls have been retrieved behind the attack line the team may retrieve their opponents uncontested balls.

Section 3 – Putting the ball in play during the rush

1 – During the rush, any ball retrieved from the neutral zone must be returned behind the attack line before it may be thrown at an opponent.

2 – There are several ways to put a ball into play following a rush.

a – A player carries the ball across the attack line.

b – A player passes the ball to a teammate who is behind or carries it across the attack line.

c – A retriever passes the ball to a player with both feet in contact with the court behind the attack line.

d –  A ball is live from the opening rush once it is in possession of a player that has both feet established and in contact with the court fully behind the attack line. The exceptions to this rule are covered in Rule 5 Section & Rule 5 Section 2.5.1

e –  Once a ball crosses the attack line it remains in play until the end of the set or until the game is reset and a new rush is executed

3 – A ball put in play by a player that hasn’t crossed the attack line is considered a dead ball, any hits made are voided plays but any catches made would be successful.

4 – A ball knocked from its starting position on the centre line towards the opposing team is considered to be in play and may be collected by the opposing team without penalty see Rule 5 Section 2.5.1 Regarding designated balls.

Section 4 – Time outs and suspension of play

1 – Each team has the option to use a tactical timeout of 1 minute this must be notified to the head referee immediately at the end of a set before the reset if it is not the time out will take place at the beginning of the following set.

a –  Match and penalty timers will be paused during the tactical timeout and will resumed immediately at the beginning of the next set.An official may stop play if in their judgment an injury or hazard has occurred, or conditions justify such action.

2 – An official may suspend play to assess penalties, settle verbal protests or to replace faulty equipment.

3 – An official will suspend play if a player becomes injured, if in the official’s judgment the player requires immediate attention. The official shall call a timeout and seek first aid or contact emergency personnel.

4 – Coaches and team medics are allowed on the court in the case of an injury.

5 – During a break in play, all players must remain on court, on the bench, or if out they must remain in their position in the queue.

Section 5 – Re-setting or resuming play

1 – Play will resume from the point play was paused and on the instructions of match official.

Exiting Players

Section 1 – Exiting players

1 – An exiting player is a player who has been deemed out and is in the process of leaving the court they must have a hand raised in the air to signal they are no longer in play.

2 – An exiting player is one who has been hit and is obviously not attempting to, or has failed to catch the deflected ball.

a – Players hit and attempting to catch the deflected ball are not considered an exiting player. Plays made against the player are resolved as follows:

i – The player may be hit and immediately deemed out by additional hits before completing the catch.

i.a – A player is not immediately deemed out by additional hits, if they are in continuous contact with all balls that hit them until all catches are completed. This play is commonly referred to as a double catch.

ii – Catches made by the player are void, unless the player first catches the deflected ball saving themselves from the out

iii – The player must not do anything to eliminate an opponent until they have caught the deflection. All throws made by the player between the deflection and catch of the deflected ball are unable to eliminate an opposition player but can be caught and bring back an opposition player.

3 – Upon being deemed out an exiting player must raise a hand over their head. This signals that they’re out and leaving the court, it also helps to prevent late hits and protects the players head as they exit.

4 – An exiting player must exit the court as quickly as possible over the nearest side line or end line. They must then make their way to the queue without interfering with play.

5 – The exiting player takes position at the end of the queue, behind any previously out teammates.

6 – A ball that has hit an exiting player which hasn’t been intentionally deflected by that player is still a live ball and can be caught or hit other players out.

7 – An exiting player must not intentionally impact play. Should an official determine that they have done so they will receive a yellow card and the opposing team will be given the opportunity to choose the ball distribution the official will blow the whistle and stop play.

a –  The offending exiting player shall receive a yellow card.

b – Balls will be distributed as the non-offending team requests.

c –  Play will then resume.

d –  Examples of impact to play but not limited to are:

i –  Continuing to throw after being hit out. This should only be applied where the officials believe the player could have reasonably been expected to halt the throw.

ii –  Intentionally obstructing a ball while leaving the playing area.

iii –  Shielding other players

iv –  Catching, or otherwise altering the path of a live ball.

Section 2 – Player interference

1 – A player in the queue must not throw balls at opposing players, catch, or interfere with the path of a live ball. Any violation determined to be intentional player interference, will result in a yellow card for the offending player.

Returning Players

Section 1 – Returning players

1 – A returnee is a player who has been deemed out and is waiting in the queue to return to play.

2 – Players from the queue return to play in the order they were put out.

a – A player who enters out of turn receives a penalty set, and must immediately exit the court to the penalty box and their team loses the chance to add a new player, the player who was supposed to enter remains in the front of the queue but is not allowed to enter until the next opportunity.

3 – A returning player must have both feet in the playing area to be deemed in bounds.

a – A player must return to the court by stepping onto the court over the back line.

b –  A player is only eligible to be out once both feet are in the playing area.

c –  A player is only eligible to make a catch once both feet are in the playing area.

d –  If a player catches a ball before establishing both feet in bounds the play is void (i.e., A player entering from the queue leaps into the court and catches a ball before both feet contact the ground. This wouldnot be deemed a catch. No out or penalty would result.)

4 – If a returning player leaves the queue for any reason, they must return to their original position in the queue. The team will forfeit its ability to return a player from the queue until that player returns to the queue.

Offensive & Defensive Play

Section 1 – Attempts

1 – Balls may only be thrown, with the exception of the block attack. A throw may be performed with one or both hands and be overhand, underhand, side arm or chest push/throw.

a – Intentionally kicking a ball or spiking a ball in an unsporting way will result in an out for the offending player.

2 – A player may not throw or kick the ball once play has stopped or after being called out, actions deemed as flagrant or unnecessary, will result in a player yellow card.

3 – A player should leave the ball on court at the position where they were hit or called out.

4 – A throw must leave a players hand. An opponent may not be “tagged” out.

5 – A player must not dispossess an opponent of a live ball e.g, knocking a ball from a player’s hand or hands, snatching a ball from a player. This would result in a yellow card.

6 – Players are not allowed to roll a ball to the opposing team, unless instructed to do so by a match official.

7 – Attempts must be seen as valid attempts by the officials. Failure to make valid attempts will result in the offending player being called out by the officials a valid attempt is a thrown ball that lands or passes within 1 meter of a player or their position immediately before the ball was released.

a – Transferring balls to the opponents half or past the centre line by any means other than an attempt or block will be considered an invalid attempt and the player will be called out. Examples of this but not limited to are:

i –  Dropping a ball in a manner that causes it roll into the opponent’s fair territory or past the externally marked centre line if off court. When a player drops a ball to make a catch, if the catch is successful and the player could not reasonably be expected to prevent the ball from crossing into their opponents half they will not be called out.

ii – Carrying a ball into the neutral zone and leaving it there. Balls left in the neutral zone unintentionally should not be penalised.

Section 2 – Outs

1 – A player deemed out becomes an exiting player and must exit the court directly and join the end of their team’s queue accordingly.

2 – A player is out at the moment of contact. Although the ball remains a live ball the player may no longer make any plays other than to catch the ball that put them out. During sudden death play, should a player be hit and fail to catch the ball that hit them this will be considered the winning out regardless of any subsequent outs after the hit.

3 – A player shall be deemed out when:

a – Hit by a live ball on any part of the body including hair.

b – Any article of clothing or uniform is hit by a live ball.

c – Hit by a live ball:

i – Rebounding off of another player on the court.

ii – Rebounding off of another ball including balls blocked by opponents and/or teammates.

iii – Rebounding off of a ball lying on court.

d – A live ball they have thrown is:

i –  Caught in flight by a defending player.

ii – Caught after rebounding off of another player by a defending player.

iii – Caught after rebounding off a ball lying on the court by a defending player.

e – The player crosses over the neutral zone in violation of rule 10

f – An official has deemed that a player has committed a rules violation.

g – The player or team has been charged with a penalty, causing a player to be ejected from live play.

Section 3 – Catches

1 – A catch is deemed valid if the following conditions are met:

a –  The ball is a live ball and it is caught in flight by a live player.

i –  Also any illegally thrown ball may be caught resulting in a catch for the opposition without risk of being hit out.

b – When a player jumps to make a catch, the catch is complete once the player has control of the ball. Any subsequent actions, such as being hit by another ball or landing out of bounds will be seen as a separate action which happens after the catch and the player will be out.

c – A ball shall be considered under control when it is in possession and in control of a player with at least one hand in contact with the ball.

d – An official shall decide if the ball is under control.

i – For a catch to be considered complete it must be fully in control of the catching player

ii –  Full control is established once at least one hand has been placed on the ball to secure the catch by the player(i.e., A ball caught between a players knees, must have a hand on the ball while it is under the player’s control to be considered caught). In cases of multiple ball catches the player must maintain continuous contact with the first ball to hit them in order for the catches to be considered successful.

2 – Trapping is the act of catching an in flight ball by pinning it between a wall, floor, or other object that would otherwise render it a dead ball. Trapping is not considered a valid catch and the player executing the trap is deemed out.

3 – If more than one player makes contact with a ball simultaneously all are considered out.

4 – Players are not allowed to pull out their shirt or any other part of their uniform to catch a ball.

5 – Jumping into an opponent’s court is permitted when attempting to catch a ball providing it is not considered to be dangerous play by the head referee the player will be called out when the player makes contact with the floor.

a – If it is considered to be dangerous the jumping player will be penalised with a yellow card.

Section 4 – Blocking

1 – A player can use any live ball or dead ball to block a ball which has been thrown by the other team.

2 – The blocked ball remains a live ball and if it deflects off the blocking ball onto the blocking player or any other player, all players hit will be out.

3 – When a player uses a ball to block a thrown live ball if the block causes the player to lose control of the blocking ball they must regain control of the blocking ball before it makes contact with any object other than a ball under their control or a live ball.

a – Catching a blocking ball that a player has lost control of is not considered a catch.

b – When a player uses a ball to block a thrown live ball, their hands to the wrist are considered to be part of the ball any contact on the hand before the wrist is not a hit.

4 – Where additional balls under a players control are knocked loose by contact with a thrown live ball these will be treated as though they were used to block the ball.

a – If no contact was made they will be treated as though they were dropped and the player is not out.

5 – A blocked ball can be caught.

a – If caught by the opposition the blocking player is out

b – A block attack is considered to be the same as a throw and any resulting actions should be ruled as such

i – If a teammate is hit by a ball from a block attack they will be out.

Section 5 – No stalling rule

1 – The act of intentionally stalling the game is illegal. When a team has possession of three or more balls they have 5 seconds to make an attempt with the balls in their possession from the moment a match official has called on them to “play n balls.”

a – Once a team has or can have possession of the majority of the balls in play the match officials will allow them 5 seconds to initiate an attack if the match officials believe the team to be intentionally stalling they will call “play n balls.”. Strategic use of a single ball should not be confused with stalling.

i –  A ball is considered to be in possession when a player or retriever has the ball in hand or within a reachable distance.

b –  A minimum of 3 balls must be on court before a match official will call “play n balls.”

2 – Teams are allowed to retain possession of only one of the balls in their possession at the time they were instructed to “play n balls.”

3 – When teams have possession of the majority of the balls they will be regarded as the team who must be active and make attempts on the other team.

4 – If players fail to make an attempt on the opposing team within 5 seconds, all players who have possession of balls and players who can have possession of a ball, but have declined to pick up the ball, will be called out by a match official.

5 – When “play n balls” has been called by an official, the team with the majority of the balls must make attempts which can get a member of the opposing team out. Their attempts must be seen as valid attempts by the officials. Failure to make valid attempts will result in the offending player being called out by the officials.

6 – In situations where there are more dodgeballs on their side of the court than there are players, all players must make attempts within 5 seconds, until the opposing team has the majority of the balls; for example: a team has 2 players left on court and they have all 5 balls in their possession, the players must both throw balls and this would still mean they had most of the balls and they would have to both throw 2 more dodgeballs within another 5 seconds, as the rules states they can only keep one ball however as “play n balls” is an instruction based on stalling if they were to throw another ball before the officials called “play n balls” again they would no longer have the majority of balls and could retain 2 balls.

7 – In situations where each team has an equal amount of balls the officials will determine which team can be in possession of the majority of reachable balls based on the nearest player to any dead ball within reachable distance on court.

a – If each team has 2 balls and a ball is stationary in the neutral zone whichever team has the nearest player to the stationary ball will be deemed to have the majority of balls.

b – A ball within a teams fair territory is considered to be in that teams possession.

8 – Any balls in possession of a player hit after a play ball call must be excluded from the expected amount of balls required to be thrown i.e., if a team are called to play 3 balls and a player in possession of a ball is hit out the match officials will only expect the team to throw 2 balls.

Section 6 – Pinching

1 – Holding a ball in order to alter the normal flight pattern of the thrown ball.

a – Pinching is when a player holds the outer cover of the dodgeball between thumb and fingers.

b – Pinching the ball when throwing it is an illegal attempt.

c – Inserting fingers through splits or tears in the outer cover of the ball is also regarded as pinching.

2 – Any individual or team found pinching will be assessed as called out.

a – Persistent pinching can result in a yellow card offence being declared by the match officials on the offending player.

Out Of Bounds

Section 1 – Out of bounds

1 – If any part of the players body or a ball in the players possession touches a back line, side line, opposition’s neutral zone line or opposition’s fair territory the player shall be deemed out.

2 – A foot or feet must touch ground in fair territory (within the court boundary lines) with no part of their body touching on or outside a boundary line for a player to be considered in bounds. The back line, side line and neutral zone line, in the opposition’s court, are considered out of bounds.

3 – The following actions will result in an out when:

a – A player steps out of bounds or on a back line, side line or oppositions neutral zone line.

b – A player intentionally throws a ball at an opponent from out of bounds. Flagrant or repeat violations will result in a yellow card.

i – The throw can not result in a valid hit.

ii – The throw can result in a valid catch

c – A player steps out of bounds to avoid a hit.

d – A player steps out of bounds to make a catch.

4 – Momentum may carry a player out of bounds while making a catch. The catch will be good, providing control of the ball is established before going out of bounds, but the player will subsequently be called out after making the catch.

Neutral Zone

Section 1 – Neutral zone

1 – The neutral zone is an area the width of the court spaced equally either side of the centre line.

2 – A player may safely step into the neutral zone but not across into the opposing teams fair territory, any player crossing over the neutral zone is deemed out.

3 – A player is considered crossing the neutral zone if any part of the players body touches the ground over or on the neutral zone line of the opposing teams fair territory.

4 – Players may reach across the neutral zone into the opposing teams fair territory to retrieve a ball.

5 – A player hit while in the neutral zone is deemed out.

6 – The sacrifice play rule supersedes any application of the neutral zone rule.

7 – No physical contact can be made between opposing players, any physical contact results in an out for the player that initiates contact

Simultaneous Play

Section 1 – Simultaneous play

Simultaneous play occurs when two or more opposing players are hit and/or catch balls at the same time and match officials cannot determine which play was completed first.

1 – All results are resolved simultaneously.

a – Each player hit is deemed out.

b – Each catch results in one player returning from the queue.

2 – A simultaneous play will only be ruled as such when match officials cannot establish a linear sequence of events.

3 – Should a simultaneous play result in all players being eliminated:

a – The set is concluded and the set result is declared a tie/draw.

b – Both teams retake their positions to begin the next set.

Section 2 – Simultaneous hit and catch

1 – A simultaneous hit and catch occurs when a player in the act of catching a ball is hit by another ball simultaneously, such that the match officials cannot determine which action was completed first both:

a – The thrower of the caught ball will be deemed out.

b – The player catching the ball who was hit is deemed out.

2 – One player from the catching team is allowed to return from the queue.

Sacrifice Play

Section 1. Sacrifice play

1 – An airborne attack, where an attacking player may legally cross the neutral zone to make an attempt to hit out an opponent.

a – The ball must be released before any part of the sacrificing player touches the oppositions fair territory.

b – No physical contact can be made between opposing players. Any physical contact results in an out for the player that initiates contact

c – If a sacrificing player hits out an opponent the sacrificing player remains in but must return to their side of the court immediately. Any intentional delay shall result in a player yellow card.

d – If the sacrificing player is hit while in the air, after he has thrown his ball, the ball remains a live ball.

2 – A sacrificing player is successful if the throw causes a player to go out by being hit.

a – Once a sacrificing player, which has put a defending player out, touches the ground and remains within their opponents fair territory they cannot make any thrown attacks until they return completely into the neutral zone. They may however be put out. This means a player making a successful sacrifice play can still be hit out but they cannot put any defending player out with a thrown attack until they have returned to the neutral zone.

b – Any ball thrown by a sacrifice player after they have landed in their opponents court is not considered to be a live ball and is not able to get an opponent out but can be caught.

c – A sacrificing player may catch any live ball that has been thrown by, blocked by or rebounded off an opponent. If the sacrificing player catches a ball in mid-air the catch is good but the player is out when they land in the oppositions fair territory if the initial sacrifice play was not successful.

d – The sacrificing player must remain within the court boundaries and return to the neutral zone immediately with or without possession of the caught ball.

e – The sacrificing player must not pick up any ball from the oppositions fair territory until they have returned fully to the neutral zone.

f – If the sacrificing player is hit by a ball ricocheting off a defending player both players are out.

3 – If a sacrificing player fails to hit out a player the sacrificing player is deemed out and must leave the court immediately.


Section 1 – Headshots

1 – A head shot is when a ball that strikes the head of a player above the shoulders, including the neck.

2 – There is no penalty for a headshot in normal play.

3 – A head shot is a valid attempt and a player struck on the head is out. Aggressive headshots at close distance should be considered unsporting behaviour when the referees believe other body parts could have been hit.

Injured Player, Blood Injury

Section 1 – Injured player

1 – If a player becomes injured and requires immediate attention, the official shall blow the whistle, call a timeout and seek first aid or contact emergency personnel if necessary.

2 – If the injured player is unable to continue play:

a – The next player in the queue replaces the injured player.

b – A substitute may enter the game to replace the player on the roster for that set.

i – The substitute enters at the end of the queue, and must wait until their turn to enter the game. If the queue is empty, the substitute may enter immediately.

3 – Anyone leaving the game due to injury may not re-enter until the start of the next set at the discretion of the official and the league, tournament, or event representative.

4 – The official may disqualify an injured player and insist that a substitute player replaces them, should that player present an unreasonable risk to themselves and/or other players.

Section 2 – Blood injury

1 – If a player, coach, or official is found to be bleeding or discovered to have blood on their uniform. The official shall:

a – Stop the game immediately and allow treatment.

b – Call a coach, trainer or other authorised personnel to administer first aid, or contact emergency services as necessary.

c – The injured individual will be prohibited from participating any further in the set. They can return to match pay at the start of the next appropriate treatment has been administered and there is no blood clearly visible on the person and the players clothing.

2 – All rules of the game regarding substitution and shorthanded play will be applied, and a reset will be executed if required.

3 – If medical care or treatment is administered in a reasonably short length of time, in the officials judgment, and the player is not at risk to themselves or others, the individual may remain in the set.

4 – Uniform rule violations will not be enforced if a uniform change is required due to a blood injury.


Section 1 – Protests

1 – All protests must be made during the reset prior to the start of the next set.

2 – The protest must be made by the designated team captain or team coach within the court boundaries.

3 – The court’s head referee shall in turn notify other officials, as well as the opposing team’s official representative.

4 – The head referee and event coordinator will attempt to resolve the protest before the game can continue.

Section 2 – Allowed Protests

1 – An ineligible player (see Rule 3. Section 7).

2 – An ejected player (see Rule 3 Section 8).


Section 1 – Power and duties

1 – Officials are representatives of the league or organisation by which they have been assigned to a particular match and as such, are authorised and required to enforce each section of these rules.

2 – Officials may order players, captains, or managers to carry out or to omit any act, which in their judgment is necessary to give force and effect to one or all of the rules.

3 – An official may assign penalties, disqualify or eject players, captains, managers, and coaches at any time.

4 – The official has the authority to make a decision on any situation not specifically covered in the rules.

5 – No official has the authority to set aside or question the decisions made by another official within the limits of the respective duties, as outlined in these rules.

6 – An official may consult other officials at any time. However, the final decision and call rests with the head referee of that match.

7 – The primary responsibilities for a head referee are:

a – Enforce proper conduct from all participants of the game.

b – Inspect the court, balls, and all equipment in play.

c – Review and verify the team line-up, substitutions, and roster.

d – Align all balls at centre court, and initiate a rush.

e – Enforce the neutral zone rule.

f – Assume all responsibilities of a side line official.

8 – The primary responsibilities for an assistant official are:

a – Ensuring that all balls are put in play, following a rush

b – Calling and verifying a catch made in their territory.

c – Calling and verifying an out made within their territory on the court

d – Monitor players exiting and re-entering from the queue.

e – Assist the head referee in enforcing the rules of the game.

9 – The head referee and assistant officials have equal authority to:

a – Determine if a ball has hit a player or article of clothing of a player in their territory

b – Determine if a ball was thrown illegally.

c – Call a player out.

d – Declare a catch.

e – Declare a player out of bounds.

f – Suspend play or call a timeout, when an injury occurs or a protest is enforced.

g – Eject or disqualify a player, coach, manager or other team member from the game for violation of rules or unsporting conduct.

h – Declare a forfeit of any game.

10 – An official will declare the player out without waiting for an appeal for such decision. In all cases such a player retires to the queue in accordance with these rules.

11 – An official will not penalise a team for any infraction of a rule when imposing the penalty would be an advantage to the offending team.

Section 2 – Officials crew

1 – An officials crew (a team of officials) can consist of the following personnel:

2 – The head referee is in charge of all officials on their court and is the final decision maker on all matters covered by these rules and regulations.

3 – Assistant officials are there to assist the head referee and they can number between 1 and 5 on each court.

4 – Assistant official #1 is the main assistant to the head referee. They will usually be a qualified dodgeball referee.

5 – Assistant officials #2, #3, #4 & #5 will be provided by teams who are not playing at the time this match is being played if not provided by the competition coordinator. Teams must provide these assistant officials when instructed to do so or face fines and penalties as stated by the event organisers.

6 – A scorer can also be appointed to keep accurate match scoring, by filling out the score sheet as the match progresses.

7 – They will operate the scoreboard.

8 – The scorer can also be responsible for operating all official timing used during the match where a designated time keeper is not provided by the competition coordinator.

Section 3 – Responsibilities of a single official

1 – If only one official is assigned, that official assumes all powers and duties of both a head referee and assistant official.

2 – The official shall take position as a head referee at the centre line.

Section 4 – Official’s court positions

1 – The head referee shall:

a – Takes a starting position at centre court in the neutral zone, on either the right or left hand side of the court.

b – The head referee can alternate sides between sets.

2 – The assistant officials shall:

a – Take a position along the sideline mid court, roughly at a 45 ̊ angle, opposite the head referee.

b – The assistant officials should alternate sides in coordination with the head referee.

c – The diagram indicates the correct positioning for each match official.

Section 5 – Change of official

1 – A team may not request a change of official during a match unless an official has become incapacitated by injury or illness.

2 – An officer of the organisation may remove an official at their discretion.

Section 6 – Official’s judgment

1 – There will be no protest or appeal of any decision made by an official on the grounds that the official’s judgment was incorrect.

2 – Whether a player was hit, a ball was caught, a player crossed an end line or side line, or on any action involving accuracy of judgment

3 – No decision rendered by an official may be reversed except; whereby the official in question is convinced the decision is in violation of one of these rules.

4 – Should a manager, acting manager, captain, or assistant captain of either team seek reversal of a decision based solely on a point of rules the official in question, if in doubt, shall confer with other officials before rendering a decision. Any decision is solely the responsibility of the calling official.

5 – Under no circumstances is any player or person other than the manager, acting manager, captain, or assistant captain, able to protest any decision and or seek its reversal on a rule.

6 – Under no circumstances will an official seek to reverse a decision made by another official unless asked to do so, by another official.

Section 7 – Official interference

1 – An official shall avoid interfering with play or balls in flight whenever possible.

2 – An official may prevent a ball from leaving an open court. In which case the ball should be moved on in its natural direction as if it had bounced off the official, or returned to centre court if the point of exit is undetermined.

3 – Any ball rebounding off an official is considered a dead ball as if it hits a wall, ceiling, floor.

Section 8 – Guideline for officials

1 – An official should not be a member of either team (i.e., Player, coach, manager, officer, scorekeeper or sponsor), if so an equal number of officials from each team should be available.

2 – The officials should be sure of the date, time, and location of the event and should arrive at the court 15 to 30 minutes ahead of the start time.

3 – At some events the officials will be responsible for the accurate marking and set up of the court and its immediate playing area.

4 – When officials are responsible for marking out courts and set up the playing area, another official or event official should inspect the court area before play commences.

5 – They should start the event or match at the designated time and leave the court when the match is over.

6 – The official jurisdiction begins upon entering the court for the court check and ends when they leave the court at the completion of the event or the match.

7 – Officials should introduce themselves to the coaches, team captains, managers.

8 – The official should inspect the court, boundaries, balls, and all other equipment

9 – The official should clarify all rules for the representatives of both teams.

10 – The official, may suspend play when in their judgment, conditions justify such action.

11 – The official should suspend play when a player becomes injured and requires immediate attention, the official will call a timeout and seek first aid or contact emergency services if required.

Code Of Conduct

Section 1 – EDF code of conduct for players:

Players are expected to abide by the EDF code of conduct:

1 – Understand, appreciate and abide by the rules of the sport.

2 – Respect the integrity and judgment of match officials and EDF staff.

3 – Respect your opponent and congratulate them in a courteous manner following each match whether in victory or defeat.

4 – Be responsible for your actions and maintain self-control.

5 – Do not taunt or bait opponents and refrain from using foul or abusive language.

Section 2 – The honour system

Players are expected to abide by the honour system.

1 – The honour system expects all players to abide by the highest level of honesty and sporting conduct at all times during competitive play.

2 – Players should remove themselves from the court and go into the queue for their team if they are out by being hit with a ball, caught out or if they commit a line infraction. They should not wait to be called out by the match officials.

3 – Any player who remains on court after they are clearly out and waits to be called out by an official will be in breach of the honour system, this is regarded as unsporting conduct.

4 – Offending players will be given a verbal warning and they will be disciplined with a yellow card, if they are seen to behave in this manner on more than one occasion during an event.

5 – Player honesty will not be penalised and the referee may call a player that has left the court back into play. This may happen when a player has stepped off the court because they believe they are out and is entirely at the discretion of the referees.

6 – Teams/players that are observed or reported to be abusing the honour system through unsporting behaviour during or after a tournament may be formally reported to the EDF Protest & Punishment Committee for review and further action.

Section 3 – Code of conduct for officials

1 -Match officials must behave in an exemplary manner when communicating with teams, players, coaches, managers, spectators, other officials, event organisers and EDF officers.

2 – Match officials must not swear at players, spectators, any other team officers or any event officials and officers.

3 – Match officials must not make derogatory or abusive remarks at any time, to any person during a EDF event.

4 – Match officials must remain calm when dealing with outspoken, abusive and aggressive persons and treat players, coaches, managers, spectators and other officials and officers with respect at all times.

5 – As all match officials will be recognised as such during the full schedule of an event by players, coaches, managers, spectators, officials and event officers, they must behave in an exemplary manner at all times when they are officiating at a EDF event.

Violations & Penalties

Section 1 – Blue card (Penalty set)

1 – A penalty set can be issued where the match officials consider a yellow card too harsh for the offence committed but still requires punitive action examples of which but not limited to are:

a – Not leaving a ball at the position at which a player was out.

b – Not raising hands whilst leaving court.

c – Intentional transfer of balls.

d – Intentionally time wasting.

2 – A penalty set will mean that the player will be sent to the penalty box for the duration of the current set in play and the following set and the team will not be able to substitute the players and must play with the reduced amount of players until the penalty set has expired, if this results in the team being short handed at the end of a 20 second reset they will forfeit the set and the players penalty set will be considered served.

a – Should both teams be short handed the set will be considered a draw.

3 – A player may only be given a penalty set twice within a match after which all offences for the player will have to be given as a minimum of a yellow card.

Section 2 – Yellow card

1 – A yellow card indicates that a team or player has received a penalty following aggressive, abusive, unsporting or other unacceptable conduct or unacceptable use of profanity or unsavoury language.

2 – A yellow card can be issued to an individual player or a whole team and they are cumulative throughout a tournament.

3 – Player yellow cards:

a – First offence: the player shall be deemed ejected from play for a 5 minute period of play and may not return until they have remained off court, in the penalty box (situated next to the queue), for the allotted time.

i – The ejected player must remain in the penalty box and they must not confer or discuss the disciplinary decision which inflicted the yellow card with any match official during the time of their penalty.

ii – When a player has been ejected due to a yellow card offence, their team will play

iii – Short-handed while the penalty is being served.

iv – When the yellow card is issued in the first half of play and there is less than 5 minutes of play remaining in the half, their 5 minute penalty will be paused during the

v – Half-time break and the penalty will continue at the beginning of the second half. The penalised player is allowed to leave the penalty box during the halftime break.

vi – When the yellow card is issued in the second half of play and there is less than 5 minutes of play remaining in the match, the 5 minute penalty will be paused at the end of the match and the penalty will continue for that player at the beginning of the next match in the tournament or league. The ejected player must sit out the rest of the time for his penalty, as a substitute, at the start of the next match but his/her team can start the next match with a full team.

vii – Once the 5 minute penalty is completed the player will take position in the queue as the last player out.

b – Second offence: the player is assessed a red card and is removed from the match for the rest of the time remaining. Further penalties will be enforced.

4 – Retriever yellow card

a – A player will be sent to the penalty area for a 5 minute period of play.

b – A non player retriever will sent out of court for a 5 minute period of play.

5 – Team yellow card

a – First offence: the team will forfeit the set in which they are issued the yellow card

i – If the team yellow card is received before a set has started or after a match has finished the opposing team will receive an additional 2 points.

b – Second offence: the team will be assessed a red card. This will result in a match forfeit.

i – Match officials, tournament officials and/or EDF officials will decide if further penalties will be imposed.

ii – Further penalties for a team red card can be decided on the day or at a meeting convened at a later date.

Section 3 – Red card

1 – A red card may be issued to an individual player or a whole team.

2 – A red card indicates that a team or player has received a penalty following aggressive, abusive, unsporting or other unacceptable conduct or unacceptable use of profanity or unsavoury language.

3 – Player red card:

a – The player is disciplined with a red card and is removed from the match for the rest of the time remaining.

b – The player will also automatically be penalised with a full 2 match suspension with immediate effect on the next matches their team is scheduled to play. These matches can take place at the same event, at any subsequent EDF events and at the events of affiliated national governing bodies.

i – Match officials, tournament officials and/or EDF officials will decide if further penalties will be imposed.

ii – Further penalties for a player red card can be decided on the day or at a meeting convened at a later date.

4 – During the match in which the red card penalty is issued that players team will play short-handed for the remainder of that match. At the following matches in which the penalised player is not allowed to participate, the team can use another member of they’re playing roster to substitute in for the penalised player in order to make up a full team.

5 – Team red card: results in the forfeiture of the entire match.

Section 4 – Unsporting conduct

1 – Sporting behaviour: dodgeball competitions are based on sporting behaviour and fair play, Coaches and players are expected and trusted with these values. The following are examples of unacceptable or unsporting behaviour:

a – Tactics that endanger the safety of players.

b – After equipment check, illegal equipment is put back into play.

c – Use of equipment for other than its intended design.

d – Fighting.

i – Fighting or physically contacting another player in an aggressive manner is not tolerated. An offender will be ejected (red card offence) from the match and shall be removed from the tournament venue. Should an official be unable to determine who initiated the offence, all parties involved will be penalised with a red card and ejected from play.

ii – Fighting between teams shall result in the discontinuation of the game. The game shall be determined a draw. No points will be awarded and both teams shall be removed from the venue at the discretion of the official.

e – Intentionally damaging the court, equipment or facilities.

f – Use of derogatory, racial, or offensive gestures or language by players will not be tolerated. Coaches, managers, or other team members will not make disparaging or insulting remarks about opposing players, officials, or spectators, nor commit any other acts that could be considered unsporting conduct.

2 – The official will report any unsporting conduct to the competition coordinator, league, or EDF representative. Depending on the circumstances, severity, and frequency of such conduct, a team or player may be prohibited from participation in EDF sanctioned play.

3 – An official may remove any player or team from play at any time should their conduct be deemed unsporting.


Section 1 – Media

1 – All photographic equipment must be in possession of or carried by the photographer. No equipment can be left on the ground.

2 – A ball trapped in equipment is considered “dead” and should be returned to an official.

3 – Media coverage personnel authorised by the tournament officials can be in the playing area.

a – All media personnel must be able to move to avoid being hit by the ball.

b – Should they accidentally be hit, the ball becomes dead.

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The World Dodgeball Federation is responsible for this document. The World Dodgeball Federation is responsible for reviewing and evaluating the effectiveness of this document on an annual basis.