Dodgeball Rules | Recreational Services
The University of Iowa

2018 Dodgeball Rules

Rule 1: Facility | Rule 2: Player Eligibility | Rule 3: Team Composition | Rule 4: Beginning a Game | Rule 5: Officiating | Rule 6: Gameplay | Rule 7: Winning

Recent rule changes appear in italicized font.

Rule 1: Facility

  1. Matches will be played on the Field House Main Deck. Alcohol and tobacco are not permitted in the facility or in the parking lot.
  2. The Dodgeball playing area will be the volleyball court. 

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Rule 2: Player Eligibility

  1. All Intramural Sports eligibility rules apply.  Please check the Intramural Sports Rules and Regulations carefully.
  2. All players must check-in with their University or valid government-issued photo IDs with the supervisor prior to participating each night of play.

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Rule 3: Team Composition

  1. Teams will consist of five players. A minimum of four players are required to be signed-in to start a match.
  2. Co-Rec legal lineups:
    • 5 players: 2 males and 3 females or 3 males and 2 females
    • 4 players: 2 males and 2 females

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Rule 4: Beginning a Game

  1. Teams must be present within 10 minutes of a game’s scheduled start time. If this requirement is not met, it will result in a forfeit.
  2. Jewelry: Hand jewelry is not permitted. Wrist jewelry and necklaces must be taped down and must remained taped down for the entire contest. Intramural Sports will not provide tape for the taping down of jewelry. The Intramural Sports staff reserves the right to require any jewelry to be removed that is deemed unsafe.
  3. Each game starts with four dodgeballs. Each team will start with two dodgeballs in its possession. Each court will have different color dodgeballs.

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Rule 5: Officiating

  1. Each court will have one official to resolve conflicts and answer questions about the rules. However, participants are expected to exercise integrity and honesty to ensure fairness. All participants are expected to know the rules.

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Rule 6: Gameplay

  1. The object is to throw the ball at the opposing team and contact one or more of the opponents to get them out. Any person is out when contacted by a thrown ball on the fly. This includes contact with a person's clothing i.e. shirts, shorts, shoes, garments etc.
  2. A person can also be out in the following ways:
    • A person is hit by a ball thrown by an opposing player.
    • A person is hit by a ball thrown by an opposing player that is deflected off of his/her teammate. 
      • Example: Player A1 throws a ball that hits player B1 then contacts player B2 and falls to the floor. Both B1 and B2 are out. 
    • A person is hit by a ball that was deflected off of another ball. 
      • Example: Player A1 throws a ball that ricochets off another ball held by player B1 then contacts player B2 before hitting the ground. B2 is out. 
    • The person throwing the ball is out if the ball is caught by an opposing player on the fly.
      • Example: Player A1 throws a ball that hits player B1 then is caught by player B3. Both A1 and B1 are out.
    • The person throwing the ball is out if a ball is deflected off another ball, then caught by an opponent.
      • Example: Player A1 throws a ball that ricochets of another ball held by player B1, then is caught by player B2 before touching the ground. A1 is out. 
    • If a player steps on or crosses the centerline, he/she is out.
      • A player may reach across the center line to retrieve a dodgeball, however, that player may not touch the ground across, or on, the center line. If the player touches the ground across, or on, the center line at any time, he/she is out.
    • If a player goes out-of-bounds, other than the designated player as in Rule 6-10, that player is out. No part of a player’s body can touch outside, or on the boundary line. Ex: Player 1's arm crosses the out-of-bounds line on a throw. Player one is still in the game because his/her arm did not touch on our outside the boundary line.
  3. A ball becomes dead if it:
    • Hits the ceiling, floor, wall, bleachers, basketball hoop, goes out-of-bounds
    • If it hits an opposing player and crosses the middle line in the air after hitting said player
    • Hits a player in the head provided that player did not duck his/her head into the path of the ball
  4. Under no circumstances can a player get his/her own teammate out.
  5. There are no headshots allowed. If a player is hit anywhere on his/her head with a throw, that player will be allowed to stay in the game. However, if a player ducks and is hit in the head, that player is out.
  6. Delaying the game (holding balls, standing in a corner) is not allowed.  If a player holds a ball for more than 10 seconds, that player must roll the ball to the opposing team’s side of play.  If the player does not forfeit the ball, he/she will be out.
  7. Once a player is out, he/she is eliminated from that game and must leave the court of play.  There is no way for active players to free a player who is out. Players who are out may begin retrieving balls that have left the confines of the court.
  8. Until someone on his/her team is out, there will be one player on each team that is designated to retrieve balls out of the area of play. The designated player will wear a pinnie throughout the duration of the game. Once someone from the team has been eliminated, the player wearing the pinnie can no longer leave the court for ball retrieval.
  9. Ball retrievers may not cross the midline, nor may they make any offensive play from out-of-bounds.

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Rule 7: Winning

  1. The winning team for each game is the team with the last person left on the court.
  2. The team that wins the best of nine games will be the winner of the match.  Following each match, the winning team is responsible for reporting scores to the Intramural Supervisor on duty.

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