Dodgeball is a team sport in which players on two teams try to throw balls and hit opponents, while avoiding being hit themselves. The objective of each team is to eliminate all members of the opposing team by hitting them with thrown balls, catching a ball thrown by an opponent, or induce an opponent to commit a violation, such as stepping outside the court.

The sport is played informally (in schools and pick-up games) under varying rules; and formally as an international sport, under rules that vary among international governing bodies, such as the World Dodgeball Federation (WDBF) and the World Dodgeball Association (WDA). The National Dodgeball League is an organized league in the United States.

A dodgeball player dodging a ball.


Modern dodgeball may be based on a game first observed in Africa about 200 years ago,[1] where the players threw rocks at each other with the aim being to injure and possibly even kill other players.[2] Defending injured players while trying to retaliate taught teamwork, endurance, and hunting skills.[3] The missionary Dr. James H. Carlisle saw them playing this game and returned to teach at St. Mary's College, Norfolk, where he transformed the dangerous African game into a safer game with a leather ball instead of rocks.[1] In 1884, Phillip Ferguson of Yale redesigned the game with a faster pace like modern dodgeball. In 1905, he returned to America and wrote the first official rules. American colleges started playing each other and the sport grew rapidly into what we now call dodgeball. [3]


Dodgeball on court
A dodgeball on a court, prior to the beginning of the match.

Most games in the United States use rubber balls, such as 8.5-inch playground balls, but some of the National Dodgeball League competitions, termed "No sting" events, typically use foam balls. The WDBF specifies a foam ball, and the WDA specifies a cloth-covered ball. The dominant international form of dodgeball is cloth.

The WDA and WDBF both specify the use of five balls; certain national rulesets, such as in Austria, specify six.[4] Amateur games typically use from three to ten balls, the number tailored to the size of the court and the number of players. More balls generally adds to the amount of action in a game, but can result in stalemate with many blocks. If there are too few balls, the element of stealth is removed, as players can see all the balls that might hit them.


NDL court diagram
An example of a dodgeball court used in the National Dodgeball League

Dodgeball can be played on any surface that has clearly marked boundaries and a center line. A typical game is played on a basketball court, volleyball court or fenced area. The NDL specifies adjacent 30 feet (9.1 m) areas for each team (nearly the size of a volleyball court), where a zone 4 feet (1.2 m) wide at the junction of the areas is a neutral zone.[5]

Games can also be played outdoors on a soccer pitch or football field. The WDBF organizes games on beaches and on trampoline surfaces.[6]


NDL amateur game
Dodgeball players preparing for the opening rush

Length of game

Informal matches of dodgeball are typically played until all players on one side are out. In WDA and WDBF guidelines, matches last a total of 30 minutes. These are split into two 15-minute halves, during which as many frames as possible are played. A frame lasts a maximum of 3 minutes, or until all players on one side are out. If the frame runs for the whole 3 minutes without a team being eliminated, the team with the most players remaining on court wins the frame. Teams switch sides at halftime.

Starting the game

In informal dodgeball, balls are initially distributed to players by one of the following methods:

  • By even distribution to the two teams.
  • By being thrown in the air for players to catch.
  • By being lined up on the central dividing line.

In this last option, players then rush toward the center line to grab one of the balls. This is called the opening rush. It is never legal to immediately throw such a ball at an opponent; a player grabbing a ball on the center line retreats or throws it back to a teammate.

In WDA and WDBF regulations, the ball must be returned behind an "attack line", roughly a third of the way from the back of court. In WDA regulations, players may only run for the two balls to the left and the center ball, with a maximum of three players running per team. This means only the center ball is contested.


The opening rush of a dodgeball game.

Following distribution, players aim to hit one another. A ball is considered "live" from the moment it leaves a player's hand up until it touches the floor, wall, or ceiling, when it becomes "dead". If a player is hit by an opponent's live ball, they are "out"; if the ball is dead, there is no hit. If a player catches a live ball, the opponent who threw the ball is out and a player on the catcher's team is "revived" from the outbox; however, if they fail to secure the catch, leading to them dropping the ball, the failed catcher is out.

In WDA and WDBF regulations, players may "block" a throw with another ball. In this situation, the thrown ball remains live, as it has not hit the floor or a wall, and so can be caught or can still hit a player out. If the blocker drops the ball used to block, they have failed to keep their ball secure and are out.

Dead balls that leave the court can only be returned to players by each team's designated ball retrievers. Stepping outside the court, including stepping on a boundary line or entering the opponents' zone, is a violation. Other violations include kicking a ball, displaying bad sportsmanship, and stalling (having a ball for over ten seconds and doing nothing with it).[7] The penalty is that the violator is out.

Optional rules

Optional rules may be in effect in informal games of dodgeball or in open matches by agreement:

  1. "Head shots" (thrown balls that hit an opposing player in the head) may either result in the thrower being out, or the person being hit being out, or both; or may enable an out player to return to the game.[7]
  2. In "jailball", players who are out go to "jail" behind the opponents' back line. They can return to the game if they:
    • Capture a dead ball, or
    • Capture a dead ball and throw it and hit an opponent.
  3. In games played on a basketball court, thrown balls that hit the backboard or go into the goal (even if deflected by a player or another ball) may have special status, such as returning all eliminated teammates to the court.
  4. When there are so few players on the court that dodging the ball is easy, "No Lines" may be declared. This means that there are no team zones; players can go anywhere on the court to get a better shot at an opponent.


Useful skills in dodgeball include the following:

  • Court awareness to track opponents in possession of a ball
  • Agility to dodge an incoming ball
  • Good hands to catch an incoming ball that is thrown too high
  • Throwing ability: Accuracy is vital; ability to throw at high speed denies the opponent time to react to the attack. A poor thrower mostly delivers ammunition to the opposing team.


The following basic tactics are useful:[8]

  • Thrower location: Move toward the neutral zone to attack; stay on the back line when not attacking. Do not stand in another player's line of sight. Do not turn your back to the opponents.
  • Coordinated attack: Call out to teammates to coordinate multiple attacks on the same opponent, preferably from very different angles. Number the opponents, left-to-right, and call out an attack target by number.
  • Throwing technique: Throw with one hand. Aim below the waist to avoid getting caught or making a head shot. Throw when the opponent is distracted. Learn to throw balls so that they curve.[7]

Many local teams and international teams develop their own tactics and calling systems specific to their style of play. These become more complex in higher leagues, which often requires specific training for the players in calling positions such that they can make rapid, tactical decisions.

Similar games in other countries

  • In Spain, a variation of the game called Datchball was created by a physical education teacher named Roberto Navarro. The game and associations and leagues are found in the north of Spain.
  • On the Indian subcontinent a variation of the game is played called "Sekan-tadi" (सेकन-तड़ी). This is slang used for "slamming the hip". Other names are Gend Tadi and Maram Pitti.
  • In China, a variation of the game is played called "Diu Sha Bao" (丢沙包). Instead of a ball, the game is played with a small round sand bag, which is also known as the "Sha Bao" (沙包).[9]

In popular culture

  • The 2004 movie Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, despite presenting an unflattering view of the sport and its players,[10] revived interest in the sport, especially among young adults.[11]
  • Also in 2004, Extreme Dodgeball, a dodgeball tournament broadcast as a game show, aired.
  • The videogame Stikbold: A Dodgeball Adventure (Stikbold being the Danish word for dodgeball) features the sport of dodgeball, although the rules vary slightly from the actual game.[12]
  • The risks of injury from dodgeball, and the fact that gameplay resembles assault, have resulted in controversies, lawsuits, and calls to eliminate the game from school physical education programs.[13]

World records

Usage in American vernacular

In some American idioms, the act of avoiding something or someone mildly unpleasant can be referred to as 'playing dodgeball.' Additionally, in a variant of the same concept, the term "dodgeball" is sometimes used to describe a situation in which an individual is caught between two untenable positions, in a reference to the version of the game in which players from the same team can surround opposing players from two opposite sides.

See also


  1. ^ a b Kim, James. "The History of Dodgeball". The Ωmega. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
  2. ^ "History". Dodge Ball. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
  3. ^ a b "A Dodgeball History Lesson: Where Did it Start?". Rebounderz. 2017-05-15. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
  4. ^ "Rules and Regulations of Dodgeball" (PDF). Dodgeball Austria. World Dodgeball Association. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Dodgeball 101 — NDL Rules & Regulations of Play". National Dodgeball League.
  6. ^ World Dodgeball Federation (WDBF)
  7. ^ a b c "How to Be Great at Dodgeball". Wikihow.
  8. ^ "Tips and Tactics". Imperial College Dodgeball Club.
  9. ^ "丢沙包_百度百科".
  10. ^ "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story". IMDb.
  11. ^ Paley, Amit (July 12, 2004). "All Grown Up, Dodgeball Hurtles Toward a Higher Popularity". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 3, 2012.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "School dodgeball goes to court in New York". The Associated Press. November 20, 2004. Retrieved February 3, 2012.
  14. ^ "UC Irvine Students Claim Record For World's Biggest Dodgeball Game". September 25, 2012.
  15. ^ "U of A smashes dodgeball record". Edmonton Journal. February 3, 2012. Retrieved February 3, 2012.
  16. ^ "Longest marathon playing dodgeball". Guinness World Records. Retrieved June 19, 2013.


External links

Australian Dodgeball League

The Australian Dodgeball League (ADL) is a professional dodgeball league in Australia, found in 2015. The league is composed of 31 professional teams, which are divided between Australian states, the foremost of these being the Victoria League and the NSW League. These State Conferences come together at the end of each season, with the top two teams from the regions playing in the Australian Dodgeball Championships, the top level of Australian Dodgeball.

Christine Taylor

Christine Joan Taylor-Stiller (born July 30, 1971) is an American actress. She is known for playing Marcia Brady in The Brady Bunch Movie and A Very Brady Sequel, as well as roles in The Wedding Singer, Zoolander, and DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story.

Conjoined Fetus Lady

"Conjoined Fetus Lady" is the fifth episode of the second season of the American animated television series South Park. The 18th episode of the series overall, it originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on June 3, 1998. The episode was written by series co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, along with David R. Goodman, and directed by Parker. In the episode, South Park Elementary's dodgeball team travels to China to compete for the dodgeball championship, while the town of South Park pays tribute to the school nurse, who is living with conjoined twin myslexia.

Dodgeball (service)

Dodgeball was a location-based social networking software provider for mobile devices. Users texted their location to the service, which then notified them of crushes, friends, friends' friends and interesting venues nearby. Google acquired Dodgeball in 2005 and discontinued it in 2009, replacing it with Google Latitude.

Extreme Dodgeball

Extreme Dodgeball is an American Sports Entertainment television show that debuted on Game Show Network in 2004. It has also been shown in the UK on Challenge.

Foursquare City Guide

Foursquare City Guide, commonly known as Foursquare, is a local search-and-discovery mobile app which provides search results for its users. The app provides personalized recommendations of places to go near a user's current location based on users' previous browsing history and check-in history.The service was created in late 2008 by Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai and launched in 2009. Crowley had previously founded the similar project Dodgeball as his graduate thesis project in the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at New York University. Google bought Dodgeball in 2005 and shut it down in 2009, replacing it with Google Latitude. Dodgeball user interactions were based on SMS technology, rather than an application. Foursquare was similar but allowed for more features, allowing mobile device users to interact with their environment. Foursquare took advantage of new smartphones like the iPhone, which had built-in GPS to better detect a user's location.

Until late July 2014, Foursquare featured a social networking layer that enabled a user to share their location with friends, via the "check in" - a user would manually tell the application when they were at a particular location using a mobile website, text messaging, or a device-specific application by selecting from a list of venues the application locates nearby. In May 2014, the company launched Swarm, a companion app to Foursquare City Guide, that reimagined the social networking and location sharing aspects of the service as a separate application. On August 7, 2014, the company launched Foursquare 8.0, a new version of the service. This version removed the check-in feature and location sharing, instead focusing on local search.

As of 2016, Foursquare had 50 million monthly active users. As of 2011, male and female users are equally represented and also 50 percent of users are outside the US.


Ga-ga (Hebrew: גע-גע‎ literally 'touch-touch') is a variant of dodgeball that is played in a ga-ga "pit". The game combines dodging, striking, running, and jumping, with the objective of being the last person standing. Players hit the ball at each other with their hands, and are eliminated if the ball strikes them on or below the knee. The game can be played by a group of individual players or with teams, as well as in one-on-one matches. Rules, ball types, pit surfaces, and pit sizes can vary widely at different venues.

Justin Long

Justin Jacob Long (born June 2, 1978) is an American actor, comedian and humorist known for roles in such films as Jeepers Creepers (2001), Dodgeball (2004), Accepted (2006), Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007), Live Free or Die Hard (2007), Alpha and Omega (2010), Tusk (2014), Comet (2014) and The Lookalike (2014). He played Warren P. Cheswick on the NBC TV series Ed and appeared with John Hodgman in TV commercials for Apple's "Get a Mac" advertising campaign.


The Kunio-kun (くにおくん) series is a video game series started by Technōs Japan. The series is now handled by Arc System Works who purchased all of the intellectual property rights from Technōs' spiritual successor, Million Corp. The first game in the series is fully titled Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun (熱血硬派くにおくん), which roughly translates to "Hot Blood Tough Guy Kunio", with Nekketsu being the name of Kunio's high school. The kun suffix after his name is an informal Japanese honorific usually applied to young males.

The series originated in the arcades and the Famicom console; its title and its protagonist, Kunio (variously renamed "Alex" and "Crash Cooney" in the United States), were named after Technōs Japan's former president, Kunio Taki. Along with that, Kunio also later became Technōs Japan's main mascot, appearing on the company's logo in several games and television commercials. Although the original game was created by Yoshihisa Kishimoto — who later designed Double Dragon — many of the later games (particularly those under the Downtown Nekketsu moniker) were the handiwork of two men: Mitsuhiro "Yoshimitsu" Yoshida and Hiroyuki "Mokeke" Sekimoto.

A few of the early Kunio games for the NES were localized for the North American market. These include Renegade, River City Ransom, Super Dodge Ball, Crash 'n' the Boys: Street Challenge and Nintendo World Cup, which were heavily "Americanized" versions of the Kunio-kun games. Technōs Japan has released over twenty Kunio-kun titles for the Famicom, Game Boy, and Super Famicom in Japan. In addition, licensed ports of the games were made for other platforms such as the PC-Engine (through Naxat Soft), Mega Drive (through Pal Soft) and the Sharp X68000 (through Sharp).

List of Virtual Boy games

The Virtual Boy is a 32-bit tabletop video game console developed and designed by Nintendo, first released in Japan on July 21, 1995 and later in North America on August 14 of the same year. The following list contains all of the games released for the Virtual Boy.

Originally unveiled at Nintendo's Shoshinkai Show in Japan on November 15, 1994 and at Winter CES in North America on January 6, 1995, it was never intended to be released in its final form but Nintendo pushed the Virtual Boy in its unfinished state to market so that it could focus development resources on the then-upcoming Nintendo 64 and arrived later than other 32-bit systems such as the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, PlayStation and Sega Saturn but at a lower price, retailing at US$179.95 but in mid-1996, Blockbuster was selling Virtual Boy units at $50 each.The system was overwhelmingly panned by critics and was deemed as a commercial failure, selling only 770,000 units before being discontinued both in Japan and North America on December 22, 1995 and March 2, 1996 respectively, making it the second lowest-selling console by Nintendo after the 64DD and its marketing campaign was commonly thought of as a failure.Several additional titles were announced to be released for the Virtual Boy at E3 1996, but ultimately they were never released due to the system’s discontinuation by Nintendo themselves. As were several localizations that were only released in one region. The system was never released in Europe.

List of dodgeball variations

The following is a list of rules and variations from around the world, for the collection of games known as dodgeball.

Mario Sports Mix

Mario Sports Mix (マリオスポーツミックス, Mario Supōtsu Mikkusu) is a sports video game developed by Square Enix and published by Nintendo for the Wii. It was released in Japan on November 25, 2010, and in other regions in early 2011. It features volleyball, hockey, dodgeball, and basketball. The game features mostly characters and locations from the Mario series with a few guest appearances by characters from Square Enix's Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest series of games. Players can also opt to play as one of their Mii characters.

Nintendo World Cup

Nintendo World Cup is a soccer video game for the Family Computer/NES and Game Boy, developed by Technōs Japan and released in 1990. It is a localization of Nekketsu High School Dodgeball Club: Soccer (熱血高校ドッジボール部サッカー編, Nekketsu Kōkō Dojjibōru Bu: Sakkā Hen, lit. "Hot Blooded High School Dodge Ball Club: Soccer Edition"), the fourth Kunio-kun game released for the Family Computer. Ports for the PC Engine and Mega Drive were also released in Japan. A Game Boy version was released in Japan, North America and Europe.


Prisonball (also known as Prison Dodgeball, Nationball, Battleball, Trench, Jail Ball, Jail Dodgeball, Jailbreak, Greek Dodgeball, German Dodgeball, Teamball, Crossfire, Warball, Swedish Dodgeball, Dungeon Dodge; King's Court in Canada, Heaven in New Zealand) is played much like the original dodgeball game, except when a player is hit, he gets put in "prison" behind the opposing team. To get out of prison, the player needs to receive a pass from a teammate while in the designated prison area. The way in which prisoners are released varies by region. "Prisoners" remain behind the opposing team until the game is over or they're released according to the current ruleset.

Super Dodge Ball

Super Dodge Ball is a dodgeball-based sports game produced by Technos Japan Corp. originally released as an arcade game in 1987. In Japan, it was the second game starring Technos Japan's video game character Kunio-kun, following Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun (the Japanese version of Renegade), although the connection between the two games was removed in the western release. Various home versions and sequels of the game have been released for various platforms.

Super Dodgeball Brawlers

Super Dodgeball Brawlers, originally released in Japan as Chou Nekketsu Koko Kunio-kun Dodgeball Bu (超熱血高校 くにおくんドッジボール部, Chō Nekketsu Kōkō Kunio kun Dojjibōru Bu, "Super Nekketsu High School Kunio Dodgeball Club") is a dodgeball-based sports game released for the Nintendo DS.

This game marked the return of Kunio-kun characters in a dodge ball based on the characters owned by Million. It is also the first Kunio-kun game published in a mobile platform where the English-language version uses Japanese character and team names. Previously, only the Neo-Geo Super Dodge Ball game (developed and published by Technos) followed such naming rules. Aksys marketed Super Dodgeball Brawlers under the 'Kunio series.' However, the game does not use any previously available Super Dodge Ball music in all region releases.

Vince Vaughn

Vincent Anthony Vaughn (born March 28, 1970) is an American actor, producer, screenwriter, and comedian.

Vaughn began acting in the late 1980s, appearing in minor television roles before attaining wider recognition with the 1996 comedy-drama film Swingers. He has appeared in a number of films in the 1990s, including the sports film Rudy (1993), the sci-fi adventure dinosaur film The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), and the drama-thriller Return to Paradise (1998).

Other than his dramatic role in The Cell (2000), in the 2000s he acted primarily in comedies, including Old School (2003), Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004), Wedding Crashers (2005), The Break-Up (2006), Fred Claus (2007), and Four Christmases (2008). He continued his comedic roles in the 2010s with The Dilemma (2011), The Watch (2012), and The Internship (2013). In 2015, he starred as Frank Semyon in the second season of the HBO anthology crime drama television series True Detective alongside Colin Farrell, Taylor Kitsch and Rachel McAdams, and since then has taken dramatic roles such as in Hacksaw Ridge and Brawl in Cell Block 99.

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