Referee and Player Rules

New League Rule Updates:

  1. When the game comes down to a 1v1, the ref will quickly stop the game and call no blocking. Players are to start at the back wall and each side will get 3 balls (regardless of previous possession)
  2. At half time and at the end of the game (25 minute mark and 50 minute mark), refs will call no blocking by stopping the game. The live players on the court will go to the wall and each side will get 3 balls (regardless of previous possession)
    Note: No blocking only begins once the ref stops the play and calls no blocking. If a quick play occurs before the ref can call no blocking. The play will count. These two new additions will not be used in our drop-in games.

Experienced Ottawa dodgeball players, the following rules may be a little different than what you are used to, so please take note:

  1. A ball must be thrown by the team who has the “advantage”. The team with “advantage” will have 10 seconds to throw a ball. Once the ball is thrown, the “count” resets. (see section 7, flow of the game)
    • 1st Advantage is whichever team has more balls on their side of the court
    • 2nd Advantage is whichever team has more players on the court
    • 3rd Advantage is whichever team is “stage side”
  2. You can hold multiple balls at once. This applies to catching when holding a ball; the catch is valid and the thrower is still out.
  3. To re-enter the game after a catch has been made, the returning player must first touch the back wall before they are considered active. (see section 6, returning a player to the game)
  4. Players who are not playing or have been eliminated may not interfere with the game balls. If a ball is stopped (accidentally or on purpose), it should be rolled to the opposing team. Players waiting on the side of the gym should do their best to stay out of the way of the balls.
  5. Head shots: specifically note, under no circumstances will a thrower be considered out for a hitting a jumping, ducking, or crouching player in the head. Throwers are to do their best to keep the balls low. (see section 4, head shots).

Referee (Monitor)

Each game will have two referees (Refs). The Refs will be two players from other teams in the league. The Refs are present to oversee the game, ensure rules are being followed and that the game is being played in a fair, sporting and rapid fashion. The Ref has full authority to enforce all rules, including calling players out at his/her discretion. When disputes arise, the ref will make the deciding call. The Ref may stop game play to settle disputes.

It is important to remember that it remains the player’s responsibility to remove him/herself from the court when hit or caught out, and to follow all the rules.

If a player is exhibiting unsportsmanlike behaviour (e.g., being rude to players or the Ref, disregarding the rules of the game), the Ref will inform the league administrator which may result in expulsion from a game, match or the league.

The league administrator reserve the right to change or adjust any rule without prior notice, at any point during the league, if necessary.

Game Rules

Players

  • Each game begins with 6 players per team on the court, with a minimum of two male and two female players per team. Our leagues and tournaments are co-ed.
  • 6 dodgeballs are used for each game.
    • Teams will start with 3 dodgeballs each (3 x 7″ gator skin foam balls)
  • All 6 dodgeballs will start on the center line. Teams will run for the 3 dodgeballs placed on the right hand side of their side of the court. Balls must pass the blue clearing line before the ball is considered live.
    • Balls thrown before they cross the clearing line are considered “dead balls”
    • Teams must only run for the balls on the right side of their court. They cannot interfere with the other team’s balls.
    • If your team clears all 3 balls, you then can take the balls on the left side. But all 3 balls on the right MUST be cleared before this is allowed.
  • Games begin with all players touching the back wall of their side of the gym. Refs will signal both teams as “ready” and then blow the whistle to initiate the rush.
  • Once play has begun, teams must remain on their half of the court.
    • Players may reach across the centre-line to retrieve a ball, but may not touch any surface on the opposing team’s side of the court (i.e. ground, wall or gym apparatus). If a player touches any surface on the opposing team’s side of the court that player is immediately out.
    • NEW** A player may not use or make use of an object or aid (such as a ball, scoreboard or dead player) placed on their opponents side of the middle line to retrieve a ball.
  • Once a player has been hit or caught out they should immediately raise their hand and move to the side of the court, out of play.
  • Players who are not playing or have been eliminated may not interfere with game balls. If a ball is stopped (accidentally or on purpose) it should simply be rolled to the opposing team. Players waiting on the side of the gym should do their best to stay out of the way of the balls.
    • If an inactive player touches a rolling ball, the ball will be rolled towards the opposite side of the court (opposing team).
  • Players may pass balls to team-mates as long as they are “live” players on the court.
  • Players may not kick balls to or at the opposing team.
  • To win a game one team must eliminate all the players on the opposing team.
  • Game wins and losses are tracked by the Refs. The team with the most wins at the end, wins the match. There is a maximum plus/minus score of +11 in one game.

Details, details…

Only the 6 players that begin a game may play for that game. An exception can be made if a player is injured; In which case a team-mate can replace the player, male for male, female for female.

2. Live-ball/Dead-ball

A live-ball can eliminate a player, either by making a hit or by being caught. A dead-ball cannot eliminate a player.

  • A ball is considered live when it is thrown by an opposing player. A ball continues to be live after it hits a player, a ball in the possession of a player, or a live ball.
  • A live ball becomes dead when it strikes any object on the court other than an active player, a ball in the possession of a player, or a live-ball. (i.e. a ball is dead when it hits the wall, ceiling, basketball hoops, any other apparatus in the gym, a dead-ball or inactive players/spectators)
  • If a ball is thrown by a player who steps over the centre-line, that ball is immediately considered a dead-ball and cannot eliminate a player on the opposing team.
  • Players may hold multiple balls at once. (Beware that a ball knocked out of your possession by a live-ball counts as a hit)
  • Players in the possession of a ball may use that ball to block. Live balls that hit only the ball in possession will not eliminate that player, and the ball continues to be live.
    • Please keep in mind that if the live-ball strikes a player’s fingers, the player is out
    • Also, if a player blocks a live-ball into him/herself, that player is out

Details, details…

A ball becomes dead if it crosses the centre-line, returning to the team that threw it (i.e. a player cannot rescue an opponent by catching a ball that ricochets across the centre-line, nor can an opponent be hit out by such a ball. The ball is dead once it returns across the centre line.)

  • The only exception to this is if the ball hits a player as they may catch their own deflection (pop-up) by reaching over the centre-line (as long as they do not touch the other side of the court).

3. Hits

  • A player is out if they have been hit with a live-ball.
  • A live-ball can eliminate multiple players (i.e. if a ball ricochets off of a player into another team-mate, both players are out).
  • If a player uses a ball in their possession to deflect a live-ball into a team-mate, the team-mate has been hit out.
  • A player’s clothing is considered part of that player. If their clothing is hit then the player is out.
  • If a player has a ball knocked from their possession by a live-ball, that player is out.

4. Head Shots

Avoid head shots! Players that are deliberately targeting heads will be considered in breach of the spirit of the game and may be addressed by the league administrator. Please keep the spirit of the game in mind.

However, please keep in mind that the objective of the game is to hit people with a foam ball. Accidents happen, you will get hit in the head, it is a reality of the game. It is the intentional targeting of the head that we are trying to avoid, and will not be tolerated. Refs have the right to provide warnings to players who violate this rule and can call a player out if it is not brought under control after these warnings.

  • If a player is hit above the shoulders (neck and head) while standing completely upright, neither the player or thrower is out.
    • Standing in a “ready” position with knees bent is NOT considered standing. Players in a “ready” position will be called out.
  • If a player is hit in the head while either jumping in the air, ducking or crouching, the player is out.
  • Self protection:
    • If a standing player’s open hands (palms turned out) are hit before the player is hit in the head, the player is out. This is considered an attempt to catch the ball.
    • If the backs of a standing player’s hands/fingers are hit in a player’s attempt to protect their face, this is considered a headshot and the player is not out as long as the person was in a standing position.

Note: Players who prefer to protect their face should keep in mind that if they get hit in the hands/face while protecting with their open hands (palms out), they will be considered out. These players should keep the habit of directing their hands inward.

Details, details…

The first point of contact is the trigger

  • If a ball hits a player in the shoulders or below first, then is deflected into his or her head, the player is out.
  • It a team-mate deflects a ball into a players face, the player is out
  • In both cases, the first point of contact was not the head.

When a ball hits a standing player directly in the head, that ball is still considered live and can be caught or hit other players out. However, the victim of the headshot cannot be hit out by that ball (i.e. if the ball hits a players head then hands, the player is not out). If the ball hits the players face then the player or a team-mate catches the ball, the catch is valid and the thrower is out.

5. Catching

  • If a player catches a ball thrown by an opposing player, the thrower is out and a player from the catcher’s team is returned back to play.
  • If a live-ball hits a player, then a team-mate catches it, the player is considered saved (not out) and the catch is valid (thrower out, player returns). The ball must be live for the catch to be valid, (see section 2, live ball/dead ball).
  • Player may reach over the centre line to make a catch as long as they do not touch the other side of the court.

Details, details…

  • If a player catches an opponent’s ball while in possession of another ball, the catch is valid and the thrower is still out.
    • Recall, that if a live ball knocks any ball in possession out of a player’s hands, the player is out. So if while attempting to catch a ball, either ball is dropped, the player is out.
  • If a player traps a ball against a surface such as the ground or wall, the throw is not considered a legal catch and the thrower is not out. Please note, if the ball touched the player prior to touching the wall or floor, the player is out.
  • If a dead-ball is thrown and caught, it is not considered a legal catch and no player may return to play (see section 2, live ball/dead ball).

6. Returning a Player into the Game

  • When a catch is made, the players must return to the court in the same order that they were hit out, (first player out, first player in, second player out, second player in. *hint, line up in order on the sidelines help keep this straight).
  • To re-enter the game, a returning player must first touch the back wall before they are considered active.
    • If a returning player picks up a ball prior to touching the back wall they are out.
    • If a returning player is hit by a ball prior to touching the back wall they are not out, and this ball is considered dead.
  • Returning players may not participate or interfere with the game until he/she has touched the back wall.
    • A returning player should attempt enter from the back of the court and touch the back wall as quickly as possible in order to limit interference and to speed the flow of the game. A player returning to play may not block another player on the court or prevent them from being hit by a thrown ball.

7. Flow of Game

Dodgeball is meant to be a fast-paced sport. The following rules are meant to keep the pace of the game moving.

  • At least one ball must be thrown by the team who has the “advantage” within 10 seconds of gaining advantage. Once at least one ball has been thrown, the count resets. The advantage may still belong to the throwing team, if that team still meets the criteria for having advantage. (see section 7, flow of game)
    • 1st Advantage – whichever team has more balls on their side of the court
    • 2nd Advantage – whichever team has more players on the court
    • 3rd Advantage – whichever team in on the stage side of the court
  • Players cannot hide in weird corners or behind apparatus in the gym.
  • When the game comes down to a 1v1, the ref will quickly stop the game and call no blocking. Players are to start at the back wall and each side will get 3 balls (regardless of previous possession)
  • At half time and at the end of the game (25 minute mark and 50 minute mark), refs will call no blocking by stopping the game. The live players on the court will go to the wall and each side will get 3 balls (regardless of previous possession)
    Note: No blocking only begins once the ref stops the play and calls no blocking. If a quick play occurs before the ref can call no blocking. The play will count.
  • Drop In Only: If the circumstance arises where there are only two players left on the court (one from each team) they will have 60 seconds to eliminate each other. After 60 seconds, one player from each team will return to the court. (see section 6, returning a player into the game for the order)

Details, details…

The “advantage” will be placed on the home team. This means that for the first game the home team will be required to throw the ball first. Home team is always the team who is against the stage side of the gym.

8. Sportsmanship and Safety

Dodgeball Ottawa wants everyone to feel welcomed and safe. We will not tolerate any form of excessive behaviour, threats, personal violence, or physical confrontation. Any person found violating this will be ejected from the league. If a physical confrontation were to occur, both parties will be ejected from the league with no refund by the league administrator.

We understand that when adrenaline is pumping it is easy to overreact. Please refrain from yelling at the opposing team or your own. If an issue occurs please speak to the Ref.

Examples of Yellow Card Offenses Examples of Red Card Offenses
  • Yelling/screaming at the ref
  • Yelling/screaming at the other team
  • Yelling/screaming at your teammates (draft)
  • Punching or kicking objects (walls, chairs, etc.)
  • Crossing the center line to aggressively yell/scream at other team
  • Aggressively arguing with the referee
Yellow Card Consequences Red Card Consequences

1st: you are out for current point*

2nd: you are out for current point and the next point. Your team must play a player down while you are out

3rd: red card

**if you are already out or sitting when incident occurs, you cannot be caught back in and must sit the next point

You are out for the current match and the next scheduled match (teams may find a sub)

 

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