Tag: strategy

Dodgeball Ottawa Common Hand Signals

One of the ways people often communicate and call plays on the dodgeball court is through hand signals. Hand signals allow you to communicate quickly with your teammates while keeping the play secret from your opponents. Hand signals can vary across communities or teams, but over the years a few hand signals have become common and generally used by most people here at DBO.

Fist: Hold
When a teammate signals you with a fist, they are telling you to hold the ball. This means you can expect one of your teammates to throw, and therefore you should hold the ball to protect them. Note: If you use this signal to ask all your teammates to hold, that means you are throwing!


Thumb Out: Throw Alone
When a teammate looks at you with their thumb pointed out, they are signalling you to throw alone. This means that you can throw the ball at any target you chose.


Upright Fingers: The Target
The following signals indicate which target you should throw at. If you are being shown a target number, this generally means that you and a teammate will throw together at the same player.

Looking at your opponents, targets are numbered 1 through 6 starting from the left and counting right.

Throw at target #1

 Throw at target #2

Throw at target #3

Throw at target #4

Throw at target #5


Thumb and Pinky: Split
This signal is used when there is only one opponent left on the court. It means the two players in the corner positions should throw the ball.


Using Hand Signals in Game
Hand signals allow teams to communicate clearly, effectively and secretly in the loud gym. However there are risks involved, taking your eye off an opponent to see a hand signal can leave you exposed. Try to look quickly. It is courteous to say “yep!” to let the play caller know that you saw their signal. When calling the play, try to signal your teammates where it is safer, a bit back from the centre line.

Generally teams at DBO choose to have players in the middle call the plays (as opposed to from the corners), so you can expect to see one of these hand signals from a teammate holding a ball in the middle.

The next time you find yourself in the middle and your teammates look to you to make a play call, feel free to confidently use these hand signals. Good luck!