WDA Rules & Regulations
WDA Rules & Regulations
RULES and REGULATIONS of DODGEBALL – WDA 16
World Dodgeball Association
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TABLE of CONTENTS
FRONT COVER 1
TABLE OF CONTENTS 2-3
RULE 1— THE DEFINITIONS 4-6
RULE 2— THE PLAYING AREA 7-8
Section 1. The Court 7
Section 2. Court Layout 7
Official Court Diagram 8
RULE 3—EQUIPMENT 9-10
Section 1. The Official Dodgeball 9
Section 2. Uniforms and Protective Equipment 9
Section 3. Uniform Guide
Section 4. All Equipment 10
Section 5. Exterior Substances 10
RULE 4—PLAYERS, COACHES AND SUBSTITUTES 11-12
Section 1. Player 11
Section 2. Coaches 11
Section 3. Line-up Ca 11
Section 4. Substitutions 11
Section 5. Short-Handed Rule 11
Section 6. Ineligible Players 12
Section 7. Ejected Player 12
Section 8. Retrievers 12
Section 9. Spectator Interference 12
RULE 5—THE MATCH 13-14
Section 1. Approved Style of Play 13
Section 2. Home Team 13
Section 3. Bench Conduct 13
Section 4. Fitness of the Court 13
Section 5. Regulation Match and Games Types 13
Section 6. Forfeited Match and Forfeited Sets 14
RULE 6—STARTING THE GAME 15-16
Section 1. Beginning Play 15
Section 2. The Rush 15
Section 3. Putting a Ball in Play 15
Section 4. Time outs and Suspension of play 16
Section 5. Re-setting or Resuming Play 16
RULE 7—EXITING PLAYERS 17
Section 1. Exiting Players 17
Section 2. Player Interference 17
World Dodgeball Association
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RULE 8—RETURNEES (RETURNING PLAYERS) 18
Section 1. Returning Players 18
Section 2. Returning Order 18
RULE 9—OFFENSIVE AND DEFENSIVE PLAY 19-20
Section 1. Attempts 19
Section 2. Floor Strikes & Trapping 19
Section 3. Outs 19
Section 4. Catches 19
Section 5. Blocking 19
Section 6. No St a l l i n g Ru l e 20
Section 7. Pinching 20
RULE 10—OUT OF BOUNDS RULE 21
RULE 11—NEUTRAL ZONE RULE 21
RULE 12—SIMULTANEOUS PLAY
Section 1. Simultaneous Play 21
Section 1. Simultaneous Hit and Catch 21
RULE 13—SACRIFICE PLAY 22
RULE 14—HEADSHOTS 22
RULE 15—INJURED PLAYER/BLOOD RULE 22
Section 1. Injured Player 22
Section 2. Blood Rule 22
RULE 16—PROTESTS 23
Section 1. Invalid Protests 23
Section 2. Valid Protests 23
Section 3. Verbal Protest 23
RULE 17—OFFICIALS 24-26
Section 1. Power and Duties 24
Section 2. Officials Crew 24
Section 3. Responsibilities of a Single Official 25
Section 4. Official’s Court Position 25
Section 5. Change of Official 25
Section 6. Official’s Judgment 25
Section 7. Official Interference 26
Section 8. Official’s Uniform 26
Section 9. Guideline for Officials 26
RULE 18—CODE OF CONDUCT 27
Section 1. Code of Conduct for Players 27
Section 2. The Honour System 27
Section 3. Code of Conduct for Officials 27
RULE 19—VIOLATION AND PENALTIES 28-29
Section 1. Yellow Card 28
Section 2. Red Card 28
Section 3. Un-sportsmanlike Conduct 29
RULE 20—MEDIA 29
Rules and Regulations
RULE 1 <>THE DEFINITIONS
ATTACKING PLAYER. A player who is throwing or preparing to throw a ball at a defending player on the
ATTACK LINE. (previously referred to as the Ball Return Line in Europe) The lines marked across the court
three metres in front of the Back Lines.
ATTEMPT. The act of a team with possession of the ball trying to put out a member of the other team, by
throwing the ball to try to hit them with the ball and within a playable height. The thrown ball must be within
reach of the defending player, if the ball is thrown high it must be within reach without jumping and, if
thrown wide of the player, it must be within 1 metre/yard to the side of a defending player.
BACK COURT. A team’s Backcourt is the area of the court between the back line/wall and the Attack Line.
BACK LINES. The lines which marks the back of the court at each end.
BLOCK. When a player uses a ball in their possession to block an incoming attempt. The blocked ball
remains live on contact with the blocking ball.
BLOCK ATTACK. A block, causing the ball to rebound across the center line towards an opponent. The
ball is considered live and is equivalent to throwing a ball at the opponent.
CATCH. The act of a player validly catching an attempt by the opposing team prior to the ball going ‘Dead’.
The deliberate drop of a ball to catch a second ball is allowed. For a catch to be complete it must be fully in
control of the catching player, using at least one had to secure possession, while the player is still ‘in’ play.
CATCH AND CARRY. A catch made by a defensive player, where momentum carries that player out of
bounds, after completing the catch. The catch is good but the player is deemed out because the player
goes out of bounds.
CENTRE LINE. The area across the centre of the court separating the two playing areas.
COACH. A person who is responsible for the team’s actions on the court. Represents the team in
communication with officials, scorekeeper, and opposing team. If a team does not have a coach the team
captain takes these responsibilities.
DEAD BALL. The term used for a thrown ball which can no longer get a player out. A ball that has:
1. Touched the floor of the court or any wall, floor, ceiling, posts or any objects, surfaces or persons off
2. Not been put into play by passing it across an attack line following a Rush.
3. Crossed over a side line or the back line and hit a wall, floor or other object/person not part of live play
of an open court.
4. Been ruled dead by an official.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER. A player that is defending himself or herself from an attacking player.
DELAY OF GAME. The act of Intentionally not throwing dodgeballs after a team has been instructed by a
match official that they have 5 seconds to throw.
DOUBLE PLAY. A play in which two defensive players are put “out” as a result of continuous action.
EJECTED PLAYER. A player or coach removed from the game by an official, usually for an un-
sportsmanlike act or unacceptable behaviour.
EXITING PLAYER. A player who has been deemed “out” and is in the act of leaving the court.
FAIR TERRITORY. The inbounds part of the court, the area inside the marked court boundaries.
FALSE START. When players cross the back line prior to the whistle to initiate the rush.
FOREIT. A Set forfeit occurs when a team fails to field the required number of players at the start of a Set.
A match forfeit occurs when a team fails to show up to play or fails to field 4 players and the opposing team
claims the win.
FLOOR STRIKE (previously known as a Trap in Europe). A live ball that strikes a player and the floor at the
same time. The player is not out.
GAME. A general term for a contest between 2 teams.
HEAD REFEREE. The match official who is in charge of all officials and has final say on all decisions.
HEAD SHOT. A ball that strikes the head of a player above the shoulders, including the kneck. This is a
valid attempt and a player struck on the head is OUT, unless the referee believes it was intentionally used
in an unsportsmanlike fashion (to intentionally injure an opposing player).
HOME TEAM. The home team shall be designated by schedule, mutual agreement or by a flip of a coin.
HONOUR SYSTEM. The standard of fair play required to be exhibited by all teams at WDA events.
ILLEGALLY THROWN BALL. An illegally thrown ball occurs when:
1. The thrower is out of bounds.
2. The thrower has stepped across the neutral zone into the opponent’s territory prior to throwing,
except in the case of a sacrifice fly when a player must be in bounds before leaping.
3. A ball is thrown, after an official calls a time out, or after play has stopped.
4. A ball has not yet crossed an attack line to be put in play following a Rush.
ILLEGAL ATTEMPT. An Attempt is illegal if propelled through the air by a player at the opposing team,
when it is not thrown. It is also a ball that the official deems has been delivered with inappropriate intent,
such as to injure, e.g. after play has stopped or at the face of an opponent when other body parts were an
INTERFERENCE. Interfering with the natural direction and/or speed of a dodgeball.
1. Interference can be caused by a player or spectator who is not actively involved in play, i.e. a player
who is out, a team member, club member or coach not involved in the period or a spectator.
2. Interference can also be the act of an opposing player, official or spectator that impedes, hinders or
confuses a player from the opposing team attempting to execute a play. Physical contact is not
INVALID ATTEMPT. A ball which is thrown at the opposing team by the team in possession of the majority
of the balls, in such a manner that it is not aimed at one of the defending team’s live players. It is normally
recognised that an Attempt is Invalid if it is more than 1 metre/1 yard away from a ‘live’ player when the ball
reaches the targeted player’s starting position, or if it is higher than the defending player can reach.
IN FLIGHT. The term used for a thrown ball while airborne.
INELIGIBLE PLAYER. A player who has not met the requirements laid out in the WDA Rule Book or those
specific to a tournament, league, or event (i.e., under age, not registered for the team, ineligible due to
LEAPING. An upward motion made by a player. A player is considered leaping if one or both feet have left
the ground, causing their head to move above its normal upright standing position.
LEGAL CATCH. A live ball caught in fair territory.
LINES. The lines show the boundaries of the court. The actual line is out of bounds. If any part of a player
touches any boundary line, or any surface beyond the boundary line, either wall or floor, they are ‘Out’. The
opposing team’s court is considered as being over the boundary line.
LIVE BALL. A ball which has come into contact with nothing from the moment it is released from the
throwers hand to the point it reaches its target. You can be ‘out’ from a Live Ball if Hit or if the Live Ball is
Caught. A ‘live ball’ is a thrown ball that has:
1. Not touched a wall, floor, ceiling, posts or any attached objects of the court.
2. Been put into play by passing it across an attack line immediately following a Rush.
3. Not touched a surface beyond a side line or back line when playing on an open court.
MATCH. The contest between 2 teams, consisting of two 15 minute halves, with a 5 minute half-time break.
NEUTRAL ZONE. The area extended from the center line by 1.5 meters on each teams’ side of the court.
This area may be occupied by players from both teams. A player may safely step into the neutral zone, but
not across. A player crossing over the neutral zone, into the other team’s territory, is deemed “out”, except
in the case of a sacrifice play or Rush for the uncontested dodgeballs.
NO STALLING RULE. A call of ‘Play Ball!’ by the official warning the team with the majority of the balls, that
they have no more than 5 seconds to make a valid attempt such that they no longer have possession of
more than one dodgeball. Failing this, the official calls the offending players ‘Out’ and play continues.
OBSTRUCTION. The act of an exiting player who intentionally:
1. Alters or attempts to alter the path of a live ball.
2. Shields or attempts to shield one of his teammates while exiting.
OFFICIAL. Responsible for implementing the rules and regulations of the sport. All judgement calls of the
officials are final. An Official can be a Referee, Scorer, or Line Judge. Tournament Co-ordinators and
Director of the Governing Body can also make calls, to assist officials, if they see an incident which match
officials have missed.
OPEN COURT. A court without walls or physical barriers.
OUT OF BOUNDS. The area of the court outside the marked court boundaries.
OVERTIME. In knockout tournament play, Overtime is played at the end of a match when both teams have
won an equal number of sets in the match. All 6 players return to the court and the one-minute overtime set
PINCHING. Squeezing a ball in order to alter the thrown ball or block.
PLAYER. One of the participants in a team.
PROTESTS. A dispute made by a manager, coach, assistant coach, team captain or assistant captain of
1. An incorrect application of a playing rule.
2. An illegal player.
3. An ineligible player.
QUEUE. (Previously known as Player Return Area in Europe). The area on one side of the court where
players in the current match retire when put ‘out’ by an attempt. Players must sit/stand in the order they are
out until the set is over.
RECOVERING A DODGEBALL. When a Retriever returns a ball into play, to one of their team-mates.
RETRIEVERS. Substitutes or other non-playing members of a team who are designated to retrieve
dodgeballs for their team during live play.
RETURNEE. Player who returns to live play from the Queue, when a member of the same team
successfully completes a catch.
RUSH. The act of both teams rushing to center court to retrieve balls. This may happen at the beginning of
each set or whenever an official declares a re-set.
SACRIFICE PLAY. An airborne attack, where an attacking player may legally cross the neutral zone to
throw at an opponent, while still airborne above the defending team’s court.
SET (Previously known as a Game or Period in some countries). A period of play which begins with both
teams behind the Back line and with a Rush to commence play when indicated by an official. The maximum
time for a set is 3 minutes of continuous play. The winning team will receive one point towards their match
score. A set concludes when one team has eliminated all members of the opposing team or when 3
minutes have been played.
SIDELINE. The line, along each side of the court, which separates the playing area from the surrounding
SIMULTANEOUS HIT AND CATCH. Occurs when defensive player catches a ball and is hit by another ball
SIMULTANEOUS PLAY. A simultaneous play occurs when two or more players are hit and/or catch balls
at exactly the same time.
SPECTATOR. An individual who is not playing on court, is not in the Queue, during a game and who is not
named as a substitute for a team which is playing.
SUBSTITUTE. Any member of a team’s roster who is not a starting player in a set or a player who enters
the game as a replacement of an existing player who has become injured. A substitute must abide by the
rules of a player even when not playing.
TAUNTING. Verbally abusing the opposition, in an unsportsmanlike manner, as determined by the officials.
TEAM. A team consists of 6 players and a minimum of 4 players on court plus substitutes.
THROW. Another term for an attempt
TIMEOUT. A stop in play called by an official due to a player injury or other incident which requires the
timer/stopwatch to be paused.
TRAPPING. The act of catching a ball in flight by pinning it between a wall, floor, or other object that would
otherwise render the ball dead. Trapping is not considered a valid catch and the player executing the trap
is deemed “out”.
VOIDED PLAY. A play that results in no action. No players are deemed “out”, any catches are void, and no
players are allowed to re-enter from the Queue.
WALL STRIKE. A live ball, which strikes a player and a wall or other court support at the same time. The
player is not “out” and the ball is deemed a dead ball.
RULE 2 <>THE PLAYING AREA
Section 1. The Court
A. The court is the area within which the balls may be legally played and “outs” can be made.
B. There shall be a clear and unobstructed area between the back lines & side lines and any walls,
nets or barriers beyond the court boundaries.
C. An official shall inspect the court for suitability for play prior to the start of the match.
Section 2. Court Layout
A. The official dimensions for a regulation court are as follows:
1. The Court is 17 metres/18.7 yards in length and 8 metres/8.8yards wide.
i. The centre line is marked across the court at exactly half way between the end lines.
ii. The neutral zone will be marked 3 metres/3.28 yards, wide with lines which are 1.5
metres/1.64 yards either side of the centre line.
iii. The attack lines will be marked across the court 3 metres from the back lines.
2. At least 1metre/1yard should be allotted for an out of bound area, allowing officials to move
freely along the side lines.
3. The Queue for each team is a 1m/1yard X 4m/4yards area, and should be located 1m/1yard
from the side line, leaving enough room for officials to move freely along the side of
the court. It will be marked out from a point which is level with the back line, running
parallel with the side line.
4. When used, ball tees shall be made of a soft rubber or a non-slip material, measuring 3″ in
diameter large enough to hold a WDA Dodgeball in position.
5. The court should have four enclosed walls or barriers, wherever possible, with netting, or
some type of solid barrier to prevent balls from exiting the court.
6. Ceilings should be least 4 metres/4.4 yards high whenever possible.
B. Every effort should be made to obtain the correct dimensions. However court size may be adjusted
to best suit the available space.
C. Wherever possible courts will have a wall or solid barrier 1 meter behind the back line.
D. Ball Placement: Five balls are placed in the neutral zone on the center line. The balls shall be
placed an equal distance from each other. The match officials can mark the centre line to show
where dodgeballs should be placed at the start of each set.
RULE 3 <> EQUIPMENT
Section 1. The Official Dodgeball
A. All WDA sanctioned events must use a WDA approved ball.
B. WDA sanctioned dodgeballs can be designed in any way appropriate with designs and sponsor’s
logo’s as approved and deemed acceptable by WDA.
C. Balls used in WDA regulation play must, in the sole opinion and discretion of the official, be
appropriate for match play.
D. Approved dodgeballs will be made of a butyl bladder, covered by webbing and a textured no-sting
cloth covering which has a 2mm (1/16 inch) layer of foam directly underneath it.
E. Approved dodgeballs shall be 7 inches/18.7 cm. in diameter when measured across the width of the
F. 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
A. Uniforms and protective equipment are considered part of the player. Any player hit on any part of
their uniform or protective equipment will be considered “out”.
B. Uniforms must be worn by all team players.
C. Uniforms must be alike in colour and style. The uniform should display the team name along with a
visible number unique to each player. Team logos can also be displayed on uniforms.
D. Sponsor’s names and logos must be approved by WDA before they can be displayed on a team
uniform at WDA events.
E. Offensive and/or otherwise obscene and discriminatory graphics and text will not be allowed.
F. A player will not be penalized for a uniform miss-match as result of the blood rule or should their
uniform become damaged in the course of a game.
G. All protective equipment must be worn correctly and be in working condition.
H. An official at any time may request a player change uniform, require an adjustment, or removal of
any equipment, including jewellery.
1. If such equipment poses a significant risk to safety or is in violation of WDA rules, the player
will be instructed to remove the items which pose the risk.
2. Should a player refuse, they will not be allowed to play.
1. Headbands and protective helmets are the only optional headgear for players.
2. Ball caps, visors, and other head coverings are not allowed in tournament play. Bandannas
do not qualify as headbands and cannot be worn around the head, neck, or wrist/arm.
1. Teams may choose to wear sport pants or shorts as long as they are alike in color and style.
2. No player may wear ragged, frayed or slit legs on exposed pants.
3. Female players can wear sport pants, shorts, skorts, sports skirts or sports dresses, as long
as all players on the team are wearing the correctly colored team apparel.
1. All team members must wear shirts that are identical with the exception of their unique
2. Visible undershirts may be either long or short sleeved and must match in style and color
with the rest of the team.
3. Female players can wear shirts with sports pants, shorts, skorts or sports skirts or they can
wear a sports dress instead of a shirt and shorts.
4. No player may wear ragged, frayed, cut off, or slit sleeves.
1. An Arabic whole number (0-99) of contrasting color, at least six inches (15.24cm) high must
be worn and be visible on the back of all uniform shirts.
2. No players on the same team may wear identical numbers. (Numbers 0 and 00 or 3 and 03
are examples of identical numbers.)
3. Players without a number will not be permitted to play.
1. Prostheses may be worn. All casts, braces, and splints with exposed hard surfaces must be
2. 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 player’s ability such as to give them an advantage.
1. Gloves may not be worn.
2. 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 a player’s abilities to play the game.
1. Exposed jewellery, if judged by the official to be dangerous, must be removed and may not
be worn during the game.
2. Medical alert bracelets or necklaces are not considered jewellery. If worn, they must be
secured to the body so the medical alert information remains visible.
3. 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.
1. Goggles may be worn.
2. Eye glasses should be secured with head straps.
1. Must be worn at all times.
2. All shoes must be made of canvas, leather, or similar material and possess a rubber non-
3. The official may deem any footwear unsafe at their discretion. Players 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.
A. No uniform or equipment will be allowed which is deemed dangerous or harmful to the wearer or to
B. No equipment or uniform item will be allowed which significantly enhances a player’s performance
beyond the normal limits of individual skill.
Section 4. All Equipment
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the WDA reserves the right to withhold or withdraw approval of any
equipment which in the WDA’s sole determination, significantly changes the character of the game.
Section 5. Exterior Substances
A. Substances applied to the exterior of team uniform or onto the skin of players which
enhances a player’s ability to throw or to catch are not allowed.
B. 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. N.
C. Substances applied to aid a player’s injury, such as a heat spray or cold spray, are allowed
to be applied.
RULE 4 <> PLAYERS, COACHES AND SUBSTITUTES
Section 1. Players
A. Teams consist of six players with up to six 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.
B. A team can consist of a squad, or playing roster, of more than 12 players but a maximum of 12
players can be named to compete in a single match.
C. Mixed teams must consist of both genders in equal proportion, i.e. 3 female players and 3 male
players per team. However, if a mixed team consists of less than 6 players, the gender proportion
must be 3 of one and 2 of the other when there are 5 players or two of each gender if there are only
4 players available.
D. Open Category competition teams may consist of either gender. Any ratio of men and women
may participate, including all male and all female teams.
Section 2. Coaches
A. The coach is a person who is responsible for the team’s actions on the court and will represent
the team in communication with the officials and opposing team.
B. A player may be designated as a coach. In the event the coach is absent or that player is acting
as a player-coach. In the absence of a coach or player-coach the captain will represent their team.
C. Coaches must be neatly attired or dressed in the team uniform.
D. 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.
E. Coaches may not use language that will reflect negatively upon players, officials or spectators.
F. A coach may address only their team members and the officials when they are making a genuine
appeal of incorrect procedure.
G. A coach must remain in the Queue area for their team, which is marked out at the side of the
court. They must not enter the court without justification from an official.
H. Coaches are subject to all rules of conduct.
Section 3. Line-up Cards.
A. Line-up cards must be completed and submitted to the Competition Co-ordinator or to a Head
Referee before their team’s first match at each tournament.
B. Line-up cards cannot be changed once the match has begun.
C. Players shall be official once the line-up is inspected and approved by the Head Referee, team
manager, coach, or representative at the pre-game meeting.
D. The line-up card shall contain the first name, last name, and uniform number of each player
including substitutes. If an incorrect number is on the line-up card, correct it, and continue playing
with no penalty.
Section 4. Substitutions
A. Substitutions must be made prior to the start of a set. No substitutions can be made during a set,
except in cases of injury.
B. 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.
C. 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 short-handed.
D. If a substitute is discovered to be an ineligible player, that player must be replaced immediately by
an eligible player.
Section 5. Short-Handed Rule
A. Starting a game.
1. A team may begin a set one players short or two players short.
2. A Mixed team must start each game with at least 2 male and 2 female players.
3. Under no circumstances shall a team be permitted to start a game with less than 4 players.
The official shall declare the game or match a forfeit.
B. Games in progress.
1. A substitute may not enter a set in progress until the start of a new set, except in the case of
2. Should a player listed on the roster arrive late and is of the proper gender, they may enter
the line-up at the start of the next set.
3. Any player removed on a Yellow Card offence (see Rule 4 Section 7) they must remain in
the Penalty Box until 5 minutes of match play has completed.
Section 6. Ineligible Players
A. An Ineligible player is a player who is not part of a team’s official roster or not listed on the line-up
B. A player will not violate the ineligible player rule until the Rush or a ball has been thrown.
C. If the player is deemed ineligible the official will:
1. Remove the ineligible player from the court.
2. The offending team will continue to play short-handed until the next game when they may
field a full team.
Section 7. Ejected Player (Yellow Card Offence)
A. 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 time out.
B. An Ejected coach must remove themselves from the playing area and remain outside the barriers
and/or nets which enclose the court, for the rest of the day’s play.
C. 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 officials or tournament officials.
D. Any ejected player discovered participating in the game will constitute a forfeit.
Section 8. Retrievers
A. Retrievers are individuals designated to retrieve balls that go out of play. Teams are responsible for
providing retrievers. There will normally be 2 Retrievers provided by each team. Tournament officials
will determine if more or fewer Retrievers are required and they will inform team coaches/captains
before the start of play.
1. Retrievers may not enter the court at any time.
2. Retrievers may not wear jerseys of the same colour as their team uniform.
3. Retrievers are only allowed to field balls from their side of the court’s half way line.
a. Each team will designate retrievers.
b. Retrievers can be ejected from play if they hoard dodgeballs which are needed in play.
c. Retrievers must put balls into play as soon as possible.
d. Retrievers may toss a ball to any active player.
e. Balls being returned from out of bounds must be returned to play by passing them onto
the court behind their team’s Attack Line.
B. For events not requiring retrievers the following rules apply:
1. If there are players in the Queue:
a. Active players may not go out of bounds to retrieve balls.
b. One player may leave the Queue to retrieve a ball out of bounds.
c. A player leaving the Queue to retrieve a ball is subject to all retriever rules and
2. If there are no players in the Queue:
a. One active player may go out of bounds to retrieve a ball.
b. A player retrieving a ball must return promptly to their side of the court. Intentional delay
will result in a penalty.
c. Live players leaving the court to retrieve a ball must leave the court behind their team’s
i. The player must raise his/her hand above his/her head to indicate (s)he is leaving
court to retrieve a ball.
ii. The player remains a live target until they have stepped off court and put their
leading foot down onto the floor outside the lines which mark the court.
iii. The retrieving player must come back into play by stepping back on to court over
the back line.
d. Active players retrieving balls are subject to all retriever rules and regulations.
Section 9. Spectator Interference
A. Spectators may return a ball to play that has gone out of bounds by giving it to an official,
retriever, or throwing it to a team they support. This is not considered interference.
RULE 5 <> THE MATCH
Section 1. Approved Style of Play
There is currently one approved style of play that is sanctioned by the WDA (see Rule 5-Section 5).
Section 2. Home Team
A. The home team shall get first choice of court side.
B. In absence of a home team, choice of sides shall be determined by a coin toss.
Section 3. Bench Conduct
A. Coaches, players, substitutes, or other personnel not taking part in live play, i.e. during a set,
shall not be allowed inside the boundaries (barriers and/or nets) which designates the area of
B. Violation of Point A may result in a team forfeit of the set being played.
Section 4. Fitness of the Court
A. The official shall determine the fitness of the court prior to the start of the match.
B. The court must fit WDA standards and be free of slip or trip hazards.
1. Over the course of the match, should the court be become hazardous, the official may call
a “time out” to clear the hazard.
2. A re-set will be called to resume play.
Section 5. Regulation Match and Game Type
1. A regulation match will consist of two 15 minute halves, with a five minute half-time
2. The 15 minutes for the each half will be a running clock, i.e.15 minutes without pausing.
3. The Head Referee or other match official can halt play and call for a time out to stop the
match timing when, he/she deems this to be necessary. (See point G.)
4. Teams will change ends at half-time.
1. A match will consist of an indeterminate number of sets.
2. A set is when 2 teams line up behind the back line to start play with 6 players and they
play until one team is eliminated, or until the time for the set expires.
3. A set is played as an elimination game with a point awarded towards the match score for
the winning of each set.
4. The maximum time allowed for each set is 3 minutes of continuous play.
5. 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 the two 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.
6. When a team is eliminated, or the time expires, teams will re-set for the next period.
Teams must re-set immediately. Match officials will allow 20 seconds for teams to re-set.
7. Upon completion of a set the winning team receives 1 point towards their match score if
a set is drawn both teams will be awarded 1 point.
C. After all sets in the match have been completed; the points are totalled from all sets to
determine a winner. The team with the highest points total wins the match.
D. A tie, or drawn, match will remain as such in league tables and tournament group or pool
E. Competitions will normally use the following scoring system:
1. The points awarded from match play towards a league table or group/pool in tournament
play will normally be 3 points for a match win and 1 point for a drawn match.
2. In league and group/pool tables, round-robin competitions, the more points from match play
won by a team the higher they will be placed in the table.
3. If 2 teams are tied on points in a table the team with the better sets for and against
difference will be placed higher.
i. If this is equal, the number of match wins will decide which team is placed higher.
ii. If they have won an equal number of matches their head to head result(s) will be
used to decide which team is the better placed.
iii. Failing all these tie-breaking methods a single set will be played.
F. Overtime Set – In knock-Out and Play-off rounds a drawn match is resolved by playing an
Overtime set which will lasts one minute.
1. The team with most players on court at the end of the one minute set will be declared the
2. If both teams have the same number of players still in play on court, the official keeping
time will shout “Sudden Death!” and the first team to eliminate an opposing player wins
G. 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.
1. A match stopped by an official is deemed regulation if three or more sets have been
2. If the match is considered regulation, the team winning the majority of the sets is
declared the winner.
3. Matches not considered regulation shall be resumed at the exact point where they were
4. Stopped matches that result in a tie, may be resumed with a re-set, consisting of the
same number of players at the point the set was stopped.
Section 6. Forfeited Match and Forfeited Set
A. A forfeited match shall be declared by the official in favour of the team not at fault in the following
1. If an official is physically attacked by any team member and/or spectator.
2. 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.
3. If a team refuses to continue to play after the match has begun, unless the match has been
suspended or terminated by the official.
4. If, after the official has suspended play, one side fails to resume play within two minutes after
the official’s signal to resume play.
5. If a team employs tactics noticeably designed to delay the game.
6. If, after warning by the official, any one of the rules of the game is wilfully violated.
7. If the order for the ejection of a player, manager, or coach is not obeyed.
8. If the ejection of a player or players from the game results in fewer than the required number
of players to continue the game.
9. If an ejected player is discovered participating.
10. If a player is injured or becomes ill, leaving the team with less players than the required
number of players for a full team.
11. Once a match has been forfeited, the forfeit cannot be changed.
B. A forfeited set will happen 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.
1. 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.
2. Should the team still not be present and/or ready to begin play they will forfeit the match.
3. A forfeit set can also occur when a team receives a Team Yellow Card.
C. Forfeit Scoring:
1. A forfeit set will award the one point for that set to the non-offending team, towards their
2. A match forfeit will result in the non-offending team being awarded the win for that match by
10 points to nil (10-0).
RULE 6 <> STARTING THE GAME
Section 1. Beginning Play
A. Play begins with all players positioned behind their team’s back line.
a. Players cannot be over the back line or touch the back line until after the officials have
signalled the start of play.
B. False Starts
1. In the event of a false start the center ball will go to the opponent and the teams are reset.
i. 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.
2. In the event of additional false starts the dodgeballs are given to the other team in the order
of outside to inside, starting with the non-offending teams dodgeballs first.
3. Any balls given to the non-offending team are deemed live immediately upon the start of the
game, as soon as the player in possession has fully stepped onto the court.
C. The Head Referee or other designated Starter will address each team with these instructions:
1. “Line up!” to order teams to take their places.
2. The official then states “Teams ready!” for the teams to get into position to rush.
3. The official will pause for approximately 1 second and then blow a whistle to signal the start
of the set.
Section 2. The Rush
A. The Rush occurs at the beginning of each set or reset.
B. Upon the official’s signal, both teams rush to center court and attempt to retrieve the two balls to
their left designated for their team and the one ball in the center (which is open to either team).
C. A maximum of 3 players per team are allowed to rush for the balls, but at least one person from
each team must Rush.
D. A team’s players who are not rushing for the dodgeballs, 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 center 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 center line, that player will be called “out” for being off the court.
E. When retrieving the 2 balls on their left, one foot of the player is allowed to cross the center line.
F. Players rushing for the center 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.
G. There is no limit to how many balls an individual player may retrieve.
H. Players may not slide or dive head first towards the center line of the court when rushing to gain
possession of a ball on the centre line. The offending player will be called out.
I. No deliberate physical contact between players is allowed, the offending player(s) 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 center ball will not be penalised.
J. If two players both have hold of the center 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 Section 2.H.). If one
player is pulled over the center line by the other competing player without the pulling player being in
breach of Section 2.H, the player who touches the court over the center line will be called out.
Section 3. Putting the ball in play
A. 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.
B. There are several ways to put a ball into play following a Rush.
1. A player carries the ball across the attack line.
2. A player passes the ball to a teammate who is behind or carries it across the Attack Line.
C. 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 behind the Attack Line.
D. Once a ball crosses the Attack Line it remains in play until the end of the set or until the game is re-
set and a new Rush is executed
E. A ball put in play by a player that hasn’t crossed the Attack Line is considered a dead ball, any hits
or catches are voided plays.
Time Outs and Suspension of Play
A. There are no team time outs, only an official may stop play if in their judgment an injury or hazard
has occurred, or conditions justify such action.
B. Officials may suspend play to assess penalties, settle verbal protests or to replace faulty equipment.
C. 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 “time out” and seek first aid or contact
D. Coaches and team medics are allowed on the court in the case of an injury.
E. 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
Play will resume from the point play was paused and on the instructions of match officials.
RULE 7 <> EXITING PLAYERS
Section 1 Exiting Players
A. An exiting player is a player who has been deemed “out” and is in the process of leaving the court.
B. An exiting player is one who has been hit and is obviously not attempting to, or has failed to catch
the deflected ball.
C. Players „hit“ and attempting to catch the deflected ball are not considered an exiting player. Plays
made against the player are resolved as follows:
1. The player may be hit and deemed „out“ by additional throws.
2. Catches made by the player are void, unless the player first catches the deflected ball
saving themselves from the „out.“
3. The player may 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 void.
D. Upon being deemed “out,” an exiting player should raise their hands over their head. This signals
that they’re “out” and leaving the court, it also helps to prevent late hits and protects the player’s
head as they exit.
E. 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.
F. The exiting player takes their position at the end of the Queue, behind any previously “out”
G. A ball that hits an exiting player which hasn’t been intentionally deflected by that player is still a live
H. Exiting players must not intentionally obstruct live balls in flight while leaving the playing area. This
includes shielding other players, catching, or otherwise altering the path of a live ball.
I. Should an official determine an exiting player has intentionally attempted to impact the play while
leaving the court:
1. The official will blow the whistle and stop play.
2. The offending exiting player shall receive a Yellow Card and will have to remain in the
Penalty Box until their 5 minute penalty has ended. At the end of this time they will join the
Queue as if they were last player to be out.
3. All balls will be given to the non-offending team.
4. Play will resume.
Section 2 Player Interference
A. An exiting player must not intentionally obstruct live balls in flight while leaving the playing area. This
includes shielding other players, catching, or otherwise altering the path of a live ball.
B. Exiting players or those in the Queue may not throw balls at opposing players, catch, or interfere
with the path of live balls.
C. Any violation determined to be intentional player interference, will result in a Yellow Card for the
offending player and one additional player will be chosen and put out by the opposing team.
RULE 8<> RETURNEES (RETURNING PLAYERS)
Section 1. Returning Players
A. A Returnee is a player who has been deemed “out” and is waiting in the Queue to return to play.
B. Players from the Queue return to play in the order they were put out. Any violation of this rule will
result in a Yellow Card for the offending player.
C. Returning players must have both feet in the playing area to be deemed inbounds.
1. Players must return to the court by stepping onto the court over the Back Line
2. Players are eligible to be “out” once both feet are in the playing area.
3. Players are eligible to make a “catch” once both feet are in the playing area.
4. 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 across the side line into the court and catches a ball before
both feet contact the ground. This would be deemed a non-catch. No out or penalty would
D. If a Returnee leaves the Queue for any reason, they must return to their original position in the
Queue. The team will forfeit its ability to return players from the Queue until that player returns.
Section 2. Returning Order
A. Players shall return from the Queue in the order they were put out, i.e. first “out,” first “in” (FOFI).
B. A player who enters out of turn receives a Yellow Card, and must immediately exit the court.
1. This team loses it chance to add a new player.
2. The player who was supposed to enter, remains in the front of the Queue but is not allowed
to enter until the next opportunity.
RULE 9 <> OFFENSIVE AND DEFENSIVE PLAY
Section 1. Attempts
A. 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, or side arm.
B. Intentionally kicking or spiking a ball will result in an “out” for the offending player.
C. 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.
D. To be deemed a throw the balls must leave a players hand. An opponent may not be “tagged” out.
E. Players are not allowed to roll the ball(s) to the opposing team, unless instructed to do so by a
Section 2. Floor Strikes & Trapping
A. A floor strike occurs when a live ball strikes a player and the floor at the same time. The player is not
out and the ball is deemed a dead ball.
B. Trapping is the act of catching a ball in flight by pinning it between a wall, floor, or other object that
would otherwise render the ball dead. Trapping is not considered a valid catch and the player
executing the trap is deemed out.
Section 3. Outs
A. A player deemed “out“ becomes an “exiting player” and must exit the court directly from their
position to the end of their team’s Queue accordingly.
B. A player is out at the moment of contact. Although the ball remains “live“ the player may no longer
make any plays other than to save himself by catching the ball that put him out.
C. A player shall be deemed “out” when:
1. Any part of the player’s body is hit by a live ball, including hair.
2. Any article of a player’s clothing or uniform is hit by a live ball.
3. A player is hit by a live ball rebounding off another player or a ball lying on the court.
4. A live ball they have thrown is caught in flight by a defending player.
5. The player is hit by a live ball rebounding off another ball including balls blocked by
opponents and/or teammates.
6. The player crossed over the neutral zone in violation of the Neutral Zone rule.
7. An official has deemed that a player has committed a rules violation.
8. The player or team has been charged with a penalty, causing a player to be ejected from live
Section 4. Catches
A. A catch is deemed valid if the following conditions are met:
1. The ball is live and it is caught in flight by a player who is still ‘in’, and is under a player’s
control with at least one hand.
2. 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.
3. 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 (i.e. A ball caught between a players knees,
must have a hand on the ball while it is under the player’s control).
a. An official shall decide if the ball is “under control”.
B. Trapping or catching a ball in flight by pinning it between a wall, floor, or other object that would
otherwise render the ball dead. Trapping is not a valid catch and the player executing the trap is
C. Players are not allowed to pull out their shirt or any other part of their uniform to catch a ball.
D. Entering an opponent’s court is not permitted even if attempting to catch a deflected ball.
Section 5. Blocking
A. A player can use a ball in his/her possession to block a ball which has been thrown by the other
B. The blocked ball remains ‘live; and if it deflects off the blocking ball onto the blocking player or any
other player, they are out or they are able to make a catch on the blocked ball.
C. When a player uses a ball to block a thrown ball, they must retain full possession and control of the
ball at all times. If the block causes the player to lose full control and fumble the ball in their possession or drop the ball they are using to block, they will be called ‘Out’.
D. When a player uses a ball to block a thrown ball, their hands are still a ‘live’ target and they can
only use the ball to block a ball thrown at them.
Section 6. No Stalling Rule (Previously called Delay of Game or Five Seconds Violation in some countries)
A. The act of intentionally stalling the game is illegal. When a team has possession of three or more
balls they have five seconds to make an attempt with the balls in their possession from the moment
a match official has called on them to “Play Ball!.”
B. Teams are allowed to retain possession of only one ball.
C. 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.
D. If players fail to make an attempt on the opposing team within five seconds, all players who have
possession of dodgeballs and players who can have possession of a dodgeball, but have declined
to pick up the ball, will be called ‘Out’ by the match officials.
E. When “Play Ball” has been called by an official, the team with 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 players being
called ‘Out’ by the officials.
F. 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.
Section 7. Pinching
A. Holding a ball in order to alter the normal flight pattern of the thrown ball.
1. Pinching is when a player holds the outer cover of the dodgeball between thumb and fingers.
2. Pinching the ball when throwing it is an Illegal Attempt.
3. Inserting fingers through splits or tears in the outer cover of the all are also regarded as
B. Any individual or team found pinching will be assessed as called ‘Out’.
1. Persistent pinching can result in a Yellow Card offence being declared by the match
official(s) on the offending player.
RULE 10 <> OUT OF BOUNDS RULE
A. If any part of the player’s body touches the back lines, side lines and/or neutral zone line (in the
opponent’s half) the player shall be deemed out.
B. 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 side lines,
back lines and neutral zone line, in the opposition’s court, are considered out of bounds.
C. The following actions will result in an “out” when:
1. A player steps out of bounds or on a boundary line (back, side and neutral zone).
2. A player intentionally throws a ball at an opponent from out of bounds. Hits or catches are
void and no players are returned from the Queue. Flagrant or repeat violations will result in a
3. A player steps out of bound to avoid a hit.
4. A player steps out of bounds to make a catch.
D. 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.
RULE 11 <> NEUTRAL ZONE RULE
A. The neutral zone is an area the width of the court and 3 meters (3.3 yards) wide, spaced equally
either side of the center line. Neutral Zone Lines are 1.5 m either side of the Center Line.
B. A player may safely step into the neutral zone but not across. Any player crossing over the neutral
zone is deemed “out.”
C. A player is considered crossing the neutral zone if any part of the player’s body touches the ground
over or on the neutral zone line in their opponent’s territory.
D. Players may reach across the neutral zone into the opponent’s court to retrieve a ball.
E. A player hit while in the neutral zone is deemed “out.”
F. The Sacrifice Play rule supersedes any application of the Neutral Zone rule.
RULE 12 <> SIMULTANEOUS PLAY
Section 1. Simultaneous Play occurs when two or more opposing players are hit and/or catch balls at the
same time, such that the match officials cannot determine which play was completed first.
A. All results are resolved simultaneously.
1. Each player hit is deemed “out.”
2. Each catch results in one player returning from the Queue.
B. A Simultaneous Play will only be ruled as such when match officials cannot establish a lateral
sequence of events.
C. Should a simultaneous play result in all players being eliminated:
1. The set is concluded and the set result is declared a tie/draw.
2. Both teams retake their positions to begin the next set.
Section 2. Simultaneous Hit and Catch
A. 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.
1. The thrower of the caught ball is deemed “out.”
2. The player catching the ball who was hit is deemed “out.”
3. One player from the catching team is allowed to return from the Queue.
B. A Simultaneous Hit and Catch will only be ruled as such when match officials cannot establish a
lateral sequence of events.
RULE 13 <> SACRIFICE PLAY
An airborne attack, where an attacking player may legally cross the neutral zone to hit an opponent.
A. The ball must leave the attacker’s hand before any part of the attacker’s body touches the
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 an attacker puts out any opponent, the attacker remains in but must return to their side of the
court immediately. Any intentional delay shall result in a player Yellow Card.
D. If an attacker is unsuccessful, the attacking player is deemed out.
E. The attacking player remains a valid target while in the air.
F. Once a sacrificed player, who has hit a defending player out, touches the ground they cannot make
any plays 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 get any
defending players out with hits or catches.
G. If the attacking player catches a ball in mid-air the catch is good but the player is out when he lands
on the other side, unless his throw causes a player to go out by either being hit or stepping out of
H. The attacking player must return to their side immediately with or without possession of the ball.
I. If the attacking player is hit while in the air, after he has thrown his ball, the ball remains live.
J. If thean attacker is hit by a ball ricocheting off a defending player both players are out.
RULE 14 <>HEAD SHOTS
A. Head Shot is when a ball that strikes the head of a player above the shoulders, including the neck.
B. There is no penalty for head shots in normal play.
C. Head Shot is a valid attempt and a player struck on the head is OUT, unless the referee believes it
was intentionally used in an unsportsmanlike fashion (to intentionally injure an opposing player).
RULE 15 <> INJURED PLAYER/BLOOD RULE
Section 1. Injured Player
A. If a player becomes injured and requires immediate attention, the official shall blow the whistle, call
a time out and seek first aid or contact emergency personnel if necessary.
B. If the injured player is unable to continue play:
1. The next player in the Queue replaces the injured player.
2. A substitute may enter the game to replace the player on the roster for that set.
3. 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.
C. 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.
D. 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 Rule
A. 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 authorized 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 player’s clothing.
B. All rules of the game regarding substitution and shorthanded play will be applied, and a reset will be
executed if required.
C. If medical care or treatment is administered in a reasonably short length of time, in the official’s
judgment, and the player is not at risk to themselves or others, the individual may remain in the set.
D. Uniform rule violations will not be enforced if a uniform change is required due to a blood Injury.
RULE 16 <>PROTESTS
Section 1. Invalid Protests
A. Protests will not be received or considered if based solely on a decision involving the accuracy or
judgment on the part of an official.
Example of protests, which will not be considered:
1. Whether a defender was hit.
2. Whether a defenders clothing was hit.
3. Whether a player was out of bounds.
4. Whether a throw was a headshot.
5. Whether a ball was caught legally.
6. Whether a player crossed the neutral zone.
7. Whether a ball was live or dead.
8. Whether there was or was not interference or obstruction.
9. Whether the court/field is or is not fit to continue or resume play.
10. Whether there is or is not sufficient light to continue of play.
11. Any other matter involving the accuracy of the official’s judgment.
B. Protests will only be addressed if presented by the manager, coach, assistant coach, team captain
or other appropriate team representative.
Section 2. Valid Protests
The following protests will be considered:
A. Protests of an incorrect ruling must be made to an official immediately before the next “out.”
B. Ineligible player protests must be made to the Head Referee on the court prior to the start of the
C. Disqualified or ejected player protests must be made to an official at the end of the current set.
Section 3. Verbal Protest
A. All protests must be made immediately by notifying the Head Referee on the court that the match is
to be played under protest. The protest must be made by the team captain or team coach.
B. If the court’s Head Referee determines the protest is valid, the play shall stop.
C. The court’s Head Referee shall in turn notify other officials, as well as the opposing team’s official
D. To aid in the determination of the protest, all interested parties shall take notice of the information,
details and conditions surrounding the decision to protest.
E. The court’s Head Referee, and league, event or tournament representative will attempt to resolve
the protest before the game can continue.
F. If the protest is upheld, the game will be reset at the point prior to the protest.
a. All dodgeballs will remain in possession of the teams who had possession when play was
b. Any balls which were not in possession of either team will be placed equally spaced and
centrally along the center line.
G. If the protest is denied and the official’s decision is upheld, the protesting team will forfeit the right to
raise any further protests during that match.
RULE 17 <> OFFICIALS
Section 1. Power and Duties
A. Officials are representatives of the league or organization by which they have been assigned to a
particular match and as such, are authorized and required to enforce each section of these rules.
B. 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.
C. An official may assign penalties, disqualify or eject players, captains, managers, and coaches at any
D. The official has the authority to make a decision on any situation not specifically covered in the
E. 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.
F. An official may consult other officials at any time. However, the final decision and call rests with the
Head Referee of that match.
G. The primary responsibilities for a Head Referee are:
1. Enforce proper conduct from all participants of the game.
2. Inspect the court, balls, and all equipment in play.
3. Review and verify the team line-up, substitutions, and roster.
4. Align all balls at center court, and initiate a Rush.
5. Enforce the Neutral Zone rule.
6. Assume all responsibilities of a side line official.
H. The primary responsibilities for the side line official are:
1. Insuring that all balls are put in play, following a Rush.
2. Calling and verifying a “catch” made in their territory.
3. Calling and verifying an “out” made within their territory on the court.
4. Monitor players exiting and re-entering from the Queue.
5. Assist the Head Referee in enforcing the rules of the game.
I. The Head Referee and sideline officials have equal authority to:
1. Determine if a ball has hit a player or article of clothing of a player in their territory.
2. Determine if a ball was thrown illegally.
3. Call a player “out”.
4. Declare a “catch.”
5. Declare a player “out of bounds”.
6. Suspend play or call a “time out”, when an injury occurs or a protest is enforced.
7. Eject or disqualify a player, coach, manager or other team member from the game for
violation of rules or un-sportsmanlike conduct.
8. Declare a forfeit of any game.
J. 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.
K. An official will not penalize a team for any infraction of a rule when imposing the penalty would be
an advantage to the offending team.
Section 2. Officials Crew
An Officials Crew (a team of officials) can consist of the following personnel:
A. The Head Referee is in charge of all officials on their court and is the final decision maker on all
matter covered by these Rules and Regulations.
B. Side Line Officials are there to assist the Head Referee and they can number between 1 and 4 on
1. Side Line Official #1 is the main assistant to the Head Referee. They will usually be a
qualified dodgeball referee.
2. Side Line officials #2, #3 & #4 will normally be provided by teams who are not playing at the
time this match is being played. Teams must provide these Side Line Officials when
instructed to do so or face fines and penalties as stated by the event organizers.
C. A Scorer can also be appointed to keep accurate match scoring, by filling out the score sheet as the
1. They will operate the scoreboard.
2. The Scorer can also be responsible for operating all official timing used during the match.
Section 3. Responsibilities of a Single Official
A. If only one official is assigned, that official assumes all powers and duties of both a Head Referee
and side line official.
B. The official shall take position as a Head Referee at the center line.
Section 4. Officials’ Court Positions
A. The Head Referee shall:
1. Takes a starting position at center court in the neutral zone, on either the right or left hand
side of the court.
2. The Head Referee can alternate sides between sets.
B. The Side Line Official(s) shall:
1. Take a position on the side line mid court, roughly at a 45˚ angle, opposite the Head
2. The side line official should alternate sides in coordination with the Head Referee.
3. The diagram indicates the correct positioning for each match official.
Section 5. Change of Official
A. A team may not request a change of official during a match unless an official has become
incapacitated by injury or illness.
B. An officer of the organization may remove an official at their discretion.
C. A change of an official shall not constitute nor be grounds for a protest.
Section 6. Official’s Judgment
A. There will be no protest or appeal of any decision made by an official on the grounds that the
official’s judgment was incorrect.
B. 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
C. 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.
D. 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.
E. 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.
F. 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
A. An official shall avoid interfering with play or balls in flight whenever possible.
B. 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 center court if the point of
exit is undetermined.
C. Any ball rebounding off an official is considered a dead ball as if it hits a wall, ceiling, floor.
Section 8. Official’s Uniform
A. A regulation WDA official shall wear a short-sleeve polo shirt, predominantly black colour with white
trim. It will have the WDA logo or the letters ”WDA” worn on the left chest.
B. Black slacks or shorts.
C. Shoes may be solid black or white or mixed black and white athletic shoes with non-marking soles.
Section 9. Guideline for Officials
A. 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.
B. The officials should be sure of the date, start time, and location of the event and should arrive at the
court 15 to 30 minutes ahead of the start time.
a. At some events the officials will be responsible for the accurate marking and set up of the
court and its immediate playing area.
b. 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.
c. They should start the event or match at the designated time and leave the court when the
match is over.
C. The official’s 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.
D. Officials should introduce themselves to the captains, managers.
E. The official should inspect the court, boundaries, balls, and all other equipment.
F. The official should clarify all rules for the representatives of both teams.
G. The official, may suspend play when in their judgment, conditions justify such action.
H. The official should suspend play when a player become injured and require immediate attention.
The official shall call a “time out” and seek first aid or contact emergency services if required.
RULE 18 <> CODE OF CONDUCT
Section 1. WDA Code of Conduct for Players:
A. Understand, appreciate and abide by the rules of the sport.
B. Respect the integrity and judgment of match officials and WDA staff.
C. Respect your opponent and congratulate them in a courteous manner following each match whether
in victory or defeat.
D. Be responsible for your actions and maintain self-control.
E. 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.
i. This is regarded as un-sportsmanlike conduct.
ii. The offending player(s) will be warned verbally 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.
4. Player honesty will not be penalized and the referee may call a player that has left the court
back into play.
i. This will happen when a player has stepped off the court because they believe they
ii. This is entirely at the discretion of referees.
Section 3. Code of Conduct for Officials
A. Match Officials must behave in an exemplary manner when communicating with teams, players,
coaches, managers, spectators, other officials, event organizers and WDA officers.
B. Match officials must not swear at players, spectators, any other team officers or any event officials
C. Match officials must not make derogatory or abusive remarks at any time, to any person during a
D. Match officials must remain calm when dealing with outspoken, abusive and aggresive persons and
treat players, coaches, managers, spectators and other officials and officers with respect at all
E. As all match officials will be recognized 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 WDA event.
RULE 19 <> VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES
Section 1. Yellow Card
A. A Yellow Card indicates that a team or player has received a warning due to unacceptable,
aggressive or abusive behaviour or through un-sportsmanlike conduct.
B. A Yellow Card can be issued to an individual player or a whole team. They are valid for the entire
match, and they are cumulative set to set.
C. Player Yellow Cards:
1. First Offense: 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
short-handed while the penalty is being served.
iii. 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
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 half-time break.
iv. 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.
2. Second Offense: 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.
D. Team Yellow Cards:
1. First Offense: The team will forfeit the set in which they are issued the Yellow Card.
2. Second Offense: The team will be assessed a Red Card. This will result in a match forfeit.
i. Match officials, tournament officials and/or WDA 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 2. Red Card
A. A Red Card may be issued to an individual player or a whole team.
B. A Red Card indicates that a team or player has received a penalty following aggressive, abusive,
un-sportsmanlike or other unacceptable conduct or unacceptable use of profanity or unsavoury
C. Player Red Card:
1. The player is disciplined with a Red Card and is removed from the Match for the rest of the
2. 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 WDA events and at the events of affiliated
National Governing Bodies.
i. Match officials, tournament officials and/or WDA 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.
3. During the match in which the Red Card penalty is issued that player’s team will play short-
handed for the remainder of that match. At the following matches in which the penalized
player is not allowed to participate, the team can use another member of their playing roster
to substitute in for the penalized player in order to make up a full team.
D. Team Red Card: Results in the forfeiture of the entire match.
Section 3. Un-sportsmanlike Conduct
A. Sporting Behaviour: Dodgeball competition is based on sporting behaviour and fair play. Coaches
and players are expected and trusted with these values. The following are examples of
unacceptable or un-sportsmanlike behaviour:
1. Tactics that endanger the safety of players.
2. After equipment check, illegal equipment is put back into play.
3. Use of equipment for other than its intended design.
5. Intentionally damaging the court, equipment, or facilities.
6. 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 un-sportsmanlike conduct.
B. 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 offense, all parties
involved will be penalised with a Red Card and ejected from play.
C. 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.
D. The official will report any un-sportsmanlike conduct to the tournament co-ordinator, league, or WDA
representative. Depending on the circumstances, severity, and frequency of such conduct, a team
or player may be prohibited from participation in WDA sanctioned play.
E. An official may remove any player or team from play at any time should their conduct be deemed
RULE 20 <> MEDIA
A. A ball rebounding off a photographer or other side line attendee is ruled as a dead ball.
B. All photographic equipment must be in possession of or carried by the photographer. No equipment
can be left on the ground.
C. A ball trapped in equipment is considered “dead” and should be returned to an official.
D. Media Coverage: Media authorized by the tournament officials can be in the playing area. All media
personnel must be able to move to avoid being hit by the ball. Should they accidentally be hit, the
ball becomes dead.
THE INAUGURAL W.D.A. DODGEBALL WORLD CUP
World Dodgeball Association Rules & Regulations of Dodgeball are the agreed set of rules for match play at all WDA competitive events. They have been agreed by representatives of the continental governing bodies of Asia, Europe and North America.
WDA Rules and Regulations of Dodgeball Version 1.0 (November 7th 2015).
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