• Live ball: A ball thrown by any player which has not come into contact with the ground or wall netting. A thrown ball is still live if it touches another player or ball.
  • Dead ball: A thrown ball becomes dead if it touches the floor or netting.
  • Catch: A successful catch is made when a live ball that has been thrown by the opposition is caught.
  • Out: A player is ‘out’ if they are hit by a live ball thrown by the opposition and do not catch it. A player is ‘out’ if they are hit by a rebounding ball that comes off a fellow teammate, or off another live ball. A player is also ‘out’ if any member of the opposition catches a live ball thrown by that player.
  • Block: A player may hold a ball and use it to ‘block’ balls thrown by the opposition and will not be called out if another ball hits the ball that they are holding. Note: a blocked ball is still live – until it hits the ground or netting.
  • Set: The duration of eliminating 6 players of the opposing team Out. Each set is worth 1 point for the match.
  • Match: The contest between two opposing teams to accumulate the most number of sets/points within 40 minutes of play.


All players will:

  • Understand and abide by the rules of the game and the honour system (detailed below),
  • Respect the judgement and integrity of officials and staff,
  • Respect their opponent and congratulate them courteously after every match,
  • Be responsible for their own actions and maintain self-control at all times,
  • Avoid deliberately aiming their throws at any other player’s head,
  • Avoid jumping into, leaning on or pushing off the back and side netting
  • Refrain from taunting or sledging their opponents, and
  • Refrain from using foul or abusive language.
  • No intimidation tactics such as pointing, yelling, cursing or any other behaviour viewed as intentional intimidation will be tolerated.
  • Referees reserve the right to eject any player or team from the game without warning for any displays of unsportsmanlike conduct


The game of dodgeball relies heavily on the honour system, i.e. self-regulation of the rules. Teams which repeatedly breach the honour system face expulsion from the league. For example (the following list is not exhaustive):

  • When a player is hit by a ball without the referee’s knowledge they will call themselves out and leave the field of play immediately.
  • When a player is caught out by the opposition without the referee’s knowledge they will call themselves out and leave the field of play immediately.
  • Eliminated players will themselves ensure that the first player eliminated is the first to return to the game in the event of a successful catch.



  • The dodgeball court will consist of half an indoor netball court. There will be a centreline down the middle of the court, and two attack lines running parallel either side of the centreline.
  • There will be one rectangular ‘bench’ area in each half for eliminated players.


  • The official ball used in league play will be a 15cm diameter rubber-coated foam ball.
  • All players must wear closed shoes, no exceptions.
  • Participants must wear a top and shorts/pants without any sharp metal parts.
  • Sweatbands are recommended.
  • No jewellery of any kind may be worn during play. This includes necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, etc.


  • All games will be supervised by a trained referee; however rules are to be enforced primarily by the honour system (detailed above).
  • The referee’s decision is final.
  • The referee may change possession of any number of balls at any time they decide is necessary.
  • The referee may warn players and call a technical foul on any player or team displaying unsportsmanlike conduct. N.B. The referee is not required to give a warning before calling a technical foul.
  • Any form of abuse towards the referee by any player or spectator can warrant that person being removed from the venue.


  • All players must sign a registration form every season before playing their first game. The form outlines the league’s liability and sportsmanship policies. The form will be available in hard copy at the centre. 
  • The aim of dodgeball is to eliminate the opposing players from the game by hitting them with a live ball, or by catching live balls that have been thrown by the opposition.
  • To start a game, each player must be touching their respective back net with at least one foot.


  • The referee will place 6 dodgeballs along the centreline – three on each side of the court. The referee will start the match by blowing a whistle, at which time players may rush to grab the three balls on their right hand side.


(players should assist the referee in setting the balls)


  • Players are permitted to cross the midline during the opening rush only.
  • Players must retreat and cross the attack line before making their first throw, or can pass balls back to teammates positioned behind the attack line. Two feet must be behind the attack line for a throw to be valid.
  • At no point during the game may any player intentionally use the back or side netting as a playing field. Intentional use of the back or side netting will result in penalty. This includes jumping, diving into or climbing up the netting.
  • If a player catches a live ball thrown by the opposition, then the player who threw the ball is out. Additionally, an eliminated member of the catcher’s team may return to the field of play.
  • Players returning to the game must do so in the same order in which they were eliminated.
  • When returning to the field of play, eliminated players must enter the court from the beginning of the ‘bench’ area, closest to the midline.
  • Eliminated players must line up in order of elimination, starting at the beginning of the bench area for ease of return to the game.


(players must line up in order of elimination in the bench area)

  • When a player is ‘out’ they must raise their hand and leave the field of play immediately, without interfering with play in any way.
  • Any player intentionally throwing a ball at an opposition player whose hand is raised will be ‘out’.
  • Any player who crosses the midline during match play will be ‘out’.
  • Players may pass the ball to team-mates.
  • Players may put the ball on the ground.
  • Players are not permitted to kick or step on the ball.
  • Players must not lift or support their team-mates in catching, throwing, etc.
  • Eliminated players must not interfere with or touch any balls while ‘out’.
  • No team is allowed to have all 6 balls on their half of the court for more than 10 seconds. If a team has all the balls they must make a legitimate effort to get at least 1 of the balls across to the opponent’s half. The first violation of this rule will result in a stoppage of play and distribution of all 6 balls to the opposing team. Play will continue with balls at feet.


  • Ball Advantage: If a team has 4 or more balls, they are at an advantage and must throw.
  • Player Advantage: If teams have 3 balls each, the team with more players ‘in’ must throw.
  • Last Received: If teams have 3 balls each and the same number of players each, the team who last received must throw.


  • Each match will be 40 minutes long, played in two 20 minute halves
  • When there is one minute remaining before half time or full time (at 19 minutes or at 39 minutes) and players are still engaged in a set, the referee will blow the whistle to stop the game. The referee will alert all players that the final minute of the half is no blocking. This means any player who blocks is ‘out’. This is only at the last minute of the half.
  • A match consists of as many ‘sets’ that can be completed within the 40 minute match.
  • No single set can exceed 5 minutes.
  • No set will start with less than 1 minute remaining in the half.
  • A set ends when all the players on a team have been eliminated, or when 5 minutes have elapsed, in which case the team with the most players remaining wins the set.
  • If at the end of 5 minutes there are equal players remaining on each team, the set counts for zero.
  • During knockout rounds (quarter, semi and grand finals) if the final score is tied, a set of no blocking will be played to determine a winner. 
  • Each set won is worth 1 point. At the end of the match, the team with the most points wins the match. If both teams have won an equal number of sets in the match then it is a tie (except in finals where another set is played).
  • After every odd set, teams will switch sides (as in tennis).
  • If the referee blows the whistle to stop play, all balls will be considered dead immediately.


  • All teams are expected to be at the venue 10 minutes before their scheduled match start.
  • Matches will start right on the scheduled time.
  • At match start, any team not meeting minimum player requirements (at least 4 players) will forfeit the match, at the referee’s discretion.
  • If a team forfeits more than twice in a season, their status in the league will be placed under review.
  • If a team forfeits, the centre will make every effort to organise a ‘scratch match’ to be played for the other team.
  • A forfeit is recorded as a 1-0 loss to the forfeiting team.


  • In the event that a team does not have 6 registered players for a match, substitutes may be recruited. Substitutes MUST be from a lower division than the match being played. If there are no substitutes available from a lower division, a substitute from within the same division may be used if this substitution is okayed by the opposing captain.
  • At no time may a player from a higher division fill in for a team in a lower division, except in the case of friendly matches or special circumstances.


  • A match win is worth 3 competition points. A match draw is worth 1 point, and a loss is worth 0 points.
  • Teams for/against elimination statistics will be recorded to rank teams on equal competition points. The team with the best for/against record will be ranked highest amongst teams on equal match points.
  • By winning a set, a team automatically receives 6 ‘for’ points.


  • At the end of the regular season, the 8 highest placed teams on the ladder will play in the major finals.
  • In the first week of the finals, 1st plays 8th, 2nd plays 7th, 3rd plays 6th and 4th plays 5th.
  • No player who is not registered is eligible to play finals.
  • Registered players must have played a minimum of 5 competition matches to be eligible for finals.
  • If a team requires substitutes for finals matches, they must be from a division BELOW the game that is going to be played. If no substitutes are available from a lower division, the opposing team must approve a substitute from within the same division.
  • Substitutes can only fill the number of spots required. Eg – if a team has 5 original players, only 1 substitute can be recruited. Substitutes cannot rotate.

See the Season Draw for the full list of finals matches.

PLEASE SEE: Acknowledgements, terms and conditions for all Dodgeball Sydney players.