Project Description


Overview & Examples

Dodgeball means any game in which players try to hit other players with balls and avoid being hit. The main objective is to eliminate all members of the opposing team by hitting them with thrown balls, catching a ball thrown by a member of the opposing team, or forcing them outside of the court boundaries. Dodgeball has seen resurgence in recent years following the movie Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. Within intramural programs, dodgeball is often viewed as a nostalgic, recreational game open to participants from a wide range of skill levels.

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Traditional Formats

Dodgeball can be played with teams of 4 to 8 players. Men’s, women’s, co-rec, and mixed leagues are all popular.

The sport is traditionally played indoors on a court surface, although the size of the court varies from a racquetball court to a basketball court. Outdoor dodgeball is also possible.


Dodgeball matches can be self-officiated or up to 3 officials can be utilized to oversee the match. When one official is used, he is typically positioned at the midcourt line. When 2 or 3 officials are utilized, they may be positioned near the endlines, along the sidelines, or in other locations around the court.


There are very few sets of standardized rules for dodgeball. The National Amateur Dodgeball Association provides a basic set of rules; however individual intramural programs will likely find it necessary to modify these rules to factor in facility limitations and the institution’s participant population.

Notes & Variations

Depending on the participant group, equipment selection an important safety consideration. Dodgeball can be played with inflated rubber balls or foam balls. The number of balls utilized in a single game can vary based on the number of team members per team.

Court sizes may vary based on the participant type with smaller courts utilized for youth divisions or women’s leagues.

A set number of games may be played in a dodgeball match, individual games may or may not be timed, or the entire match may be timed with an unlimited number of games played within the designated time period.

Other unique variations include permitting half-court shots into a basketball hoop to regenerate an entire team (when played on a basketball court) and the use of bowling pins near the end line in which the opposing team can knock over to win the game (in addition to eliminating players).

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NIRSA Intramural Sports Community of Practice