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Official NHSSC Dodgeball Rules

Updated: 01-19-2012

Section One - Team

  1. Team rosters must be composed of a minimum of 15 total players, with at least 5 of each gender.
  2. Teams may field up to ten players to start a game, and must field at least six.
  3. Teams starting with 10 players must start at least 3 players of each gender. Teams with only 2 players of given gender must start with no more than 9; with 1, no more than 8, and with 0, no more than 7.
  4. Substitutions may be made only in the event of injury. Males cannot be substituted for females.

Section Two - Field and Equipment

  1. The field shall be marked with a centerline, attack lines, a center hash mark, and sidelines. The attack lines will be parallel to and ten feet away from the centerline.
  2. Games will be played with eight six-inch rubber-coated balls.
  3. Players must wear shirts and shoes.
  4. To preserve our equipment, the act of squeezing the ball in order to alter the thrown or blocked ball is not allowed. Initial infractions will result in a warning being issued to the team.  Subsequent infractions will result in the player being called out.

Section Three - Game Play

  1. The object of the game is to eliminate all players on the opposing side by getting them out.
  2. An out is scored by:
    1. Hitting an opposing player with a live thrown ball.
      1. A live ball is one thrown by an opponent before contacting another surface.
    2. Catching a live ball thrown by an opponent.
    3. Causing an opponent to drop a ball by hitting it with another live ball.
    4. An opposing player stepping out of bounds.
      1. Players must not cross the centerline or sidelines
      2. Should a non-playing team member step within the field boundaries, a member of that team will be called out.
  3. Once a player is out he or she must raise his or her hand to signify such status and leave the field immediately, crossing the nearest sideline. The NHSSC expects all players to abide by this honor system.
  4. A player may block a thrown ball with a held ball, as long as the held ball is not dropped as a result.
  5. No new game will be initiated with less than two minutes left on the game clock.
  6. Should a ball be thrown out of bounds, any observer or player who is already out may toss, roll, or hand the ball to the player of his or her choice.

Section Four - Opening Rush

  1. Before each game begins, four balls will be placed on either side of the center hash mark. Players will then line up at the extreme end of the field, with their hand upon the wall.
  2. Following a signal from the NHSSC official, players may rush for the balls on the right side of the centerline hash mark. Should a player remove their hand from the wall prior to the signal the official will move one ball from one side of the hash mark to the other, to the detriment of the offending team.
  3. Balls must be brought behind the attack line before they can be thrown at the opposing team. If any balls should remain on the centerline after one team has carried their balls behind the attack line, those balls may be retrieved by either team.
  4. Once both teams have retreated behind the attack line, players may advance to the centerline before throwing a ball for the remainder of the game.

Section Five - Five Second Rule

  1. No player shall control a ball for more than five seconds. Should this occur, the player shall roll the ball across the centerline.
  2. No team shall control all eight balls for more than five seconds. Should this occur, the team holding the balls shall roll at least one ball across the centerline.

Section Six - Scoring

  1. The first team to eliminate all opposing players will be declared the winner.
  2. If at the end of the regulation period neither team has been eliminated the NHSSC official will count the remaining players and declare the team with the greater number remaining the winner.
  3. If both teams have the same number remaining at the end of regulation the game will go into a two-minute sudden death overtime period. The NHSSC official will announce the beginning of the overtime period without interrupting the ongoing game play. At that point the first team to eliminate a player from the opposing team will be declared the winner. If neither team should eliminate a player during the overtime period, the game will be declared a draw.
  4. The referee will keep tally of how many games are won by each team. At the end of a forty-minute match period, the team that has won the most games will be awarded two points. In the event of a tie, each team will be awarded one point.
    1. If there is a game underway at the conclusion of the forty-minute match period, it will be concluded.
    2. No game can begin if less than two minutes remaining in the match period.
  5. At the conclusion of the eight-week season, the teams with the most points will advance to the playoffs. The number of qualifying teams and organization of playoffs will be decided solely by the NHSSC.

Section Seven - Officials

  1. NHSSC Dodgeball is usually a player-refereed sport. Those players will be chosen by a NHSSC official. Occasionally, professional referees are used.
  2. The NHSSC-designated referee is the designated official for the game. The judgment of these officials shall be final and binding.
  3. Each player volunteering to referee shall receive $10 in league credit for each game, which can be applied to membership in future leagues.
  4. The NHSSC official shall be responsible for:
    1. Keeping time
    2. Recording each win and loss
    3. Enforcing the five second rule
    4. Enforcing the honor system
    5. Enforcing all penalties
  5. Any player who violates the following rules shall be immediately called out
    1. No player shall step over the field boundaries
    2. No player shall intentionally throw at the head of another. (This rule does not apply to the Semi-Competitive league)
    3. No player shall hit a player who is already out
    4. No player shall argue with NHSSC staff
    5. No player shall use abusive language
    6. No player shall engage in unsportsmanlike conduct
  6. Any player who violates these rules twice in the same match shall be ejected. Any player ejected from two matches shall be removed from the league. The NHSSC official on site may, at his or her discretion, recommend further disciplinary action up to and including a permanent ban from all NHSSC activities. Any player who engages in any sort of violence, including fighting, shall be banned permanently from the NHSSC.

Section Eight - Forfeits

  1. Teams that arrive at forfeit time with fewer than six players shall forfeit the game, and the opposing team shall take the win.
  2. If both teams arrive at forfeit time with fewer than six players, both shall forfeit the game, and both shall receive zero points in the league standings for that game.
  3. Any team forfeiting who does not provide at least 72 hours notice shall pay a $50 fine, which shall be used by the opposing team for food and beverages at the sponsor bar at the next game.

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