Dodgeball Rules

Any intramural policies not mentioned here may be found in the Intramural Handbook. By participating in Intramural Sports, the participant agrees to abide by all Intramural rules and policies. 

You may suffer physical and/or mental injury from participating in Intramural Sports. There are certain risks of injury that are inherent to participation in sports and recreational activities. These types of injuries may be minor or serious and may result from the actions or inactions of themselves or others. By choosing to participate in Intramural Sports, you do so at your own risk. It is understood that most activities require a certain level of fitness and health, and that each person has a different capacity for participating in these activities. Participants of Intramural Sports are highly encouraged to have a physical examination and procure health insurance prior to play. UC Campus Recreation does not provide health insurance.

Intramural Supervisors undergo concussion recognition training. In the instance a participant is exhibiting any signs or symptoms of a concussion as a result of a head injury sustained during intramural play, he or she will be removed from the activity. This individual must provide a physician’s note clearing the individual to play by a specific date. This note may be e-mailed to or faxed to 513-556-0601.

In order to qualify for playoffs, teams must obtain a 3.0 or higher sportsmanship average during the regular season.

Sportmanship Rating
Score Player & Team Behavior   Penalty
4.0 Always respectful to officials and opposing team.
No complaining or arguing.
No unsportsmanlike penalties.
3.0 Usually respectful to officials and opposing team.
Minimal arguing or complaining about officials.
Maximum one (1) unsportsmanlike penalty.
2.0 Moderately disrespectful to officials and/or opposing team.
Moderate arguing or complaints about officials.
Multiple unsportsmanlike penalties OR Maximum one (1) ejected player
1.0 Frequently disrespectful to officials and/or opposing team.
Frequent arguing or complaints about officials.
Any contact or provocation of officials.
Multiple ejected players or one (1) player involved in a fight.
0.0 Player(s) out of control.
Excessively disrespectful to officials and/or opposing team.
Excessive arguing or complaints about officials.*
Multiple players involved in a fight. Destruction or abuse of property.

* A team that receives a "0" rating will be suspended from competition until its captain meets with the Assistant Director or Coordinator of Intramural Sports. The team may be removed from competition.


To be eligible for intramural sports, each player must possess an active membership to the University of Cincinnati Campus Recreation Center AND be a current University of Cincinnati student (enrolled in at least one (1) credit hour), faculty, or staff member.


Participants may participate on one (1) coed and one (1) non-coed team per sport, per season. Substituting for another team in the same league is prohibited.

3.3 Varsity and Club Sport Rules


Competitive club sport players and former varsity athletes may not participate on an intramural B (recreational) league team in the same or a similar sport as their club/varsity sport.


For sports with five (5) or more players on the playing field at one time, a team is limited to two (2) competitive club sport participants (in the same or similar sport) on its’ roster.


For sports with four (4) or less players on the playing field at one time, a team is limited to one (1) competitive club sport participant (in the same or similar sport) on its’ roster.


Current varsity athletes are not allowed to play on an intramural team of the same or a similar sport as their varsity sport.


Former varsity athletes must sit out 365 days from last appearing on a varsity roster to be eligible to play in the same or similar sport as their varsity sport. Teams are allowed one (1) former varsity athlete (in the same or similar sport) per roster.


Jewelry is prohibited across all intramural sports. This includes, but is not limited to, piercings, necklaces, rings, wrist fitness trackers, watches, and bracelets.


Medical jewelry is allowed but must be taped down.


Billed hats are prohibited in all sports except softball.


Athletic clothing and footwear is required. Prohibited items include, but is not limited to: jeans, cargo pants/shorts, skirts, loafers, open-toed shoes, and boots. Indoor sports require non-marking footwear. For outdoor field sports, detachable or metal cleats are prohibited.


Any casts, braces, or other protective equipment must be padded and secure.


A team may have up to 20 players on its’ roster.


A team may play with up to six (6) players on the court. The minimum number of players required on the court is four (4).


Coed teams playing with four (4) or six (6) players on the court must have equal amounts of each gender on the court. Coed teams playing with five (5) players on the court may have two (2) of one gender and three (3) of the other gender on the court.


The boundaries of the court are determined by the boundaries of the volleyball court. All active players must stay within these lines, unless they are retrieving a dodgeball that has exited the playing area.


Players retrieving balls outside the playing area must exit and enter through the end (back) line.


Players may reach across a side-line to retrieve a ball, provided an entire foot does not cross the side-line.


Eliminated or bench players may help retrieve dodgeballs for their team.


These players may not enter the field of play or interfere with active play (see section 14).


A team is only entitled to the out-of-bounds dodgeballs on its’ respectiveside. The center line will extend out-of-bounds for this purpose.


The center line will be determined by the center line of the basketball court. Players may not break the plane of this line with an entire foot.


CLARIFICATION -If half of a player’s footcrosses the line, the player is considered in bounds. If the full foot crosses, the player is considered out-of-bounds.


EXCEPTION –A player may cross this line at the start of the match, as long as he or she does not cross in attempt to eliminate another player, and his or her momentum is all that carries the player across the line.


There are two (2) attack lines. One (1) on each side of the court, represented by the 10-foot line of the volleyball court.


Eliminated players must remain out of bounds on the scoreboard side of the court behind their own attack line, unless retrieving an out-of-bounds dodgeball.


A match consists of the best four(4) out of seven(7) games.


Each game will have a three(3) minute time limit.


Teams will switch sides after each game.


All seven (7) games will be played regardless of the outcome of each game.


A team down by four(4) games at any time may elect to concede remaining games.


There are no timeouts. Play may be stopped by anofficial at his or her discretion.


A coin toss in the initial captain’s meeting will determine initial side.


A forfeit is declared if a team does not have four (4) eligible players at 10 minutes after the scheduled game time.


Late penalties –Teams that show up late will incur the following penalties:


One (1) to five (5) minutes late –Late team may only start first game with three (3) players.


Six (6) to nine (9) minutes late –Late team concedes first game.


Substitutions may only occur during dead balls.


Teams may change lineups between games.


The object of the game is to eliminate all opposing players. The first team to legally eliminate all opposing players wins the game.


If time expires, the team with the most players remaining wins the game.


Sudden Death Overtime: If there are an equal number of players on each team after time expires, an untimedovertime period will be played. Team captains can elect to add an equal number ofplayers to each team. If a number cannot be agreed on, overtime will begin with the players left on the court at the end of regulation.The team to first eliminate a player on the opposing team wins the game.


EXCEPTION –If both teams have one (1) player left, both teams must add at least one (1) player.


Each game begins with an opening rush.


Six (6) dodgeballs will be placed on the center line, three (3) to each side.


Each team may only initially retrieve the three (3) dodgeballs to the team’s right. This is to ensure that players do not collide head-on. After the opening rush, any remaining dodgeballs may be retrieved by either team.


Prior to the opening rush, all players must have both feet behind the end lines.


Any dodgeballs that are dropped and/or roll to the opposing team's court are lost.


A false start will be declared if players (1) start prior to the whistle or (2) are not completely behind the end line. Eachfalse start causes the offending team to lose one (1) dodgeball for the opening rush. Repeated violations will result in multiplelosses.


During the opening rush, all dodgeballs must be moved behind the attack line before being thrown across the center line.


Following the opening rush, players may attack from anywhere in-bounds on their half of the court.


Alive ball is a ball that is thrown; it is still live if it hits an active player or a held dodgeball. The ball is dead once it hits an object other than an active player/held dodgeball or is caught.


Players may not kick, punt, or spike the ball. This will result in an unsportsmanlike yellow card.


A player will be eliminated if:


He/She is hit at the shoulder level or below by a live ball.


He/She has his/her live ball caught by an opposing player in bounds.

CLARIFICATION –If a player is hit or deflects a dodgeball and a teammate catches it, only the thrower is out.


He/She hits an opposing player above the shoulders with a live ball.

EXCEPTION - If a player crouches down/ducks and his/her head is below where his/her shoulders normally would be, and is hit above the shoulders, the dodging player will be considered out.

CLARIFICATION – If a player deflects a live dodgeball with a held ball, and the live dodgeball hits a teammate above shoulder level, the teammate is eliminated.


He/She crosses the side-line with an entire foot to retrieve a dodgeball.


He/she crosses a boundary line with an entire foot while not retrieving a dodgeball.


He/she completely crosses the center line with an entire foot.


A player may use a dodgeball to block incoming throws.

However, if he or she drops the dodgeball as a result of blocking a ball, he or she will be out.

Players may intentionally drop a held ball in order to catch a live ball.


If a player catches a ball, a team member from his or her own team may come back.

The order in which the players come back into the game will be the order in which they were eliminated. For example, the first person out must be the first person back in.

Once players are eliminated, they must immediately drop all balls andexit the court. Players should line up in the order they were eliminated in case they are reinstated by a catch on their side.


Either team may not possess all dodgeballs on its side for five (5) seconds or longer.


Before five (5) seconds are up, the possessing team must make a play across the opponent’s attack line, including rolling, throwing, or attacking.


First violation: Play is stopped, and all remaining players will line up for an opening rush.


Second violation: Play is stopped. One (1) player from the trailing team will be awarded a free shot. Following the free shot, all remaining players will line up for an opening rush.

During a free shot, one player from the non-offending team will be awarded an unobstructed shot against the offending team’s remaining players.

One dodgeball will be placed on the center line.

An official will blow his or her whistle once both parties are ready. The thrower will have five (5) seconds to throw the ball.

Defending players may not hold a dodgeball or catch the throw. Any contact with the live, thrown dodgeball will eliminate the player.

Players must remain in bounds during and after the throw.

Afterthe free shot, remaining players will line up for an opening rush.


Third and all subsequent violations: Play is stopped, and one (1) player will be eliminated from the offending team. This will occur alphabetically.


Stalling rules will apply for all game and time periods.


Interference occurs when an inactive player intentionally interferes with live play. This includes an eliminated player intentionally blocking balls while on his or her way off the court.


On an interference call, an offending team’s player closest to the infraction will be eliminated.


Any balls in flight will be considered dead once the whistle/timer blows. If a player is hit while the whistle is blowing, he or she will be considered out.


If a player makes a basket with a live ball during regulation, all eliminated players from his or her team may re-enter the game immediately.