League Rules

Montreal Dodgeball League Rules – 


1. Equipment/Set-Up:  Teams are required to bring 2 dodgeballs to every game.  Dodgeballs will be handed to each team captain at the first game of the season.  Teams are responsible for keeping track of the score.  Please designate one person/team to keep score.  


2. Game Time/Default:  Please arrive 15 minutes early to ensure that your match starts on time. Matches are 55 minutes in length. Please agree on one person to act as a timekeeper. A default will occur if any team cannot field a squad by 10 minutes after the official start time. A team can play with a minimum of 4 people, as long as 2 of the players are females and 2 are males.  Captains may agree to waive the rules regarding minimum people but this should be decided before the match starts.  IF IT IS AGREED THAT THE MATCH COUNTS, IT COUNTS! The 6 players that start each game are the ONLY players that can play during that particular game (i.e. for that point).  Substitute players must wait until the next game before playing.  Teams can alter their roster for each game, as long as the gender requirements are met.  EXCEPTION: Injured players can be substituted midway during a game if necessary (males for male, female for female only). 

 3. Starting the Game and General Rules: 

 i. Each game will begin with 6 players on each team with a minimum of 2 players of each gender (either 4 males & 2 females, 3 males & 3 females, or 4 females & 2 males). 

 ii. 4 dodgeballs will be used for each game. 

 iii. To start the game, each team stands at their respective back wall with two dodgeballs each. The teams will start each game by shouting, "3, 2, 1, Dodgeball". 

 iv. Once play has started, players must remain on their own half-side of the gym. 

 v. Players can lean over the half line to retrieve a ball, but the player cannot touch the middle line or any part of their opponents’ side of the court. If any part of a player touches the line or opponents’ side, that person is out. If a ball is thrown by a player who steps on/over the line, the ball is considered dead and cannot eliminate an opponent. Players cannot jump from their own half-side and land on their opponents’ side in the attempt of getting an opponent out. Only the thrower is out in this scenario. 

 vi. Teammates can pass other teammates a ball without it counting if dropped. 

 vii. Players cannot remain static in areas that conceal or partially conceal their body. e.g. door entrance ways, climbers, etc. Also players cannot lie down, kneel or crouch BEFORE a ball is thrown. Players can dive out of the way of thrown balls and land on the floor (or kneel down), but they must get back up right away. This is to avoid as many head shots as possible. 

 viii. A ball is considered "dead" as soon as it hits the floor, walls, ceiling or any other obstacles around the court (e.g. basketball hoops, etc). If a ball is lying on the floor 

or is in mid-air and another ball hits into that ball and either of the two balls then hit a player, that player is not out as both balls are considered dead. A player is not eliminated after being hit by a dead ball. All other balls are considered "live". 

 ix. Eliminated/Substitute players should sit at their designated bench area, and should do their best to not interfere with play. You are considered a live player as soon as the ball is caught. 

 x. If you have been hit with a ball and are out, it's recommended that you raise your hand while you are exiting the floor. That way your opponents will not intentionally strike you again. 

 xi. Teams will switch sides of the court at halftime. 

 xii. Players cannot kick the ball to the opponents’ side of the court. 

 xiii. Do not squeeze the dodgeballs before throwing them. This causes the skin/cover of the dodgeballs to become loose and requires constant replacement. There are many legal ways to throw a dodgeball in this league, but squeezing the ball beforehand is not one of them. 

4. Throwing the Balls and Eliminating Players: 

 i. To eliminate an opposing player, a "live" ball must hit the player from the SHOULDERS downwards. An opponent that is hit in the head is NOT eliminated - but the thrower of the head ball IS eliminated, provided that the thrower has repeated the offence. If a ball first hits a player in the legs or arms, and then bounces up and hits their head, the player is OUT - the ball's first point of contact is what matters. Players cannot purposely use their head to block a ball.  

 ii. It is the responsibility of all players to make a fair and honest call as to whether or not they were hit. If a player/team accuses another player of being out, it is up to the player in question to decide whether they were hit or not. Please remember, "it's just dodgeball" and sportsmanship is considered integral to the game. Ultracompetitive players are not welcome. Clothing is considered part of your body if hit by a ball. If in doubt, players should call themselves out (AKA “If in doubt, you are out”). 

 iii. You can also play with optional head shot rules which must be agreed upon before the game starts by both team captains, 1): If a player ducks (or jumps) and the player is hit in the head with a dodgeball, neither the thrower nor the player hit are out. 2) If a player ducks (or jumps) and the player is hit in the head with a dodgeball, the player that is hit is out. Please note that trying to get hit in the head should not be used as a strategy to get an opponent out at any time. 

 iv. If a "live" ball hits a player then rebounds and hits another player on the court (who unsuccessfully catches it), both players are out. This must happen as a continuous action without touching the ground. 

 v. Any ball that hits an OUT player as they are heading off the court is a dead ball and is treated in the same manner as if the ball hit the wall, floor, or ceiling.  

 vi. If a player catches a "live" ball that is thrown at him/her, the thrower is OUT. IN ADDITION, the team that caught the ball can return a previously eliminated player to the court. The player that returns to the game MUST be the first player who was ruled “out” during that particular game (and the order of returning players should be maintained...i.e. the third player to be eliminated will be the third player to return to the court). Reminder: substitute players must wait until the next game. 

 vii. Teammates can pass other teammates a ball without it counting if dropped. The rule on a player returning to play on a "live" ball that is caught as outlined above does not apply to catches between teammates. 

 viii. Players can be in possession of only ONE ball while in the act of throwing and blocking. If a player catches a ball while already in possession of another ball, then the thrower is out but the catcher must immediately drop the second ball since throwing or blocking while holding two balls is not permitted. The team whose player caught the second ball is allowed to bring a player back onto the court. If the first ball falls while the catcher is to trying to catch the second ball, the catcher is out. The catcher is not out in this scenario if the catcher actively drops the first ball in order to catch the second ball. Should a player have two balls in his/her possession and a third ball is thrown and either i) deflects off either of the two held balls or ii) is actively blocked by either of the two held balls, the player in possession of the two balls is out. Note that should the third ball hit the player with two balls and then, prior to hitting the wall or floor, deflect and hit that player’s teammate, the teammate is also out (even if the teammate successfully catches it). This rule is in effect to penalize any player holding two balls after catching them and not immediately dropping one.  

 ix. Players should not be in possession of a ball longer than 10 seconds (good sportsmanship). This rules applies as soon as a player picks up a ball (excluding stopping the ball with foot or other part of body), therefore if they put it back down, bounce it etc., they still need to throw it within 10 seconds.  

 x. Teams should not be "stockpiling" the balls on their own side of the court. The following rules are effected to speed up the pace of play. If all four (4) balls are on one side of the court, the players on that side need to throw at least three (3) balls before the opposing team is required to return throw. If three (3) balls are on one side of the court, the players on that side need to throw at least two (2) balls before the opposing team is required to return throw. If both sides of the court have two (2) balls, the team who was last thrown AT must be the first team to throw the next ball. In such a scenario, that team must throw at least one (1) ball. Reminder – No kicking of balls to the opponents’ side of the court will be tolerated; a ball must be thrown. 

xi. A player that is holding a ball can use it to deflect/block another ball that is thrown at them by an opponent. However, if the ball being held is dropped/knocked out due to the thrown ball, the person who dropped the ball is OUT. A deflected ball is still considered "live" until it hits the ground. i.e. if it hits another player before hitting the ground, the hit player is out. Should a player deflect an incoming ball with a ball already in hand, and the deflected ball then hits the same player on his/her body, that player is eliminated. 

xii. A live ball that rebounds off of a player (ie. from an unsuccessful catch, hits off their body, is deflected by another ball, etc.) may be caught by any other in-bounds player prior to the ball becoming dead (hitting ground or wall). As usual, the thrower is OUT, and the catching team can retrieve a player. Also, the first player the ball hits, is NOT out. 

xiii. If Ball A bounces off of a player and before that same player can complete the catch of Ball A, the player is hit by Ball B, the player is out, and the catch is void. If Ball A and Ball B hit a player at the same time or within a split-second of each other, and the player is able to catch Ball B, the thrower of Ball B is out, the catcher is out (because he was hit with Ball A), and a previously eliminated player from the catcher’s team returns to the court (abiding by the same order as they were eliminated). However, if in the same scenario, there is a clear passage of time and break from when Ball A and Ball B hit the player, only Ball A will count and the would-be catcher will be eliminated. The catch of Ball B is not considered valid. The rule listed in 4(ii) above, where it is up to the player being thrown at to decide whether they were hit or not, applies to the scenario where Ball A and Ball B either arrive at the same time or where there is a clear passage in time. The player being thrown at has the responsibility to make a fair and honest call. 

xiv. If a player already has a ball in hand, and then intentionally drops that ball, and catches a new ball, the thrower is out, and player is safe and catching team can retrieve a player. 

xv. If a thrown ball hits an opponent and comes back across the centre line, the ball is considered dead and only the person who was first hit is out. 

xvi. In the situation where only 2 players remain on the court (1 from each team), the timekeeper should announce that the two players have "60 seconds to eliminate each other”. After the 60 seconds has expired, and if the game has not yet ended, each team will return one player to the court. (Again, each team must abide by their order of returning players). 

 5. Scoring/Winning: Matches will consist of as many games that can be played in the 55-minute time period.  Each game won will count for one point. The winner of the match is the team who has won the majority of games within that 55 minute time slot. Each game is won by the team who eliminates all opposing players. If a game is still being played when time expires, the team with the most live players on the court at the time will win the game.  Ties are allowed during the regular season. If a match is tied at the end of a playoff game, a 3-minute overtime session will break the tie (the current game should be continued for 3 minutes).  

 6. Playoffs: In order for a player to be eligible to play in the playoffs, that player must have played in a minimum of seven (7) of his/her team’s regular season games. 

7. Rough Play: ANY ROUGH OR PHYSICAL PLAY WILL RESULT IN IMMEDIATE EXPULSION FROM FURTHER LEAGUE PLAY AND MAY RESULT IN LIFETIME LEAGUE EXPULSION, AS THE ADMINISTRATION SEES FIT.  It is recognized that incidental contact between players might occur – however, all players should go out of their way to avoid creating an unsafe play. This rule supersedes all others. If a player takes issue with the method or play of the game, he should voice his/her concern to his/her team’s captain who will then speak to the opposing team’s captain to sort the affair out. By no means should a player cross the centre line to confront an opposing player. Please remember, dodgeball is meant as a co-ed recreational sport, and sportsmanship is considered integral to the game.