The word dodgeball may bring back fond memories of elementary gym class. Old-fashioned dodgeball included running, dodging, hitting moving targets and high-fives with the team. Or perhaps it has the opposite effect, conjuring feelings of doubt, shame, nervousness and actual pain. Today, dodgeball is banned from many schools or new rules are enforced to ensure safety and inclusion for all students. Old-fashioned dodgeball rules are simple and straightforward, ensuring a positive experience for all willing participants.
Mark the playing area with cones on each corner, paint if playing on an outdoor field or by using existing court lines whenever possible. An official-sized playing court is 30-by-30 feet, with a 4-by-30 foot neutral zone in the center of the court and an attack line 10 feet from the center on each side. Adjust the court to the size available if necessary.
Place four cones at each corner of the neutral zone or use paint of a different color to mark the area.
Indicate the attack line on each side with cones or paint.
Place balls in the neutral zone on each side to set up the game. Divide balls evenly, using two 8 1/2-inch balls and one 5-inch ball on each side. Hard, rubber balls were traditionally used, while today many teams play with rubber-coated foam balls.
Assemble teams with 6 players per team and up to 4 substitute players. In the event of an injury, substitutions may be made. All other substitutions must be made prior to the start of the game.
Begin play with the "Rush." Teams may send as many players as desired to rush up to the neutral zone to retrieve as many balls as desired. Players may not slide or dive into the neutral zone, grab or pull at an opposing player or cross over the neutral zone.
Put balls into play after rushing by carrying the ball across the attack line, passing the ball to another player who is across the attack line or by bouncing the ball off a back wall and into the playing area. A ball retrieved from the neutral zone must be returned behind the attack line before being put into play.
Attempt to get as many opposing players "out" as possible by throwing balls and hitting opponents below the waist. A player is out when an opponent catches a ball that was thrown at them or when a ball touches a player by bouncing off another player or a ball.
Block oncoming balls with another ball by retaining control over the held ball and allowing the oncoming ball to bounce off it. Any player hit by the rebounding ball is out.
End the game when all players from one side have been eliminated or a predetermined amount of time has passed. The team with the most players left is the winning team. In addition, teams can keep score by awarding a point to the team with the most players left at the end of the game.
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