Dodgeball Rules Summary 
Last Updated for Summer 2015

The Complete FSU IM Dodgeball Rulebook is Available Online here
No Tobacco and No Alcohol are permitted in Tully Gym. Violators will be ejected. No Food and No Flavored Drinks are allowed on the Gym Floor. Only Bottled Water is permitted.


Players MUST be valid, fee-paying FSU students, faculty or full-time staff. FAMU and regular TCC students are NOT eligible for FSU IM sports and events. All players MUST show current FSUCard prior to each match. All players & spectators must sign a liability waiver before entering the gym.

Games are 6-on-6. Roster size is unlimited, but only six (6) will be active players on the court at a time. Co-rec teams must start each game with a minimum of two (2) players of each gender on the court. At no time in a co-rec game may more than three (3) players of each gender be active participants on the court for each team. All teams must have at least four (4) players to start a match and continue playing a match in the event of injury, disqualification, or ejection. Having only three (3) players at game time will result in a default; having only two (2) or less will result in a forfeit.

Substitutes may elect to be active or inactive or a game. Active substitutes shall line up along the sideline at the team's return cone. They will be permitted to enter the game on a catch-and-return and participate in ball retrieval. Inactive substitutes shall remain away from the return area, will not be permitted to join the catch-and-return line for that game, and may not participate in ball retrieval.


Appropriate gym footwear must be worn. Cleats, boots, sandals, and flip-flops are not permitted. Hats and any other head wear that has a hard bill or creates a knot-like protrusion are not permitted.

Jewelry is NOT allowed to be worn by any participant during IM dodgeball. This jewelry consists of any visible rings (including wedding rings), watches, necklaces, earrings, studs, bracelets and any other such similar jewelry. Taping of jewelry is not permitted. Only medical alert bracelets are permitted. Any player in the game found to be wearing prohibited equipment (jewelry, etc) will ruled out for the game and may not reenter via a catch-and-return in the current game or for any subsequent game until the jewelry is removed.

Dodgeballs will be provided by the Intramural Sports staff at the game site. Each court will have its own color of dodgeballs. Only the designated color of dodgeball may be used on that court in the event of dodgeballs ending up on other courts.

For all leagues, the playing area shall be the normal basketball court (black lines in Tully Gym). Court lines are out-of-play. Out-ofplay areas include anything outside the basketball court including basketball goals, supports, walls, curtains, and the ceiling. Spectators and substitutes are out-of-play. Dodgeballs that hit out-of-play areas are immediately dead.

In all leagues, each team is designated one half of the court.

In men's and women's play, each team’s area extends into the opponent’s half of the court up to the 3-meter line of the volleyball court. This will create an overlapping zone between the 3-meter volleyball lines in which participants from both teams may be legally positioned. Therefore, within the court lines, active players from each team may advance across the midcourt line and up to the 3-meter volleyball line on their opponent’s end of the court.

In co-rec play, all players must remain on their side of the mid-court line throughout the match. There is no overlapping zone.

Outside the court in all leagues, players must remain on their side of the mid-court line (extended) when retrieving balls. Any substitutes and spectators must remain along the designated sideline and outside the designated court lines at all times. Substitutes and inactive team members may not cross the mid-court line anywhere on the court at anytime.


Each match will consist of as many games as can be played within the 30-minute time limit. Time will be kept for all matches on the overhead scoreboard. Teams earn 1 point for each game won. If a game is in progress when the time limit is reached, the team with more players & (co-rec) pins on the court will earn the point. If tied (same number of players & (co-rec) pins), no point is scored.

In the event that the score is tied at the end of regulation, a single 6-on-6 sudden-victory overtime showdown will be played. In the overtime showdown, the team which first puts out an opponent or (co-rec) knocks down a single pin will be declared the winner. (Co-rec) If a team knocks over its own pin, they will immediately lose the contest.


The object of the game is to put out all members of the opposing team OR (co-rec) knock down all of the opposing team's pins.

To start a game, three (3) dodgeballs are placed on the free throw line on each end of the court. (Co-rec) Three (3) pins are placed on each end of the court in the following locations: one on each free throw lane block and one on the end line of the volleyball court (grey line in middle of basketball free throw lane). The six (6) active players for each team will start outside of the basketball court with a foot on the end line. At the signal, players shall retrieve the three (3) balls on their side of the court. Once the ball is picked up, it may be thrown immediately or carried forward before being thrown.

A player is out when...

(1) a player is hit anywhere (including clothing) by a dodgeball that is thrown by an active opposing player and that has not touched the floor or an out-of-play area / structure, unless the player is out-of-bounds actively retrieving a ball.
(2) a player throws a ball that is legally caught by an active member of the opposing team (even after a deflection).
(3) a player commits an illegal throw.
(4) a player jumps or moves out of bounds (outside the basketball court boundary lines) while attempting to dodge a ball.
(5) a player touches any part of the opposing team's exclusive area of the court (outside overlapping area) during ball retrieval.

A ball thrown by an active player remains live and able to put out an opposing player even if the thrower is put out while the ball is in the air.

When a player intentionally targets and hits an opponent in the head with a dodgeball at short range, the game referee shall call a technical foul on the thrower and rule the thrower out. The player hit shall be permitted to remain in the game or be replaced by a substitute immediately. Unsportsmanlike conduct may result in player ejection. In nonintentional and long range situations, players hit in the head by a dodgeball are out.

When a player is put out, he/she shall move to a position along the sideline of his/her team’s side of the court. No out-of-play players may take a position along the end line. If in possession of a dodgeball, he/she may toss or roll it to a teammate or place it on the court.


Players may not excessively squeeze or crush a dodgeball in an attempt to make the dodgeball more compact for throwing. In such cases, the player will be ruled out. Repeated violations will result in ejection (damaging FSU IM Sports equipment).

An illegal throw occurs when:
(1) the thrower throws a ball which intentionally hits an opponent in the head (before any deflections) as described above.
(2) the thrower steps on or over an out-of-bounds line or the designated restraining line (3-meter line in men’s and women’s play, mid-court line in co-rec play) before, during, or after a throw.
(3) the thrower kicks, strikes, or spikes a dodgeball toward an opponent.

For each illegal throw, the thrower is out. The throw cannot put out an opponent, but can be caught for a catch-and-return.

Balls may not be placed on the opponent’s side of the court within the placing team’s reach. The placer is out. Balls may not be heaved outside of the court area (including onto the back bleachers). The heaver is out. Balls rolled or tossed onto the opponent’s side of the court without the intent of putting a player out must be rolled or tossed within the opponent’s 3-point arc. Balls rolled or tossed that do not go through this area and go out-of-bounds in the corner or out a sideline are illegal throws. The thrower / tosser / roller is out.


A deflection occurs when a thrown ball hits off an opposing player or airborne ball and remains in the air. Players who deflect a ball or are hit with a deflected ball are out, unless saved by a legal catch of the deflected ball. Players may NOT use a dodgeball to deflect a thrown ball (the deflector is out, unless saved by a legal catch).

All dodgeballs are live and are able to put people out until they touch the ground or any other object that is out of play and become dead. A thrown dodgeball may deflect off of multiple players, effectively putting out multiple opponents with a single throw.


A thrown dodgeball that is legally caught by a member of the opposing team before it has struck an out-of-play area or the floor will result in the thrower being declared out AND the return of the first teammate in the catch-and-return line for the team, if that team has less than six (6) active players on the court. There are no stored catch-and-return credits.

A legal catch by an active, in-play player occurs when the catcher (1) begins the catching motion inbounds, (2) catches the ball, and (3) remains inbounds following the catch and establishes a stationary position inbounds while still in possession of the ball. If the catch is completed out-of-bounds, the catcher is out for being out-of-bounds and cannot return on the catch-and-return rule for this illegal catch; the thrower is safe.

For a legal catch by an active, in-play player, (1) the thrower is out, (2) the catcher is safe, and (3) the first person in the catch-andreturn order shall return to the court at their first opportunity (in co-rec, the person to return must be of the underrepresented gender). A player returning to the court can be put out once both feet have been established inbounds.

Any airborne ball that has deflected off of a player may be legally caught by that player or by a teammate(s). This is a “catch save.” The catcher is safe and any players hit prior to the catch are also safe (save your teammate(s)). The thrower is out and catch-andreturn applies for the catching team.

A ball that deflects off of another airborne ball can be caught to put out the thrower. Catch-and-return applies in this case.


When obviously hit by a legally thrown dodgeball or his/her thrown ball is obviously legally caught by another player, the player that is out shall move to the sideline without waiting for a ruling from the referee. Should the game referee be required to call a player out on an obvious put out, that player shall called for a technical foul and not be permitted to participate in the team’s next game of the match.

If a player is called for a technical foul, he/she is considered out for the current game and may not participate in any catch-andreturn opportunities AND the player may not participate in the next game AND the team will compete with one less player as a maximum throughout that game (usually 5-on-6).

For a second violation, the player shall be disqualified from all further participation in the match AND the team will compete with one less player a maximum in its next game in the match before returning to full strength, if a substitute is available.

This rule does not apply to non-obvious put outs or other strange plays at the discretion of the referee.


When there are no inactive players or available active substitutes (all 6 starters are still in-play with no substitutes available), active players on the court will be permitted to leave the court without penalty to retrieve dodgeballs. Players must return to the court immediately after retrieving a dodgeball.

When there is at least one (1) inactive player (eliminated player) or at least one (1) active substitute, active players are PROHIBITED from leaving the court to retrieve dodgeballs. Inactive players and active substitutes will serve as ball retrievers at all times.

Active players may not go across the restraining line (3-meter line in men’s and women’s and mid-court line in co-rec) for any reason. A player may reach across the designated restraining line and grasp a ball, but may not touch the opposing team's exclusive area of the court with any part of their body during retrieval. Outside of the court, inactive players and active substitutes may not go across the mid-court line (and the mid-court line extended out from the court) at any time.

Under no circumstances may a spectator or inactive substitute pick up a dodgeball or otherwise assist his/her team or interfere with the opponent. Penalties include forfeiture of the retrieved ball to the opponent or ejection from the contest.


A pin is considered down when...
(1) It is knocked over from the vertical position to laying on the floor.
(2) It is contacted in such a way that it remains vertical, but is positioned completely outside of the court lines.

Pins may be knocked over by any method including rolling a dodgeball or otherwise being struck by a grounded dodgeball.

Upright pins may not be moved or repositioned by any player once a game has begun. Violations result in the pin being removed from play. Once a pin is considered down, a team may clear it from the playing area. A team which accidentally or intentionally knocks over one of its own pins shall have that pin removed from play.


Teams and players must be actively involved and engaged in the game, either by attempting to put out other players or retrieving balls. Regardless of the number of balls in team possession, inactivity including excessive rolling or heaving of balls without the intent to put out an opponent is considered unsportsmanlike conduct and may result in the stoppage of play by a site supervisor.

The game referee shall issue a warning to a team that is engaged in stalling. If the court monitor determines that stalling continues after the warning, the game referee will end the game and award the point to the opposing team. A new game will follow, time permitting. If a second game is ended due to stalling by the same team, that team will forfeit the overall match. If a double stall (each team) is called, the game will be ended with no points scored. If a double stall is called on 2 occasions during a match, the match may be ended as a double forfeit for the participating teams failing to play within the spirit of the rules.


Sportsmanship is an important part of intramural sports. Blatant violations of the established rules, stalling the game action, and excessive arguing can result in participant or spectator ejections or team dismissal from league or tournament play. Teams are responsible for keeping their spectators under control. Misconduct of players or team spectators may result in ejection and/or forfeiture of the game.

Play Fair or Go Home Rule: Sportsmanship violations, cheating, and other blatant rule violations will not be tolerated. The Intramural Sports staff (site supervisors or administrative staff) reserves the right to stop any match at any time and disqualify one or both teams for such violations. An instant appeal to the disqualified team’s opponent will occur when a single team is disqualified. The match-site team captain of the opposing team may select to take the awarded victory or continue playing the match. When both teams face simultaneous disqualification, the IM staff will meet with both team captains to determine if the match shall continue. The match clock will continue to run during all disqualification proceedings and discussions. There is no appeal of a double disqualification or any further appeal of a single disqualification (no postgame protest or office appeal).