What is dodgeball?

Dodgeball is a ball sport in which players of two teams try to throw balls at each other while avoiding being hit themselves. The game is often recognised from back in primary school.

Dodgeball Opening Rush


The sport is played internationally with rules that are very different from the game played by children in the Netherlands and Belgium. The rules, according to the European Dodgeball Federation in 2021, can be summarised as follows:

  • A match lasts twice 15 minutes, with a 5-minute break in between.
  • It is played with 2 teams of 6 people each playing on the pitch. In addition, each team has 2 retrievers. They stay off the pitch and are allowed to give the balls coming off the pitch to their teammates on the pitch in a regulation manner.
  • The game is played with 5 balls; they are placed on the centre line at the beginning of the game.
  • After the start sign, both teams may run forward from the back line of the field to take the balls from the centre line (the opening rush). They must first bring these balls behind their own line of attack before it may be thrown to an opposing player.
  • A player is deemed out if:
    • you are directly hit by a ball thrown by an opponent and that ball is then not caught before it hits the ground,
    • you step outside the allowed area,
    • a ball that you have thrown is caught by the opposing team (at which time one of their number may also return to the field).
  • If you are out you no longer play. A player returns to play when a teammate catches a ball from the opposing team.
  • A set is over when everyone on a team has played out or when 3 minutes have passed. In the latter case, the team with the greatest number of players remaining wins the set. If both teams have the same number of players remaining, the set ends in a tie.
  • For each set won, the winning team gets 2 points. In case of a tie, each team gets 1 point. Whoever has the most points at the end of the match wins.

The full rules can be found on the website of the European Dodgeball Federation.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dodgeball", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


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