Dodgeball Rules – NJ

Markets: New Jersey

Format: Dodgeball


  • Format is 6-on-6.  Maximum 4 men, minimum 2 women on the court
  • 4 players required to start game (3 Men, 1 Woman) No warm-up time on the court.
  • Game times will be 7 minutes long
  • 6 dodge balls on the court (4 regulation size, 2 small size). Men may THROW regulation size balls ONLY.  Females may throw ANY ball.  Men may use female balls to block
  • A player is out when hit by a live ball, throws a ball which is caught, crosses the center line, goes out-of-bounds to avoid a throw, or throws a ball while out-of-bounds.
  • Players can re-enter the game (as discussed below) after a teammate catches a live ball thrown by the opponent
  • Head shots are illegal
  • Kicking the ball is illegal
  • After 6 and ½ minutes of one game, without a reset, players are allowed to throw from the ¾ line, instead of just the center line.  The referee will indicate when this lightening round begins
  • The team that has eliminated the opposition before the end of regulation wins.  If there are still players remaining at the end of regulation, the team with more players wins
  • If a game should end before 6 minutes is up, the referee will issue a Quick Restart (6 on 6).  There can be as many Quick Restarts as the 7 minute time limit permits.  See below for scoring detail

ZogSports Referees are only people allowed to make calls (players who are off the court/playing in a game are not allowed to make calls). ZogSports referees always have final say.

Inappropriate language/tone towards referees will not be permitted and can result in removal from game/league.


Please don’t forfeit.  Your teammates and opponents count on you to have a full team and competitive game. Each team must have at least 4 (four) players including 1 (one) woman to start a game.  Game time is forfeit time.  Due to the extremely tight schedule, we strongly suggest arriving at the gym 20-30 minutes before game time for stretching, changing, etc. since the games must start on time to complete the game.  No one may play without signing the waiver.  If it is found that you are playing with someone who has not signed a waiver, your team will receive a forfeit


  • Each game will continue until all opposing players have been eliminated, or 7 minutes (running time) has elapsed, whichever comes first
  • If a game should end before 6 minutes is up, the referee will issue a Quick Re-start
  • In a Quick Re-start, the teams will go back to the same sides and start a second game from the beginning.  There can be as many Quick Re-starts as possible time wise in each official game
  • The official game clock DOES NOT stop during a quick re-start in order to reset the balls
  • Games will not be restarted with less than 30 seconds left.
  • If the initial game in the 7 minute period should reach the 6 ½ minute mark, the referee will blow the whistle to start the lightning round.  Players will be allowed to attack up to the other team’s ¾ line for the final 30 seconds
  • There will only be a lightning round if there is 1 game being played in that 7 minute period


  • 6 players per team (at least 2 women at any one time)
  • Teams may play with no less than 4 players (3 men, 1 woman)
    • If a team has less than 4 players a forfeit will be awarded
    • Teams may play with 4 players in any ratio as long as at least one player is a woman
  • Teams must start at game time if the minimum number of players are present
  • Men may only throw the large balls but can use either for blocking.  Women can throw either ball
  • Rosters are not limited in size, but no additional players may be added to the roster after the 3rd week. If you are short-handed during the season you may pick up another ZogSports player(s) not on your roster for the game.  See below “Picking Up Players” for details.  Waivers must be signed by all players and handed in before the start of the first game.


Since occasionally, teams may be short players and ZogSports wants everyone to be able play every game possible, we permit teams to pick up non-roster, ZogSports players for your game.  Before you get too excited, there are penalties and limitations.

  • You should be able to field the minimum requirement of players with only roster players.  ZogSports will allow teams to pick-up a maximum of 2 players/game. If you pick up players, your roster can never exceed 6 people.
    • Picked up player(s) must start the game “out” and wait for re-entry (a catch) to join the game
  • If a roster player arrives at the court after the game has started, the non-roster player must be replaced by the roster player and the non-roster player may not re-enter the game
  • A forfeit will be given to any team who picks up players and does not inform the referee
  • Protests in regards to non-roster players must be made before leaving the court


  • 3 teams will play round-robin style for 1 hour
  • Each team will play the other two teams twice (i.e., each team will play a total of 4 games/night)


  • Total of 6 dodgeballs (4 ten inch (large size) and 2 eight and a half inch (small size) on the court
    • 2 large and 1 small ball will be placed on each team’s ¾ line
  • Players race from behind their own end line to their own ¾ line to pick up balls after the referee’s whistle is blown indicating the start of the game 
  • Players picking up balls may not throw them until the respective ball has first returned behind its own end line


Term Definitions

Live Ball – a throw by the offensive team that has not yet touched the ground, walls or ceiling.

Dead Ball – a thrown ball that touches the ground, ceiling, walls, or player who is already out. If a thrown ball bounces off ball laying on the ground it is a dead ball. 

The THROWER is OUT when:

  • A defender catches a live ball
    • One player also returns to the defender’s side
    • If the defender’s team already has 6 players on the court, no one can enter or re-enter.  A team can never have more than 6 people on the court at one time
  • Throwing a ball at the opposition while out of bounds regardless of if someone was hit or not
  • A male throws one of the small (female) balls
  • Stepping on or over the center line
  • Hit defender in the head

The DEFENDER is OUT when:

  • Hit by a live ball
    • Any player hit by a dead ball is still in
    • Clothing is considered part of the player’s body
    • Tagging a player does not make them out.  Ball must be thrown.
  • An attempt to catch a live ball is dropped
  • Ball blocked or deflected by a player using another ball, hits the defender
  • Ball ricochets off a teammate and hits into another defender while still live
    • In this case BOTH defenders are out
  • Ball is blocked into oneself and falls to the ground while still live
  • Blocking ball is dropped as a result of contact from a live ball – the player who drops the ball is out
    • A player may block a live ball and catch the live ball as long as they make a clear/intentional motion to throw away the ball currently in their possession
  • In the eyes of the referee a player did not make a clear/intentional motion to throw away the ball currently in their possession in order to catch an incoming ball as opposed to simply just dropping the ball
    • Players may catch an incoming ball while hanging onto the ball currently in their possession
  • Leaving the playing area to avoid being hit.  One foot must be in bounds as per “college” dodgeball rules
    • Players are allowed to go out-of-bounds to recover a dead ball or catch a live ball. If a player is hit with a live ball while out-of-bounds, they are out.  The player must immediately return to the court after retrieving/catching the ball or they can be called out at the discretion of the referee
  • Stepping on or over the center line

Players REMAIN IN when:

  • Hit by a ball thrown by the opposition when the thrower was out of bounds/stepped over center line
  • Hit in the head by a thrown ball
    • Head shots resulting clearly from the defender dodging or ducking result in the defender being out (i.e. you can’t get the other team out by “blocking” with your head)
  • Hit by a ball thrown by a player who stepped over the center line
    • It does not matter whether the player was hit or not before the thrower stepped over the line
  • Hit by a ball and it is then caught by another teammate before hitting the ground, wall, or ceiling


A player may re-enter the game if and only if that player’s team catches a live ball.  A player who is waiting to re-enter is now a substitute and must follow substitution rules.


  • Players who do not start must stand in line on the sideline
  • Players who were in the game and called out will proceed to the end of the line in the order in which they were eliminated.
  • Players will return to the game in the order in which they are standing in line.  End of the line begins next to the referee at mid-court.  Players enter near end line
  • No more than 2 males may enter the game consecutively UNLESS all available Females are currently on the court
  • There may NEVER be more than 6 total players and/or 4 Men on the court at one time
  • Substitutes are out of play and may not interfere with play on the court, such as:
    • Kicking or passing balls to a teammate
    • Preventing a ball from going to the other side of the court


Keeping Balls in Play

Holding all of the balls or stalling is not a legal strategy.  All balls must be in the playing rotation at all times.  If a referee deems a team to be stalling it’s at the referee’s discretion to make players throw the ball, limit the time teams have to hold the balls, or to call players out for not moving the balls.

  • Further, it is illegal for:
    • Either team to control all 6 balls for more than 5 seconds
    • Either team to control 3 or more regulation size balls for more than 10 seconds
    • Either team to control 2 female balls for more than 10 seconds

If either of the above occurs and the teams still possess too many balls after a time warning from the referee, the balls must be moved or a player risks being called out.

Head Shots

  • Repeated head shot throwers (more than 2 accidental in one match) will be called for dangerous play
    • Player will be ejected from current match.
    • Continuous dangerous play (3 accidental head shots in a night/1 blatant) will result in player being ejected for the night and possibly suspended for the next week.

Equipment Abuse

Individuals are not allowed to wear gloves or hard helmets while playing

Individuals are not allowed to squeeze/crush the ball in their hand(s) before they throw the ball. This technique has resulted in numerous balls being ruined.

  • Any out resulting from this technique will not be counted and the player will be warned by the referee
  • On the second offense the thrower will be automatically called out

On/Off-the-Court Involvement

Players who have been called out must proceed to the sideline.

Players who are off the court/playing in a game are not allowed to make calls (unless otherwise stipulated by the ZogSports referee) or distract the referee in anyway from the action on the court.  There will be no arguing with the referee over judgment calls. 


  • At the end of a game the referee will record the score based on how many players are left (i.e., if Team A had 3 players left and Team B has 0, the score is 3-0)
    • If a ball is caught to end a game (which normally results in the re-entry of a teammate), the winning team only receive credit for the players that were on the court at the time of the catch – the re-entry will not be counted in the scoring (i.e. if Team A had 4 players on the court and caught a ball thrown by Team B to end the game, Team A gets credit for having 4 players on the court.)
  • If a game should end before 7 minutes is up the referee will count how many players were left on the court for each side and issue a Quick Restart
    • The teams will go the same sides and start a second game from the beginning
    • There can be as many Quick Restarts as possible time wise in each official game
  • If more than one game is played in a 7-minute period, the winning team will be the team with the highest combined score (e.g., if Team A won the first game 3-0, but after the Quick Restart, Team B has 5 players left and Team A has only 1 at the end of time, Team B would win 5-4)
  • The ref has the discretion on whether or not to have a re-start if there is less than 30 seconds left in a match
  • If the initial game in the 7-minute period should reach the 6 ½-minute mark, the referee will blow the whistle to start the lightning round
    • Players will be allowed to attack up to the other team’s ¾ line for the final 30 seconds
  • Games can end in a tie


Referees will have a copy of the rules at the gym.  If you have any questions regarding a call that was made (which is rule-based), please ask the referee to refer to the rules if there is disagreement.

We also recommend that each team bring their own copy of the rules just in case. Only captains can discuss a rule with the referee and no judgment calls will be discussed.  Players will be ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct.  Any rules issues not resolved at the gym cannot be overturned once teams have left the gym.


Total number of points

Head-to-head competition

Record against other teams in or tied for playoffs (winning percentage – i.e., 0-1 is same as 0-2, but 1-3 is better than 0-1)

Number of wins

Record against next best common opponent

If team forfeited, loses tie breaker if other tiebreaker rules don’t resolve seeding


Playoff format is head to head matchup.  Each round is a best of a 5 game series.

Format and scoring are the same as the regular season.

If teams are tied after one game:

If both teams are tied after the end of a game, a 2-minute sudden death round will be played, no quick restarts.  If still tied after sudden death round, we will play another 2-minutes of sudden death and repeat until one team wins.

ZogSports is a charity-focused, social sports club.  Our goal is for you to have fun.  We hope that you keep this in mind when participating.  Although the games may become intense, you still can be competitive while maintaining good sportsmanship.  With this said, any behavior deemed unacceptable by the referee or ZogSports staff may result in suspension and/or ejection from a game or the league.


Any player(s)/team(s)that are involved in a fight will be suspended from all ZogSports Leagues for life.  Any teams will forfeit all remaining games

Any player abusing the referee will automatically be ejected from the game without a warning

A player ejected for ANY reason will be suspended for the next game. If that player is caught playing in that game, the team will forfeit


Unfortunately beer is not allowed in/at the schools. Please wait until after the games to join us at our Happy Hour bars for the drinking to begin.

It is also important to do your part to keep the gyms clean and use the trash cans provided.  Throw away food, wrappers, or bottles.  If we do not clean-up, we risk losing our permits.


Unfortunately pets are not allowed in/at the schools.  Please leave your pet at home or outside the school.  This is really important.  We risk losing our permits if an animal is brought into the building. Any team who does so (whether player or spectator) will be asked to take the pet outside or to leave the gym with the pet.  Lack of compliance will result in games being forfeited for that team.

Forfeit Notification

If you know in advance that your team is going to forfeit a game, you MUST contact us by 5pm on the day of the game at It is not considered notification unless you receive a reply.

If your decision is not made until after 5pm, you should still try to reach ZogSports, and we will make efforts to contact the other team.  If we can reach them in time to keep them from showing up, no extra penalty.  If you do not do this, your team will be eliminated from the rest of the schedule.

There is no additional penalty if you show up short-handed (and need to add other ZogSports players to field a full team) and have to forfeit the game, since you did make an effort to get a team to play.

Once ZogSports is notified you are forfeiting, it is official (you cannot change your mind), and the other team will be notified.

CODE OF CONDUCT: The Participant’s Code of Conduct applies to all ZogSports participants. You can access the ZogSports Participant’s Code of Conduct HERE.

Markets: New Jersey