Go Mammoth’s Dodgeball Rules Guide

August 8, 2016

There’s definitely more to dodgeball than the 5 D’s - dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge. Here's our ultimate rules guide to one of the most fast-paced and exciting games on the planet:


In a standard dodgeball game, each team will line up on court with eight players a side. There must be no more than 16 players in total on the court at any one time. In a mixed dodgeball game, there must be a minimum of three women a side.

Teams can only make substitutions after a game has been completed. All substitutes must remain in a designated, out of bounds area.

If a team is short on players, they are permitted to play a mixed dodgeball game with 7-a-side (minimum of 2 women on each team), 6-a-side (minimum of 2 women on each team) or a minimum of 5-a-side (minimum of 1 woman on each team).


At the start of the game, there will be six balls, three per team, placed at the middle of the court. The object is to eliminate all of the other team’s players to win the round.


The object of each game is to eliminate all of the other team’s players, Details about how players can be eliminated below. Once all opposing players are eliminated the game is won.

Each game last three minutes. If teams have an equal number of players at the end of the three minute round, the game will enter sudden death with the players that remain, and whichever team scores the next hit will win. If no players are eliminated during the sudden-death period, the team with the most players remaining will win the game.

Each match consists of three sets. Each set is decided in a series of “best of 5” series of games.

The team that wins 2 out of 3 sets wins the match.

Go Mammoth Dodgeball


The game will begin with the referee placing six balls along the centre line of the court.

Teams will line up along the back wall and on the whistle rush into the middle to collect any ball they can (without crossing the centre line). Players must bring the ball back to behind the attack line before they can throw any balls.

Players must not cross the centre of the court for any reason including attacking or retrieving balls. Crossing the centre line results in immediate elimination.

The referee will keep track of the time and update teams as time is expiring. If both teams have the same number of players remaining at the end of the regulation, an additional one minute of sudden death overtime will be instituted. The first team to make any elimination during this period will win the game.


Each week there will be a referee on hand to get the games started and to referee the games. The referee will also rely on people using the honour system when they have been eliminated because with so many balls flying around it is difficult to see everything.

The referee’s decision is final; any player that argues with the referee or shows poor sportsmanship may be removed from the match, and in exceptional circumstances, removed from the league.


A team needs a minimum of 5 regular players in order to avoid a forfeit.  If you know in advance that your team is going to forfeit a game, we encourage you to call our office so as to help us schedule your opponent a game.

Teams with fewer than the legal number of players may still play a “legal” game but only with the opposing team’s consent.

All teams consenting to play a legal game with less than the allowed minimum waive their right to a forfeit win. A team with 4 players or less can be forced to forfeit at the choice of their opposition. A team with 5 players is permitted to pick up additional players during group stages of the season in order to avoid a forfeit and play a competitive game.

Any questions regarding policies, rules, or eligibility must be addressed before the start of the match.


When a player is eliminated they must stand in the out-of-bands designated area, in the order that they were eliminated. They may throw out of bounds balls back to their teammates, but not at the opposing team. They must not re-enter the court for any reason, including attempting to interfere with balls on the court.

You are eliminated when…

  • A ball hits you on any part of the body or clothing before it has touched the ground, wall, ceiling or another ball.
  • An opposing player catches a ball you have thrown. When this occurs, the opposing team can also bring in one of their eliminated players back to the game.
  • You go to block a ball with a ball you are holding and drop your ball.
  • You fumble a catch.
  • You deliberately step over the centre line.
  • You hit someone in the head with the ball, unless their head is below shoulder height.
  • You kick or attempt to kick a ball towards the opposing team.
  • You consistently hold the ball for longer than 10 seconds.
  • You consistently throw or dodge from an out-of-bounds position.
  • One or more of your eliminated teammates consistently re-enter the court to interfere with the balls.
  • You show unsportsmanlike behaviour towards the opposing team or the referee. The referee’s decision is final. Once the decision has been made, it cannot be rescinded.

The ball is dead as soon as it hits the floor, walls, ceiling, another ball, or the referee. If a ball deflects off a player and hits a second player the ball immediately becomes dead and the first player hit is out. It doesn’t matter if the second player catches the ball – the first player will still be eliminated.

Teams are not allowed to stall with the ball. All balls need to be thrown within 10 seconds. If a team consistently ignores this rule, the player that is stalling will be removed.

If a player catches a ball, one eliminated team-mate can re-enter the game. Players must follow a “first off, first on” logic. This means that the first player to be eliminated should be the first player to re-enter the game if a ball is caught. Players that consistently ignore this rule will be eliminated.

If a player crosses the centre line whilst throwing, or throws or catches a ball from an out-of-bounds position, no player on the other team can be eliminated as a result. However, an out-of-bounds player can still be eliminated by a catch or by getting hit by an opposing player.

If a player is hit in the head, and their head is below shoulder height (e.g. they are attempting to duck or dodge away from the ball), they are eliminated. If a player is hit in the head, and their head is not below shoulder height, the player that threw the ball is deemed to have thrown it unacceptably high, and is eliminated. If a player intentionally moves their head towards the ball, they are eliminated. The referee’s decision is final.

Go Mammoth Dodgeball


Playoffs (including finals) will begin immediately following the end of the regular season and will typically last between 1-2 weeks. Teams will be seeded according to their records. It is the responsibility of all players to check the playoff brackets at the venue or online at gomammoth.co.uk to find when they are playing. In playoffs it is not uncommon (and in some cases will be necessary) for teams to have more than one match in a given night.


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