The Game of Dodgeball

The Game of Dodgeball

The Game of Dodgeball

Dodgeball - Ohio Fitness Garage


Dodgeball is a nostalgic sport that many of us may have grown up playing during gym class. Before the sport blew up in the mainstream thanks to Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, dodgeball actually used to be a dangerous sport in its origins. In the early 1800s, African tribesmen would pelt each other with stones and attempt to protect other teammates as the earliest form of dodgeball.


How to Play Dodgeball


Dodge, duck, dip dive, and dodge -- the five keys to being successful at dodgeball according to fictional legend Patches O’Houlihan. To play dodgeball, all you’ll need is three-to-six teammates, a minimum of five balls, and an even playing surface like a gym or hardtop. The team that effectively eliminates all their opponents from the playing field is declared the winner.


Because there is no unifying league that oversees dodgeball, and the sport is mainly played recreationally, the rules are more common knowledge than written down in a handbook.


Rules of Dodgeball


  • There is no rule on what type of ball must be used in a dodgeball game. Firm balls, plush balls, kickballs, and many other types of balls will work as long as all of the balls in the playing field are the same. [Balls that won’t cause physical harm are preferred]
  • There are no set dimensions for a dodgeball court. However, it should be on a surface with a clearly defined half-court point to divide the two teams.
  • A minimum of five balls is needed to play. The amount of balls on the court should never be more than the total amount of players. Also, players prefer an odd number of balls so there’s an offensive incentive.
  • If a player is hit by a ball, they are out (unless they’re in a league where headshots don’t count). If the player catches a ball, the person who threw it is out.
  • Once a ball is caught, a player who was previously eliminated gets to re-enter the game.
  • In leagues where there are out of bounds, players can only leave the playing area to retrieve balls. Throwing a ball out of bounds will lead to that player being eliminated.
  • There is really only one “foul” in dodgeball. That is, if a player steps over the half-court line at any point throughout the game. That player will be eliminated.
  • Because dodgeball is a “last man standing” format, there can never be a tie.


On August 8, 2017, ESPN actually announced they would recreate “The Ocho” (the fictional ESPN channel in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story) for one day. This channel dedicated air time to sports that never get an audience outside of Internet streams. ESPN did this in part to the cult-like following the fictional sports channel had garnered thanks to the movie.





Written by: Devin Pickell

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