Intramural Sports Dodgeball Rules

General Eligibility

  1. Participation is limited to currently enrolled students and members of the faculty and staff of the University of North Florida. All areas of eligibility are covered in the Intramural handbook which are available online and through the Campus Recreation Office.
  2. In order to participate in an Intramural contest each player must present their validated Osprey1 Card. NO ID, NO PLAY. NO EXCEPTIONS!!!
  3. Game time is forfeit time. 1 forfeit will result in a team being ineligible for the playoffs. A second forfeit will result in the team being dropped from the league.
  4. All participants must register with IMLeagues to play any sport. Instructions on how to register is located on the Intramural Sports website. Captains must have the minimum number of players needed to play Dodgeball before they are allowed to sign up for a time slot.
  5. Adding Players – Players must be added on their team’s roster using IMLeagues (players must register first, then request to join a team, or team captains can send invitations to players to join their team) prior to participating in an Intramural contest. Players can be added at the field/court.

Team Composition

  1. Players can compete on one men's or women’s team.
  2. Each team will consist of six (6) players. Roster size is 16, but only six (6) will be active players on the court at a time.
  3. 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 two (2) will result in a loss with a 2.5 sportsmanship rating.
  4. 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. Inactive substitutes shall remain away from the return area and will not be permitted to join the catch-and-return line for that game.



  1. Appropriate gym footwear must be worn. Cleats, boots, sandals, and flip-flops are not permitted.
  2. Hats and any other head wear that has a hard bill or creates a knot-like protrusion are not permitted.
  3. Jewelry, casts, or any items deemed dangerous by the official MAY NOT BE WORN during the game. This jewelry consists of any visible rings (including wedding bands), watches, necklaces, earrings, studs, bracelets, and any other such similar jewelry. Only medical alert bracelets are permitted. Each team will receive only one warning without penalty. Following the warning, any player from a warned team in the game found to be wearing prohibited equipment (jewelry, etc) will ruled out for the game and may not reenter for a subsequent game until the jewelry is removed.
  4. Dodgeballs will be provided by the Intramural Sports staff at the game site. Each court will have their 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.

Game Length & Match Format

  1. Each match will consist of 3 games.
  2. Each game will have a time limit of 5 minutes.
  3. Teams will receive 1 point for every player left on the court at the end of each game.
  4. Point totals will be added for each 3 games, and the team with the highest point total will be declared the winner.
  5. If the score is tied at the end of the 3rd game, then there will be a sudden death overtime, with the first team to get an opposing player out will be declared the winner, and receive 1 extra point.

General Rules

Note: An "active player" is one who started the game for a team and has yet to be put out. An "inactive player" is one who started the game for a team and has been put out in the game. The object of the game is to put out all members of the opposing team.



  1. To start each game, six (6) dodgeballs will be placed on the center line. Half of the dodgeballs will be placed on the right side of the court, the other half on the left side. The six (6) active players for each team will start outside of the court with a foot on the end line of the court.
  2. At the referee's signal, players shall retrieve the three (3) balls on the right side of the court (as viewed from the end line facing center court). Each ball retrieved during the opening rush must be possessed within the attack line before thrown at an opponent. Once the ball is possessed inside the attack line, it may be carried forward towards the half court line before being thrown.
  3. Once all three of a team's designated dodgeballs have been possessed inside the attack line, that team may attempt to collect the opponent's designated balls if they have not yet been collected by the opponent. These balls may be picked up and thrown immediately (no attack line rule).
  4. Balls thrown before being legally possessed inside the attack line are considered illegal throws. The thrower is ruled out. No opponent may be put out on an illegal throw.
  5. Following the initial rush and retrieval of the six (6) dodgeballs placed on the center line, dodgeballs may be collected and thrown from anywhere on the team's side of the court.


  1. A player is out when...
    • A player is hit anywhere at or below the shoulders (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 and that is not subsequently caught by an active member of the player's team, unless the player is out-of-bounds actively retrieving a ball.
    • A player throws a ball that is legally caught by an active member of the opposing team.
    • A player commits an illegal throw.
    • A player jumps or moves out of bounds (outside the court boundary lines) while attempting to dodge a ball.
    • A player touches any part of the opposing team's side of the court during ball retrieval.
  2. A ball thrown by an active player remains live and able to put out an opposing player even if the thrower is subsequently put out while the ball is in the air.
  3. When a player is hit in the head by a dodgeball...
    • For the safety of participants, players hit in the head by an untouched/undeflected ball shall not be out. In this case, the thrower is out, put in the “penalty box”, and is not allowed to re-enter for the remainder of that game.
    • Players hit in the head with a deflected ball anywhere on the court shall be declared out. The thrower is also safe.
    • At any time, if the person intentionally ducked to get their head in the way of the dodgeball, then the person being hit by the dodgeball is out.
  4. If there is a discrepancy between leaving the court in attempt to dodge a ball and leaving the court to retrieve a ball, the player will be called out for leaving the court while attempting to dodge a ball. The official's decision is final.
  5. When a player is put out, he/she shall line up in the team's catch-and-return line along the designated sideline in the order in which they were put out. If in possession of a dodgeball, he/she may toss or roll it to a teammate or place it on the court.
  6. Team members in the catch-and-return line shall not interfere with game play (officials may stop the game, issue a warning, or designate additional team members out as a penalty). Team members in the catch-and-return line may deflect balls back into play but shall not move around the court to assist with ball retrieval.


For each illegal throw, the thrower is ruled out. No illegal throw can put out an opponent. However, an illegal throw can be caught for a catch-and-return.

  1. The thrower must maintain position inside the court boundaries on his/her side of the court before, during, and after a throw. If a player steps on or over an out-of-bounds line or the half-court line, the throw is ruled illegal. "Suicide throws" are illegal.
  2. Dodgeballs must be thrown or tossed using the hands and arms. Dodgeballs that are kicked towards an opponent, struck or spiked with an open hand or closed fist towards an opponent, are considered illegal throws.
  3. Balls may not be placed on the opponent's side of the court within the placing team's reach. The placer shall be called out.
  4. Balls rolled or tossed onto the opponent's side of the court without the intent of putting a player out must be rolled towards 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 / roller / tosser shall be called out.
  5. Balls may not be intentionally heaved outside of the court area near or onto the back bleachers. The heaver shall be called out.


  1. A deflection occurs when a thrown ball hits off an opposing player or airborne ball and remains in the air. A ball which deflects off of another ball that is on the court is considered to have touched the floor and is not a deflected ball (immediately dead).
  2. 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.
  3. A player may grasp a dodgeball and use it to safely deflect a thrown dodgeball away. If the ball (or any additional balls in player possession) is dropped during the deflection, the player who was holding the dodgeball is out. A player can be hit by his own deflected ball and still be put out.
  4. A player may deflect a ball with any part of his/her body in an effort to keep it from hitting the ground. If the deflected ball is caught before touching an out-of-play area or the floor, the player deflecting the ball is not declared out (still active). If the ball is not caught, the player is declared out.
  5. Deflected balls that are caught by the opponent do NOT put out the thrower.
  6. Deflections off of an opponent that return to the thrower's side of the court are considered immediately dead when they completely cross the mid-court line. Any opposing players hit by the deflected ball are out. The throwing team may immediately catch or retrieve and re-throw the ball.


  1. A thrown dodgeball that is legally caught by a member of the opposing team before it has struck an out-of-play area, the floor, or a teammate 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. At no time shall more than six (6) players be actively participating on the court for a team. There are no stored catch-and-returns. Players returning as a result of a catch-and-return shall immediately return to the court from anywhere along their team's sideline (subject to being hit and re-put out immediately upon returning to the court with both feet in-bounds).
  2. A thrown dodgeball that is legally caught by a member of the opposing team after it has struck a member of the opposing team (teammate) but before it has struck an out-of-play area or the floor will result the player that was struck remaining in the game (saving the player, he/she is not out). However, in this case, the thrower is NOT out and there is NO catch-and-return for the catcher's team.
  3. A legal catch occurs when: (1) the catcher begins the catching action entirely inbounds (entire body including both feet) (2) catches the ball (3) the catcher remains inbounds throughout any movement which follows the catch and establishes a stationary position inbounds while still in possession of the ball (ball may not be tossed to another player).
  4. If a player begins a catch inbounds, catches the ball, but he/she subsequently steps on or over an out-of-bounds line, or falls out-of-play, the catch is nullified. Neither the thrower nor catcher is out.
  5. If at any time, inbounds or out-of-bounds, the catcher subsequently drops the ball, the thrower is not out and the failed catcher is out.
  6. If a player is holding a ball or multiple balls and attempts to catch another thrown ball, the player must maintain possession of all balls including the thrown ball to complete a legal catch. If any of the balls are dropped, it is considered a dropped catch and the failed catcher is ruled out.
  7. If a player catches a ball while out-of-bounds, neither the thrower nor the catcher is out. An out-of-bounds catch following a deflection off of another player does not save that player since the ball cannot be legally caught out-of-bounds. Thus, the player that the ball deflected off of is still out.
  8. Players may not lift or support their teammates in catching a thrown ball.


  1. The retrieval of dodgeballs that leave the in-play area is limited to those players who are active in the game and have not yet been put out.
  2. Active players may leave the court to retrieve balls for their team without penalty. Once out-of-play actively retrieving a ball, the player is not eligible to be put out. Players shall return to the court immediately once they have retrieved the ball. Any delay deemed excessive by the official can result in the player being called out.
  3. Players may not go across the mid-court line (and the mid-court line extended out from the court) for any reason. All players, substitutes, and spectators for a team must remain on their side of the court at all times. A player may reach across the mid-court line and grasp a ball, but may not touch the opposing team's side of the court with any part of their body during retrieval.
  4. Under no circumstances may a spectator or inactive substitute pick up a dodgeball or otherwise try to help retrieve a ball for their team. If anyone other than the players of the respective teams involved in the game grabs a dodgeball or impedes the progress of a member of the opposing team in ball retrieval, that dodgeball immediately becomes forfeited to the opponent. Spectators should always make their best attempt to get out of the way of the thrown dodgeballs and allow easy access for the players to get to them to retrieve them.
  5. Once a player gets put out, he/she must leave the field of play and stand in the catch-and-return line. Team members in the catch-and-return line shall not interfere with game play (an official may stop the game, issue a warning, or designate additional team members out as a penalty). Team members in the catch-and-return line may deflect balls back into play but shall not move around the court to assist with ball retrieval.
  6. If three (3) or more balls become irretrievable, an official may stop play and have all balls moved onto the court. Balls will be distributed evenly among teams (an even number per team regardless of the number of players remaining for a team).


  1. 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 will be deemed stalling by the game official, who may then begin a five-second count during which time the team is required to make an active attempt to put out an opponent.
  2. Teams with all six (6) dodgeballs on their half of the court -- or all active dodgeballs, if balls are trapped and inaccessible -- must be actively retrieving those balls outside of the court boundaries, must throw at least one ball at an opponent or must relinquish control of at least one ball within five (5) seconds when directed by an official.
  3. A team will all six (6) dodgeballs in player possession or inbounds on their half of the court -- or all active dodgeballs, if balls are trapped and inaccessible -- must throw at least one ball at an opponent or must relinquish control of at least one ball within five (5) seconds when directed by an official. The official may allow for reasonable recovery time prior to beginning the five second count; thus the count does not start the instant six balls are on a team's side.
  4. Violations of any provision of the stall rule will result in loss of possession of all dodgeballs by the offending team. The opposing team will gain control of all six (6) dodgeballs and have ten (10) seconds following the official's signal to resume play by throwing at an opponent.
  5. Both teams may be charged with stalling simultaneously. In this case, both teams must comply as described above within five (5) seconds as directed by a game official. Inactivity by both teams will result in forfeiture of the match. 


    1. The mission of Intramural Sports is to provide a recreational environment for the University community which is safe and enjoyable. While the game atmosphere is often competitive, ensuring participant safety, providing a fun, social atmosphere, and promoting sportsmanlike behavior among participants, spectators, and team followers are our primary concerns. The game atmosphere should remain good-natured at all times. Participants shall maintain good sportsmanship throughout their participation in all facets of the intramural program.
    2. The Sportsmanship Rating System is intended to be an objective scale by which teams' attitude and behavior can be assessed throughout the intramural sports league and playoff seasons. Behavior before, during, and after an intramural sports contest is included in the rating. The team captain is responsible for educating and informing all players and spectators affiliated with his/her team about the system.
    3. A team is responsible for the actions of the individual team members and spectators related to it. Additionally, UNF Intramural Sports does not recognize the use of coaches. Only the team captain shall speak to the officials regarding administrative matters (protests, ejections, disqualifications, etc). Furthermore, the team captain's efforts in assisting officials/staff to calm difficult situations and to restrain troubled teammates are essential to controlling team conduct.
    4. Sportsmanship is vital to the conduct of every Intramural contest. In order to encourage proper conduct during games, officials, administrative personnel, and supervisors shall make decisions on whether to warn, penalize or eject players or teams for poor sportsmanship. These decisions are final. The Intramural Sports administrative staff will rule on further penalties as a result of unsportsmanlike conduct.
    5. Each participant should choose his or her team members carefully, as all team members will suffer the consequences of any disciplinary action taken by the Intramural Sports staff against that team for violation of the intramural rules and sportsmanship guidelines. Protests or appeals of sportsmanship ratings will not be recognized. The Intramural Sports administrative staff reserves the right to review any rating given to a team.
    6. Teams are graded by the officials on a scale of 1-4, 4 being the highest. Teams must maintain a 2.5 sportsmanship grade throughout the season to be eligible for the playoffs.