How to Play Dodgeball | Beginner’s Guide & Game Rules

How to Play Dodgeball

 Do you remember when the school days would come to an end and everyone in the playground would shout ‘Dodgeball!’?

It was a time for having some fun with friends, planning tactics, and of course dodging those rubber balls flying around. But how does one learn how to play dodgeball properly?

Well, this blog post will give beginner’s an introduction to all things dodgeball including a comprehensive guide on how to play, what rules apply, and where to find equipment. So, get ready for some fascinating facts about dodgeball – it just may become your new favorite way of having fun.

What is Dodgeball?

Dodgeball is a classic game that has been enjoyed for decades by people of all ages. It is typically played with two teams, which stand on opposite sides of the playing field and throw rubber balls at each other.

The goal is to eliminate the opponents’ players either by hitting them directly with a ball or by catching an opponent’s ball before it hits the ground. This simple yet exciting game offers a great physical and social outlet since the elements of strategy and teamwork make it fun to play.

The History of Dodgeball

The history of dodgeball is an interesting one, stretching back centuries. The game that we know today originated in Africa, where it was played with rocks or coconuts and was known as ‘Daab’.

From there it slowly spread through Europe and Asia, eventually becoming ‘dodgeball’ by the Middle Ages, the name evolving to its current form.

The game was especially popular in England during the 19th century but while it reached America soon thereafter it wasn’t until the 20th century that dodgeball became popular in schools.

The rules have changed considerably since then but most importantly the sportsmanship remains intact: The goal is still to challenge opponents, and force them out of bounds – all while having fun.

How Many Players can play the Dodgeball Game

8 or 12 people

Generally, the more players there are, the more fun the game can be! But to get started, it’s recommended that you have at least 4 players (2 teams of 2). If you want to include more players, then depending on playing space, you could add up to 8 or 12 people in a circle formation as long as there’s enough distance between them.

By keeping this format and adding on a couple of rules for safety and fairness, lots of people can participate in one exciting round of dodgeball action.

Benefits to play Dodgeball


Dodgeball has several benefits, both physically and mentally. Some of the benefits of playing dodgeball include:

Improving hand-eye coordination: Dodgeball requires players to quickly move and catch balls, which can help to improve hand-eye coordination and reaction time.

Increasing cardiovascular fitness: Dodgeball is a fast-paced, high-intensity game that gets players moving and can help to improve cardiovascular fitness and endurance.

Building strength and flexibility: Dodgeball involves a lot of jumping, diving, and other movements that can help to build strength and flexibility in the legs, core, and upper body.

Promoting teamwork and communication: Dodgeball is a team sport, which requires players to work together and communicate effectively to succeed.

Enhancing social skills and making friends: Dodgeball is also a fun way to interact with others, build friendships and improve social skills.

Reducing stress: Playing a sport such as a dodgeball is a fun way to clear the mind and reduce stress.

Improving focus and concentration: Dodgeball requires quick reflexes, focus, and concentration, which can help to improve these skills in other areas of life.

Developing strategic thinking: Dodgeball requires players to think strategically and make quick decisions, which can help to improve problem-solving skills.

Why is it called Dodgeball?

The game is called dodgeball because the objective of the game is to dodge or avoid the balls thrown by the opposing team. The name of the game reflects the main action that players are trying to do throughout the game, which is to avoid getting hit by the balls, thus the name Dodgeball.

The origin of the name, specifically, might be hard to track down, but it likely came about simply as a descriptive term for the game, as it would make sense to call it this way as the central goal of the game.


To set up a dodgeball game, you will need a playing area, such as a gymnasium or other large open space, and at least six rubber balls. The playing area is typically divided into two halves, with each team starting on one side of the dividing line.

Here is a step-by-step guide to setting up a dodgeball game:

Set up the playing area: The playing area should be a large, open space, such as a gymnasium or other similar area. The space should be well-lit and free of obstacles that could be tripped over or cause injury.

Divide the playing area into two halves: Use a line or other marker to divide the playing area into two halves, one for each team.

Gather the equipment: Collect at least six rubber balls, which will be used to play the game. If possible, make sure that the balls are all the same size and weight.

Organize the teams: Divide the players into two teams of equal size, with each team starting on one side of the dividing line.

Set the rules: Go over the rules of the game with the players, making sure everyone understands how the game is played and what is expected of them.

Start the game: Once everyone is ready and the rules have been explained, start the game by having one team throw the balls across the dividing line to the other team. Players on each team must try to catch the balls or dodge them to avoid getting eliminated.

Continue play until a team wins by eliminating all the players on the opposing team or the game is called by a time limit or agreed-upon number of rounds.

Beginners Guide |How to play dodgeball Step-by-step Guidance?

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to play dodgeball:

  1. Divide players into two teams. The teams should be equal in number and should have at least six players each.
  • Mark out the playing area. A gymnasium or a large open field works well for dodgeball. Use cones or other markers to define the boundaries of the playing area.
  • Place the dodgeballs at the center of the playing area. The standard number of dodgeballs to use is six.
  • To begin the game, one player from each team stands at the back of their designated area.
  • The game begins when the referee blows the whistle or says “go.” Players then rush to the center of the playing area to grab a dodgeball.
  • The object of the game is to eliminate all the players on the opposing team by hitting them with a dodgeball below the shoulders. If a player is hit, they are out.
  • Players who are out must leave the playing area and cannot re-enter the game.
  • If a player catches a thrown dodgeball, the player who threw the ball is out and one of their eliminated teammates can re-enter the game.
  • The game continues until all players on one team are eliminated, or until a set time limit is reached.
  1. The team with the remaining players wins the game.

It’s important to remember that dodgeball is a game that requires good hand-eye coordination, quick reflexes, and good teamwork. It’s also important to play safely and follow the rules to prevent injuries.

Dodgeball Games Rules

Here are some basic rules for playing dodgeball:

  1. Players must remain within the designated playing area. If a player goes outside the boundaries, they are out.
  • Players cannot hold onto a dodgeball for more than ten seconds.
  • Players cannot kick or hit a dodgeball with any part of their leg.
  • Throwing the dodgeball at a player’s head is not allowed and is considered dangerous, if it happens the player who throws it would be out.
  • A thrown dodgeball must be caught before it bounces to be considered a catch.
  • If a player is hit below the shoulders, they are out.
  • If a player catches a thrown dodgeball, the person who threw the ball is out and one of their eliminated teammates can re-enter the game.
  • Players who are out must leave the playing area and cannot re-enter the game.
  • The game continues until all players on one team are eliminated, or until a set time limit is reached.
  1. If a game is tied, the teams will play a 1-minute sudden death period, where the first team to eliminate all the members of the opposing team wins.

Tips for Winning at dodgeball

Gaining the upper hand in dodgeball doesn’t have to be daunting. By following a few simple tips, you can give yourself an edge in your next match.

First, understanding the game and its rules is key, so make sure that everyone who is playing is familiar with all that dodgeball entails.

Secondly, cooperating as a team and playing up to your strengths will put your side at an advantage over players who aren’t connected in such a way.

Finally, staying nimble and acting on your toes will ensure you’re always one step ahead of the opposition – consider agility training for the win! The best way to succeed at dodgeball is a combination of strategy, communication, and a sense of awareness.

With these 3 things under your belt, you’ll increase your chance at success!

Is the Dodgeball game coming under the Olympic games?

Dodgeball is not currently an Olympic sport. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is responsible for recognizing and including sports in the Olympic Games.

Currently, several sports are included in the Olympics, such as track and field, swimming, gymnastics, and basketball, to name a few. However, the IOC also recognizes several sports that are not included in the Olympics, known as “non-Olympic sports.” These sports may be governed by international sports federations, but they are not part of the Olympic program.


Now that you know the general rules of dodgeball, get a group together and give it a try! Dodgeball is a great way to have some friendly competition while getting some exercise. If you want to up the ante, there are plenty of variations and rule modifications you can try out once you’ve mastered the basics. 

Thanks for reading and have fun throwing those spears!

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