Dodgeball is a team sport in which players on two teams try to throw balls and hit opponents, while avoiding being hit themselves. The objective of each team is to eliminate all members of the opposing team by hitting them with thrown balls, catching a ball thrown by an opponent, or inducing an opponent to commit a violation, such as stepping outside the court.
The sport is mostly played in schools under varying rules, and also formally as an international sport, under rules that vary among international governing bodies, such as the World Dodgeball Federation (WDBF), which runs the Dodgeball World Championship and the World Dodgeball Association (WDA). USA Dodgeball is the governing entity for dodgeball in the United States, with member leagues and clubs across the nation.
There are many different ball types used around the world, including 8.5-inch rubber, "no-sting" rubber, foam and cloth. USA Dodgeball uses all ball types across multiple tournaments held by them and their member organizations. The World Dodgeball Federation used primarily foam for their first World Championships, but starting with 2022, both cloth and foam categories were introduced.
The WDBF specifies the use of 6 balls with six players per side for their World Championships.Various rule sets governing number of balls and players are used around the world depending on the court size, level of play, and the organization's discretion.
The WDA specifies the use of five balls; certain national rule sets, such as in Austria, specify six.Amateur games typically use from three to ten balls, the number tailored to the size of the court and the number of players. More balls generally adds to the amount of action in a game, but can result in stalemate with many blocks. If there are too few balls, the element of stealth is removed, as players can see all the balls that might hit them.
Dodgeball can be played on any surface that has clearly marked boundaries and a center line, such as a basketball or volleyball court or fenced area. Elite Dodgeball specifies a court 50 feet (15 m) by 25 feet (7.6 m), where a zone 10 feet (3.0 m) wide at the junction of the areas is a neutral zone.
Games can also be played outdoors on a soccer pitch or football field. The WDBF organizes games on beaches 60 feet (18 m) by 30 feet (9.1 m) with no neutral zone.and USA Dodgeball hosts tournaments at trampoline parks. WDBF specifies a court
The attacking lines and center lines are of vital importance. A team can stand in its attacking area and throw the balls to opponents.
Informal matches of dodgeball are typically played until all players on one side are out. In WDBF guidelines, matches last a total of 40 minutes. These are split into two 20-minute halves, during which as many sets as possible are played. A set lasts until all players on one side are out. One point is awarded for every set won. Teams switch sides at halftime.
In informal dodgeball, balls are initially distributed to players by one of the following methods:
In this latter option, players then rush toward the center line to grab one of the balls. This is called the opening rush. It is never legal to immediately throw such a ball at an opponent; a player grabbing a ball on the center line retreats or throws it back to a teammate.
In WDBF regulations, the ball must be returned behind an "attack line", roughly a third of the way from the back of court. Players may only run for the balls on the left side of the court, while the middle ball will be contested.
Following distribution, players aim to hit one another. A ball is considered "live" from the moment it leaves a player's hand up until it touches the floor, wall, or ceiling, when it becomes "dead". If a player is hit by an opponent's live ball, they are "out"; if the ball is dead, there is no hit. If a player catches a live ball, the opponent who threw the ball is out and a player on the catcher's team is "revived" from the outbox; however, if they fail to secure the catch, leading to them dropping the ball, the failed catcher is out.
In WDBF regulations, players may "block" a throw with another ball. In this situation, the thrown ball remains live, as it has not hit the floor or a wall, and so can be caught or can still hit a player out. If the blocker drops the ball used to block, they have failed to keep their ball secure and are out.
Dead balls that leave the court can only be returned to players by each team's designated ball retrievers. Stepping outside the court, including stepping on a boundary line or entering the opponents' zone, is a violation. Other violations include kicking a ball, displaying bad sportsmanship, and stalling (having a ball for over ten seconds and doing nothing with it).The penalty is that the violator is out.
Optional rules may be in effect in informal games of dodgeball or in open matches by agreement:
The following basic tactics are useful:
Many local teams and international teams develop their own tactics and calling systems specific to their style of play. These become more complex in higher leagues, which often requires specific training for the players in calling positions such that they can make rapid, tactical decisions.
The main dodgeball competition is the Dodgeball World Championship, held by the World Dodgeball Federation (WDBF). The competition takes place annually since 2012. It was initially an open event, but stopped being an open event as the membership grew, and now works by qualification.In 2021, WDBF's membership reached 80 members, all also members of the relevant continental federations.
In some elementary schools in the United States, a version is played using a circular court. The team outside the circle has the ball or balls, and the team inside must evade the thrown balls. The players who are hit with the ball may change places with the person who hit them, or they may be out of the game and the last person remaining unhit may be the winner. There are variants.
The risks of injury from dodgeball, and the notion that gameplay resembles assault, have led to controversies, lawsuits, and even calls to eliminate the game from school physical education programs.
Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each pass a ball using their hands with the aim of throwing it into the goal of the other team. A standard match consists of two periods of 30 minutes, and the team that scores more goals wins.
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Squash is a racket and ball sport played by two or four players in a four-walled court with a small, hollow rubber ball. The players alternate in striking the ball with their rackets onto the playable surfaces of the four walls of the court. The objective of the game is to hit the ball in such a way that the opponent is not able to play a valid return. There are about 20 million people who play squash regularly world-wide in over 185 countries. The governing body of Squash, the World Squash Federation (WSF), is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), but the sport is not part of the Olympic Games, despite a number of applications. Supporters continue to lobby for its incorporation in a future Olympic program. The Professional Squash Association (PSA) organizes the pro tour. The sport is infrequently called "squash rackets", to distinguish itself from the related sport of rackets.
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Softball is a game similar to baseball played with a larger ball on a smaller field. Softball is played competitively at club levels, the college level, and the professional level. The game was first created in 1887 in Chicago by George Hancock.
Guts or disc guts is a disc game inspired by dodgeball, involving teams throwing a flying disc at members of the opposing team.
Beach volleyball is a team sport played by two teams of two or more players on a sand court divided by a net. Similar to indoor volleyball, the objective of the game is to send the ball over the net and to ground it on the opponent's side of the court. Each team works in unison to prevent the opposing team from grounding the ball on their side of the court.
Goalball is a team sport designed specifically for athletes with a vision impairment. Participants compete in teams of three, and try to throw a ball that has bells embedded in it into the opponents' goal. The ball is thrown by hand and never kicked. Using ear-hand coordination, originating as a rehabilitation exercise, the sport has no able-bodied equivalent. Able-bodied athletes are also blindfolded when playing this sport.
Tchoukball is an indoor team sport developed in the 1970s by Swiss biologist Hermann Brandt. Brandt was concerned about the number of injuries in sport at the time and as part of an educational study he wanted to create a sport that reduced injuries, was not aggressive between players and enabled people of all shapes, sizes, genders, cultures, and backgrounds to play together.
Extreme Dodgeball is an American game show based on the game of dodgeball that aired between 2004 and 2005 on the Game Show Network. The series ran for three seasons, each of which featured six to eight teams of five to seven players. The first series followed gimmick teams, such as sumo wrestlers and jockeys, which changed over time into the third series with franchise-like teams representing cities. All three series are presented by Bil Dwyer and Zach Selwyn.
Hoover ball is a medicine ball game invented by President Herbert Hoover's personal physician, Medal of Honor recipient Joel T. Boone, to help keep then-President Hoover fit. The Hoover Presidential Library Association and the city of West Branch, Iowa co-host a national championship each year.
Fistball is a sport of European origin. It is similar to volleyball in that players try to hit a ball over a net. The current men's fistball World Champions are Germany, winners of both the 2015 Men's World Championships and the fistball category at the 2017 World Games, while the current women's fistball World Champions are also Germany, after winning the 2016 Women's World Championships.
Variations of basketball are games or activities based on, or similar in origin to, the game of basketball, in which the player utilizes common basketball skills. Some are essentially identical to basketball, with only minor rules changes, while others are more distant and arguably not simple variations but distinct games. Other variations include children's games, contests or activities intended to help the player practice or reinforce skills, which may or may not have a competitive aspect. Most of the variations are played in informal settings, without the presence of referees or other officials and sometimes without strict adherence to official game rules.
Several sports related to volleyball have become popular. Indoor volleyball and beach volleyball are both events at the Olympics, and sitting volleyball is an event at the Paralympics. Other varieties are localised, or are played at an amateur or informal level.
Newcomb ball is a ball game played as a variation of volleyball.
Machanayim is a game similar to dodgeball that is frequently played in North American Jewish schools and summer camps. The name Machanayim comes from the Hebrew word meaning "two encampments" or, in this case, two teams.
Prisonball is played much like the original dodgeball game, except when a player is hit, he gets put in "prison" behind the opposing team. To get out of prison, the player needs to receive a pass from a teammate while in the designated prison area. The way in which prisoners are released varies by region. "Prisoners" remain behind the opposing team until the game is over or they're released according to the current ruleset.
The National Dodgeball League (NDL) rules were created to standardize professional dodgeball matches to make them fair and consistent. All NDL sanctioned amateur, college, and youth events abide exclusively by NDL rules. The rules are subject to modification at the sole discretion of the NDL to accommodate and respond to the ever evolving game of dodgeball.
Benchball is a team sport played in schools, used for developing ball skills and as a preparation for learning netball and basketball.