1. Headshots at standing/athletic position do not count – thrower is out.
  2. A catch off of a teammate is a save – thrower is not out.
  3. Momentum catches count, must have 2 feet in.
  4. Yellow/red cards will be enforced. Please respect referee decisions and all players.
  5. Due to the size of the ball, fingers/hand are NOT considered part of the ball when blocking. If you block and it hits your hand, that is an out.
  6. Only one out per ball.
  7. Tournament will be double-elimination, best of 5.
  8. There will be no neutral zone.
  9. No suicides.



The objective of the game is to eliminate all of the other players on the opposing team before they eliminate all players on your team.


1.         Structure

1.1.           Boundaries: The game is played within specified boundaries designated by the officials before the match. Players who go over a boundary line during play are eliminated. Exception: Momentum catches.

1.2.           Equipment: The game will be played with six balls provided by the league. Players are expected to provide protective gear as they see fit, though no apparel used in gaining control, retaining control or throwing a ball is permitted (e.g. gloves).


2.         Match composition

2.1.           The team with the most wins in the match is determined the winner.

2.2.           Teams are allowed an optional one-minute break between each game. The subsequent game may begin when both teams and officials are ready.


3.         Flow of the Game

3.1.           The referee will place the six balls on the centerline, three balls per side with the burden ball as one of them.

3.2.           Each starting roster lines up behind the end line.

3.3.           The head official verbally confirms each team is ready to play.

3.4.           Upon the designated assistant official’s whistle to start play, the opening rush occurs. The three balls on the right are designated to your team.

3.5.           If one player is determined to have left early, the officials may declare a false start and require a restart.

3.6.           Players must bring their balls and their entire body behind the attack line before they can complete a live throw.

3.7.           Teams will attempt to eliminate opposing team members.

3.8.           Players are eliminated if:

3.9.           They are struck by an opponent’s live ball on any part of their body or clothing. Exception: A teammate catches the deflected ball before it contacts the ground or out of bounds. This is considered a save; both you and the thrower remain in the game.

3.10.          Their live throw is caught by an opposing player.

3.11.          Any part of their body touches out of bounds or on the opponent's’ side of the court.

3.12.          They use a ball, an out-of-play object or another person not in play to stay in bounds.

3.13.          They execute a headshot on an opposing player.

3.14.          They kick a ball during the opening rush or at an opposing player.

3.15.          They slide on the opening rush.

3.16.          They make intentional contact with an opposing player.

3.17.          They slap or strip a ball in possession of an opposing player.

3.18.          If players blocker is dislodged by a live thrown ball and the blocker hits a dead object.

3.19.          Players called out by a referee must leave the court quickly by going to the nearest boundary and not interfere with play. If an official determines an eliminated player interfered with play by blocking a live ball at a teammate, said teammate will be eliminated.

3.20.          When eliminated, player enters their out queue in order of elimination to await regeneration or the conclusion of the game.

3.21.          Play continues until all members of one team are eliminated, declaring the opposing team the winner or time expires.

4.         Stopping a game

4.1.           Only officials may stop play and do so for any reason by repeatedly blowing the whistle and walking out onto the court with arms out indicating the stop in play. They must stop play in these circumstances:

4.2.           A player is injured or bleeding.

4.3.           A player who is eliminated, but is unaware or refuses to leave the court.

4.4.           A player is struck in the head by a thrown ball.

4.5.           One official needs to discuss a situation with another official or Cactus Dodgeball staff.

4.6.           An obstacle such as a ball from another court, a water bottle, or a child is on the court.

4.7.           During a stop in play:

4.8.           In-play players should hold on to any balls they have, go to their end lines and wait for the officials to restart play.

4.9.           All eliminated players remain in the out queue.

4.10.        All bench players and shaggers are expected to stay in their respective areas.

4.11.        Failure for teams to comply may result in a team yellow or red card.

4.12.        To restart play, all in-play members of both teams will stand near the end line before the official blows his or her whistle.

5.         End of the Match (Round Robin)

5.1.           Once the match time runs out the match is ended.

5.2.           If play is stopped when the match timer runs out, the current game counts as neither a win nor a loss.

5.3.           Teams are expected to participate in a post-match handshake line to congratulate each other at midcourt.

5.4.           The referee will record the result of the match and preparations for the following match will be made.

6.         End of the Match (Bracket Play)

6.1.           Once a team records 3 wins, the match is ended.

7.         Terms and Definitions

7.1.           Attack line: After the opening rush, the entire ball and the player’s body must be returned behind this line before an initial throw at the opposing team. If the neither are taken back, any ball thrown cannot eliminate an opposing player. However, if the ball is caught by the opposing player, the catch stands and the thrower is out.

7.2.           Ball penalty: If for any reason the burden of throw does not result in legitimate action, the official may require the offending team relinquish possession of one or more balls to the opposing team.

7.3.           Block: A player may use a ball to block a thrown ball, at which point fingers are considered part of the ball. All blocked balls are considered live until they hit the ground or out of bounds.

7.4.           Burden of throw: Officials will determine which team must throw if teams do not take action on their own using the following rules before enforcing any ball penalties:

7.4.1.        The team with the more than three balls must throw.

7.4.2.        If both teams have 3 balls, the team with the burden ball must throw.

7.4.3.        Teams will never be required to throw their last ball.

7.4.4.        Officials will begin a 10-second countdown once a team is determined to have the burden of throw.

7.4.5.        If the team does not meet the burden requirements, they will forfeit all balls.

7.5.           Catch: The moment an active player demonstrates control of a live ball with at least one hand, eliminating the thrower. A player can catch a ball that strikes them before it hits another live ball, the floor, the ceiling or any object out of play to avoid elimination and eliminate the thrower. Exception: If a player is hit by another live ball before demonstrating possession, the subsequent catch does not count. A player may not leap into the opponent’s side of the court to make a catch.

7.6.           Conduct: Players and bystanders are expected to be respectful to their teammates, opponents, officials, bystanders and staff at all times. Players who display inappropriate or unsportsmanlike behavior face penalties ranging from a warning to ejection from the league.

7.7.           Elimination, eliminated, eliminate: When a player is hit by a live ball, has a live ball they threw caught, contacts out of bounds, or has blocker dislodged, the player is no longer active in the game and must retire to the out queue.

7.8.           Flight Kills (Suicides): When a player leaps over the opposing team's side and throws the ball in midair before landing on the opposing team's side. These are NOT allowed.

7.9.           Headshot: When a live ball hits an upright or jumping opposing player in the head, the thrower is eliminated and the player struck remains in the game. Players are allowed to defend themselves if the ball will strike their head, in which case the throw is still considered a headshot. A live throw is not a headshot if:

7.9.1.            The player attempts to catch the ball.

7.9.2.            The player drops from an upright position.

7.9.3.            A live ball is blocked by a player into their head or the head of another player.

7.10.        Headshot immunity: If a headshot is part of a cluster of thrown balls at a player, the player is immune to all thrown balls that are part of the cluster. Any catches made by the player during the cluster eliminates the opponent and regenerates a teammate.

7.11.        Live ball: A ball legally thrown by an active player is live until the ball touches a player, another live ball, the floor, the ceiling or any object out of play.

7.12.        Momentum catch: If a player steps out of bounds due to the force of the a catch that has been made prior to having 2 feet inbounds, the player is allowed to return to play.

7.13.        Opening rush: Upon the designated assistant official’s whistle to start play, players retrieve balls placed at center court. The three balls on the right are designated to your team.

7.14.        Order of events: In situations where multiple game events happen in quick succession, officials will eliminate players based on the order of events, with each event taking effect in the order that they occurred.

7.15.        Out queue: A designated area where eliminated players wait in order of elimination to be regenerated or await the conclusion of the game.

7.16.        Pinching: The act of folding the rubber of the ball over itself or substantially deforming the ball to grip the ball is a pinch. This is not allowed and any player found pinching will be eliminated.

7.17.        Possession: A team is considered in possession of a ball held by a member of the team, or resting on the floor on that team’s side of the court.

7.18.        Red card: A referee will immediately eject a player, team or spectator for receiving two yellow cards in a match or for escalating inappropriate or unsportsmanlike behavior. If a player is ejected, their team may not substitute for the ejected player for the remainder of the match.

7.19.        Regeneration: When a teammate catches a live ball, a previously eliminated player in the out queue will return to the game in the order in which they were eliminated within approximately five seconds from the out queue or end line. If next eligible person to be regenerated is not in the out queue at the time of the catch, the regeneration is forfeit. Players may not regenerate out of order.

7.20.        Save: If a live ball contacts a player and a teammate catches the ball before it hits another live ball, the floor or out of bounds, the hit player is not eliminated nor is the thrower.

7.21.        Shaggers: Shagging is retrieving a ball out of bounds for play, if no shaggers are available:

7.21.1.          A teammate last in the queue may retrieve out-of-bounds balls.

7.21.2.          If only one player is in the queue, said player must check into the queue before shagging.

7.21.3.          If no players are in the queue, a player in play may retrieve a ball out of play with the official’s permission.

7.22.        Simultaneous events: If game events appear to have occurred at the same time, or the officials cannot determine the order of events, the officials shall apply the effects of all events that occurred simultaneously.

7.23.        Throw line: The forward boundary in a full-court game is opposing team’s attack line.

7.24.        Trap: A trap occurs when a player catches a ball at the same time it contacts the floor. It is not a catch and neither player is eliminated. Note: A ball that contacts the player first, and then is caught as it contacts the floor is not a trap or a catch and eliminates the player.

7.25.        Upright: Players are allowed to slightly bend their knees and slightly bend over in some sort of ready position and still be considered upright for purposes of headshots.

7.26.        Yellow card: A referee will warn a player or spectator during a match for inappropriate or unsportsmanlike behavior.