Golden Rule

First and foremost all DC Fray leagues are 50% Social and 50% Sport. We do have officials; however, we expect individuals to respect the league’s culture of fair and fun play. Foul language and rough play will not be tolerated and individuals who cannot adhere to our standards of fair play and sportsmanship may be asked to leave the league. DC Fray wants everyone to have a fun and be social while enjoying a great sport. DC Fray will do whatever they can to make sure all players are having fun.

General Game Rules

Dodgeball teams will consist of 6 players on the court at one time, two of which must be females.  Six (6) foam balls will be used during play. The objective for both teams is to eliminate all of the players on the other team to win a round.  Teams play as many rounds as they can in their allotted 35min match, after which the team who has won the most number of rounds will be declared the winner of the match. Substitutions will only be allowed in-between rounds.

Teams & Players

DC Fray is proud to relieve captains of the burden of paying for full teams. While captains and players are able to prepay for additional players and or full teams, it is not a requirement for participation in our leagues. We welcome individual player payments.

We are also proud to welcome those who do not have a full team (small groups and free agents) to participate in our league.

Our primary mission is to make it easier for people to have fun and get involved with social sports and these policies help accomplish that goal.

Because of these policies all registrations are on a first come first serve basis and any roster that does not reach our standard size (based on each sport) is eligible to receive free agents and or small group by the league. Rosters made up of primarily free agents and or a collection of small groups may field more players than the standard roster size. This policy is in place to help ensure free agent teams are able to consistently field teams each week.

1. All players must be at least 21 years of age prior to participating in any Match and must be registered and in good standing with DC Fray (herein: “DC Fray” or the “League”).

2. Rosters must include no fewer than 6 players (4 men / 2 women), but may have as many players on the roster as a team chooses with no other restrictions (30 women and 4 men is okay).

3. Note: If a team of “free agent” registrations is assembled by the League, it will have no more than 12 players, consisting of a maximum of 6 men and 6 women.

4. Each team may play up to 6 players in each Game, with at least one woman on the court, and a maximum of 4 men on the court.

5. A team MUST play at least 3 players at the start of each Game.

6. Acceptable combinations are: 4 men/2 women, 3 men/0-2 women, 1 man/2-5 women, 0 men/3-6 women.

iii. If a team has players in attendance and they are capable of playing, then they must do so.

1. Only players who are on the court at the start of each Game are allowed to play in that particular Game.

2. Exception: In a case of in-Game injury, another rostered player from the same team and of the same gender may substitute mid-game for the injured player.

3. Teams may substitute rostered players between games.

4. During the regular season, if a team does not have enough players from its’ own team to satisfy the 6 player minimum, a team may use no more than 2 “fill-in” players to meet the minimum 6 player requirement,

5. All “fill-in” players must be registered and in good standing with the League.

6. The use of substitute players above the 3 player minimum is at the discretion of the opposing team’s Captain.

7. Each Match in which a team fails to meet the 3 player minimum, uses an illegal sub w/o the consent of the opposing team’s captain, or is not present by 5 minutes past their designated start-time shall be ruled a forfeit in favor of their opponent.

8. During the playoffs, teams may not use subs and may only use players on their roster.

9. Playoff Eligibility: teams that notch 2 or more forfeits during the regular season will not be eligible for the playoffs.

Code of Sportsmanship

As an adult dodgeball player, it is your personal responsibility to never allow yourself or your teammates to cross that line between fun competition and unsportsmanlike behavior.

1. Dodgeball is a self-regulated game that relies on the Honor System. If you are out, you are expected to raise your hand and go out without anybody else telling you to do so.

2. If one of your teammates is out (knowingly or not) and does not go out, it is your responsibility to tell them to do so.

3. Referees are used to rule on unclear plays, settle disputes, keep the game moving and ensure player safety. While they will at times let you know if you are out, a lack of a call by a Referee does not remove your obligation to abide by the Honor System.

4. Players must treat their fellow dodgeballers, Referees and spectators with respect and courtesy. Personal and malicious remarks directed at anybody in the dodgeball community, obscene or otherwise, at any time, have no place in the League.  Please no yelling at the other team, the referees, or whomever.  Remember to have fun!

5. Players must respect the authority of the Referees to regulate the game and abide by their decisions. Referees’ decisions are final.

6. The only time a Referee’s decision may be overturned is during “objectively incorrect calls” I.E if a new referee declares you are “out” after catching a ball because they were unaware of the catching rule.

7. If an objective error is made ONLY the Captain(s) of the team(s) may approach the referee to cite the rule and request a change of call.

8. Team Captains must be the only players that address concerns to Referees and League   Officials. They are expected to do so in a courteous and respectful manner, and to confine their discussions to objective interpretations of the rules and not challenge Referees’ decisions regarding judgment or subjectivity.

9. Players are expected to comply with the intent and spirit of the rules.  Deliberately attempting to violate the rules is unacceptable.

10. Teammates rely on players attending games.  If you fail to attend at least 3 games with no excuse, you may be replaced on the roster if both the captain and league management agree that it is best for your team.


1. DC Fray Foam Dodgeball is played with 6 balls per Game.

2. The official ball used in game play will be an 8.5’’ foam ball.

3. Only balls provided by the League will be allowed in play.

4. Players must wear non-marking closed-toe athletic shoes.

5. Teams are encouraged to wear the t-shirts provided by USS during League play.

6. If plastic knee pads are worn, they must be covered with a non-marking adhesive.

7. No gloves or other hand/finger coverings of any kind may be worn during games unless medically necessary.

The Playing Court

1. DC Fray Foam Dodgeball is played on racquetball courts.

2. “Attack” lines for each team shall be marked 4 feet from the center line.

3. “Out Lineups” for each team shall be aligned with the respective teams’ corner baselines.

Game Personnel and Their Duties

1. Each team shall identify one team captain to the referees prior to the Match.

2. Only a team captain may speak on behalf of their team to referees and league officials.

3. Team captains are expected to address referees and league officials in a respectful manner, and are strongly encouraged to wait until times of play stoppage to raise any questions or concerns.

4. 1 Referees will be positioned, during game play, at the center line, on one side of the court.

5. A Referee’s primary responsibility is to serve as an arbitrator for difficult calls, start and maintain game flow, ensure safety of all participants and spectators, and enforce the Sportsmanship Code. It is the PLAYERS’ responsibility to remove themselves from games when Out – not the referee’s responsibility to call them out.

6. Referees have the authority to eject anyone before, during and immediately after any match they are officiating if they feel it is warranted.  This should never be necessary (see Code of Sportsmanship).

7. Referees have sole discretion to call a timeout for injury or otherwise.

8. A restart after a timeout should occur with all players on their respective back lines.  Players may have in their possession any balls that were on their side when the timeout was called.

9. If a referee cannot determine what side of the court a ball or multiple balls were on at the time the timeout was called, those balls should be placed at center court for a rush.

10. All decisions made by referees are final.

Pregame Procedures

1. Prior to a Match, the team captains and referee shall meet at center court for introductions and to review any rules that need clarification.

2. Immediately prior to the start of every Game, six balls shall be placed on the center line such that three balls are on one-half of the court and three are on the other half.

Starting A Game

1. Players will line up at the baselines on their respective sides of the court, touching the wall.

2. A signal from a Referee will signal the beginning of the game, at which time teams may approach the center line to retrieve the balls.

3. Teams may only retrieve the three rightmost (from their perspective) balls on the court.

4. Once a ball is retrieved, the retrieving player must clear it by touching the ball against the baseline wall before it can be legally thrown.  Bouncing the ball against the wall is permitted, as are toss-backs if the a teammate is touching the wall at the time of receiving the toss-back pass.

5. If a ball remains on the center line for ten seconds after the initial referee whistle, it may be retrieved by either team and does not have to be cleared.

6. Players must throw balls from behind the attack lines (4 feet back from the center line) to get an opposing player Out.  Any throw made over the attack line will be ruled and illegal throw and any opposing player hit by the thrown ball shall remain In, with no penalty to the thrower.


1. The walls.

2. The center line.  Stepping over it means you’re out.


1. Players may have up to 2 balls in their possession at once.

2. If a ball is in a player’s possession, that player must throw a ball across the center line within 5 seconds.

3. If a thrown ball does not cross the center line before hitting the ground, then the thrower will be declared out.

4. Players may pass a ball in their possession to other players on their team.

5. Nudging, rolling, pushing, kicking, etc. a ball to another player is permitted (it keeps the pace of the game moving).

Out Lineup

1. When players are Out, they must proceed immediately to the Out Lineup.

2. Players that are Out are to line up in order from the center line on their side of the court.

3. Those in the Out Lineup must return any balls that enter the Out Lineup to the playing area without delay.

4. Players returning to the court from the Out Lineup are in play once they touch the back wall of their baseline.

Game Start, End and Timing

1. A 35-minute time limit has been established for each Match in regular season league play. Teams will play as many games as possible during that time.

2. Teams have 5 minutes after the Match time clock has started to satisfy the 5 player minimum. If they fail to do so within that time, a forfeit will be recorded.

3. No Game will start with less than a minute remaining on the 35-minute game clock.

4. Once a game is started, it will be played to completion.

5. Due to time restrictions in the gym, the game clock will begin at the scheduled start time.  If there are circumstances beyond a team’s control (i.e. anything not associated with players not being on time), league management will have the game clock start later than the start time.

Match Procedures

1. The Referee will be the official timekeeper. The referee will announce the remaining time at the ten (10) and five (5) minute marks.

2. Teams will switch sides after 20 minutes have passed on the official clock.

3. Games end when all players have been eliminated from one team.

Game Scoring

1. The team that wins the most Games is declared the winner of the Match.

2. Ties will result in a tie-breaking game.

3. During the playoffs, all Games will be played as a Best-of-X format as determined by the League that season.  All games will be played to completion.

4. The official Match score will be recorded by one of the game referees.

5. Team Captains must sign off on the score sheet at the end of their Match. Should the captain disagree with the recorded game result, they need to discuss with League management at the conclusion of the game.

Player Elimination

1. A player is Out when an opponent throws a ball that hits the player before hitting anything else, and the player is unable to catch it before it touches the ground, wall, ceiling, another ball, or any other object other than a fellow team member.

2. A Save occurs if a player is hit by a ball, but after the hit, and before the ball touches the ground, wall, etc, a teammate catches the ball in bounds. Neither the thrower nor the hit player is Out and no Out players return to the game.

3. Players may deflect a thrown ball with a held ball and not be called Out. However, if the player does not retain control of the held ball (so that the ball touches the floor, wall or any other non-human object), he/she is Out.

  • Clarification: Once a thrown ball has been deflected off of a held ball, it is considered “dead”, meaning that even if it then hits the player, that player is not out (nor can the ball then be caught to eliminate the thrower).

4. A ball that hits the floor and a player at the same time does not result in an Out.  This is known as a “trap,” and the referee should immediately communicate to both teams that all players are Safe.

5. If a player has thrown a ball before they are hit, that ball is live and can cause an out (by catch or hit).

Catch Outs / Game Re-Entry

1. A player is Out when an opposing player catches a ball they threw, in bounds, before it touches another player, the ground, wall, ceiling, another ball, or any other object.

2. When a player makes a Catch, the first player in the team’s Out Lineup may return to the game.

3. Players must return to the Game in the order in which they got Out.

4. Players must be Out at the time of the Catch to be able to be caught back in.

5. Players returning to the Game out of order, intentionally or not, will be called Out.

6. A ball that is “trapped” against the floor does not result in an Out or player return (all players are Safe). The referee should immediately communicate to both teams that all players are Safe.

7. A player may catch a ball while already holding a ball.

8. A player may legally drop a ball to attempt a catch.

Exiting The Court

1. Players who are Out must quickly leave the court, indicate they are Out by raising their arm, then line up in the Out Lineup in the order in which they got Out.

Head Shots

1. Although considered to be of generally poor taste, headshots are permitted in this foam league, and will be treated like any other hit.  Players should NOT consider the head to be a viable target unless an opposing player is in a crouched or prone position.  If it’s obvious that a player is intentionally and consistently aiming for an opposing player’s head, that player shall be given a warning.  If the throwing player persists, s/he will be called “out.”  Three (3) outs in this manner will result in player ejection from the match.

2. Essentially, place nice and have fun!

Slow Play and Possession

1. Players must move the ball across the center the line within 5 seconds of physical possession.  Referees should give a verbal warning when 5 seconds is reached.  If a player does not throw the ball after the verbal warning, that player shall be called Out.

  • Clarification: This rule is intended to keep the game moving if teams/players are intentionally stalling, not as a method of having people called out.   If a captain feels that the other team is holding the balls significantly longer than 5 seconds, they should calmly inform the referees so that they may properly monitor/enforce any concerns.

2. Each possessed ball has its own slow play count.

3. Players must make an effort to retrieve and throw stagnant balls. If no effort is made, then the balls around the player will be considered possession and the player will be declared Out after 10 seconds.

4. All Balls on One Side: When all of the balls are on one team’s side of the court, a team has 10 seconds to put a ball into play on the other team’s side of the court, even if none are possessed by a player. Should the team fail to put a ball into play, the referee will declare the opposing team the winner of that game.

5. A player may not “pinch”, “scrunch” “or grab the ball tighter than necessary to throw or to catch it. Normal force should be used while holding the ball.


1. Spectators and players from other teams are not to interfere with game play.

2. If a ball strays from the court, spectators and players from other teams must without delay redirect the ball back into play at the nearest location.

3. Failure to obey this rule gives the referees the authority to ask spectators and players from other teams to move to another location.

4. Unless there is a court that is not in use, players are not allowed to warm up (by throwing dodgeballs) inside the gym while matches are being played.

5. Players who are hit but interfered with from a non-teammate shall not be called out.

Sportsmanship Violations

1. Referees and League Management have the authority to issue warnings and eject players.

2. Referees shall signal and can stop the game for all warnings.


1. Warning: No penalty, but if the behavior is repeated, the result could be a player being called Out or ejection.

2. Ejection: If a player is ejected before or during a game, the player may not play for the rest of that day/night.  If a player is ejected after their game is complete, they will be ineligible to play the rest of that day/night and the following week.

3. If player ineligibility due to ejection causes a team to become unable to meet minimum player requirements, then it will result in a forfeit loss.

Liability and Rules

1. Intoxication: If League Management or a referee has reason to believe a player is intoxicated while playing, that player will be ejected.

2. Drug or Alcohol Use: if a player is witnessed consuming alcohol or illegal drugs at the playing facility, that player will be ejected.

3. League Management reserves the right to suspend or expel any player from the league for any reason without refund.

Communication With Opponents

1. Communication with opposing teams is highly encouraged, but any and all communication should be of a positive nature.  Negative communication, whether verbal or non-verbal, including foul or abusive language, arguing, gestures, pointing, etc., shall result in a penalty.

2. Penalty Steps:

  • 1st Infraction: Warning to BOTH teams
  • 2nd Infraction: Player Out
  • 3rd Infraction: Player Ejection

Category: Dodgeball Rules

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