Rules for all kinds of dodgeball and other ball games.


Dodgeball is that lovable game played by children where the object is to hit other players with a ball, eliminating them from the game and bringing the shooter that much closer to victory.

~You split up the balls between the teams.

~The players can only go up to the center line or they are out.

~The players throw the balls and try to hit the other team's players.

~If they catch the ball, the person who threw it is out.

~If someone throws the ball and it hits a player in the head, the player who threw it is out.

~If the ball bounces or hits the wall, it can't get people out until some one throws it again.

~If a player catches a ball the other team threw, the team that caught it makes one of their players back in play.


Not all dodgeball games are structured. In fact, not all games are team-oriented. Elimination dodgeball requires plenty of space and is an every-player-for-himself sport. And those who have played it often believe it is even more fun than the traditional ball game.

~Use a medium-sized hard rubber ball and gather four or more players to participate. Find a space that allows all players to run around freely.

~Learn the rules. Remember that there are no space constraints or teams in elimination dodgeball. One player is given the ball and can chase down any other player at any time.

~ The thrower can't be any closer than 7 to 8 feet from the person she is attempting to hit with the ball. Determine before the game how far away the thrower must be from her target. Throwers can try to hit their opponents anywhere on the body, however, except the head.

~Catch that ball! If the target catches the ball, the thrower is eliminated and must sit out the rest of the game. If the ball hits the target anywhere and he fails to catch it, he is eliminated.

~Play until only two players remain. The last player to eliminate another by either hitting her or catching the ball decides if she wants to throw or catch in the last round. The two remaining players stand 10 feet apart and the final round is played out with those players standing still.


(This form of dodgeball was my FAVORITE activity in Junior High gym class, the prision was on top of the folder up wooden bleachers!)

Prisoner Dodgeball is a great game for kids between the ages of 5 and 12. It teaches teamwork, strategy and problem solving and allows for a fair bit of exercise.

~Divide the participants into two equal teams, based on age, skill and athleticism. If there is not already a line that divides the gym in half, create one and arrange one team on each side of the line.

~Place the soft balls on the center line of the playing area and have each team stand on the baseline of their side. This is the line that separates the playing area from the prisoner section.

~Signal the beginning of the game by blowing the whistle. Both teams at this point will run toward the balls in the center of the playing area. From here, they will throw the balls at players on the other team, attempting to hit them anywhere on the body below the shoulder. Once a player has been hit with a ball, they must go to the "prison" for their team, located behind the playing area of the other team.

~Be aware that once in the prison, the only way to get out is to have a member of your own team throw a ball to you. You must catch it with both feet in the prison section before the ball hits the ground. If you succeed, you may then cross the opposing team's playing area to rejoin your team.

~If you throw a ball at an opposing player and they catch it before it hits the ground, you must go to your team's prison. Even if the ball hits the player first, as long as they catch it before it hits the ground, you must go to prison.

~If you throw the ball and hit a player above the shoulders, it is an illegal throw called a "head shot." You must go to your team's prison and be rescued by a throw from one of your teammates if you commit this infraction.

~If you are in the playing field and you catch a ball thrown by the other team before the ball hits the ground, the person who threw it is "out" and must proceed to his team's prison.

~If you throw a ball to one of your teammates in prison to rescue them and it is caught by a member of the opposing team, you must go to the prison.

~Be aware that if a player crosses into any of the 'forbidden zones' (the other team's playing area or prison) they must go to prison. The only exception is when they are rescued from prison, they must run back through the other team's playing area to return to their own. When doing this, the player may not throw a ball at anyone on the opposing team, they are required to run straight back to rejoin their team.

~If you throw the ball to one of your teammates in prison and they catch it after it bounces off the wall, it does not count, even if it hasn't touched the floor yet. It must be a straight throw from player to player without any interference.

~It is legal for players to "guard" the prison. They can stand in front of the prison, but not in it, to either catch any balls thrown to get prisoners out.

Additionally, they may throw a ball in the air to interfere with a throw from a member of the other team.


Army Dodgeball is the logical successor to the original game. It adds a challenging but additively fun new game mechanic that is infinitely enjoyable.

~The more people playing, the more fun Army Dodgeball becomes. So find as many players as you can. For added fun, separate the players into teams (i.e. Shirts vs. No Shirts, Red Shirts vs. Blue Shirts, etc.)

~The location determines just what kind of game it will be. You definitely want to play Army Dodgeball outside. Most people play in open areas like backyards or parks. If that doesn't interest your fellow players, try playing somewhere with obstacles like a jungle gym.

~ Decide how you will determine who wins the game. Most games last until only one person is still in the game. If you are playing with teams, you could set a time limit, and whichever team has the most players still in the game would be the victor. But decide these BEFORE the game starts, so there aren't any arguments later.

~There are a few ways to begin a game of Army Dodgeball. You could toss the ball straight up in the air. You could gather everybody on one side of the playing field and throw the dodgeball onto the other side. Or, is you are playing with teams, you could flip a coin or play Rock, Paper, Scissors for possession.

~PLAY BY THE RULES. Once the ball is in play, you have to follow the rules of Army Dodgeball. If you catch the dodgeball, whoever threw it is out of the game. If someone is hit on a body part, that person can't use that limb until the game is over. For example, if you are hit on the right arm, you must now use your left arm to shoot. If hit in a leg, you must hop around using the other leg that wasn't hit. Being hit in the head is instant death. Sometimes being hit in the chest means death as well, but it depends on the rules of the game. This is where the fun of Army Dodgeball comes from.

~ Play the game until the game is over. Depending on the rules you have selected, the conditions of victory can change. Once the game is over,play another round! Maybe switch up the rules to keep the game from getting boring.


Israeli dodgeball, or GaGa, is a spin off of the more traditional game most people know and love. It’s meant to be played in a pit as opposed to on a court and the rules are modified just a bit to make for a faster and more challenging game. These rules will give you a fun new way to play this typical playground game.

~Find a playing area. Israeli dodgeball is meant to be played in a 20 x 20 foot pit that can be found on the playgrounds of some Jewish schools. If you don’t have access to this pit you can mark off an area in your gym, using at least two of the walls to mark the area, or you can set up a fence around an area to simulate a pit.

~Choose one person to be the referee. This person has the final say on all calls.

~Place all players inside the playing area with one person holding the ball.

~Throw the ball straight up in the air and allow it to hit the ground twice. With each hit the players yell “ga.” After the second bounce the game can begin.

~Hit the ball with your hand or fist towards another player you wish to get out of the game. The ball can never be held or thrown and it must contact another player before you’re allowed to hit it again. When there are only two players left each player may hit the ball up to 3 times in a row.

~Leave the playing area when you’re hit by the ball below the waist. The ball can bounce or ricochet off a wall or another player and still be considered “live.” If you’re hit above the waist you’re still in the game. You must also leave the game it you hit the ball at another person and he catches it before it bounces or if you are the last person to touch the ball before it goes out of bounds.

~Restart the game by repeating Step 4 anytime the ball goes out of bounds. The final person left in the playing area is the winner.