Etiquette & Spirit of the Game


  • All players participating in CSSC tournaments are expected to play with respect for everyone at the facility and with a “fun-first” attitude.
  • All players are expected to know the rules and manage their actions on the floor.
  • Players are required to call themselves out if they have been hit. Not calling yourself out is the ultimate in poor sportsmanship.
  • Promote fun and safety throughout the game: let the GC know if you are enjoying an opponent, congratulate your opponent on fun and fair play throughout the game.
  • Players that are concerned about a player on the opposing team are required to talk to their team captain so he/she can address the issue with the GC at the appropriate time.
  • Players are expected to act in a respectful manner if approached by a GC or an opposing team captain regarding their style of play and to make any requested changes.
  • Players should not aim at an opponent’s head while the opponent is in a vulnerable position (e.g. while a player is bending over to pick up a ball or if a player has fallen to the ground).
  • Players should make an effort to keep the play moving.
  • Players should be mindful of how hard they throw.
  • Teams are encouraged to wear fun and unique uniforms to the games.
  • At any time the GC may request your name or a name of someone on your team to record on the game report sheet. Providing a false name to the GC is a serious offense and will result in suspension from the CSSC.
  • Teams are expected to cheer for their opponents at the end of a game. It is also encouraged to give an additional cheer for the GC and thank them for GC-ing the game.

Format & Scoring


  • Before the first game, the captains will meet with the GC to introduce themselves, discuss facility-specific restrictions and rules or sportsmanship issues that need to be emphasized.
  • Each round robin and playoff match includes a 5 minute warm-up and a 5 minute half time. Game lengths will be specified on the tournament schedule.
  • A match consists of as many games that can be completed in the designated amount of time. No single game can exceed 5 minutes. No game will start with less than 5 minutes remaining in the match.
  • To start a game, each team will stand at their respective back line. The GC will place 3 dodgeballs 5 feet back from the centre line on each half court (6 balls in total).
  • The GC will start the match by shouting “ready, set, dodgeball” at which time players can rush to the balls.
  • The purpose of dodgeball is to eliminate the opposing players from the game by hitting them with the ball below the shoulders or catching balls that have been thrown.
  • The team with the last person still in the game wins that game and receives a point.
  • There are no substitutions during a game, unless it is necessary due to injury.
  • At halftime, the team captains meet with one another and the GC to discuss any issues that arose in the first half. It is the responsibility of each captain to communicate these issues to their teammates before resuming play.
  • The team with the most games won wins the match.


  • A game is won when one team eliminates all opposing players on the court. Each game is worth one point.
  • If the 5 minute time limit is reached, the team with the most players remaining wins the game.
  • If the 5 minute time limit is reached and both teams have the same number of players on the court, the “sudden death” rule will be in effect.
    • Sudden Death Rule: All eliminated players return to the court, the game is restarted, and the first team to have a player eliminated loses the game. In a sudden death game, balls must be ‘activated’ before they can be used to eliminate the opposing team. A ball is activated once it has touched the back wall on the half where it is lined up. All other rules still apply when activating balls (e.g. if a player throws a failed pass to their teammate, they would be out).
  • Tie Games - Round Robin:
    • For round robin games, if the match ends and both teams have the same amount of games won, the match will be recorded as a tie.
  • Tie Games - Playoffs:
    • For playoffs, regulation time is 5 minutes less than what is recorded on the schedule. The remaining 5 minutes will be used for a tie-breaking game (if necessary).
    • There are no ties in playoffs.

General Playing Guidelines


  • Players may not remain static in areas that conceal or partially conceal their body (e.g. doorways or equipment that may be in the facility).
  • Players can not wear gloves while playing Dodgeball unless they have a medical reason and have asked the CSSC for permission.


  • Live Balls
    • A ball is live once a player gains possession and until the ball touches anything other than an active player (floor, wall, spectators, benches etc…) with the exception of when it touches a ball held by an active player, in which case the ball is still live.
    • Possession is gained when a player picks up a ball or catches a ball.
  • Dead Balls
    • A ball is dead once it hits anything other than an active player (floor, wall, spectators, benches etc…) with the exception of when it touches another ball being held by an active player, in which case the ball is still live.
    • If two balls collide in mid-air they are both considered dead.
    • A ball that is thrown and deflected back across the centre line in the air while still live (either by hitting a player or a ball a player is holding) is considered dead for the purposes of the team who made the intiial throw. However, the ball is still considered live for the purposes of the team who was thrown at, meaning that they may still attempt to make a play on the ball (such as reaching or jumping across the centre line to make a catch).


  • Throwing the ball is the most common way of eliminating opponents.
  • All players must release the ball within 10 seconds.
  • Failed Pass Rule: Players may pass the ball to a teammate by kicking it along the ground, throwing it or handing it off. If the receiving player touches the ball, but does not catch it, they are eliminated (even if the ball crosses the centre line). If the receiving player does not touch the ball, they are not out. Whether or not the receiving player touches the ball, if it does not cross the centre line in the air, the thrower is eliminated.
  • If a player hits their own teammate with a ball on a throw, the Failed Pass Rule would apply. The player that was hit is eliminated and the thrower is only out if their ball does not cross the centre line in the air.
  • A player can direct a dead ball with their hands, feet or with a ball in their possession.
  • Kamikaze throws are allowed. This is when the thrower jumps over the centre line and throws the ball at an opponent. They land on the opponent’s side of the court and are therefore eliminated. This is also called a suicide play.
  • Hits that occur from illegal throws do not count, but catches from illegal throws do count. The following throws are illegal:
    • Kicking, spiking, slapping, or otherwise hitting the ball in the air toward the opponent.
    • Pinching the ball: players may not misshape the ball during play. Pinching the ball means gripping it to the point where the player's hand is closed around a small portion of the ball where two edges of the ball may meet. If a GC deems that a ball has been misshapen to gain an advantage prior to being thrown, the throw will not be deemed legal, but may be caught for an out by the opponent.
    • A 360 degree spinning throw.
  • In Foam Dodgeball, players may not squeeze the air out of the balls at any point in the game. A ball with all the air squeezed out is referred to as a “raisin”. Throwing a raisin is similar to “pinching”, and thus is illegal.


  • If a player catches a ‘live’ ball that is thrown at him/her – the thrower is eliminated. In addition, the team who caught the ball may return a previously eliminated player back onto the court. Players who re-enter the game are admitted based on the order they were eliminated (the first person eliminated would be the first to return to the game).
  • If a ball strikes a player(s) and is caught by a teammate while it is still live, the player(s) that the ball originally struck is safe. The opposing player that threw the ball is out.
  • If the ball strikes a player(s) and is not caught by them or their teammate while it is still live, all players that touched the ball are out.
  • A player already in possession of a ball cannot catch another ball.
  • Players may use a ball in their possession to block/deflect another ball thrown at them. If that player dropped the ball or it was knocked out of their possession – they are eliminated from the game. A ball deflected with another ball held by an active player is still considered live.
  • If a player deflects a ball with their body and their teammate catches it, the player who deflected it is “saved”.
  • A ball that is caught and hits the ground or wall at the same time (often called a ‘trap’) is considered a dead ball, and no one is eliminated or comes back on.


  • When a player is eliminated they must immediately raise their hand and leave the court. They must join the queue as quickly and efficiently as possible without interfering with the play.
  • A player is eliminated if they:
    • Are hit by a dodgeball (coming from the opposition or their own team) below the shoulders and the ball is not caught by any member of their team.
    • Are contacted on any part of their clothing below the shoulders.
    • Throw a ball and it is caught by an opponent.
    • Accidentally or intentionally touch the court on their opponent’s half. Players may lean over the centre line to retrieve a ball but may not touch any part of the opponent’s court. Note: The centre line includes the side walls.
    • Throw a Dangerous High Throw (see ‘Dangerous High Throws’ section below for more details). This rule does not apply in Foam Dodgeball leagues.
    • Throw a Head Shot (see ‘Head Shots’ section below for more details).
    • Are in possession of more than one ball at a time.
    • Hold onto a ball for longer than 10 seconds. Passing the ball to a teammate does not reset the 10-second count.
    • Dribble the ball on their own side of the court.
    • Attempt to reset the 10-second count on a ball (via dribbling or placing the ball over the centre line, lightly throwing the ball over half with backspin, throwing the ball high off the back wall, etc.) Any attempt to circumvent this rule for a player or their teammate will result in elimination.
    • Throw a ball and it does not reach or cross the centre line in the air. The only exception to this rule is if the ball makes contact with a ball thrown by the opposition; in this case, the ball is not required to cross the centre line.
    • Fumble the ball in any situation, including a pass from a teammate.
    • Pass a ball to a teammate and that teammate fails to receive the pass and the ball subsequently does not cross the centre line in the air.
    • Allow the ball to be knocked out of their hands and it hits the wall or the floor.
    • Allow the ball to be knocked out of their hands and it hits a teammate (if the teammate catches it, they are still in).
    • Place the ball onto the floor.


  • A player will re-enter the game if a teammate catches a ball thrown by the opponent.
  • Players are required to re-enter the game in the order that they were eliminated.
  • Players re-entering the game are considered live once they have taken one step onto the court.
  • Players can only re-enter the game from the queue; if a player is eliminated and a catch is made that would bring them back in before they have reached the queue, they may still re-enter the game, but only after they have touched the side wall where the queue is located.

Violations & Fouls


  • Violations, high throws and head shots in CSSC Dodgeball are plays that may or may not be intentional, but are dangerous and/or unsportsmanlike and are considered to be serious offenses.
  • Minor Warning – The player should apologize and play continues.
  • Major Warning – The player will sit out for the remainder of the game. The team will play short-handed for the remainder of the game.
  • Penalty – The player will sit for the remainder of the current game and the following game. The team will play short-handed for the game in which the player commits the penalty. The team is allowed to field six players for the next game.
  • Ejection – The GC may choose to eject a player from a game or match. Once a player has been ejected they must leave the facility immediately. The team can field six players for the remainder of the match.


  • The following items may cause a team to lose sportsmanship points from their opponent or the GC. The GC may issue a minor or major warning depending on the severity or frequency.
    • Players cannot keep possession of the balls in order to stockpile the balls on their side of the court.
    • Teams can not use delay tactics by hoarding balls on their side of the court.
    • If one team has more balls on their side of the court than players, they are encouraged to pass the balls to the opposing team’s court. Any player can do this. This includes eliminated players, substitutes and “live” players.
    • It is unsportsmanlike to hit a player that is attempting to pass a ball to their opponent.
    • Attempts should be made to keep the game moving, teams should not “let the clock run out”.
    • Players or teammates should call themselves out, see eliminations section above. GCs may call players out if they do not call themselves out. In addition, the GC may issue a major warning or a penalty.


  • The following items may cause a team to lose sportsmanship points from their opponent or the GC. The GC may issue anything from a minor warning to an ejection.
    • Yelling at an opponent or the GC.
    • Arguing calls with an opponent or the GC.
    • Calling anything against your opponent.
    • Displaying unsportsmanlike behaviour (e.g. throwing a ball against a wall in anger or frustration).
  • Any issues that teams have should be addressed by their team captain politely with the GC at the appropriate time (between games, at the half or at the end of the match).


  • A dangerous high throw is considered to be anything thrown with force above the shoulders when the player is standing upright that does not make contact with a player’s head. Note: Dangerous High Throws are not a penalty in Foam Dodgeball.
  • On a player’s first dangerous high throw, there are three possible outcomes:
    • In an instance when the GC sees a player make a high throw that is not deemed to be aggressive or threatening to their opponent, the GC will issue a minor warning.
    • If a player or their teammate clearly identifies that they have made a dangerous high throw, the player should immediately remove themselves from the playing surface but that player can wait in the queue and return to the game.
    • If the GC identifies a player making a dangerous high throw that clearly puts another player at risk due to the height or velocity of the throw or how directly it was thrown at a player and the player does not call themselves, the GC will issue a major warning.
  • A second dangerous throw, whether identified by the player, a teammate or the GC will result in at least a major warning. The GC has the sole discretion to issue an ejection to a player on a second high throw if they deem that their actions are reckless and/or overly aggressive.
  • If a player uses a ball or their hand(s) to block a ball coming towards their face, that player is not out. The person who threw the ball will be considered “out” and can return into the rotation.
  • If a player is hit by a dangerous high throw (with the exception of a head shot or blocking the ball when a head shot would have occurred), both that player and the thrower are out. Examples of this would be a hit on the top of the shoulder, or a failed attempt to catch a high throw.
  • If a player blocks a dangerous high throw that would have otherwise been a head shot and gets hit by a legal throw at the same time, that player is not eliminated.
  • A “lob” is not considered to be a dangerous high throw.


  • A head shot is considered to be anything thrown with force above the shoulders when the player is standing upright that contacts a player in the head. The first time that a player commits a head shot, they will receive at least a major warning.
  • The first point of contact determines if a player is eliminated. For example, if the ball hits a player’s arm and then hits the player’s head – the player who gets hit is eliminated.
  • An opponent that is hit in the head is NOT eliminated, even if they were hit by a legal throw in conjunction with the head shot – but the person who threw the ‘head shot’ is eliminated.
  • Disqualification from the match will occur when a player has 2 shots that result in contact above the shoulders during a single match.
  • If a player is ducking, crouching or diving and they get hit in the head with a ball, the player that was hit is out and the player that threw the ball remains in the game and should apologize. Clarification: diving does not refer to when a player jumps up in the air. If a player’s feet are off the ground because they jumped up, dangerous high throws and head shots are still in effect, and are relative to the height of the jumper when the throw reaches them.

Rubber Dodgeball Dangerous High Throws & Headshots Diagram

Foam Dodgeball Dangerous High Throws & Headshots Diagram


  • The GC may eliminate any player from a game, match or competition that they feel is continually abusing the rules and the spirit of the game.
  • This rule will be enforced strictly at the discretion of the GC. The GC may issue any of the above warnings or penalties if a player has multiple offenses in one match.