Live Ball A ball becomes live once it is in possession of a player and until it becomes a dead ball. A ball is still considered live even after making contact with another live ball or player Dead Ball A ball becomes dead once it makes contact with anything other than an active player. (i.e. Ceiling, Netting, Floor, Wall, Live Ball Mid-Air, Referee, Player who is out, A dead ball on the ground, A ball that has not been activated during the opening rush, Ball retrievers or fans , or any other object that is not an active part of the match Set A set is 4 minutes in duration, OR until all 6 players on a team are eliminated. 1 point is rewarded to the winner of each set. Match A 50-minute contest between two teams competing for the most number of sets/points within the time frame. 2 x 25 minute halves.

Team Rosters & Substitutions

  • A full mixed Dodgeball team consists of 6 players on the court, with a MINIMUM of 2 females required. (ie. 4 males, 2 females)
  • There is no maximum limit to the amount of players a team can have on their roster. On average, most teams have 6-10 players.
  • All players MUST fill out the online waiver form & Covid Team Information Form before playing Dodgeball.
  • Every team MUST nominate a team captain. The captain accepts the role of communicating with MDL and sharing any information with their entire team when needed. Captains duties include:
    • Letting MDL know about team forfeits with as much notice as possible
    • Relaying any information MDL provides to their team
    • Discussing any issues with the referee on behalf of the team
    • Ensuring their team has enough players each week
  • A registered team may bring in additional players not on the roster. All new players must fill out the waiver prior to playing.
  • The legal minimum player requirement a team MUST have to play a match is 3 males + 1 female.
  • If a team attends a match with no legal minimum player requirement, this may result in a match forfeit (see Match Forfeits).
  • A team may borrow players from another team only if they have 4 players or less. Permission from the opposing team is required before the match commences.
  • “A” Division players cannot substitute for “B” Division Teams. “B” Division players cannot substitute for “C” Division Teams and so on. However, if a player is permanently on two teams… this rule does not apply.
  • In order to be eligible for finals, each player must have played in 50% of the regular season matches during the season.


  • Players are encouraged to wear any protective equipment they feel is necessary for their own safety.
  • The use of sticky substances on hands to enhance catching abilities is strictly prohibited. Chalk is allowed.
  • MDL encourages all teams to wear matching jerseys throughout the entire season. These jerseys can be the same colored t-shirts, purchased through MDL, bought elsewhere OR won as a Grand Final Prize.
  • MDL provides all match balls - International 7” rubber coated polyurethane foam Dodgeballs.

The Court

  • MDL Dodgeball courts vary in dimensions depending on each venue.
  • Each court consists of a half-line and 2 activation lines.
  • AstroTurf courts are enclosed in netting AND contain an additional backline (see Boundaries).


  • In MDL, boundaries are set out specific to each venue. Courts may have no hard lines, one hard backline, one hard sideline or both.
  • In venues with a set back line, the line is considered a HARD BACK. Any part of a player’s body that TOUCHES the hard backline will result in elimination.
  • Players may only go behind the backline to retrieve balls and MUST raise their hand before crossing the line for a minimum of 1 second to prevent elimination. This allows referees enough time to observe players.
  • Any player retrieving a ball from behind the backline CANNOT be eliminated by the opposing team.
  • Any player retrieving a ball from behind the backline CANNOT make a legal catch from their opponents.
  • Any player retrieving a ball from behind the backline/sideline MUST return to inbound territory from where they initially exited AND without any form of stalling. Excessive stalling can result in elimination from the Referee even if that player was hit whilst out of bounds.
  • Any thrown ball that is deflected off a player standing behind the back line is considered a dead ball and cannot be caught by any teammates.
  • If a player jumps from inbound territory and catches a ball mid-air and lands outside the backline or sideline, the catch DOES NOT count.
  • Players may jump from inbound territory across hard lines to deflect balls back in play. That player is eliminated once they land 6 across the hardline. HOWEVER, if the deflected ball is caught by their teammate after they have landed out of bounds, this would bring that player back into the game (if it is their turn).
  • Players can ONLY raise their hand to retrieve a ball behind the backline and/or sideline. Any player who has stepped on the line, has lost balance or jumps behind the line during game play can not raise their hand in an attempt to escape elimination. Referees have final discretion on all calls.
  • For venues with a HARD SIDELINE, the same rules apply.
  • Teams are encouraged to use their Ball Retrievers to pass balls back into game play to decrease time spent collecting balls by players.
  • Please discuss with the referee whether your location has specific boundary lines and whether penalties apply for playing outside specified lines.


  • The team with the most sets won (points) at the end of the match wins. A point is awarded to the team who successfully eliminates the other team during one set. Each set is worth one point.
  • If the 4-minute time limit is reached, the team with the most players remaining wins the set.
  • If both teams have the same score at the end of the match, it will be recorded as a draw (except during finals)
  • MERCY RULE – If a team loses by 10 points before a match has finished, the match will become a friendly and either team can earn no more points. This keeps the ladder fair for all teams.
  • During a friendly match, different varieties of Dodgeball matches can be played if agreed upon by both teams.
  • LATE PENALTIES - If a team turns up 10 minutes late the opposing team will reveive an automatic 2 points. For each additional 4 minutes the team is late the opposing team will receive 1 point.

Match Forfeits

  • At the start of any match, if a team does not meet the minimum player requirements, they risk an on the spot forfeit. The referee and both team captains before the match must discuss options available. The opposing team has final say on the outcome of the match and all decisions MUST be respected.

    The following options are available during this scenario:
    1) The match will be considered a forfeit to the defaulting team. In the case of a forfeit, the match can be cancelled OR resume as a friendly match. (Forfeit fee is deducted from defaulted team and no fee is charged to unaffected team)
    2) If agreed beforehand by the opposing team, teams who are short players may obtain players from other teams to reach the legal player limit. The match resumes as normal.
  • All defaults are recorded as 10-0 in favor of the non-defaulting team.
  • There is a $75 dollar forfeit fee for one forfeited match, which will be deducted from the bond. If bond has been used up completely during a season, your team is required to repay the bond.
  • If a team defaults on a second night, their status in the league will be put under review.
  • In the case of a forfeit before match day, the opposing team may choose to either:
    • Not pay the match fee and not play that day
    • Or opt for a friendly match (if available) while paying the $75 match fee

Fixtures & Ladders

  • Fixtures are posted online 48 hours prior to the first match of the regular season. No scheduled matches occur during Public Holidays.
  • Depending on the venue, leagues may offer “A”, “B” or “C” divisions. “A” division is for competitive teams. “B” division is for Intermediate and “C” division is for beginner teams.
  • Season length is dependent on the amount of teams playing. Each team will play opposing teams twice throughout a season, resulting in seasons lasting 14-18 weeks.
  • Due to unforeseen circumstances, the fixture may change throughout a season, including match days. Teams will be notified if this occurs.
  • The Ladder will be posted online and updated within 48 hours of each match.
  • The Ladder is based on a win/loss/draw system including a +/- point system.
  • In the case of two teams having an equal W/L/D record at the end of a season, the team with the most points will outrank the other.
  • In the unlikely event of two teams having an identical record at the end of a season, a free 20 minute match will be played to determine the rank.
  • Matches can be played anytime between 6:40pm and 10:20pm on weeknights.
  • Matches can be played anytime between 3:45pm and 10:20pm on Sundays.
  • MDL will only cancel matches if the temperature reaches above 38 degrees Celsius.
  • In extreme heat conditions, short breaks and water breaks are mandatory. This will be included in the match time.
  • Other times in which matches would be canceled or rescheduled, would be if the facility is closed. Teams will be notified if this occurs.

Finals & Grand Finals

  • A combination of win/loss/draw ratios during the season plus point differences contribute to a teams place in the ladder.
  • In Divisions with 8 or more teams. The top 8 teams will compete using the AFL finals structure:
  • QUARTER FINALS: 1st vs. 4th (Game 1), 5th vs. 8th (Game 2), 6th vs. 7th (Game 3) & 2nd vs. 3rd (Game 4)
  • SEMI FINALS: Loser of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 (Game 5), Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 (Game 6)
  • PRELIMINARY FINALS: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 6 (Game 7), Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5 (Game 8)
  • GRAND FINALS: Winner of Game 7 vs. Winner of Game 8
  • BRONZE FINALS: Loser of Game 7 vs. Loser of Game 8
  • In Divisions with only 6-7 teams, the top 6 teams will play in the finals. Finals are a single elimination structure (changes to the structure can occur).
  • 3rd vs. 6th place & 4th vs. 5th place in Quarter Finals.
  • 1st & 2nd place receive a BYE into Semi-Finals.
  • 2nd place will play the highest seeded winner of Quarter Finals... 1st place will play the lowest seeded winner of quarter finals during Semi Finals.
  • The winners of both these matches continue onto the GRAND FINAL.
  • The losers of Semi Finals will play off for a bronxe medal.
  • During Finals… Any matches resulting in a draw will be decided by a FULL 4-MINUTE ROUND (Not Sudden Death)
  • To qualify for finals, all players must have played in 50% of matches throughout the regular season.
  • If a player does not qualify due to injuries but has played a minimum of 25% of the season. They may still qualify for finals if they can bring in medical certificates and can prove they could not attend the additional 25% of games required to qualify foir finals.
  • League Managers will have final say in these matters.

General Match Format

  • Teams are required to show up 5-10 minutes before match time for stretching and warm-up.
  • Each match runs continuously for 50 minutes (2 x 25 min halves) The clock can be stopped for time-outs, injuries, cleaning and/or penalties.
  • Only the 6 original players from the start of each set may play during set length. Only when the set ends can teams rotate their extra players into the match.
  • The balls will be set up by the players prior to each set.
  • At the start of each set, each team will place 3 balls on the right side of their half-line (6 Total). The balls can be spaced apart in any way teams see fit from the center point of the half-line to the right hand sideline.
  • Before a new set begins, both teams must line up on the backline. Players back foot must be touching the backline.
  • The referee will blow one sharp whistle to commence each new set. Once blown, players can run toward their balls (Refer to the Opening Rush Rule).
  • Sets are 4 minutes in length. The Referee will call out when there is 1 minute remaining, 30 seconds remaining, 20 seconds remaining followed by a verbal 10-second countdown to end the set.
  • Match play must be contained within the line boundaries at all times.
  • JUMPING INTO THE NETS IS NOT ALLOWED. This is strictly for safety reasons and to prevent damage to netting. Players will be eliminated if this occurs. Players can lightly touch nets... too much leaning into nets or falling into the net may result in elimination. It is the referees discretion as to whether they believe the player would have gone out of bounds or not.
  • If players are eliminated, they can raise their hand as they leave the court to let opponents know that they are out of the set.
  • No lifting of any players is permitted during match play.
  • No set will start with less than 90 seconds remaining in the match. All players must be on the backline and ready to start before 90 seconds is on the clock in order to play a final set -- Utilising your 1 Time-Out to stop the clock before the 90 second mark is a good idea.
  • If a set begins with under 4 minutes left on the clock, the set will end at the 0:00 mark. (ie. If there is 1:37 left on the clock, the set will be 1:37 long)
  • Teams are required to switch sides around the half time mark.
  • Players who have been eliminated must remain off court and now become BALL SHAGGERS. It is their job to collect balls outside the court and pass them back to active players.
  • Ball Shaggers can ONLY collect balls once they have completely crossed a boundary line. They may then hold onto the ball as long as they like until returning into active gameplay.
  • Ball Shaggers cannot use a ball in hand to throw at an active ball on court in an attempt to move balls closer to their teammates.
  • Any ball that a Ball Shagger collects from inside court boundaires will result in the referee stopping the game and forfeiting that ball to the opposing team.

Eliminating Players

Players are eliminated if they:

  • Throw a ball and an opponent catches it.
  • Are hit by a ball on the full (from opposing team) anywhere on the body. Clothing, head and hair is included!
  • Are using a ball in their hands to deflect a thrown ball, and the deflected ball contacts any part of their body/clothing.
  • Are hit by a ball that has been deflected by a teammates body or ball onto any part of their body.
  • Step on any hardline.
  • Has a ball disarmed from their possession.
  • Cross or touch the half-line with any part of the body (this includes wall surfaces as well). This will result in a double whistle from the Referee.
  • Stall behind the backline.
  • Receive 2 yellow cards or one red card from the Referee.
  • Jump feet first into netting
  • Throw their body into netting to avoid an incoming ball. If the player has caused an indentation in the net large enough to prevent an incoming ball from hitting them. This is the referees discretion.
INTERFERENCE No player who has been eliminated may interfere with current gameplay. If a Referee believes an eliminated player has intentionally interfered with gameplay, they can eliminate specific players based on the situation. ie. If an eliminated player intentionally moves in front of a thrown ball and blocks it from hitting a teammate, the Referee can eliminate that teammate if they believe it was in their general vicinity. ALL ELIMINATED PLAYERS MUST QUICKLY EXIT THE COURT

The Opening Rush

  • A set begins with teams placing 6 Dodgeballs along the half line; 3 balls on one half and 3 balls on the other (refer to picture).
  • Players then line up at the backline. In AstroTurf courts the back foot is placed on the backline. In gymnasiums, the back foot is placed against the back wall.
  • Teams may only retrieve the 3 balls to the right of the center hash during the opening rush.
  • If any balls are touched (with hand or ball) from the opposing team before it is legal to do so, this will result in a time out with the opposing team receiving all of the balls.
  • ONLY during the opening rush, players may cross the half-line with TWO FEET without being eliminated.
  • Once a ball is retrieved, it must be carried, rolled, kicked or thrown behind the activation-line (see dotted lines on “The Court” below) before it can be legally thrown at the opposing team.
  • Only the ball has to travel COMPLETELY behind the activation-line, not the player.
  • Any ball thrown that does not cross the activation line is considered a Dead Ball, and will not count towards an elimination or a catch. An inactive ball can still be thrown for strategic reasons, but will instantly become a Dead Ball upon release.
  • Once a team has activated all 3 of their balls, they may take the opposing teams balls from the half-line if they have not done so already.
  • Balls stolen from the opposing team during the opening rush DO NOT need to be activated.
NOTE: Teams may be penalized for false starting during the opening rush or if they are deemed to have blatantly cheated by not lining up at the baseline correctly. Teams can receive warnings for false starting which could result in a yellow card violation.


  • A throw in Dodgeball is defined as a ball that has been released from the hand in a forward motion towards the opposing team. No balls can be thrown by spiking it like a volleyball, bumping it like AFL, kicking or slapping it off the ground.
  • At the end of the 4-minute set or 5-second advantage countdown, the Referee will blow the whistle. ANY ball will instantly become dead at this point regardless of when it was thrown.
  • KAMIKAZE THROW - This occurs when any player jumps over the half-line into the opposing teams court in an attempt to knock out an opponent. The airborne player must release their ball before they land on the ground or their throw will not count. Upon landing in the opponent’s zone, the Kamikaze thrower will be eliminated unless the situation is 1 vs. 1, in which case a successful Kamikaze throw INSTANTLY eliminates an opponent.
  • If two opposing players throw a ball at each other at the same time (both balls being LIVE in mid-air before making contact with each other) and both players are hit with each other’s balls; both players are eliminated once/if the balls become dead. If this situation occurs during a 1-on-1 situation, the same rules apply and the set will be decided in sudden death.
  • ABSOLUTELY NO SQUEEZING of the balls is permitted. You may have a firm grip, however, if the Referee sees air being released from a ball once thrown, or any ball moving unnaturally through the air; the Referee can eliminate that player and/or reinstate a player that was eliminated by that ball. A yellow/red card may be given depending on the circumstances.
  • All balls must be thrown with the intention of hitting your opponent (Refer to the invalid throw rule).
  • You may not place a ball over the half line in a stationary position OR use backspin to cause the return of a ball into your possession. If this occurs, the Referee will call a time-out and the ball(s) will be given to the opposing team.

Catching & Blocking

  • 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 returns a previously eliminated player to the match in the order they were knocked out.
  • Players may use a ball in their possession to block/deflect another ball thrown at them.
  • Whilst holding a ball in your hands, your hands from the wrist down become part of the ball. Any live ball that comes in contact with your hands WILL NOT result in elimination. (Some A Divisions contact ewith hands will result in elimination... please refer to Referee).
  • If a player is struck inbounds with a ball and it rebounds into another player on their team and becomes dead, this will result in a double knockout... or triple knockout if three players are hit… or more! 15
  • If a player attempts to catch a ball that has rebounded off a teammate and that ball is then dropped becoming dead, both players are eliminated.
  • If a player makes a catch before leaning into netting OR stepping out of bounds, the catch will count but they will be eliminated.
  • TRAPPED BALL - When a player makes a catch against a surface or object (Wall, Floor, Eliminated Teammate or a Ball on the Ground). A trapped ball also applies to any thrown ball that hits an opponent’s foot AND the ground at the same time, a trapped ball will be called, no one is eliminated and play resumes.
  • If a player attempts to catch a ball that has rebounded off a teammate and that ball is then caught in a TRAPPED BALL position, ONLY the player who was initially struck is eliminated.
  • You may catch a ball while in possession of another.
  • Players may drop a ball in their possession in order to catch an incoming ball from the opposing team.
  • DISARM RULE – A player is eliminated when any ball in their possession becomes dislodged by a thrown live ball. The dislodged ball MUST become dead before the player is eliminated.
  • INVALID THROW RULE – At any point during a match, the following must occur:
    • Any thrown ball must be directed at your opponent in a valid attempt to eliminate them. Balls must be within 2 meters of either side of your opponent. ** Failure to adhere to the invalid throw rule will result in a verbal warning. A second invalid throw for the same player will result in a yellow card and that player will be eliminated for the remainder of the set. A third invalid throw for the same player will result in a second yellow card and that player will be eliminated for the remainder of the match. ** (The Referee determines whether a throw is invalid or not)


  • Players may pass balls to other teammates with their hands, feet or by handing it off.
  • Players may have more than one ball in their possession at one time.
  • Absolutely NO kicking of any balls into the air of the opposing teams court. A kicked ball cannot eliminate an opponent. However, if caught by an opponent will result in an elimination of the kicker.
  • If a player is eliminated while holding a ball, they may pass the ball to a teammate or drop the ball where they are standing. Players may NOT touch any other balls on the court as they are walking off court. If they do interfere with any balls other than those in their hands… time out will be called and those balls will be forfeited to the opposition.


  • Headshots are allowed (BUT NOT ENCOURAGED) in all MDL venues and divisions.
  • Players MUST apologise to any players they have hit in the head with a ball.
  • DANGER ZONE is defined as the area between the shoulders and the top of the head.
  • Although headshots are allowed, injuries can still occur. It is common courtesy to not purposefully throw within the danger zone. We also ask our members to consider the power of their throws against opponents who are at a beginner skill level.
  • Referees have the right to intervene and penalize any players they believe are creating an unsafe environment or purposefully throwing at opponent’s heads.

Re-entering the Set

  • Once a teammate makes a legal catch, a player may re-enter the set in the order in which they were eliminated. The first eliminated player re-enters after the first catch, second eliminated player reenters after the second catch and so on.
  • If playing on ASTROTURF, players re-enter the match and become live players once BOTH FEET cross the backline
  • If playing in a GYMNASIUM, all players re-entering the match must do so down the side of the court and touch the back wall before they can begin play. This player is safe from any live balls until the moment they have touched the wall with any part of their body.
  • If a re-entering player does not touch the back wall before coming into gameplay and instead turns to face the opposing team, they will be considered “in play” and can be eliminated. HOWEVER, any potential catch or elimination made by that player within the first 5 seconds of entering game play will be discounted.
  • Players MUST re-enter into the match within 10 seconds of a catch. Any player exceeding this limit will not be allowed to reenter the set and therefor result in a forfeited re-entry.
  • Players re-entering the set must do so quickly. Players cannot draw out or use EXCESSIVE hesitation in an attempt to trick their opponents or delay the match.
  • If a re-entering player purposefully stalls before touching the back wall OR crossing the back line into gameplay and they are struck with a ball. The referee can eliminate them if they believe stalling was done on purpose.

10-Second Advantage Rule

  • This rule speeds up gameplay and prevents one team from controlling the majority of balls for any length of time.
  • If 5 seconds pass without any balls having been thrown by either team; the referee will begin a verbal 5-second countdown while pointing to the affected team.
  • Any ball thrown before the verbal 5-second countdown begins will reset the 10-second countdown.
  • The affected team MUST release ONE BALL before the countdown reaches zero. Balls must be released in a forward traveling direction in a valid attempt to eliminate your opponent or roll the ball quickly & directly to your opponent.
  • Any ball thrown from the team that does NOT have advantage will also reset the clock.
  • Any balls thrown from eliminated players from either team during the verbal countdown DOES NOT count toward resetting the advantage clock.
  • If any balls have been thrown (or kicked forwards on the ground) before the end of the countdown, it is the Referees discretion as to whether a valid attempt to cross the half-line was made.
  • Once the affected team has released one ball in a forward motion towards the half line, the 10 second advantage rule will reset.
The Following Determines Which Team Must Throw First:
  • During the first set only, if both teams have an equal number of players and equal amount of balls after the opening rush, the team that is highest on the ladder is obliged to throw first.
  • If both teams have an equal number of players and equal amount of balls after the opening rush, the team that won the last set is obliged to throw first.
  • If both teams have an equal number of players and equal amount of balls, the team that threw last is excused from throwing and the opposing team must throw.
  • If each team has 3 balls on their side of the court, the team with more players on the court must throw first.
  • If the countdown reaches zero and one ball has not been legally discarded, the Referee will blow the whistle and stop game play. All 6 balls will be given to the opposing team. Once players are ready, the Referee will blow the whistle and resume game play.

Sudden Death

SUDDEN DEATH OCCURS WITH UNEVEN AMOUNT OF PLAYERS ONLY IF GAMEPLAY REACHES THE END OF THE HALF (25 min mark) & THE GAME (50 min mark). (Please Refer Below For Sudden Death Scenarios During Regular Gameplay).

  • If the 4-minute set ends and both teams have equal numbers of players left on the court, the sudden death rule comes into effect.
  • Sudden Death is used to determine the winner of a set that ends in a draw.
  • The same players who were left on the court at the end of 4- minutes will compete in sudden death. (Example. If time runs out with 2 vs. 2 left on court, those 4 players will be part of sudden death)
  • The Referee will redistribute the balls. Each team starts Sudden Death with 3 balls on court.
  • The Referee will blow the whistle to start the sudden death set.
  • Sudden death has no time limit. The 10-second advantage rule applies.
  • Sudden death is over once all players are eliminated.
  • Catches can still be made in sudden death. New players will reenter the set in the order they were eliminated.
  • Balls DO NOT need to be activated during Sudden Death
  • BLOCKING in sudden death can result in elimination. Any player that deflects a ball will be eliminated once the ball becomes dead.
  • A blocked/deflected ball can still be caught by themselves or a teammate to save that player, resulting in the thrower being eliminated.
  • In a Sudden Death set, if two opposing players throw a ball and hit each other at the same time, whichever players ball becomes dead FIRST will be eliminated.

Exiting the Court When Eliminated

  • If a player is eliminated, they must exit the court quickly and make no attempt to disrupt gameplay.
  • If a player is still holding one or more balls when called out, the player is allowed to pass those balls onto his/her teammates OR place them on the ground where they were eliminated.
  • If a player is NOT in possession of a ball at the instant they are eliminated, then that player is NOT ALLOWED to touch any balls as they exit the court.

Uncommon Rules

  • If a player is hit, they are still considered in play until that ball becomes dead. Therefor that player can still make a legal catch OR throw at an opponent up until the point the initial ball becomes dead.
  • If a player is hit and the ball deflects across the half line. The hit player (or a teammate) can jump over the half line and tap the ball back into play before landing. This ball can be legally caught by a teammate. The catch counts but the player that jumped over the half-line is eliminated.
  • A ball thrown across the half-line, deflected back into the throwers half and caught DOES NOT result in a legal catch.
  • Reaching across the half-line with a ball in hand and touching your opponent DOES NOT result in a legal elimination. All balls must be released from the hand entirely to become live.
  • Any thrown live ball that comes in contact with your own teammate before striking an opposing player DOES NOT result in elimination. The ball becomes dead once in contact with a teammate.
  • A player is NOT eliminated if they are about to go out of bounds and use a ball in hand to push themselves back in play.
  • Any live ball instantly becomes dead the moment a player is eliminated. (For example: If a ball strikes a player and that ball goes up in the air. Than a second ball hits the same player and becomes dead on the ground while the first ball is still airborne. That first ball in the air becomes dead and will not result in elimination if it is caught by a teammate).

Ball Retrievers

  • Ball Retrievers are inactive players (or fans) either sitting on the bench or standing behind the back line.
  • Once a Dodgeball completely crosses the courts boundary lines; a ball retriever can collect the ball and pass it to any on-court player.
  • Ball retrievers CANNOT enter the playing area to retrieve or give balls to a player.
  • Ball retrievers entering an active playing area will be considered off-court interference and shall be penalized accordingly.
  • Ball Retrievers can only take balls that have completely crossed a boundary line. Overly extending limbs into active play is not permitted.
  • Ball Retrievers may hold balls but MUST return all balls intoactive play within 15 seconds of retrieval.
  • If a ball passes over the half-line, a ball retriever CANNOT reach across to the opposing team’s side of the court to retrieve the ball. If a ball retriever retrieves a ball from the other team’s side, that ball will be forfeited to the opposing team.
  • If a ball comes to rest ON the half-line, then either team’s ball retrievers can take the ball. Ball retrievers are advised to act fairly and respectable to avoid any unnecessary altercations. If there are any disputes, the Referee has the final say on which team receives the ball.


  • Melbourne Dodgeball League hires facilities from Indoor Sports Centers and School Gymnasiums across Melbourne.
  • Players are expected to clean up after them.
  • Any player to receive a complaint from the MDL may face possible ejection from the league.
  • A canteen is provided for food/drinks at ALL indoor sports center’s (No gymnasiums)
  • Free parking is available at ALL locations
  • Players MUST wear clean, non-marking shoes on the courts.
  • Players are responsible for any property damage
  • Players CANNOT be under the influence of drugs or alcohol in and within 100 meters of any Dodgeball facility.


  • Referees are employees of the Melbourne Dodgeball League.
  • They are trained Referees. Their role is to encourage sportsmanlike play, call out eliminations and to help keep matches flowing smoothly.
  • Players are asked to abide by the HONOUR SYSTEM. Dodgeball is a fast-paced match and the Referee cannot see everything; therefore it is important that everyone plays fair and calls him or herself out when hit.
  • The roles of the Referee include:
    • Match Set-Up
    • Managing match times
    • Keeping score
    • Calling players out
    • Having final calls on disputed plays
    • Preventing any possible altercations from occurring


  • Each team will be allowed a single 30-second timeout per match in which the time clock will be stopped.
  • A time-out can be called at any point during the match.
  • Time-outs may also be called in the following situations:
    • Injuries
    • Lost Ball or Another Ball on Court
    • Forfeiture of a ball(s) to a specific team if any ball infraction Occurs
    • Any safety hazards that arise during gameplay
    • Once a 5-Second advantage violation has been called
  • All play is void once a time-out whistle has been blown.

Conduct During Matches

  • Even though the nature of sport of Dodgeball is fast-paced and competitive, it is expected that each and every player act with sportsmanship and conduct that upholds the integrity of the match.
  • A blatant case of poor conduct or sportsmanship will result in a player’s expulsion from a match after which his/her team must carry out the rest of the sets in the match one player down.
  • Behavior constituting misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:
    • Fighting or attempting to assault another player
    • Racist, sexist, or homophobic comments directed at the other team
    • Rude verbal taunting
    • Throwing a ball at an opposing player despite having been clearly called out
    • Intentionally inflicting pain or throwing a ball excessively hard at close distance at another player’s face
    • Excessive use of foul language
    • Cheating
    • Causing constant distraction to the match by a player that is not on court
    • Squeezing and crumpling the ball before throwing it
    • Kicking or spiking the ball
  • Misconduct during matches will lead to a YELLOW CARD or a RED CARD for the player.
  • Yellow cards act as a warning for the player for his/her conduct on court. Any team receiving 2 yellow cards for separate players will play one player short for the remainder of the match.
  • 2 yellow cards given to the same player in the same match will result in that player being ejected from the match. That player may return the following week.
  • Red cards are for serious misconducts during the match, and may be given without prior warning to the offense. Should a player get a red card during a match, he/she is ejected from the match and the team will continue playing one player short for the rest of the match.
  • Any player receiving the red card shall further be suspended by MDL for a length of time deemed appropriate for the specific offence.

Conduct for Team Supporters

  • Off-court players, coaches, ball retrievers and spectators should not interfere with the match. Interference includes, but is not limited to:
    • Unnecessarily loud or abrupt sounds and actions aimed to distract
    • Rude gestures
    • Verbal insults to players
    • Physical contact with the other team’s players or supporters
    • Inactive players entering the court
    • Providing unfair or undue assistance to active players by distracting or pushing players while in gameplay
  • If a team believes that their opponents, retrievers or spectators are interfering with the match, team captains may request that the Referee issue a warning to the opposing team to discontinue the interfering behavior.
  • If the behavior continues, the interfering team may be subject to penalty, including a YELLOW CARD or RED CARD. The Referee shall have discretion as to whether the behavior does amount to interference and as to the appropriate penalty in the event a warning is issued but not heeded.

Rule Enforcement

Rules will be enforced primarily by the "HONOUR SYSTEM". Players are expected to act honestly and remove themselves from the match if they know they were eliminated. THE REFEREES DECISION IS FINAL – NO EXCEPTIONS! Blatant dishonesty or failing to adhere to the Referee’s decision may result in penalties either during or after the match upon review.

If you require further clarification on our rules please either contact us or approach your referee on the night to help you.

Nerd out to our rules!