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Major League Dodgeball Cloth Ball Rules are based off the World Dodgeball Association (WDA) International regulations.

1. THE COURT:

1.1.The court is the area within which the balls may be legally played, where catches are legal, and ‘outs’ may be made.

1.2.There shall be a clear and unobstructed area between the end lines and sidelines.

1.3.An official shall inspect the court for suitability for play prior to the start of the match.

Court Layout:

1.4.The official dimensions for a regulation court are as follows:

– 17 metres (length) x 8 metres (width)

Dimensions may vary slightly, dependent on the venue.

WDA International Court - Rules (2016 World Cup)

 

2. EQUIPMENT:

2.1.Dodgeballs – Five (5) dodgeballs will be used in each match.

2.1.1. WDA approved 7-inch fabric dodgeballs will be used and inflated to 0.126-0.14 kg-f/cm2 (1.8-2.0 psi).

2.2. Footwear should be suitable sports footwear which is non-marking.

2.2.1.Gloves are not allowed to be worn by players.

2.2.2. Protective gloves / gear, required to support injury or required for medical reasons to protect the skin, will be allowed providing the player can produce evidence to support the requirement for protective gloves.

2.2.3. Kneepads are recommended safety wear for all players.

2.2.4. Jewellery may not be worn by players during competition.

 

3. MATCH FORMATS:

3 .1.Teams consist of 6 players on court at the start of each set.

3.1.1.A match-day squad can have a maximum of 12 players.

3.1.2.Players can be substituted between sets.

3.2.Sets run for a maximum of 3 minutes.

3.3.A match consists of two 18-minute halves.

3.4.A team wins a set by getting all the players on the opposing team out or by having more players left on the court when time has elapsed and the referee signals the end of the set.

3.4.1. If time elapses in a set with teams having the same number of players, both teams will receive one (1) point. The winning team for a set will be awarded two 1 point.

3.5.At the conclusion of the match, the team with the higher number of points will be awarded the win. If both teams are on the same number of points, the match will end in a draw.

3.5.1.A win will result in three (3) competition points on the ladder, while a draw will result in 1 competition point on the ladder.

3.5.2.If two or more teams finish on the same number of competition points at the conclusion of the regular season, the ranking will be determined in the following order:
– Points (Sets) Difference

– Points (Sets) For

– Head-To-Head Record

– Points Difference in Head-To-Head matches

– Points For in Head-To-Head matches

– One set played between the two teams to determine the higher ranking

3.6.If a match is drawn, one additional Overtime set will be played to determine the winner.

3.7.Maximum total court-time for each match is 3o minutes.

3.8.Teams must be ready to begin sets when called by the referee. There is no additional time allowed between sets.

3.8.1.If a team fails to be on court for the start of first set, that team will forfeit the first set.

3.8.2.If that team is not ready following the first set, they will forfeit a point every three minutes, until they are ready to begin.

3.8.3.A forfeited match will be scored as 10 points to nil.

3.9.At the beginning of each match, the referee will gather the two opposing captains and toss a coin to determine which side their team will begin.

3.9.1.Teams will swap sides following the half-time interval.

 

4. FINALS SERIES

4.1.There will be two sets of a Finals Series in each competition.

4.2.Dependent on the league, the Finals Format may vary.

4.3.To be eligible for the Finals Series, a player must have played a minimum of four (4) games during the regular season.

4.4.No player can represent more than one (1) team during the Finals Series. Therefore, a team cannot borrow players from other teams to fill-in for their game.

4.5.Teams who enter the season late, will need to play a minimum of six (6) matches to be eligible for the Finals Series.

 

5. OPENING RUSH:

5.1.A set begins when signalled by the referee. A referee will use a whistle to signal the start of play.

5.1.1.The referee who starts the set will call ‘Ready’, ‘Set’, and then blow a whistle to signal the start of the set.

5.2.At the start of the set all players must be behind the back line.

5.3.Players are allowed to touch the back line with any part of their body but not to go over the line onto the court.

5.4.All players must move fully onto the court when the set has started.

5.4.1.Players must take their place inside the court boundary lines after the start has been signalled and before their team’s runners have reached the centre line.

5.5.Upon the referee’s signal, both teams rush to the centre line and retrieve the two (2) balls placed on the left side for their respective team. The fifth ball will be placed in the middle of the centre line, and is contested by both teams.

5.5.1.Each team must have a runner/s go for their respective two (2) balls on the left and each team will select another runner to contest the 5th ball.

5.5.2.There is no limit to how many balls an individual player may retrieve that is designated for his / her team on the right side of the court.

5.6.Players may not slide or dive head first or they will be called out.

5.6.1.A player may not strike an opposing player in an attempt to dislodge the ball. Doing so results in an un-sportsmanlike conduct violation.

5.7.Players may have one foot over the centre line when retrieving the two balls on the left side of the court.

5.7.1.When contesting the 5th ball (middle ball), a player will be called out if he / she touches the centre line during the opening rush.

5.8.At the start of a set, if a player or players start to run for the balls before the referee signals the start of the set, referees will signal and call a ‘False Start’ and all players must return to their start positions.

5.8.1.Due to the false start, the opposing team will be giving the 5th ball (middle), prior to the commencement of the set. When the referee signals the start of the set, the player with the 5th ball can immediately attempt to eliminate opposing players.

5.8.2.When a referee stops play due to a False Start, the timing for that set of play will be re-set to 3 minutes.

5.9.When a player wins possession of a ball at the start of a set, the entire ball must go behind the team’s attack (active) line before a ball is deemed active to throw.

5.9.1.The team which wins possession of the majority of the dodgeballs from the opening rush, is  obliged to throw first under the referees signal ‘Play Ball’. (Further details can be viewed in SECTION 6.5).

5.9.2. If a team has failed to retrieve the two (2) balls designated on their left side, the opposition team may retrieve those balls once they have thrown a ball which is active behind them attack line. If the opposition retrieves the other teams designated balls legally, they cannot be thrown legally until the ball/s have gone behind their attack line.

5.10.Only the players who are active in the game being played, match officials and designated officers are allowed within the confines of the Safety Barrier / Net during play. Team coaches and substitutes must remain in their technical area.

 

6. GAME PLAY:

6.1.Court Markings:

6.1.1.During play, the lines mark the boundaries of each team’s half of the court.

6.1.2.If a player touches any part of his body onto a boundary line, or on a surface that is beyond a side line, back line or centre line, the player is out.

6.1.3.Players must remain inside the boundary lines which mark their half of the court at all times.

6.2.Out Players:

6.2.1.When players are out they must go to the Player Return Area marked on the floor by the side of their team’s half of the court.

6.2.2.When a player is out, they are no longer an active part of the game in progress.

6.2.3.Out players must not deliberately interfere with the direction of dodgeballs or move a stationery dodgeball when leaving the court, whether the balls are live or dead.

6.2.4.Out players must NOT propel a stationary Dodgeball towards any live player.

6.2.5.Out players must NOT try to stop an attempt from the opposing team. If an out player does deliberately stop an attempt from the opposing team the referee will discipline the offending player.

6.3.Retrieving Dodgeballs from off the court:

6.3.1.Each team will be permitted to have two retrievers. The retrievers will be given bibs to wear, in order to avoid confusion with the on-court players.

6.3.2.Retrievers must be situated between the attack line and the back line, unless in the process of retrieving a ball. Retrievers cannot stand behind the back line or impede the referee’s view while retrieving a ball.

6.3.3.Players who are ‘out’ must stay on the side of the court in the Player Return Area and cannot actively retrieve dodgeballs for their team on the side of the court.

6.3.4.No players can exit the court at any time to retrieve a ball. If a player leaves the court, they will be called ‘out’.

6.3.5.Retrievers will be given a maximum of five (5 seconds) to put the ball back in play. Retrievers cannot purposely delay the ball from returning to the court and if found to be doing so, will be instructed to give the ball/s to the opposition.

6.3.6. If a retriever interferes or touches a ball while in play, the referee will instruct the offending team to give the ball/s to the opposition.

6.3.7. Retrievers may only gather balls situated on their half of the court.

6.4.There are several ways in which players can be ‘out’ –

6.4.1.Teams get players on the other team out by hitting them with a ball on the full, a direct throw which has not bounced off any surface.

6.4.1.2.A player is out when any part of the player’s body is struck by a throw, and hit the ground, netting, wall or object.

6.4.1.3.During play a player’s clothing counts as part of the player’s body.

6.4.2.When a player makes a catch from an opposing player’s throw, the thrower is out and the catching player also brings back into play one of his team’s out players.

6.4.3.Players are out when they step on or over any line which marks the boundaries of their team’s half of the court, unless they have an referee’s permission to recover a ball which is out of play.

6.4.4.Players will be called ‘Out’ by the referee if the player swears at or is abusive to an opposing player, a spectator or to a match official.

6.5.Advantage Rule / No Stalling Rule:

6.5.1. The referee will signal which team has more balls on their side of the court by calling out ‘Play Ball’, and will then proceed to countdown from 5 seconds.

6.5.2.The team with more balls on their side of the court is obliged to throw, and only able to obtain possession of one ball.

For instance, if the referee has signaled ‘Play Ball’ to the team in possession of 4 balls, they must throw 3 balls, as they can only obtain possession of 1 ball.

6.5.3.If there are balls outside the court boundary, the team is obliged to throw as long as more balls are on their half of the court.

6.5.4.If Team A has the advantage, the Play Ball countdown will NOT reset if an opposition player throws the ball over the centre line.

6.5.4.If time has elapsed, players who have possession of a ball and fail to make an attempt on the opposing team within five seconds will be called out.

6.5.4.When ‘Play Ball’ has been called by an official, the team with majority of the balls must make attempts which can get a member of the opposing team out. Their attempts must be seen as valid attempts by the officials. Failure to make valid attempts will result in the offending players being called out by the officials.

 

7. PASSING:

7.1.Players are allowed to pass the ball to a team-mate, whenever they want to.

7.2.If a player of the leading team passes the ball to a team-mate, it does NOT restart the Five Seconds of possession. Possession of that dodgeball will be regarded as continuous.

 

8. BLOCKING:

8.1.Blocking is allowed.

8.2.A player can use a ball in his / her possession to block a ball which has been thrown by the other team.

8.3.Disarm Rule: When a player uses a ball to block a thrown ball, they must retain full possession and control of the blocking ball at all times. If the block causes the player to lose control and fumble the ball in their possession (i.e. ball drops to the ground, hits an object or another player), they will be called ‘Out’.

8.4.The blocked ball thrown from an opposition player is considered ‘live’, therefore:

– Can be caught off a deflected ball by a teammate. The thrower is ‘out’ and the catching team will have an eliminated player return to the court.

– A deflected ball can eliminate any number of teammates, if the ball makes contact with the player(s) then hits the ground, ceiling, netting, wall etc.

8.5. If a blocked ball is caught by an opposition player, the player will be called Out. If the opposition player drops the blocked ball, subsequently they will be called Out.

 

9. THROWING:

9.1.A legal throw is one that is a valid attempt and can get an opposing player out when hit on the full.

9.2.Striking or punching the ball with a hand is NOT a legal throw.

9.3.Scooping the ball off the floor with a hand is NOT a legal throw.

9.4.Kicking the ball is NOT permitted.

9.5.Players will be called ‘Out’ for any action which propels a Dodgeball through the air into the opposition’s side of the court, which is not a legal throw.

9.6. Two balls that strike mid-air (thrown from either side of the court), will be considered ‘dead balls’.

9.7.Head shots are legal.

9.8.Suicide Throw:

9.8.1.The Suicide throw is legal. This occurs when a player jumps over the neutral zone line and throws a ball mid-air before landing on the other side of the court.

9.8.1.If the thrower’s attempt is successful, eliminating an opposition player, he / she will be exempt from being eliminated and will need to run back to their side of the court. During this process, an opposition player can eliminate the thrower when running back to their side of the court.

9.8.2.If the thrower doesn’t eliminate an opposition player while attempting a suicide throw, they will be called Out.

 

10. CATCHES:

10.1.When a player catches a throw from an opposing player, the thrower is ‘out’ and one of the catching player’s team-mates can return to play in the order they were eliminated from the Player Return Area.

10.2.The returning player(s) must come back into play by stepping over the back line.

10.3.Players must return to play in the order they were ‘out’. First Out – First In.

10.4.A catch is not complete until a player has full control of the caught ball in his / her hand(s).

10.5.If a player is ‘out’ during the catching process, before the catcher has full control of the caught ball, the catch does not count.

10.6.When a player jumps to make a catch, they must land inside the boundary lines of their court for the catch to be complete.

10.7.A player is allowed to drop a ball in their possession when they are attempting to catch a thrown ball.

10.8.If a player catches a deflected ball off a teammate, the catch will be valid, however the player initially hit will be called Out. The thrower will be called ‘out’, and the catching team may bring in an eliminated player from the Player Return Area.

 

11. INJURY:

11.1.Referees will stop the game when a player is injured.

11.2.An injured player can be substituted.

11.3.If a player is suffering from a blood injury, they MUST be substituted. The injured player cannot return to court until the following set of that match and the flow of blood from the injury must be stopped before the player returns to the court.

11.4.Time on the stopwatch will be halted by the referee when he/she stops play due to an injury.

 

12. HONOUR SYSTEM:

12.1.Players are expected to abide by the Honour System.

12.2.The Honour System expects all players to abide by the highest level of honesty and sporting conduct at all times during competitive play.

12.3.Any player who remains on court after they are clearly out and waits to be called ‘Out’ by an official will be in breach of the Honour System.

12.4.Not abiding by the Honour System is un-sportsmanlike conduct; players will be warned for their first offence and further disciplinary action can be taken by the referee if they are seen to behave in this manner on more than one occasion during the event.

 

13. BEHAVIOUR DURING PLAY:

13.1.WDA Code of Conduct for Players:

13.1.1.Understand, appreciate and abide by the rules of the game.

13.1.2.Respect the integrity and judgment of game officials and WDA staff.

13.1.3.Respect your opponent and congratulate them in a courteous manner following each match whether in victory or defeat.

13.1.4.Be responsible for your actions and maintain self-control.

13.1.5.Do not taunt or bait opponents and refrain from using foul or abusive language.

13.2.Players are expected to abide by the Honour System.

13.2.1.The Honour System expects all players to abide by the highest level of honesty and sporting conduct at all times during competitive play.

13.2.2.Any player who remains on court after they are clearly out and waits to be called ‘Out’ by an official will be in breach of the Honour System.

13.2.3.This is un-sportsmanlike conduct; players will be warned and may be ejected from a period and/or match if they are seen to behave in this manner on more than one occasion during an event.

13.3.The Referees will carry out disciplinary action against offending player(s) or team(s) who do not behave in an acceptable manner.

13.4.Kicking a Dodgeball is not allowed.

13.4.1.If a player kicks a Dodgeball with force in the direction of players involved in the game, match officials or any other person, the referee will discipline the offending player.

13.4.2.Any kicking action which propels a dodgeball towards the opposing side of the court will result in the offending player being called ‘Out’ by the referee.

13.4.3.If a player guides a Dodgeball with his foot or gently propels a ball with his foot to a team-mate, this will NOT be deemed as kicking a Dodgeball.

13.4.4.Players are allowed to block a ball which is returning on to the court with their feet.

13.5.Deliberately making physical contact with players from the opposing team is not allowed at any time during the match.

13.6.Taunting the opposing team and opposing players is not allowed.

13.6.1.Name calling and swearing at the opposing team will be deemed as Taunting.

13.6.2.Calling for players on the opposing team to go out, because the player or team thinks players are out will be deemed as Taunting.

13.6.3.Calling for players on the opposing team to throw balls because the time they are allowed to retain possession has expired will be deemed as Taunting.

 

14. DISCIPLINE:

14.1.Referees’ will take disciplinary action against teams and players as they deem appropriate. The referee should inform the team captain of all action taken against his/her player(s) and/or team.

14.2.The first stage of disciplinary action will normally be a Verbal Warning, issued by the referee, to an individual player or to the whole team.

14.3.The second stage of disciplinary action will be for the referee to record a Yellow Card Offence.

14.3.1.The referee will normally show a Yellow Card to the offending player and record the player’s name and team number.

14.3.2.The disciplined player will be ejected from the Period in which the offence took place and the following Period of play, whether that is part of the same game or a later game at the same event.

14.3.3.Ejected players cannot be substituted or have a replacement player take their place; this means that their team will have to play with less players for the time of the disciplinary action.

14.4.The third stage of disciplinary action will be for the referee to record a Red Card Offence.

14.4.1.The referee will normally show a Red Card to the offending player and record the player’s name and team number.

14.4.2.The disciplined player will be ejected from all remaining sets in the match in which the offence took place.

14.4.3.The disciplined player will not be allowed to take part in any further matches during the event in which they received the Red Card disciplinary action.

14.4.4.Ejected players cannot be substituted or have a replacement player take their place during the match in which the offence took place; this means that their team will have to play with less players for the remaining sets in that match.

14.4.5.If Red Card disciplinary action takes place after the final set in a match has finished, the offending player cannot be replaced for the first three (3) sets of the following match.

 

15. MLD REGULATIONS:

15.1.Major League Dodgeball operates under a low-tolerance policy, and if at any point behaviour, conduct or commitment is questioned, the Directors and Officials have the ability to remove a team from the competition. At no point is antisocial, provocative, verbal or intimidating behaviour acceptable on the Dodgeball court, and at the venue. Disorderly conduct is strictly prohibited, and at no point is a spectator allowed to enter the court of play during the game.

15.2.Players are prohibited from wearing any form of jewellery during the course of the game.

15.3.Teams are expected to arrive at the venue 10 minutes prior to their game beginning.

15.4.To commence a match, a team must have a minimum of three (3) players present.

15.5.Teams who are short on players are allowed to borrow players from other teams to fill-in. However, the opposing team’s captain must agree to these conditions.

15.6.An Injury-Replacement player or fill-in can only be substituted into the game in the opening half of the match, with permission from the opposing team’s captain.

15.7.A forfeited match will result in an automatic 10-0 victory to the opposing team.

15.8.Team’s who forfeit, must give a minimum of 48 hours notice.The usual $65 game-fee will need to be paid by the team that forfeits. If the same team fails to show up for a second-time within the season, their spot in the competition will come under serious review.

15.9.In the case of an opposition team not showing, a friendly will be organised. The team that was originally scheduled to play will pay for their regular game-fee.