Dodgeball

Dodgeball. The games that makes the face of every guy in our group light up and the face of about half the girls sink. This classic we use every single Game Day without exception because it is a reliable way to make kids have a good time. Generally used as a warmup before launching into other variations of dodgeball, it is a good way to remind kids of the basic rules and introduce newcomers to how we play.

Materials

  • Dodgeballs
  • Tape, rope, or cones

Preparation

Split playing area in half using tape, rope, or cones. Place dodgeballs along the halfway line. If playing space is not naturally enclosed evenly, use tape, rope, or cones to mark outer boundaries.

Rules

The Start

Divide group into 2 teams. Both teams should start with the foot or hand on the outer boundary. After a countdown, (our group cannot start until they hear the word “go”) both sides rush to get the balls from the middle and “tag them in”. To “tag in” a ball, a player must grab the ball from the center line, run back to their side, and touch the ball to their back boundary. Once “tagged in” the ball is live and they can begin to throw any and all balls they acquire from that point forward.

Gameplay

Player continue to throw balls back and forth at each other. If a player gets “out”, they must move to the sidelines and observe. A player can get out the following ways.

  • Hit by a ball thrown by the opposing team.
    • The ball must not touch any surface before contacting the player. (e.g., the floor or a wall.)
    • The ball must be thrown, not kicked or propelled some other way.
    • The ball cannot hit the some one in the head. (This discourages headshots.)
  • Hit by a legal (see above) ball that bounced off a teammate first. In this scenario, all players the ball touches are out.
  • Has their throw caught by the opposing team. (Note: if a ball ricochets off a player and then is caught by a teammate, the first player is still in.)
  • Crosses the line into the opposing team’s side.
  • Leaves the play area.

The End

Once all of the players on a team are out, the other team wins.

Modifications

If there is a wide age range, make older players throw underhanded or with their off hand to even things up and reduce the risk of a younger kid getting hurt.

Allow “friendly fire”. This makes things slightly more difficult.

If a game is taking too long, call “free throw line” or some other marker in the room that reduces the size of both sides zone. Based off of a basketball gym where half court is the normal “front end” of a team’s zone, by calling free throw line you allow player from a team to move all the way up to the opposing teams free throw line. This means any player from either team can be in the middle space between the two free throw lines. We only use this if a game is down to a few players and things don’t appear to be ending any time soon.


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