Code of Sportsmanship

As an adult dodgeball player, it is your personal responsibility to never allow yourself or your teammates to cross the line between fun competition and unsportsmanlike behavior.

  1. Dodgeball is a self-regulated game that relies on the Honor System. If you are OUT, you are expected to raise your hand and go out without anybody else telling you to do so.
  2. If one of your teammates is OUT (knowingly or not) and does not go out, it is your responsibility to tell them to do so.
  3. Referees are used to rule on unclear plays, settle disputes, keep the game moving and ensure player safety. While they will at times let you know if you are out, a lack of a call by a Referee does not remove your obligation to abide by the Honor System.
  4. Players must treat their fellow dodgeballers, Referees and spectators with respect and courtesy. Personal and malicious remarks directed at anybody in the dodgeball community, obscene or otherwise, at any time, have no place in the League.
  5. Players must respect the authority of the Referees to regulate the game and abide by their decisions. Referees’ decisions are final.
  6. Team Captains must be the only players that address concerns to Referees and League Officials. They are expected to do so in a courteous and respectful manner, and to confine their discussions to objective interpretations of the rules and not challenge Referees’ decisions regarding judgment or subjectivity.
  7. Players are expected to comply with the intent and spirit of the rules.  Deliberately attempting to violate the rules is unacceptable.

General Game Rules

The objective for both teams is to eliminate all of the players on the other team to win a round. Teams play as many rounds as they can in their allotted 30min match, after which the team who has won the most number of rounds will be declared the winner of the match. Substitutions will only be allowed in-between rounds. Teams will switch sides of the court after 15 minutes.

Teams and Players

  1. All players must be at least 21 years of age prior to participating in any Match and must be registered and in good standing with Play Mile High.
  2. Each team may play the following:
      • 5v5 – 3 males max on court
        • Min to play official game – 3 (at least 1 female)
      • 6v6 – 4 males max on court
        • Min to play official game – 4 (at least 1 female)
      • 10v10 – 7 males max on court
        • Min to play official game – 7 (at least 2 female)
  3. Only players who are on the court at the start of each Game round are allowed to play in that particular Game.
    1. Exception: In a case of in-Game injury, another rostered player from the same team and of the same gender may substitute mid-game for the injured player.
  4. Teams may substitute rostered players between rounds.
  5. During the regular season, if a team does not have enough players from its’ own team to satisfy the player minimum, a team may use players to meet the minimum player requirement,
    1. All “fill-in” players must be registered and in good standing with the League.
  6. During the playoffs, teams may not use subs and may only use players on their roster.
  7. Playoff Eligibility: teams that notch 2 or more forfeits during the regular season will not be eligible for the playoffs.


  1. The official ball provided by PMH will be used in game play.
  2. Players must wear non-marking closed-toe athletic shoes.
  3. Teams are encouraged to wear the t-shirts provided by PMH during League play.
  4. If plastic kneepads are worn, they must be covered with a non-marking adhesive.
  5. No gloves of any kind may be worn during games unless medically necessary.

The Playing Court

  1. PMH Dodgeball is played in multiple different locations.
  2. Attack Lines Starting Lines, and Middle Line will be discussed Week 1 of each league.

Game Personnel and their Duties

  1. Each team shall identify one team captain to the referees prior to the Match.
  2. Only a team captain may speak on behalf of their team to referees and league officials.
  3. Team captains are expected to address referees and league officials in a respectful manner, and are strongly encouraged to wait until times of play stoppage to raise any questions or concerns.
  4. 1 Referees will be positioned, during game play, at the center line, on one side of the court.
  5. A Referee’s primary responsibility is to serve as an arbitrator for difficult calls, start and maintain game flow, ensure safety of all participants and spectators, and enforce the Sportsmanship Code. It is the PLAYERS’ responsibility to remove themselves from games when Out – not the referee’s responsibility to call them out.
  6. Referees have the authority to eject anyone before, during and immediately after any match they are officiating if they feel it is warranted. This should never be necessary (see Code of Sportsmanship).
  7. Referees have sole discretion to call a timeout for injury or otherwise.
  8. A restart after a timeout should occur with all players on their respective back lines. Players may have in their possession any balls that were on their side when the timeout was called.
  9. If a referee cannot determine what side of the court a ball or multiple balls were on at the time the timeout was called, those balls should be placed at center court for a rush.
  10. All decisions made by referees are final.

Game Procedures

Pregame Procedures

  1. Prior to a Match, the team captains and referee shall meet at center court for introductions and to review any rules that need clarification.
  2. Immediately prior to the start of every Game, six balls shall be placed on the center line.

Starting a Game

  1. Players will line up at the baselines on their respective sides of the court.
  2. A signal from a Referee will signal the beginning of the game, at which time teams may approach the center line to retrieve the balls.
  3. Players must stay on their feet when rushing the centerline, or they will be called out.
  4. Once a ball is retrieved, the retrieving player must clear it by taking the ball back to their start line before it can be legally thrown. 
  5. If a ball remains on the center line for ten seconds after the initial referee whistle, it may be retrieved by either team and does not have to be cleared.


  1. Vary from location to location and will be defined for players Week 1 of the league.


  1. Players may have up to 2 balls in their possession at once.
  2. If a ball is in a player’s possession, that player must throw a ball across the center line within 5 seconds.
  3. Players may pass a ball in their possession to other players on their team
  4. Nudging, rolling, pushing, kicking, etc. a ball to another player is permitted (it keeps the pace of the game moving).

Out Lineup

  1. When players are Out, they must proceed immediately to the Out Lineup.
  2. Players that are Out are to line up in order from the center line on their side of the court.
  3. Those in the Out Lineup must return any balls that enter the Out Lineup to the playing area without delay.
  4. Players returning to the court from the Out Lineup are in play once they return to the court.

Game Start, End, and Timing

  1. A 30-minute time limit has been established for each Match in regular season league play. Teams will play as many games as possible during that time and switch sides of the court after 15 minutes.
  2. Teams have 10 minutes after the Match time clock has started to satisfy the player minimum. If they fail to do so within that time, a forfeit will be recorded.
  3. No Game will start with less than a minute remaining on the 30-minute game clock unless the match is tied.
  4. Once a game is started, it will be played to completion.
  5. Due to time restrictions in the gym, the game clock will begin at the scheduled start time. If there are circumstances beyond a team’s control (i.e. anything not associated with players not being on time), league management will have the game clock start later than the start time.

Match Procedures

  1. The Referee will be the official timekeeper. The referee will announce the remaining time at the ten (10) and five (5) minute marks.
  2. Teams will switch sides after 15 minutes have passed on the official clock.
  3. Games end when all players have been eliminated from one team.

Game Scoring

  1. The team that wins the most Games is declared the winner of the Match.
  2. Ties will result in a tie-breaking game.
  3. The official Match score will be recorded by League Host.

Player Elimination

Thrown Outs

  1. A player is Out when an opponent throws a ball and hits a player before it touches anything else.  If the player hit catches the ball before the ball touches any other object (ground, wall, ceiling, another ball, teammate), it counts as a catch. 
  2. Players may deflect a thrown ball with a held ball and not be called Out. However, if the player does not retain control of the held ball (so that the ball touches the floor, wall or any other object), he/she is Out.
    1. Clarification: Once a thrown ball has been deflected off of a held ball, it is considered “dead”, meaning that even if it is caught and then hits the player, that player is not out (nor can the ball then be caught to eliminate the thrower).
  3. A ball that hits the floor and a player at the same time does not result in an Out. This is known as a “trap,” and the referee should immediately communicate to both teams that all players are Safe).
  4. If a player has thrown a ball before they are hit, that ball is live and can cause an out (by catch or hit)

Catch Outs / Game Re-entry

  1. A player is Out when an opposing player catches a ball they threw, in bounds, before it touches any other object
  2. When a player makes a Catch, the first player in the team’s Out Lineup may return to the game.
  3. Players must return to the Game in the order in which they got Out.
  4. Players must be Out at the time of the Catch to be able to be caught back in.
  5. Players returning to the Game out of order, intentionally or not, will be called Out.
  6. A ball that is “trapped” against the floor does not result in an Out or player return (all players are Safe). The referee should immediately communicate to both teams that all players are Safe.
  7. A player may catch a ball while already holding a ball.
  8. A player may legally drop a ball to attempt a catch.

Exiting the Court

  1. Players who are Out must quickly leave the court, indicate they are Out by raising their arm, then line up in the Out Lineup in the order in which they got Out.

Head Shots

  1. Intentional headshots are not permitted in this league, and will result in the thrower’s immediate ejection of the round. If the player continues intentional headshots, they will be removed from play. We understand when throwing that the thrower may unintentionally hit someone in the head – in this accidental case, both parties shall remain in. If a player is crouching down and is hit in the head, this may be considered an out – considering the thrower was aiming at their upright body. 
  2. Essentially, play nice and have fun!

Miscellaneous Rules

Slow Play and Possession

  1. Players must move the ball across the center the line within 5 seconds of physical possession. Referees should give a verbal warning when 5 seconds is reached. If a player does not throw the ball after the verbal warning, that player shall be called Out
    1. Clarification: This rule is intended to keep the game moving if teams/players are intentionally stalling, not as a method of having people called out. If a captain feels that the other team is holding the balls significantly longer than 5 seconds, they should calmly inform the referees so that they may properly monitor/enforce any concerns.
  2. Each possessed ball has its own slow play count.
  3. Players must make an effort to retrieve and throw stagnant balls. If no effort is made, then the balls around the player will be considered possession and the player will be declared Out after 10 seconds.
  4. All Balls on One Side: When all of the balls are on one team’s side of the court, a team has 10 seconds to put a ball into play on the other team’s side of the court, even if none are possessed by a player. Should the team fail to put a ball into play, the referee will declare the opposing team the winner of that game.


  1. Spectators and players from other teams are not to interfere with game play.
  2. If a ball strays from the court, spectators and players from other teams must without delay redirect the ball back into play at the nearest location.
  3. Failure to obey this rule gives the referees the authority to ask spectators and players from other teams to move to another location.
  4. Unless there is a court that is not in use, players are not allowed to warm up (by throwing dodgeballs) inside the gym while matches are being played.
  5. Players who are hit but interfered with from a non-teammate shall not be called out.

Sportsmanship Violations

  1. Referees and League Management have the authority to issue warnings and eject players.
  2. Referees shall signal and can stop the game for all warnings.


  1. Warning: No penalty, but if behavior is repeated, result could be a player being called Out or ejection.
  2. Ejection: If a player is ejected before or during a game, the player may not play for the rest of that day/night. If a player is ejected after their game is complete, they will be ineligible to play the rest of that day/night and the following week.
  3. If player ineligibility due to ejection causes a team to become unable to meet minimum player requirements, then it will result in a forfeit loss.

Liability Rules

  1. Intoxication: If League Management or a referee has reason to believe a player is intoxicated while playing, that player will be ejected.
  2. Drug or Alcohol Use: if a player is witnessed consuming alcohol or illegal drugs at the playing facility, that player will be ejected.
  3. League Management reserves the right to suspend or expel any player from the league for any reason without refund.

Communication with Opponent

  1. Communication with opposing teams is highly encouraged, but any and all communication should be of a positive nature. Negative communication, whether verbal or non-verbal, including foul or abusive language, arguing, gestures, pointing, etc., shall result in a penalty.
  2. Penalty Steps:
    1. 1st Infraction: Warning to BOTH teams
    2. 2nd Infraction: Player Out
    3. 3rd Infraction: Player Ejection