Rules, Dodgeball

Nashville Sports Leagues | Dodgeball Rules

The foreword to all Nashville Sports Leagues rules is located on the NSL website rules page.


Playing Area
The area of play is a rectangle of approximately 50 ft by 30 ft, divided into two equal sections.ˇ There will also be two "attack lines" placed 5 feet from the centerline the entire width of the playing area.


Official NSL Dodgeball is the Champion Rhino Skin 6" ball.  7 Balls will be in play during each game. Nashville Sports Leagues will provide playing equipment.  We strongly recommend each player supply one back up ball.  


Gender Requirements
Dodgeball is played 7 versus 7 with no more then 4 males on the playing area at one time. Each team must start with a minimum of 1 Female


Teams consist of seven players with a maximum of four male participants at any time during a game.


To start and finish a match a team must have a minimum of four players.  One player must be female.

Start position
All players must have one foot placed on the end line and remainder of body outside the boundary prior to the start of the game. The referee will signal the "opening rush" with a whistle.


During live games all active players must stay within the designated playing area or boundary. Any player who has not been put out can retrieve a ball that has left the playing area. To retrieve a ball that has left the playing area a player may leave anywhere behind the attack line and must re-enter only through the end line of the boundary.


Opening Rush
Referee will signal to begin. All players begin with front foot on the end boundary line and rush the seven dodgeballs located on the centerline. Teams are only allowed to retrieve six of the seven balls on an opening rush. A ball retrieved on an opening rush must be returned past the attack line before being thrown at an opponent. One player can remain in front of the attack line for only 30 seconds after initial rush and cannot throw a ball at opponent during that time. After 30 seconds, that player must return past attack line.


Attack Line
All balls on the opening rush are to be taken behind the attack line prior to being thrown the first time.


No player may cross the mid-line.  They are out.


Head Shots
No shots are allowed to the head.  No player will be declared out.


A match will consist of 5 games.  First team winning 3 games will win the match.  During league play all 5 games in the match will be played to determine proper seeding for playoffs.  During playoffs OR open tournament play first team to win 3 games advances.

Each game in the match has a maximum time limit of 6 minutes.  There is a 1 minute break time between games.

Putting out an opponent
Being hit with a "live ball" below the shoulders can put out a player. A live ball is any ball that has been thrown and not touched anything including but not limited to the floor/ground, another ball, another player, official, or structure to where the game is being hosted. A live ball that has been caught by the opposing team can put out a player. A player dropping or losing possession of a blocking ball is deemed "put out." 


Multiple Touches
A deflected ball touching another player on the same team is dead.  The second player touching the ball is not declared out.


Gaining a player
If a live ball is caught by an opponent the player throwing the ball is out and the team catching the live ball is awarded a payer who was previously put out.


Winning a game/match
The first team to eliminate their opponents will be declared the winner of the game. Winning a minimum of three games will earn a match victory. During the regular season all games in each match must be played for tiebreaker purposes. If time expires the team with more eligible players will be awarded the game. If both teams have equal players the set will go into overtime.


Overtime will consist of a one minute sudden death. Opening rush rules are the same as regular play however the is no attack line for throwing.


Time outs
Each team will be awarded one timeout in each game. During this time out teams are allowed to make one substitution but must be a gender specific substitution.


Control violation
If a team controls all 7 dodgeballs on there half of the playing area for five or more seconds they will be in violation. The teams in violation must return one ball and a player of the team in violation must be put out.


Honor System
Nashville Sports Leagues will have officials on site to call games however all dodgeballs games are expected to be officiated using the honor system. If you are put out please remove yourself from the game.