SFAC Dodgeball Rules

First and foremost, SFAC is about having fun.  Nothing we do is meant to be overly competitive.  Always keep in mind, you are playing a children’s game.  It’s not important in the grand scheme of life.  If you think winning is super important and you’re willing to bend rules or cheat, you are in the wrong place.  Be respectful.  Be fair.  Try to win.  Have fun and make some new friends.  If you are reading these rules thinking “how can we exploit them?” you are approaching this with the wrong mindset.  Let’s all play within the “spirit” of the rules and have some friendly, fair, well-played games.  All players are invited to the sponsor bar afterwards where the real “winning” takes place.  Get to know players on your team and on other teams and build your social network.

Don’t Squish The Balls

Do not squish the balls.  For real, don’t squish them.  You can squish your own balls on your own time.  Let’s keep the SFAC balls nice and round.

When in doubt, you are out.  This is the Golden Rule of SFAC dodgeball.  This is ALWAYS the rule.  If you’re not sure if you should be out, then you are out.  Be the bigger person, step out of the game.  There is plenty of time left for more games.  If you attempt to stay in, people will dislike you.  Nobody wants to be disliked.

Don’t Accuse Anyone of Cheating – Ever.  It’s Poor Sportsmanship.

Note:  Angles can be deceptive.  Sometimes what definitely looked like a hit from one angle, was clearly not a hit from another angle.  In SFAC, we never verbally accuse someone of cheating.  If someone is ever found to actually be cheating, they will be asked to leave.  Plain and simple, there is no place for that in SFAC.  There are other leagues you’d fit in much better than with us.  Don’t be a cheater.

The court is designated by lines or cones.  We are not a line stepping society.  If someone steps over a line, it’s no big deal.  Play on.

Start of game:  Each team starts with the same number of balls in their possession.  One ball is placed on the center court line.  Once the countdown ends and the game begins, there is no grace period, all the balls are live.

What constitutes an out:

When a ball thrown by an opponent hits a player and then either goes out of bounds, hits the ground, or goes back over the center line, the struck player is out.  Balls are live until the play is over.  Thus, balls can strike more than one person in a single play.

If a thrown ball is caught by an opponent, the thrower of the ball is out.  Catches do not bring anyone back into the game.  Deflected balls are still live.  Therefore, if a thrown ball strikes a player and is caught by a teammate before it touches the ground or goes out of bounds, the thrower of the ball is out.  The player originally struck by the throw is saved and stays in the game.

All parts of your body are live.  If you get hit in the face, you are out.  If a ball hits any part of your clothing, that is considered a hit.  Try to not get hit in the face.  It doesn’t hurt because we use foam dodgeballs, but nobody wants to get hit in the face.  If you hit someone in the face, buy them a drink at the bar afterwards.

Deflections Are Live

Players may use a dodgeball as a shield to deflect or block balls being thrown at them.  As long as the thrown ball never touches their body, they are safe.  If, in the event the blocker loses control of a ball in their possession (and it falls to the ground) as a result of the throw, they are out.  This does not mean the ball must be dislodged by the actual thrown ball.  This means the blocker unintentionally loses control of a possessed ball as a result of the thrown ball.

If an attempted block deflects the ball, and the ball strikes the player attempting to block, or one or more of their teammates, the players hit by the ball are out.  The ball is live until it is either out of bounds or hits the ground.

When two thrown balls collide in mid-air, both balls are considered dead.

When there is a stalemate, or not enough action in a game, “Burden” may be called.  If burden is called, the team with a majority of the dodgeballs has 10 seconds to throw enough balls to the other side of the court to give the other side a majority of the balls.  If they do that before 10 seconds, they relieve burden.  If the team with burden does not relieve the burden, they forfeit all of the balls to their opponent at the end of the 10 second count.  Burden is a discretionary call and only should be applied when there is stalling or a delay in the game.

Games last for 4 minutes.  At the end of 4 minutes, the team with the most players on the court is declared the winner.  If both teams have the same number of players, the game goes into a sudden death.  If there is no winner after an additional 90 seconds of play, each remaining player gets 2 balls and must stand on the back line.  A new game starts with no boundaries.  Players can go anywhere on the court.  The team to get the first player out is declared the winner.

Games are played until one team reaches 7 wins.  Teams switch sides for halftime when the leading team gets to 4 wins.  Once a team reaches 7 wins, the official match is over.  Team captains report their scores to the league organizer.