List of dodgeball variations

The following is a list of rules and variations from around the world, for the collection of games known as dodgeball.

Army dodgeballEdit

Army dodgeball, also known as medic, consist of two teams, and is normally played in a medium-sized arena (such as a basketball court or a parking lot). The two teams are picked and a line is made in the center of the playing area. Each team is assigned a side and neither team may cross the center line or they risk being automatically eliminated. Several dodgeballs are then distributed to the teams. Each player then tries to hit the other team's players with the balls, and the spot that is hit is, therefore "wounded" and the player must move to the back of the playing area and wait for the "medic" to come heal them. The medic is one player assigned at the beginning of the game by each team. As the two teams throw the ball(s) at each other, if a "wounded" player is hit by a ball before being "healed" they are then removed from the game. The game ends when one player remains unwounded and not out. The game is best played by a medium-sized group (10–30) and lasts from 20 minutes to an hour. One variant of army dodgeball is no man's land dodgeball, with a medium-sized "free zone" in the center on the court which any player on any team can enter, resulting in a more close-range environment; there are no backup medics in the game.


Bombardment(also known as Pin Guard, Battle Ball, or Bombardo) is a game played with two teams in an inside gym (usually a basketball or netball court) divided into three roughly equal zones. Each team can roam freely in their own zone, or in the central no-man's land that divides their zones. If a player is hit with a ball, they are out. If a player catches a ball, the teammate who has been out for the longest time returns to the game (in some versions of bombardment, a player who catches the ball can bring back more players, or chose who to return.), and the player who threw the ball is out. Deflecting a ball with a ball is allowed.[1][2] Bombardment is played with two teams each with pins and dodgeballs. The objective is to knock over all the opposing team's pins or eliminate all the players on the other team. Players can get out by getting hit, however it must be below the neck if playing with children.


There are several variations of the game Bombardment.

Court variationEdit

If a player hits a basketball hoop's backboard on the other team's side then that team frees all eliminated players.

Other variationsEdit

Another variation changes the purpose of the pins, in this variation it restores all the members of the opposing team.

Blob BallEdit

Blob Ball is a form of dodgeball similar to Blob Tag where when the person who is IT tags someone, they must grab on and follow them as if they were a blob. Once the blob reaches 6 people, they can split into two groups of 3 and so on. With Blob Ball, it's the same thing as blob tag except there's one person who is IT and when they hit someone, they must join hands and join the "Blob". The people in the blob who aren't the leader must follow the leader but can still pick up dodge balls and throw them, and if they hit someone the person who was hit must join the blob too. When the blob splits, a new leader is randomly chosen by the members of the blob.

But of course, there needs to be a defensive tactic, so if someone who isn't in the blob hits someone in the blob, that person is separated from the blob. The separated person joins the person who hit them as their own blob, but they aren't trying to, and can't tag people to get them to join. The only way to separate people from the good blobs is to have someone from the IT Blob hit them and then they rejoin the IT blob. (Objective type is Win and Revival)

Courts & RevivalEdit

Courts & Revival are both Objectives.[1] List of courts: Mixed, a mixed court is a court that is split into three. The bottom part only team 1 can be on, the top part only team 2 can be on, the middle part both teams can be on, but neither team can throw. They can catch and dodge, but not throw. Sniper: A mixed court is a court that is split into six. The bottom part only team 1 can be on, the top part only team 2 can be on, the middle 4 parts both teams can be on, but neither team can throw. they can catch and dodge, but not throw.

List of Revive: Backboard, if a player hits the backboard that is not on their side of the court, the player on their team that was out the longest amount of time comes back in. If that player gets it through the ring, then their whole team gets back in. Team Fireball/Revenge: If you get out a player then a player gets you out then all the players that you got out get back in and your out. The Shield Player is invincible, however, if the whole team is out except him/her then the opposing team wins.

Doctor dodgeballEdit

Doctor dodgeball (also known as dr. dodgeball, doctor dodge, doctor-doctor, hospital, or medic) involves a leader in each team who tries to avoid getting hit. When players are hit, they fall on the ground and wait for their team's doctor to come and save them. When the doctor saves the fallen players, they can get up and play again. The game ends when one team is entirely eliminated, which would happen a lot quicker if a team loses their "doctor". Another variation of the game ends as soon as the doctor is hit. Therefore, it is key for a team to pay attention in order to figure out who the enemy doctor is. Some teams employ a "fake doctor" strategy to throw the opposing team off-guard as to who the doctor actually is, but in some games the doctor is known to both teams beforehand.

One variant's rules are altered so that when the doctor is killed, a new player becomes the doctor. A similar variation is king's court, which also involves a leader. If the leader is hit, the game is over. Sometimes used in conjunction with pins.[1][3] Another variant uses a "hospital" in which "injured" players who are on the ground are dragged by players of either side back to the hospital which is at the rear of each team's playing area. A patient brought back to the hospital is revitalized and allowed to continue playing, though if they are brought to the opposing team's hospital they are now playing for the other team. (Objective type is Revival)


Fireball(also known as Family Style) is a variation of Dodgeball in which there are no teams. If a player has a ball then they cannot move their feet. If a player throws a ball at another player then the player they hit is out and all players they got out are in. There are other variants where there are other rules. Fireball is very similar to No friends.[1]

Team FireballEdit

There are two teams and players can move while holding a ball. There may also be a line like in normal Dodgeball, or a limited amount of steps like in No friends.


Gaga (also known as ga-ga, gagaball or octoball) is a form of dodgeball which is played within an octagonal enclosure when available, or in any other space that is completely enclosed by walls. The objective of the game is to eliminate one's opponents by hitting the ball with either an open hand or closed fist into the region at or below his or her knees. That player is then out and must leave the playing area. A player can also be eliminated by having his or her ball caught in the air. Touching the ball twice consecutively without the ball touching another player or the wall is grounds for elimination unless that player is attempting to catch the ball. Carrying, throwing, or catching the ball after a bounce also results in elimination. Hitting the ball out of bounds is grounds for elimination unless it is as the result of a defensive deflection. Pushing a player into the ball and any other physical contact is also a violation. This and other matters of dispute are settled by the game's judges. There is only one ball in play at a time in gaga. The game is started either by placing the ball in the center of the octagon with each of the players touching the wall, or by bouncing the ball and repeating the word "ga" each time the ball touches the floor. After three bounces the ball is in play and the players may leave the wall. Any player touching the ball or leaving the wall before the third bounce is considered out. This is also the procedure for resuming the game after a stoppage of play. Stoppages of play result from the ball being hit out of bounds or the ball being caught. A player being hit at or below his or her knees is not grounds for a stoppage of play. The winner is the last player left in the playing area. The game can be played with a large group of people playing for themselves, in teams, or one on one. (Objective type is Win)


Killerball (Swedish: Killerboll) is a non-team variant, played especially in Sweden among children, such as in physical education classes. In the game, one must throw a soft, rubber ball at other players to "kill" them with a legal hit, sending them out of the game (often only temporarily). The game is timed, the winner declared who finishes last.

All players are spread out in a gymnasium or other playing area. A ball is thrown into the air, and is taken up for throwing, after hitting the floor or a wall, by whoever gets to it first. It is then thrown at another player, and may be caught or picked up by any other player for successive throwing. A thrower must remain stationary after obtaining the ball, until the ball is thrown. A variation is to use more than one ball.

A player is "killed" by being struck by a ball, without catching it. Usually, a throw is "killing" only if a ball hits a player without hitting the floor or a wall first, but this rule is sometimes dropped. Headshots are discouraged for safety reasons, and thus a hit on the head is not considered "killing". One may also catch a thrown ball with one's hands, and then one "kills" the thrower. In some rule variants, the hands are also considered shields, such that a hit on one or both hands, without a catch, does not "kill" the player who was hit. A doubles variant using this rule, instead of catching, is to pair players up such that they must hold hands, each using their free hand to block throws, and to pick up and throw; the team of two is considered "killed" if either of them is "killed", or if they drop their mutual hand-hold.

"Killed" players are benched, waiting outside of the playing area (e.g., on an actual bench or a mat) until their "killer" has been "killed" in turn, at which point all players previously "killed" by that newly benched player may re-enter the game. There are several variations that require score-keeping of "kills": Each "killed" player is permitted back into the game after some amount of time has passed. Or all "killed" players can be periodically re-admitted at once, to keep the game going. Or positions on the bench may be limited, with the player benched the longest returning to the game when a newly "killed" player is benched; there might be four bench spots, or even just one. Yet another variation is that a "killed" player sits down in the game area exactly where they were hit, and remains seated, acting as an obstacle, until they can get hold of a ball passing nearby, which frees them to stand and resume play. In a variation, a player who is killed moves to the sideline of the other team. This player, or "Ghost" must remain in the area and is allowed to catch and throw the ball at the opposing team.

The game continues until only one player remains, having "killed" all others, and thus requiring no score-keeping. Or, for many of these variations, the game may be time-limited, and then the winner is the one who has "killed" the most players when the time is up; this requires score-keeping.

King's CourtEdit

Similar to normal Dodgeball, but if a player gets out then they move to the back of the opposing teams side. If a player on the opposing team's side gets a ball then they must throw it at one of the enemy players. If successful, they may go back to their original team.


President each team decides one player to be the president. If either president gets out, that president's team loses and the other team wins.

Protect the pinEdit

Protect the pin (also known as P.T.P, dodgebowl, pin guard, or pinball[4]) is played like standard dodgeball, except that each team has plastic bowling pins (or any pin in general like tennis ball tins and cones) at the back of their side of the court (usually evenly spaced on the last line before the wall). Once knocked over, a pin must stay down. The game ends when all of a team's players are eliminated, or (more often) when all of a team's pins are knocked over. In this game, the balls may be used to hit players, hit pins, or block. A caught ball brings in a teammate and eliminates the thrower. Balls caught after making contact with the walls, floor, ceiling, pin, or anything aside from another player have no effect. This variation of dodgeball can be played in combination with other types of dodgeball, like doctor dodgeball.[1](Objective type is Win)

In some versions of protect the pin, players can have multiple (up to 3) lives.[5]

In some versions of protect the pin, knocking over the pin can resurrect the thrower's whole team.

One variation of this involves only one pin per team, which is usually guarded by an appointed team member. The game ends when one of the teams' pin is knocked down.


Prisonball (also known as doghouse dodgeball, prison dodgeball, prisoner dodgeball, battleball, Greek dodgeball, German dodgeball, teamball, crossfire, Swedish dodgeball, dungeon dodge, trench, jail dodgeball, jailball, jailbreak; king's court in Canada; queimada or queimado in Brazil; sniper in Japan[dubious ]; and Heaven in New Zealand) is played much like the original dodgeball game, except when a player is hit, he gets put in a defined area, the "prison", "jail", or "doghouse", behind the opposing team. To get out of prison, a trapped player must catch a ball thrown by a teammate. A player in prison may not eliminate anyone from the opposing team. "Prisoners" remain behind the opposing team until the game is over or they are released according to the current ruleset. In some versions of "prisonball" played on a basketball court, all players are released if a half-court shot is made into the opponent's basket.

In a variant called German prisonball (whether connected with Germany or not), the doghouse is extended to the sides of the opponent's court, as well as the back. No one may be released from the doghouse; however, anyone in the doghouse is allowed to collect balls and attack the opposing team, provided they do not enter their court. This makes for a hectic game since as players are eliminated, teams will eventually be attacked from all four sides. The last team with a member remaining not in the doghouse wins.

An actual German version of prisonball is Völkerball ('nationball'). It uses a single ball. Each team eventually has a player called their "king", who is the first on a team to go the jail zone, and returns to the main field when all teammates are in prison. The king has three lives, allowing for players to get back in. There are popular variations of Völkerball, including a recent Strand-Völkerball ('beach nationball') league.[6] Völkerball is an official sport in the German gymnastics federation, played by women and girls.

Another version of prisonball is played by the YMCA in the United States.[7]

Trampoline dodgeballEdit

This variant follows most normal dodgeball rules, but is played on a grid of trampolines and trampoline sidewalls.[8][9] Players generally can not be driven out of bounds, so gameplay options are reduced to hits and catches. The addition of trampolines makes the activity even more physically demanding than the regular game. It also allows for a wider range of jump plays as players bounce across several trampolines.

Four quadrantsEdit

Four quadrants is a type of dodgeball game that is played on a court divided into four equal zones (quadrants). It is played in an indoor gymnasium with four equally sized teams. The object of the game is to eliminate everybody in another quadrant so that the team can take over the quadrant. It follows the same rules as normal dodgeball. When people get out, they go against a wall sitting down. When there is only one or two quadrants left and two or three quadrants are taken by another team, they can shoot for baskets so their entire team can be back in the game. There has to be equal teams.


This variant of dodgeball is different from other dodgeball variations due to the fact there is only one team, no form of resurrection and the winner is an individual and not a team. It is normally played on a small to medium-sized arena (like a basketball court) and between one and ten balls are used. Two throwers get selected. Their job is to eliminate as many players as they can by throwing the ball(s) at the players. The players stay in the court and they have to try and stay alive by dodging the balls.

In the Caribbean, it is known as dandy shandy. It is a popular street game which is played with a stuffed empty box more often used as a ball alternative when an actual ball is not available.


Gauntlet (also known as pony express) is played with two teams and is usually played on a small to medium-sized arena (like a basketball court) and between one and ten balls are used. There is a fielding team and a running team. The fielding team stands on either side of the arena (on the court sidelines), forming a channel in the middle for the running team to run through while the running team stands on one of the ends. The other end is left blank – the runners are supposed to run there and back. There is a central dividing line. The fielding team is armed with the balls and has to get the runner out but they must be behind the throwing line to eliminate players. A member of the running team has to carry an object (usually a ball the size of a tennis ball) to one end of the arena and back before giving it to another member of the team to run with it. (In some versions, you have to run to one side, get a ball, run back to the other side and drop the ball in a bucket and another teammate gets sent over to get one). Either one or two people get sent at a time to run. If one of the players gets hit, they have to sit down and if they are carrying a ball, they have to hold it up in the air and wait for another teammate to retrieve it. If a runner gets eliminated on the half nearest to their team, the next runner can simply carry the ball back to their end without needing to go the rest of the journey. The eliminated player can defend the runner by blocking of thrown balls but they must remain seated or kneeling on the ground. Throwing team members cannot interfere with the runners in any way. Once a whole team gets eliminated, the teams swap roles. The winning team is the team that makes the most runs.

Every man for himselfEdit

Every man for himself (also known as elimination or scatterball) is a simple variation in which a circular enclosure (or at least one with some type of boundaries) is used. One or two balls are usually used in this free-for-all variation. This variation can consist of anywhere from four to tens of players. At the beginning of the game, one or two players, depending on the number of balls in use, respectively, are to kick or throw the ball into the air. Players will then pick up the balls; however, they are only permitted to walk one to five steps from the spot they picked up the ball. Players without the ball are permitted to run as they please. If a player is hit (excluding in the head), they will immediately be sent out of the game until the game's end. Once the players of the game are reduced to a low number, the organizer of the game/referee may permit the players to run with the ball. The game does not end until there is one person left standing.

A simpler version is called mash (German name: Zombieball). The gameplay remains entirely the same with the only exception being that a player is allowed to return to the game from his or her state of penalty if the person who removed him or her from play is removed his or herself. The game ends when one last person is standing. The number of steps a player may take with the ball varies by instructor. A game is usually played with more than ten players and may last anywhere between ten minutes and an hour, depending on the skill levels of the players.

No friendsEdit

No Friends (also known as Skinny Ball) is a variation where every man is for themselves and there is only one ball. The holder of the ball can only take 2 steps before throwing it or bouncing it off the wall for another 2 steps. Commonly alliances are made between players where they act as a team and pass the ball to each other by bouncing it on the floor. A player can betray their allies at any time.

All For OneEdit

All For One is a version is best played in a wide open field, generally a soccer field or even an empty gymnasium. There may be as many players and as many balls as the players want. Players run around in the open space trying to get other players out. If a player is hit then the player sits down where they got out. Players may get back in by holding the ball when they are out. They may also get back in if the player that got them out gets out. This version can get interesting because teams or alliances can form (although this is not a requirement). To win, though unlikely, you have to get everyone out and you will be the only player standing. Knocked out players are not allowed to hold onto a dodgeball if hit while holding one. The player must throw the ball before they sit. The ball is not considered in play during this time, so any player hit by the ball remains in.

Queen BallEdit

One ball (usually pink) is the Queen Ball. If a person catches it, his or her entire team can come back on.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e Keyes, Andy (October 10, 2005). The Complete Book About Dodgeball. AuthorHouse. p. 108. ISBN 1420875485.
  2. ^ Bombardment section YMCA School Playground Partners: Dodgeball Games "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-02-19. Retrieved 2008-11-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Dr. Dodgeball section YMCA School Playground Partners: Dodgeball Games "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-02-19. Retrieved 2008-11-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Frost, Shelley. "Dodgeball Games for the Gym". Livestrong. Livestrong. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  5. ^ "List of Dodgeball Variations". Buzzle. Buzzle. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  6. ^ German Nation ball section, YMCA School Playground Partners: Dodgeball Games "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-02-19. Retrieved 2008-11-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Nation ball section, YMCA School Playground Partners: Dodgeball Games "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-02-19. Retrieved 2008-11-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Sky High Sports
  9. ^ Dream Xtreme Inc "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-01-10. Retrieved 2010-05-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit