How to Play Dodgeball (A classic group game)

The Dodgeball game is a classic group game that’s suitable to be played when you have a large space or field to run around. It’s a great way to get everyone actively moving and helps promote teamwork among players.

If you’re playing with groups of friends who aren’t familiar with each other, dodgeball also makes for a good icebreaker game as you’ll have to discuss winning strategies.

Features of the Dodgeball Game

 ★  Game Name Dodgeball 
 ★  Group size any (but large groups preferable)
 ★  Age any
 ★  Type active
 ★  Skill throwing and dodging
 ★  Place outdoor or indoor (gym)
★  Time up to 5 – 15 min
 ★  Preparation no
 ★  Materials ball

The Aim of Game

To win in dodgeball, players must try to eliminate opponents by throwing over a softball and hitting them with it. The team with the most players left behind after a round will win, so players must actively move around to avoid the ball, hence the name dodgeball.

Group Size and Age

Dodgeball is best played in large groups of 10 to 20 people and is suitable for anyone aged 10 and up. It’s important to have an even number of players so you can split everyone into 2 equal teams.

If you’re looking to introduce dodgeball as an icebreaker game, you’ll also want to consider randomly grouping the players instead of allowing them to pick their teams.

Preparation and Materials

To prepare for a game of dodgeball, you’ll need:

  • 5 to 6 softballs or volleyballs
  • A watch or phone to keep time
  • Cones as field markers (optional)
  • A referee (optional)

How to Play Dodgeball

Once you have split your players into two equal teams, you’ll be ready for fun rounds of dodgeball. Here’s the ultimate guide on how to play:

Step 1: Set up boundaries using cones as field markers around the play area. Be sure to have a middle ground and place the softballs on the line. Allow the teams to stand on either side of the playing field. The players are not allowed to cross the middle line into the play area of the opposing teams.

Step 2: Start the game with 5 minutes on the clock. Players must reach for the softballs as quickly as possible and throw them at their opponents. If the player catches the softball, they can then throw it back. If the ball hits their foot, however, that player will have to sit out (leave) for the rest of the game.

Step 3: Remember that the aim of the game is to avoid being hit by the softball, hence the name of the game, Dodgeball. Teams must work together to eliminate their opponents by hitting them with a ball instead.

If a player manages to catch a ball then one eliminated player from their team may return to the game.

Step 4: The game ends when 5 minutes is up or if either team loses all their team members first. The team with the most players left behind will win the game.

Alternative Variations to Dodgeball Game

– Battle Royal

If you’d like to add more twists in your dodgeball game, you could also eliminate the need for teams the next time you play. This creates an exciting atmosphere as every player will have to eliminate everyone else on the field – in other words, it’s every player for themselves.

Playing this as a variation to dodgeball allows you to see how some players will form their own teams to go against the other players. However, do bear in mind that you may need to have smaller groups of players for this variation as your players will need tons of space to move around.

– Siege

One team (defenders) starts in the center of the field, the second team (attackers) starts at two opposite ends. The players from both teams are allowed to take only one step forward (attackers) or backward (defenders) from their lines. They cannot come closer or retreat further.

Start the game with 5 minutes on the clock. The attacking team starts throwing balls at their opponents. If the ball hits the player, that player is out.  However, every time the defender players catch the ball, they can use it to save one eliminated player from their team.

Some Additional Rules to Make The Game More Difficult

1. It does/does not count if the ball has touched the floor before hitting an opposing player.

2. If the last player on the field dodges the ball 10 times, that player wins.

3. The game can be played with one ball and two attacking players. The rest of the players are defenders.