Rule #1: Respect the spirit of the game. Don’t be a jerk.
Index (click the following categories below to be taken to a separate page with all the relevant rules):
Housekeeping: Rules and policies surrounding the venues we attend, how players are to conduct themselves with regards to said venues and each other.
Game Rules: The rules of the sport. What you need to know to actually play the game itself.
Divisions and Styles: Definitions of the different divisions and styles of play.
Rosters and Spares: The rules surrounding who is allowed to play
Administrative Rules & Policies: Policies surrounding officiating, sportsmanship and harassment
New/updated rules for fall 2022 indicated in bolded red font.
To combat the spread of illness: All provincial health guidelines will be followed
1.1) Rule #1: Respect the spirit of the game. Don’t be a jerk.
1.2) Bring a positive attitude! You will win some games, and lose some. When you start out, you may lose a lot of games. The most important thing is that you enjoy your wins respectfully and learn from your losses. Disrespect of others will not be tolerated. The prize at the end of the season is a medal for each teammate who attended 3+ games, so please keep things in perspective. You are here to have fun and improve yourself, and nobody improves by being disrespectful to others.
1.3) Dogs cannot play Dodgeball.
2. Game Play
2.1) All events and leagues run by Dodgeball Winnipeg will follow the WDBF rules, which can be found here.
2.2) We have also made a short instructional video that covers the basic rules. New players should definitely watch it before their first game. *This video is out of date, we will make a new one as soon a we can.
Rulings on rules we could not find in the rulebook:
2.3) You are allowed to reach over the side or center line to grab a ball, so long as no part of your body touches the line or out of bounds. If two people grab a ball at the same time priority is given in this order 1) Live player 2) If both players are live, then the player whose side the ball is on 3) If both players are live, and the ball is on center, then whoever’s side the ball came from will get priority
2.4) Any number of players may run in the opening rush.
2.5) If a throw ends with both feet in the other team’s side of the court, the ball will be dead and the thrower will be issued a yellow card. Stay on your side of half.
Rules that are commonly misinterpreted:
2.6) If a ball is out of bounds and on your side of center you may stop that ball and toss/roll/hand it to your team. Out of bounds means the ball is not touching the line (you can visibly see floor between the ball and the boundary line). It is only referees and non-participants who are forbidden from stopping a ball rolling towards the other side.
Players are revived by catches in the order they are knocked out. ie: First out first in.
2.7) All sudden death rounds require play to be stopped, balls to be redistributed (3 per side) and then the referee will restart play.
2.8) If two live balls thrown by opposing teams collide in midair, they are dead the moment they touch.
2.9) A dead player may not interact with a ball that is in play for any reason. Once knocked out, they may toss any ball already in their possession to their team, but any ball they purposely interact with that is already in play will be forfeited to the other team. This includes actions such as kicking a ball, stopping one on purpose that was rolling away, or reaching in from the sidelines and knocking a ball that was in play to a teammate. You must wait until it is out of bounds before a dead player can interact with a ball. A ball is considered dead the same time a player would be considered dead (when it touches the sideline or the ground out of bounds).
2.10) A ricochet off a player that was already dead is a dead ball. That means that after the ball hits the dead player, it is dead and any players hit by it are safe, if the ball is caught the thrower is safe, and anyone hit prior to the ball hitting the dead player is out.
2.11) Any live player interacting with a cell phone or other electronic device will be knocked out as if they had stepped out of bounds on the first offense, and will receive a yellow card as well as being knocked out for all subsequent offenses that match.
2.12.1) The first five minutes after the scheduled start time will be for warm up. If games are running late or there is a restriction on time, this may be cut short, lengthened or skipped entirely at the referees discretion.
2.12.2) Regardless of how many players are present, the game will start five minutes after the scheduled start time. At this time, in order to play, a team must have at least 4 players (1 female + 3 others) present at the time the game starts. Any team that does not will forfeit the match with a score of 0-10. If both teams are unable to reach the minimum requirements to start, both teams will be recorded as losing, but the score will be recorded 0-0.
2.12.3) Teams are required to have minimum two females on the court each round. If a team has only 1 female they will play short (4 male+1 female). If the team has no females, or less than four players at the time the game starts, then they will forfeit the match with a score of 0-10.
2.12.4) Game times may be changed up to 24 hours before the game without notice for the purposes of referee or venue requirements, and a post will reflect the change on the front of the website.
3.1) Gloves are not permitted.
3.2) Players wearing shoes must wear clean, non-marking indoor-only shoes. Bare feet are permitted but not recommended.
3.3) Any equipment/clothing deliberately manipulated by the player to assist in the action of making a catch will render the catch invalid and the player will be out.
3.4) Players who wish to chalk their hands are encouraged to use liquid chalk, but may use powdered if they prefer. Any mess made by the chalk must be cleaned up immediately, even if the player is required to miss a round of play to do so.
- Venue Rules and Specifications
4.1) Outdoor footwear is to be left outside the gym, and is not to be brought inside the gymnasium.
5. Divisions & Styles
5.1.1) Recreational: This is the lowest level play available in team league. You should register for recreational if your team is full of beginners or has little athletic experience. Played 6v6 with a 2-female minimum. Played in the “Wall Ball” format; this division prioritizes fun, exercise and friendship before competitive drive. (Previously known as Bronze)
5.1.2) Intermediate: This is the higher level of recreational play, which is for teams that still want to play recreationally but have athletic ability and/or dodgeball experience. Played 6v6 with a 2-female minimum. Played in the “Wall Ball” format; this division is ideal for people who take the sport more seriously with some competitive drive, and want to improve and play against stronger, more experienced players. You can expect to see some competitive players in this division with the aim of playing on a more recreational level, but you should not see an entire team of competitive players. (Previously Known as Silver)
5.1.3) Competitive: This is the highest level of play in the city. This is ideal for players with the expectations of going toe-to-toe against the best players in the city. Played in the “Open court” format (Previously Known as Gold/Platinum). Competitive is separated into 3 different sub-divisions:
- Mixed: Played 6v6 with a 2-female minimum.
- Men’s: Played 6v6 and only players identifying as male will be allowed.
- Women’s: Played 6v6 and only players identifying as female will be allowed.
5.1.4) Any team that wins a division in back to back seasons will be required to play in a higher division the next season, if one is available.
5.2.1) Open-court style:
Some gymnasiums have walls along one or more of the boundaries, and some gymnasiums will not. The gymnasiums that do not and/or have a net/curtain behind the rear boundary will naturally have some differences to the way the game is played. This style is referred to as “open-court” as the court is not closed in by walls. Open-court will observe the following rules to facilitate the style of play:
- There will be boundaries on all sides, to make the courts regulation size (women’s divisions will have women’s lines)
Any ball that rolls back to your side after bouncing off a rear boundary (wall, curtain, etc) is to be given back to the other teamThis rule has been removed as of Fall 2019
- Ball retrievers are very important. Any person that is not a live player is permitted to retrieve balls, and teams are discouraged from arriving without ball retrievers. Any team that arrives without a ball retriever will just have to deal with balls on their side (but out of bounds) counting towards burden to throw. Please be courteous of everyone’s experience and arrange for at least 1 ball retriever to come to your games. 2 is a much better number, and 3 is the ideal number of retrievers for a game.
- Sweaters or Hoodies are not allowed in the Men’s/Women’s divisions in an effort to remain consistent with competitive dodgeball rules (longsleeve Jerseys are not sweaters). Spring 2022 will be considered a transition season and players will be issued a warning. In subsequent seasons, players will forfeit a point for their team every set they wear a sweater or hoodie.
5.2.2) Wall Ball style:
Some gymnasiums have walls along one or more of the boundaries. The style of play that arises from when a gym has a wall along the rear boundary is commonly referred to as “Wall Ball”. These gyms will naturally have some differences to the way the game is played compared to open-court gyms. Wall ball will observe the following rules to facilitate the style of play:
- The size of the court may vary depending on the size of the facility
- Players can re-enter from any place along the sideline but are encouraged to enter near the back wall
- Touching the wall is acceptable and will not count as touching out of bounds
5.3.1) Coed draft: Stats will be kept on individual players. Hits, catches, game points, yellow/red cards and total score.
5.3.2) Recreational/Intermediate Team Leagues: Stats will not be kept on individual players.
5.3.3) Competitive Team Leagues: Stats will not be kept on individual players.
6. Draft League
6.1) Draft league will run 9 games each season – 7 regular games and 2 playoff games for every team.
6.2) Draft slots will be sold in batches of 16 to a maximum of of 64 (8 teams of 8).
6.3) There are no gender minimums in draft, but all players are required to sit out equally unless a player agrees or chooses to sit themselves.
6.4) Any player caught deliberately using a fake name and/or misleading photo to attempt to manipulate where they are picked will be ejected and receive a subsequent ban from the following season.
6.5) When we have more than 10 teams, divisions will be created by taking the odd-ranked captains into one division and the even-ranked captains into the other. The top 4 teams of each division will play to win their division and medals. After the divisions have their winners, the champions will play against each other in the tenth week. First place will be crowned draft champions and the captain will take home the Huen Cup until the following season.
6.6) The main point of the draft league is to have fun and meet new people, after the season is completed teams will be redistributed based on the results from the previous season, in a snake-style draft. The top returning players will become the new team captains and get to choose their team’s name, as well as participate in the process of drafting players to their team!
6.7) By participating in the draft as a captain, all captains agree to ensure there is at least one stat keeper present for the hour their team is NOT participating at their assigned gym that week. Additional retrievers are encouraged.
6.7.1) If a captain fails to meet the conditions of rule 6.7, the entire team will not have their stats recorded that week. If a captain fails to meet the conditions of rule 6.7 twice, that captain will not be eligible for captaincy the following season, and the teams stats will continue to not be recorded for this offense; and every further offense that season.
6.7.2) If for any reason stat keeper/shaggers were secured but did not arrive, captains need to notify the league. Proof will be required that the stat keeper/shagger was secured and the penalty will be reviewed. It is best practice to run a poll each week and if nobody is willing to be the stat keeper/shaggers, captains understand they should be doing it themselves, and know ahead of time this is expectation of them as captain in draft league.
7. REGISTRATION, Rosters & Spares.
7.0) Registration deadlines will be set by the league, if you fail to register your team in time, the league may be able to accommodate a late registration (within 1-2 days) with a $100 late-registration fee under the condition the division you are registering for is not full. The league will not accommodate late registrations for full divisions.
7.1) Submitting/Changing your roster:
7.1.1) The last roster you submit before your first game will be considered your roster for the season.
7.1.2) Each team is allowed one free roster change during the season.
7.1.3) A roster must be submitted at least 24 hours before a game to be considered current for that game.
7.1.4) We will not accept changes via email, they must be done by completing the roster form in its entirety. To submit/resubmit your roster, click here.
7.1.5) During registration, the league will set a deadline by which your roster must be submitted. Once this deadline is passed, any team without a submitted roster will lose their one free roster change for the season. The league will then begin setting further deadlines – for each one missed, your team will forfeit a season game. Do not let this happen, just submit your roster!
7.1.7) A player may NOT register to be on the roster for more than one team in any given division. (Ex: you could sign up to play in Sunday silver and Sunday gold and Monday silver no problem, but you could not sign up on two Sunday gold or two Monday silver teams)
7.2) Permanent Injury
7.2.1) If a player is permanently injured, please contact the league about substituting someone into their position.
7.2.2) This will not count as your roster change, but the injured player will be removed from your roster.
7.2.3) In order to use this rule, the injured player must not be playing on any other teams in the league for the remainder of the season.
7.2.4) The replacement player must be approved by the league as being of equal or lesser skill.
7.2.5) The injured player will not be permitted to return to the team for the remainder of the season.
7.2.6) To use this rule, the league must be contacted with the injury, the player’s name, and the suggested replacement, at least 24 hours before your next game. If you are asking within 24 hours of a game the player must be cleared as a spare as normal for that game (or will not be able to play if it is a playoff game), their attendance will not count towards playoffs, and the league will make a decision that will be effective for the following game.
7.3) Team League spares policy:
7.3.1) During regular season play, if your team wishes to bring players not on your roster you must contact the opposing captain for approval of up to 2 spares. 24 hours notice is ideal, so the opposing captain has time to reply.
7.3.2) You must contact the captain at least two hours before the game and be able to provide proof to the league (email@example.com) that you did so or your team will forfeit whether or not the opposing captain agrees to your subs. Proof may be requested randomly; or by challenge by the opposing captain after a game is played.
7.3.3) If you ask for spares less than 2 hours before the game and the opposing captain agrees, you will still forfeit.
7.3.4) If a player is injured just before or during a game and you would play short, you may bring in a replacement with the permission of the opposing captain.
7.3.5) If a team wishes to play with more than 2 players that are not on their roster and the opposing captain agrees the game will be played and the score will be recorded but it will still count as a win for the opposing team.
7.3.6) If an opposing captain denies your requested spares you are not allowed to argue their decision, find someone else! If they deny your second request for spares, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will mediate the situation. If a captain is found to be belligerent or rude during this process, please send a copy of the conversation to email@example.com and the offending team will receive a penalty which, depending on the severity of the offense, will be a forfeit.
7.3.7) During semi-finals and for the championship match only players that are on the current roster and have attended 3 season games on the roster for their team may play. (starting spring 2022, If they spared for your team before being added to the roster, those games do not count).
7.3.8) Men’s and Women’s competitive divisions are exempt from rule 7.3.7. and 7.1.2, however, roster changes cannot be submitted after week 7 games are played. Additionally, if a roster change is submitted after week 5, the player changing rosters must NOT be on a roster that has been eliminated from playoff contention. This is intended to encourage our provincial/national Men’s/Women’s teams to participate with their full squads should there be shifting that happens for these events during a DW season, while maintaining the integrity of the competition.
7.3.9) If you win your division, all players that attended at least 3 games will win the appropriate medal (Gold for a gold division, silver for a silver division, and bronze for a bronze division).
To view your team’s attendance, simply click on the game and an attendance list for each team is linked in the description. Attendance summaries are available by clicking on semi-final and championship games.
7.3.10) If you believe that your team’s attendance or scores have been listed incorrectly please contact us no later than 2 days before your next game and let us know which date specifically you believe was entered incorrectly.
7.3.11) If the sheet does not match what is on the website, attendance sheet that was confirmed with the captain will be taken as correct. If there is no confirmation on the attendance sheet, the website will be taken as correct. Challenges to what is recorded on the sheets will not be accepted as you have confirmed with the referee they are correct after each game.
7.3.12) For the final game of playoffs, all non-championship matches will not have the spares policy enforced. Since these games are played just for fun, we highly encourage you to bring out new players and show them the sport! Any player brought for the final match must know the rules and be respectful so please make sure you teach them how the game is played before bringing them. Ignorance of the rules will not prevent them from being enforced.
7.4) Draft league Spares policy
7.4.1) If your team will have less than 6 players, you can reach out to any player that is also in the draft division that is not on the first page (top 20) and has an average of 20 points per game or less (total score divided by games present). You can sub up to a maximum of 2 players per game, but cannot go over 6 players with the substitutes.
7.4.2) Team Captains are NOT permitted to be a spare.
7.4.3) If you cannot find anyone within the league, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org we can arrange spares for you.
7.4.4) For teams playing in the top 4 for semi-finals, and the championship match, spares are not permitted.
7.4.5) If a spare is required in the first week of the season and there are no stats in place, the first 20 players involved in the draft are not permitted to spare (captains + picks 1-12). The first eligible spare would be pick #13.
7.4.6) During Post-Season Exhibition games, TEAM CAPTAINS, TOP 20/20PPG, or NON draft players CAN SPARE with permission from the opposition captain.
7.5) Draft league permanent replacement policy
7.5.1) If a player cannot participate in dodgeball for the remainder of the season, the team captain may bring attention to the league for a permanent replacement. A reason must be given, the reason must be involuntary & take the player out for the remainder of the season.
Involuntary examples that work; geographic (travel) due to unforeseen circumstances, employment change, injury, and the player would not return, or it is not clear that they would return before the final game of the playoffs.
7.5.2) The replacement player must be approved by the league as being of equal or lesser skill.
7.5.3) The metrics that will largely be considered for the replacement will be as follows; Points per game, total previous captaincies, history of representation of Manitoba as a high performance athlete, current presence on competitive rosters.
7.5.4) If the league is unable to make a decision based on the above, the other captains may be petitioned privately for a vote.
7.5.5) The replaced player is not permitted to return to draft for the rest of the season under any circumstance. This player also becomes an ineligible player in any division for the rest of the season. If they participate in another division; the team they are participating on will forfeit their game. Captains with this player on their roster will be informed by the league they are ineligible. This rule is intended to replace players that know with 100% certainty they cannot return to play dodgeball by the end of the season.
7.5.6) The permanent replacement cannot be requested later than 48H before the first playoff game.
8. Administrative Rules & Policies
8.1.1) Referees have the authority to remove anyone for any reason they deem necessary, which includes (but is not limited to) someone who is intoxicated, being disrespectful, belligerent, or otherwise causing a problem.
8.1.2) Anti-retaliation policy
While Dodgeball Winnipeg is primarily a sports league, it is also a rich and vibrant community of players who are passionate about the sport. As a result, many of our officials are also community members. This can create difficulty when tensions are running high in the game, and it can be difficult to separate community members from the role they are performing as officials.
In order to reduce stress on community members who have taken on the role of officials, Dodgeball Winnipeg will not tolerate any sort of off-the-court retaliation of community members who are also officials. This includes but is not limited to:
- Approaching officials after the game to debate decisions made during the game
- Social media contact with officials questioning decisions made in their role as official
- Harassment for decisions made while acting as an official, in person or online
If players have concerns about the performance or decisions made by an official, they should contact the league directly, not the official themselves. Individuals engaging in off-the-court retaliation against officials can, at the league’s discretion, face penalties up to and including expulsion from the league. This policy is intended to protect community members that take on the challenge of officiating and maintain a fun and safe environment for everyone to engage in the sport.
8.3) What is acceptable in a team name?
Dodgeball Winnipeg encourages creative, fun team names – but they cannot be derogatory to race, size, gender or sexual preference.
8.4) Harassment and Discrimination
8.4.1) Sexual harassment is not acceptable under any circumstances – everyone has the right to feel safe. Please contact a referee or the league immediately if you see, hear, or experience anything of this nature.
8.4.2) Discrimination is not acceptable under any circumstances. Give everyone a fair chance, equal playtime is encouraged
8.4.3) Derogatory comments based on someone’s appearance/ethnicity/gender/etc will not be tolerated. You may think you are being playful when you tell your friend he “throws like a girl” but that can be hurtful to those around you. Think before you speak, you do not want to be given a yellow or red card for your conduct.
8.4.4) Consequences for harassment or discrimination may result in severe penalties up to and including a permanent lifetime ban.
8.5) Age Requirements
8.5.1) Any team caught fielding a player under 18 years old will forfeit the game in which the person attended.
8.5.2) A team caught fielding a minor a second time will be ejected from the league. This rule may seem harsh but our insurance only covers adults so we cannot tolerate youths playing in the league. Look to Winnipeg Minor Dodgeball if you are underage and wish to play.
8.6) Confirmation of Identity
8.6.1) Referees may, at any time, ask a player to prove their identity. Obviously it would be impossible to enforce a roster policy if we did not have the right and the ability to confirm the identity of the players present at the games.
8.6.2) Any player who refuses to prove who they are will not be permitted to play, or, if they have already played at least one round in the match, their team will forfeit the match.
8.7) Unable to field a team for a scheduled game
9. Men’s/Women’s Divisions Competitive Mentorship Program
What is this program?
This program will allow qualified “development” teams to add up to 1-2 “mentor” players to their roster at the league’s discretion whom are already on other teams rosters.
We are finding a gap in parity in the gendered divisions that may be resulting in loss of overall player retention toward the sport. We are hoping by allowing qualified “development” teams to add 1-2 mentors to guide them through the competitive side of the sport; it can help with both community integration for new teams and closing the parity gap simultaneously while providing teams with on-court help in exploring the “sport” side of dodgeball.
Why not tier the divisions?
There aren’t enough teams to reliably tier the divisions. Additionally, tiering the divisions could result in denying weaker teams development who want to play against stronger teams. There are Intermediate/Rec divisions for the purpose of playing less competitive divisions.
How do I get a mentor player or two on my team?
The league may reach out privately should your team be identified as a team who could use a mentor player. You are under no obligation to accept. OR
Email the league requesting a mentor player, preferably with a player or two in mind. The league will review; # of past seasons, placement, and current roster for the requesting team. The league will and can help facilitate finding a player or two if needed for your team.
How do I become a mentor player?
Be a nice person who’s registered in the division on another team with a competitive history in the sport. The league will not accept/deny mentors that are requested as long as they are registered in the division; however if the league is helping to facilitate finding one, history in Manitoba representation, team placement, leadership history and current rosters will be a factor as to who gets approached.
What makes a “Development” team?
Teams who consistently score in the bottom 25% of their division, where a clear gap in point differential is identified. Depending on the identified gap, teams may only qualify for 1 mentor should they want one. OR Additionally, new teams with over 50% new players who don’t have any identified “Mentor” players already.
Notes for teams/mentors:
- No, you don’t have to participate.
- There will be very little impact on the divisions if you choose not to participate or do not qualify, besides potentially seeing a “mentor” player or two on a team identified with a gap.
- The mentors would be submitted/approved after teams are paid/roster are submitted, should a team want mentor(s). The mentor player will not be obligated to pay for providing their mentorship.
- Your roster still cannot exceed 12 players, and the mentor player(s) would consume a spot.
- The schedule would not be accommodated to ensure the mentor player is able to play both games, so it would be in the teams best interest to have mentors from different teams.
- If the mentored team made playoffs (not anticipated), the mentor(s) would NOT be allowed to play with them in their playoff game. The mentor player is obligated to their original team for playoff standing.
- You cannot mentor more than 1 team per season.
- If teams experience an extreme spike or change in record relative to previous history, mentors can be revoked mid-season.
- Mentorships will not be approved for teams toe’ing the center of divisions potentially propelling them into a playoff spot. It will only be approved for team with CLEAR gaps in differential.
- The maximum amount of seasons a team can utilize the mentorship program is 4. If the differential gap hasn’t been addressed after a year, the team will need to attempt to resolve it without a mentor.
- This is the only time a player would be allowed to be on two rosters in one competitive division.
- If the mentored team plays against the mentors team in regular season, the mentor cannot play for both teams in the same game, they must choose one.
- A “Clear” gap in point differential has been identified as a ratio of 2:8 W:L or worse over the course of an entire season, with some leeway (relative to opponents faced). EX. If a team played 16 rounds a game, for 7 games, that would mean their differential would look like – 28:84 or -56.