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Does the ref have to call me out if I get hit by a ball?
NO! You are ultimately responsible for taking your own outs. This game relies heavily on the honor code. Refs are only there to keep the pace of the game going, explain rules, assist with more difficult calls, and help maintain player safety. They are not there to make every call for you. Please keep in mind that dodgeball is an extremely difficult game to ref, and there will be many missed calls that you must live with.
If a ref says that we have to throw, how much time do we have?
Once a ref knows which team has ball control, and there are no balls out of the field of play, that team has roughly a 10 count to give up ball control. This is generally done with a "10-second warning" yelled out by the ref, or a ref telling a team they need to throw. The ref will ultimately count down the last 5 seconds. Please not that you do not have to throw all your balls, but just enough to have given up ball control.
Where is the outline?
The outline is always on the right side of your court. There will occasionally be exceptions to this rule, if a court needs to have a team lined up somewhere else. But, if you don't know, just assume the right side of the court.
How do we determine the order of the outline?
Your team lines up in the order they reach the outline. The order of the outline is NOT the order you are out! MOST IMPORTANTLY, you may never ever ever "line jump". If a member of your team is caught moving up or down the line for strategic reasons, your team will forfeit that game. We have absolutely zero tolerance in this matter. Please remain in your spot when reaching the outline. If you have already established your spot in the outline, feel free to leave briefly for something such as water - except if you are one of the first 3 in line. If the ref believes you have been gone too long, you lose your spot in line and will move to the end. Teams line up with the front of the outline being at the back of the court, and each subsequent person lining up closer to the centerline.
May I go retrieve balls that have left the court?
Yes. This is known as "shagging". If you are an active player still in the game, you must exit from the back of the court. You are not allowed to stall when shagging balls. You must retrieve the ball quickly and re-enter the game quickly. If a referee feels that you are stalling out of bounds then you may be called out. Also, the centerline applies to the out of bounds area, so do not cross that center line when out of bounds. You will be called out for crossing centerline.
If you are a player that is out of the game, you may also shag. Please see our rules on the "outline" and "shagging" for further clarification.
Can we have teammates that are out go to the opposite side of the court?
Yes. You may send a maximum of 2 players to the opposite side of the court as official shaggers. However, once they are there, they lose their place in line. A player may only come back in the game off a catch if they have been established in the outline. Players going to shag may not return to the game while on that side of the court.
What are those other lines for that are close to, and run parallel to, the center line?
These are called "attack lines". For most of our leagues, these lines only matter on the initial rush. After retrieving the balls on the opening rush, any ball may not be thrown until it is held by a player that has both feet fully established behind that line. Yes, you may toss the ball back to a player already established behind the line. After the initial rush, these lines mean nothing and you are allowed to move up to the center line to throw.
What's up with tie matches?
Yes. This does not happen often, but we do not have a tiebreaker system in place for regular season matches. Gyms are on a strict schedule, and we try to optimize everyone's playing time. 50-minute matches are the maximum length we can give to stay on schedule, and to not delay other teams' games. The only other option would be to make your matches shorter.
A match ends in a tie if both teams have won the same exact amount of games by the time the 50 minutes are up. Once that final whistle blows, if there is still a game in progress, that game is declared void and we use the final score as of the last completed game. No, the team with the most people left on the court does not get the victory.
Which balls do I run for at the beginning of the game?
Generally, only run for the balls on your right side of the centerline.
What happens if I get hit in the head?
If it's a direct headshot (the ball touches nothing before it makes impact with your head), then you are safe. However, you are out should any part of your body be touching the ground other than your own 2 feet or you are in active dodging position (crouching, for example). If the ball bounces off a live teammate, then hits your head, you are out. If you block a ball into your own head, then you are out. For more info on headshots, please see the rules page.
Why aren't some players not taking their outs when they get hit?
This is tricky. Many many many times you will think that a player got hit, when they really didn't. With so many balls flying so fast, and so many close calls happening, there are bound to be a handful of plays that trick our eyes. Trust us when we say that you will be wrong on many occasions when you think someone is "cheating" their out. However, we will concede that there are bad apples out there too. It's frowned upon, but players that do it are also putting themselves in a position to be watched more if they have a bad reputation. As well, players that blatantly cheat obvious outs frequently will be penalized. Finally, sometimes it's just really hard to tell if a ball hit a player first or something like the ground first. In fact, that scenario is probably the most frequent one that brings on complaints; whether a ball hit the ground or the player first. Those are often hard to judge and sometimes the players and refs honestly just don't know. And if it's too tough to determine, the refs err on the side of "safe".