Dodge Ball and All You Need To Know About Them

Dodge Ball

Dodge Ball

Christie James

Christie James
Recognized Blog Writer With Appearances On Media Outlets

Updated on 3/21/2023

Dodgeball is a team sport where players from two teams compete against each other in which they throw balls at their opponents and hit them while avoiding being hit. During its final match of the season, each team aims to eliminate all opposing team members, either by hitting those members with thrown balls, catching those thrown by opposition players, or inducing such violations as an opponent stepping outside of the court.

Historically, the sport has been played informally (in schools and pick-up games) under varying rules and formally as an international sport, with rules that vary between international governing bodies such as the World Dodgeball Federation (WDBF) and the World Dodgeball Association (WDA). Founded in 1983, USA Dodgeball is a national governing body for dodgeball in the United States, with clubs and leagues across the country.

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History Of Dodge Ball

Over two hundred years ago, dodgeball was a deadly game that originated in Africa. Still, instead of the fun, jocular match it is today, it was a deadly game played by African warriors. Initially, the game was not played with soft rubber balls but rather with large rocks or putrified matter, which was used as a powerful workout for the tribes that participated. Each competitor attempted to hit their opponent with the stone to injure them. Once a player has been hit, they will attempt to be pelted with further rocks to finish off the opponent. The teammates of the fallen competitor's responsibility are to try and defend him and force the attackers off with their stones to protect their teammates. This would be considered a great way to encourage the tribe members to work together when fighting against other tribes, taking out the weak and protecting themselves at the same time.

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A missionary, Dr. James H. Carlisle, witnessing what was taking place, was amazed by the tribe members' ruthlessness, agility, and solidarity. He watched the men for hours and became besotted with the daily ritual. As he made his way back to England via Europe, he showed some of his pupils what he had seen while on his trip. Interestingly, the European men who tried Carlisle's suggestions discovered they lacked the natural agility to dodge or throw. Since Dr. Carlisle was always on the move, he could not encourage them to continue with the activity. The only time he could turn this vicious training into an all-inclusive game of football was when he returned to St. Mary's College in Norfolk, where he was now teaching.


He swapped the rock and petrified matter for a leather ball, which was complicated but not dangerous. Players moved strategically to try and trap their opponents on an open field with no restrictions on where they could go. It was played like a chess game or war with no limits on where they could go. When a player was knocked to the ground by the ball, they were out of the game. To deflect the power away from themselves, players would bat the ball away with their hands. The game continued in much the same way for the next century, with only minor variations.


In 1884, St. Mary's College hosted several colleagues from Yale University for a conference. Among those attending that conference was Phillip Ferguson. There is no doubt that Philip Ferguson is generally regarded as the person most responsible for the popularisation of dodgeball in America. While watching the boys of St. Mary's College playing, he came up with an excellent idea for the game to make it faster and more exciting. He brought in the opinion of playing within a defined area, with the teams positioned on either side of the pitch. Sport made its way back across the pond to America, where it was developed into what we know today. In 1905, the first official rules were drafted, which dictated that players could enter after a catch and that being hit once would cause them to be out of the game. It allowed the sport to spread like wildfire when colleges from all over the country competed against one another. This new sport made its way back to England in England, and the popularized American rules became the norm for all dodgeball matches. Up and down the country, schools played the sport for fun, but it wasn't until the 2004 film that the sport was brought to the world's attention. The original sport can only be played at St. Mary's College when they welcome their Yale brethren for a match every four years to honor the sport's founders and the African innovators.

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Dodge Balls Used In The Game 

Played with a Dodgeball, a player aims to hit the opposing player with the ball. Generally, Dodgeballs are made from rubber, foam, or cloth, which does not sting to the touch. It is usually foam balls that the World Dodgeball Federation uses during their championships. It is generally recommended to use between 5 and 6 Dodgeballs during a game of Dodgeball. These balls in different sizes are available for purchase on the market. First, we have the primary size Dodgeball, followed by the junior size Dodgeball, and finally, we come to the standard size Dodgeball. You can choose from multiple colors when it comes to Dodgeballs.


The diameter of the dodgeballs is 8.5" (21.59 cm), while the circumference is 26.7" (67.82 cm). Dodgeballs weigh 14 ounces (410 grams) and have a pressure between 1.6-and 1.8 pounds per square inch (11-12.4 kilograms per square inch).


How To Choose The Best Dodgeball 

There are dodgeball sets that include balls that can be thrown, caught, and dodged. You will find several dodgeball sets to choose from, whether you are looking for a set used by children, adults, or a mixed group. It is essential to consider the types of material and ball size before purchasing a dodgeball set. The classic rubber balls are more significant, and they also contain some stings to them, so they are more suitable for adults or older children. With foam balls, you will not be stinging as much, and you will have an easier time grabbing them with your tiny hands. Balls made with fabric cover are the same size and weight as rubber balls, but they don't sting as much.


The majority of dodgeball sets come with six balls, although the number may vary as there are no standardized rules for dodgeball. If you are looking for the right dodgeball set for your group, you need to choose the one that will make the most fun for everyone. Check out our top recommendations for the best dodgeball set for you if you're ready to make a purchase. Continue reading to learn more about the different types of dodgeball sets available.

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Key Considerations

Even though organizations list the "official" dodgeball rules, there doesn't seem to be any set of rules that everyone agrees on. Due to this, dodgeballs come in a wide variety of sizes, weights, and materials, so there is a wide range of dodgeball sets to choose from. When it comes to enjoying dodgeball, it is essential to keep players safe. Ideally, if you have a mixed group of children and adults, the dodgeball should be soft enough that the younger players are not hurt by it and small enough for everyone to grip.

Material And Size

There are a few different types of dodgeballs, and each has its weight and feel. The kind of material you choose to use should be based on the age of the players.

Rubber balls are the classic choice when it comes to golf balls. They are classified as either "playground balls" or "kickballs," They are the traditional, colorful rubber balls with a grippy texture and a reasonable weight. Their larger size, typically 8" to 8.5" in diameter, makes them difficult for small hands to handle but are much easier to catch. The rubber balls tend to bounce quite a bit, so they are constantly moving from one side of the court to the other. Due to their weight, they are often tricky to toss quickly, but once they get up to a decent speed, they can sting your target like nothing else. As a result, these books are most suitable for adults and older children.

When it comes to younger children, foam balls are a great choice because they are lightweight and do not sting. These balls can range in diameter from 3.5 to 8.5 inches. When the ball is smaller, it is easier to throw and harder to catch because it is easier to throw and harder to detect. In general, rubber balls are heavier than foam balls. Some foam balls are made entirely from foam, but the best quality foam balls are coated in polyurethane or a similar rubber coating that is generally free of latex. People of all ages can enjoy using foam balls.

To reduce the sting, cloth balls usually have a cloth covering on top of the rubber ball. A rubber ball with a cloth cover has a similar weight and size as a rubber ball without a cloth cover. In some cases, these can work well for a mixed group of children and adults, but these can be difficult for children to throw in other cases.

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Number Of Balls

Dodgeball sets usually come with six balls that are of equal size. On the other hand, some of them may have more balls than others.

Sets with four balls are appropriate for groups with four or fewer members in each team.

Set with six balls should work well for groups of four to eight players.

With sets containing eight to twelve balls, teams of eight to twelve players can be accommodated.

In general, it is recommended that there is one ball per two players. There may also be some sets that contain balls of different sizes. Some sets include four 8.5-inch foam "blockers" and two 5-inch foam “stingers.”


Carrying Bag

A fabric or net carrying bag may be included with some sets. If you do not have a bag to carry six dodgeballs, it won't be straightforward to choose between two sets of similar size and weight. There are plenty of bags that come with a drawstring, and the best bags will have some fabric handle or strap.


Pumps and needles can be handy when playing rubber dodgeball sets, especially if the ball becomes deflated during a match.


Dodgeball sets often come in a single color, such as pink or red, common among dodgeball sets. On the other hand, some sets come with balls of various colors. This is a fun way to do it, but it can also come in handy if you want to spot when a ball has gone missing since you can look for missing colors.

DodgeBall Set Prices 

A wide range of Dodgeball sets ranges from $15 to $25, which usually contain foam balls with a rubber coating, although a few rubber sets can also be found in this price range. The rubber coatings themselves tend to be thinner and, therefore, more prone to tears within this price range. The number of balls in the set can range from four to six.

For example, a set for $25 or $40 will contain higher quality materials than a set for less than $25, such as foam balls with rubber coatings and durable rubber balls that can be used in a playground. Sets in this category may come with accessories such as pumps and carrying bags. There are a variety of highly durable dodgeballs priced between $40 and $60, usually in sets of six or more. It's typically worth the extra cost to get a dodgeball that will last for years, which will also be less expensive over time.


It would be best if you tried to avoid crushing foam balls to the point of being entirely flattened, as this can cause the ball to lose its lifespan.

Duct tape can be a quick fix if your foam balls tear.

Before you play, establish your rules. You should ensure that your court is clearly defined and that you have restrictions on topics like dead balls and catching balls to get your teammates back into the game.

Dodgeball is usually played with no referee and is primarily a game of honor. Play with people who don't cheat, and you'll avoid dealing with frustrating arguments.

As the teams race to grab balls from the center of the court at the beginning of the game, dodgeball injuries are most common. There are several ways to reduce the probability of this happening, including using a rule that forces players to return to their backline after picking up the ball at the start of a match.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Invented Dodgeball?

Over 200 years ago, dodgeball originated in Africa, mimicking what we play today; however, brutally: the form of dodgeball played in Africa was used as a training method for warriors to get stronger and develop endurance since large rocks were used as dodgeballs.

What Kind Of Ball Is Used In DodgeBall?

Depending on where you live in the world and how you play our dodgeball game, the style of the ball you will be playing with may vary. It is common for US leagues to use an 8.5-inch rubber ball, but they use a foam ball in some of the National leagues. The foam ball is designed so that it won't sting when it hits the ground. However, in the rest of the world, fabric balls are more popular than foam ones.

Is Dodgeball A Safe Game?

There is no doubt that dodgeball is a lot of fun and competitive. Of course, it can be a little bit dangerous as well. Seeing as how it's such an energetic and fast-paced game that's highly interactive, that's part of the appeal. Various measures are in place to make dodgeball as safe as possible for players and minimize the likelihood of injury. It would be helpful if unions of athletes of equal athletic ability and stature would encourage fair play. Using a lightweight and malleable ball would also be beneficial and only land the ball on players' bodies and not on their heads. The important thing is to have fun in a safe, friendly, non-aggressive environment as much as possible.

What Are The 5 Ds Of DodgeBall?

There is much speculation on the Five Ds of dodgeball; many people believe dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge are the five. Other people think it is deflected; that is the 5th D of dodgeball. The art of doing so is one of the most critical factors in the sport, but does it matter that much that we need to mention it twice? That is the question that needs to be answered.

Are Heavier Or Lighter Balls Better?

There is no right or wrong answer here; it depends on what you like and what your players are. Although heavy balls can be harder to toss quickly, they reach high speeds and can cause quite a bit of pain, especially if you are playing with older players. Lighter balls can be more challenging to toss quickly and harder to catch. Depending on the situation and player, either ball may be better.

Can Dodgeball Be Played outdoors?

This is primarily an indoor game, but it can also be played outside. There is a possibility that you may end up running after out-of-bounds balls repeatedly if you do not have a fence surrounding your play area.