World Dodgeball Association


The World Dodgeball Association is the Official World Governing Body of Dodgeball, working as a not for profit social enterprise across 6 continents in partnership with 62 national federations delivering to over 70 million people worldwide. By 2020 we will be delivering across 70 nations to over 90 million participants.

​We are growing sustained participation at grassroots, competitive and high performance levels within the sport in partnership with our National and Continental Federations.

​On Tuesday 22nd October 2013 the World Dodgeball Association was established through the amalgamation of three continental bodies under one World Council. Since 2013 the Africa Dodgeball Federation has emerged and therefore the continental bodies represent Africa, America, Asia-Pacific and Europe regions.

“In a multitude of sporting organisations we will aspire to be something different. We will be THE most exciting, attractive, responsive and supportive world sporting organisation”

“We want to achieve something straightforward. We want more. More players, more places played, more involvement, more fun … more Dodgeball!”

​The statement above reflects how unique Dodgeball is and how powerful the sport will be once we have spread across more continents, more nations and more local communities.

We will be guided in all we do by the following principles:

Inclusivity, Integrity, Innovation, Collaboration, Support and Fun!

Strength to Strength

Strength to Strength deliver a Young Ambassadors Program (YAP) that brings together young people ages 14-20 who lost either a parent or immediate family member in a terrorist attack or were injured themselves. The participants spend a week together in New York City and come from various countries including Argentina, Algeria, England, France, Israel, Kenya, Northern Ireland, Spain, Uganda, and the United States. The goal of the trip is to ensure a week filled with exciting and fun activities combined with meetings with political and community leaders in order to empower these young people to take their personal experiences of trauma and share them with each other in order to bring about healing. The World Dodgeball Association have recently launched a new Global Dodgeball for Development and Peace program that unites people in the face of adversity.


Dodgeball was originally played in Africa over two hundred years ago, but instead of the fun, jocular game that it is today, it was in fact a deadly game. Instead of using soft, rubber balls, the game was actually played with large rocks or putrefied matter, and it was used as an intense work out for the tribes, where each competitor would attempt to hit their opponent with the rock to injury or incapacitate them. Once a player was hit, they would attempt to be pelted by further rocks to finish them off. It would be the responsibility of the team mates of the fallen competitor to try and defend him and force the attackers off with their own rocks. This would said to be a great way to encourage the tribesman to work together during skirmishes against other tribes, working to take out the weak and protect their own.

​A missionary, by the name of Dr James H. Carlisle saw what was happening and was intrigued by the agility and ruthlessness of the tribal men , as well as by the solidarity and heart they were showing. He spent many hours watching the men, and became besotted with the ritual that he saw on a daily basis. When he made his way back to England, via Europe, he showed some of his pupils what he had seen. The European men that tried what Carlisle was telling them found they didn’t have the natural agility or accuracy to dodge or throw, and with Dr Carlisle continuously moving on, he was not able to encourage the people he spoke to about the sport to carry it on. It was only when he returned to his teachings at St. Mary’s College in Norfolk, that he was able to transform the vicious training in to an all-inclusive game.

He changed the rock and petrified matter for a leather ball, which was still hard but not dangerously so. The sport was played on an open field with no restrictions as to where players were able to go, and was played as if a game of chess or war, with players moving strategically to try and trap an opponent. A player was only out from the game when they were knocked to the floor by the continuous blows of the ball. Players would look to bat the ball away with their hands, in an effort to deflect the power away from them. This was played for the next century in much the same way, with only minor variations.

​In 1884, St. Mary’s College played host to a number of their colleagues from Yale University. Included within that party was Phillip Ferguson. Philip Ferguson is generally regarded as the person most responsible for taking dodgeball over to America and popularising it. He saw the boys of St. Mary’s College playing and he hit upon an idea for the game that would make it quicker and faster. He brought in the idea of playing within a set area, with teams on either side of the pitch. Once the sport made it back across the pond to America, it was there that the details of the sport we know today were fleshed out. 1905 saw the first official rules drawn up, which included the rules regarding players coming in after a catch and being hit once and you were out. With the colleges across America playing each other, it enabled the sport to spread like wildfire. News of this emerging sport made its way back to England, and the American popularised rules became the norm for which all dodgeball matches were played. Schools up and down the country would play for fun, but it was the film of the sport in 2004 that brought the whole world’s attention to the sport. The only place that the original sport is played is St. Marys College, when they host their Yale brethren for a match, every 4 years, to honour the founding fathers of the sport, and the African innovators.


Young Leader Award

The Young Leaders Award is for young people aged 14-16 years old to gain an introductory insight into coach education and referee education. This qualification will enable a young leader to lead on specific activities within a coaching session or competition under the supervision of a qualified coach, referee or teacher. The duration of this course is one full day or 8 hours of practical and theoretical study.

​Teachers Award

The Teachers Award is aimed at educational professionals within schools, colleges and universities that wish to undertake the accredited qualification to teach curricular, extracurricular and education based club activity. The duration of this course is one full day or 8 hours of practical and theoretical study.

​Assistant Coach Course

The Assistant Coach Course is designed to provide new coaches with an insight into coaching the Sport. This qualification will enable an Assistant Coach to lead specific exercises at any level under the supervision of a Head Coach or Master Coach. The duration of this course is 1 full day or 8 hours of practical and theoretical study.

​Head Coach Course

The Head Coach Course is for existing coaching staff or teachers who have a minimum of two years Dodgeball Coaching experience. This qualification will enable a Head Coach to lead sessions within grassroots and competitive environments up to junior international level. The duration of this course is 1.5 days or 12 hours of practical and theoretical study.

​Master Coach Course

The Master Coach Course is designed for Senior Adult International Coaching Staff who are leading High Performance programs for national federations. This qualification is the highest recognised coaching qualification within the Sport. The duration of this course is 2 days or 16 hours of practical and theoretical study.

​Tutor Award (Coach)

The Tutor Course is for coaching staff that have experience in managing and advising assistant and/or young leaders for a minimum of 2 years to gain a qualification that will enable the delivery of Young Leader, Teachers Award, Assistant Coach Course and Head Coach Course qualifications. The duration of this course is a maximum of 2 days or 16 hours of practical and theoretical study.


Assistant Referee Course

The Assistant Referee Course is designed for new referees who would like to officiate within competitive Dodgeball for the first time. This qualification enables an assistant referee to line judge during competitive Dodgeball. The duration of this course is a maximum of 0.75 of 1 day or 6 hours of practical and theoretical study.

​Head Referee

The Head Referee Course is for experienced referees who have the potential to Head Referee at competitive and international high performance levels. The qualification enables a Head Referee to officiate matches up to World Cup international standard. Dodgeball. The duration of this course is a maximum of 1 day or 8 hours of practical and theoretical study.

​Tutor Award (Referee)

The Tutor Course is for referees that have experience in managing and advising assistant and/or fellow Head Referees for a minimum of 2 years to gain a qualification that will enable the delivery of the Assistant Referee Course and Head Referee Course qualifications. The duration of this course is a maximum of 1 day or 16 hours of practical and theoretical study.



How many people can play?

Dodgeball is played between two teams with six players on each team and up to six substitutes.

​How do you win?

The objective of dodgeball is to eliminate all player’s on the other team to score points. Teams will score a point for each set they win. At the end of the match, the team with the most points is the winner.

​How long does a dodgeball match last?

A dodgeball match is played over two 15 minute halves, with a 5 minute half-time break in between. A match is made up of an indeterminate number of sets; where teams will try to eliminate the other team to score a point. Each set ends when either a team has been completely eliminated or after 3 minutes. If a set lasts 3 minutes, the team with the most players left scores a point. In the case of a tie, both teams are awarded a point.

​How does a dodgeball match start?

At the start of each set, all players line up behind their team’s back line and five balls are placed along the centre line. When the referee blows the whistle, players run to the centre of the court to retrieve the balls. This is called the rush. A maximum of 3 players are allowed to rush but may only take the balls designated to their team (on the left) and the ball in the centre, which is open for both teams to retrieve. A ball can only be thrown once it crosses over the team’s attack line. Once a ball crosses the attack line, it is in play for the rest of the set.

​How are players eliminated?

  • A player is eliminated in one of a number of ways:
  • A ball is thrown and hits an opposition player anywhere on their body.
  • A thrown ball is caught by an opposition player – the opposition team also gets a player back.
  • A player crosses over the opposition neutral zone line.

​What does a dodgeball court look like?