Saskatoon dodgeball player

What are World Dodgeball Federation rules?

If you want to compete in dodgeball at regional, national, or international tournaments, you’ll likely be playing with World Dodgeball Federation rules, which are the same rules followed by Dodgeball Canada.

WDBF rules are also popular in other cities (like Regina!) so Saskatonians who have played this style elsewhere may feel more comfortable with these rules.

What’s different between WDF and rec league rules?

Overall, the game is the same: Two teams of six try to get the other team out by hitting them with foam dodgeballs; teams get a point for winning a set, and the team with the most points at the end of a match wins the game.

But there are quite a few differences in the specific rules. Here are some of the main differences in WDBF rules:

  • Games are 40 minutes with two 20-minute halves.
  • At the end of each half, the game will go into sudden death.
  • At the end of the first half, the teams will switch halves of the court.
  • The ball is 7 inches.
  • Boundaries are in effect — if you go out of bounds, you are out.
  • Refs keep track of Advantage (see below) which may result in balls being turned over.
  • Players may carry more than one ball.
  • If a teammate catches a ball that hit you, you’re not out.
  • The 6 balls are placed on the centre line for the opening rush.

Play Sask has opted for a modified version of WDBF rules in its leagues to make it easier for teams to adjust to the new rules and to keep it more casual.

In our modified version, we don’t have refs so we play for a continuous 50-minute game without switching sides. Depending on the court, there either won’t be boundaries, or there will be soft boundaries so you don’t go out if you step on the line. Because we don’t have refs, Advantage in Casual games will be determined by a marker ball.


Advantage is one of the biggest differences between the two playstyles. At Play Sask’s casual games, we use a marker to determine which team has Advantage — one of the balls on the court is a different colour and it counts as two balls. This makes it easier for people new to the concept of Advantage to quickly figure out which team’s turn it is to throw.

In Competitive games, players are expected to keep track of Advantage; here’s how it works:

  1. The team with Advantage must throw a ball within 10 seconds.
    a. The 10-second countdown restarts when a ball is thrown by any team.
  2. Advantage is given to the team that;
    a. has the most balls on their half of the court; or
    b. if the number of balls on each half is equal, has the most live players; or
    c. if the number of live players on each team is equal, has not thrown last; or
    d. if neither team has thrown, that last won a set.
  3. If a ball has not been thrown within 5 seconds, a clearly audible countdown will begin.
  4. If a ball has not been thrown within 10 seconds, the team with Advantage must forfeit all the balls on their half of the court to the opposing team.
    a. Live players and ball retrievers must pass those balls to the opposing team in a
    timely manner.