What is dodgeball?

Dodgeball is a game in which players on opposing teams throw large balls at each other while avoiding being hit themselves.

Popularized by the 2004 film Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, the game has acquired global status proving to be very popular in schools and colleges. There are adult national leagues as well as international teams like the England Lions.

There are many variations of the game, but generally, the main objective of each team is to eliminate all members of the opposing team by hitting them with thrown balls, catching a thrown ball eliminates the thrower and earns the catchers team the return of a player previously ruled out.

It's main advantage as a team game is that it requires a very basic skill set and therefore can include many participants often judged to unworthy of team inclusion in more skill biased games like football, rugby, basketball etc. It's also one of the few games where girls and boys can play on equal terms against each other as well as in the same teams.

It is a fast paced game, usually played over a maximum duration of 3 to 5 minutes and employs many skills and attributes found in other ball focused games:

  • catching (netball, basketball, rugby, American, Gaelic and Australian rules football)
  • dodging (evasion sports like rugby)
  • deflecting (involving the use of a ball to deflect)
  • throwing (rugby, American, Gaelic and Australian rules football)
  • reflex action (catching a ball which deflects off a team mate, similar to goal keeping skills)
  • sprinting (the initial race to gain possession of the ball(s) to initiate the game)
  • passing (passing a loose ball to a team mate or from the initial start position)

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