The Different Versions of Dodgeball

There have been all different versions of a dodgeball game used throughout today. Different schools and summer camps like to use dodgeball as an activity. Here I am just highlighting just a couple different versions of dodgeball. There a lot of different ones, but here are 8 different types of variations of dodgeball.

Army Dodgeball

The first example of a different type of dodgeball is Army dodgeball, but my high school likes to call medic. There would be two teams and we would play on a basketball court in the gym class. This was considered easily as the best day ever or the worst day ever in gym class depending who you were. The rules are exactly as the same as dodgeball, but you had a medic you were protecting throughout the game.  Each player then tries to hit the other team’s players with the balls, and the spot that is hit is therefore “wounded” and the player must move to the back of the playing area and wait for the “medic” to come heal you. If the medic is hit, the game is over. You wanted to play this game with a group that was 10 to 30 people and it could last 5 minutes up to an hour.

Here is an example of the game:


Bombardment is a game that has a couple ways you can play it. One-way you can play with two teams and five balls on an inside gymnasium (usually a basketball or netball court) divided into three roughly equal zones. Each team can roam freely in their own zone, or in the central no-man’s land that divides their zones. If you are hit with a ball on the full, you are out, if you catch a ball on the full, the teammate who has been out the longest returns to the game (in some versions of bombardment, you can bring back more players). Deflecting a ball with a ball that a player is holding is allowed. Another way is two teams each with three pins and five dodgeballs. The objective is to knock over all the opposing team’s pins or eliminate all the players on the other team. Players can get out by getting hit, however it must be below the neck. Also if a ball is thrown and a player catches it on the full, the player who threw it is out and the teammate who has been out longest returns to the game (in some versions of bombardment, you can choose who to bring back). There are several variations such as if the game is played in a gym. If a player hits the basketball hoop’s backboard then that team frees all eliminated players.  The name then can be called Pin Guard or Battle Ball.

Here an example of the Pin version of the game:

And a funny clip from The Simpsons called “BOMBARDMENT”:

Doctor Dodgeball:

Doctor dodgeball is very similar to army dodgeball. You have this “hospital” in which “injured” players who are on the ground are dragged by players of either side back to the hospital which is at the rear of each team’s playing area. A patient brought back to the hospital is revitalized and allowed to continue playing, though if they are brought to the opposing team’s hospital they are now playing for the other team. The leader needs to avoid getting hit. If they get hit, the game is over or the game can be over if one team is entirely eliminated. You can use a “fake doctor” to distract the other team or you can keep your doctor known or in secret from the other team. It is a key idea to be paying attention of which the other team’s doctor is.

Here someone explaining a little better if you do not understand it yet:

Here an example of doctor dodgeball:



Ga-ga (also known as gaga or octoball) is another form of dodgeball where you are enclosed either by walls or an octagonal enclosure. The objective of the game is to eliminate one’s opponents by hitting the ball with either an open hand or closed fist into the region at or below his or her knees. That player is then out and must leave the playing area. Having his or her ball caught in the air also can eliminate a player. Touching the ball twice consecutively without the ball touching another player or the wall is grounds for elimination unless that player is attempting to catch the ball. Carrying, throwing, or catching the ball after a bounce also can result in elimination. Hitting the ball out of bounds is grounds for elimination unless it is as the result of a defensive deflection. Pushing a player into the ball and any other physical contact is also a violation. There is only one ball in play at a time in ga-ga. The game is started either by placing the ball in the center of the octagon with each of the players touching the wall, or by bouncing the ball and repeating the word “ga” each time the ball touches the floor. After three bounces the ball is in play and the players may leave the wall. Any player touching the ball or leaving the wall before the third bounce is considered out. This is also the procedure for resuming the game after a stoppage of play. Stoppages of play result from the ball being hit out of bounds or the ball being caught. A player being hit at or below his or her knees is not ground for a stoppage of play. The winner is the last player left in the playing area. The game can be played with a large group of people playing for themselves, in teams, or one on one.

Here an example of octoball/ Ga-Ga:

Prison Ball:

Prison Ball (also known as Greek dodgeball, German dodgeball, Swedish dodgeball, king’s court in Canada; queimada or queimado in Brazil; sniper in Japan and Heaven in New Zealand) is played much like the original dodgeball game, except when a player is hit, he gets put in a defined area, the “prison”, “jail”, or “doghouse”, behind the opposing team. To get out of prison, a trapped player must catch a ball thrown by a teammate. A player in prison may not eliminate anyone from the opposing team. “Prisoners” remain behind the opposing team until the game is over or they are released according to the current rule set. In some versions of “prison ball” played on a basketball court, all players are released if a half-court shot is made into the opponent’s basket.

Here an example with a voice over of how the game goes:


Trampoline Dodgeball:

Trampoline dodgeball is pretty self-explanatory. This game follows most of the rules, but is played on a trampoline and has trampoline sidewalls. Players generally can not be driven out of bounds, so gameplay options are reduced to hits and catches. The addition of trampolines makes the activity even more physically demanding than the regular game. It also allows for a wider range of jump plays as players bounce across several trampolines.

Here an example of the game:

Four Quadrants:

Four quadrants is a type of dodgeball game that is played on a court divided into four equal zones (quadrants). The object of the game is to eliminate everybody in another quadrant so that the team can take over the quadrant. It follows the same rules as normal dodgeball. When people get out, they go against a wall sitting down. Another way is that whoever team hit a person, they must go and join that team. When there is only one or two quadrants left and another team takes two or three quadrants, they can shoot for baskets so their entire team can be back in the game. There has to be equal teams. The winner is the last man standing. In the Caribbean, it is known as dandy shandy. It is a popular street game, which is played with a stuffed empty box more often used as a ball alternative when an actual ball is not available.

Here is an example of four quadrants:

Here an example of dandy shandy:


Scatterball is also known as Every Man for Himself, this game is played with either 1 or 2 balls. To start the game, 2 players will stand in the middle of the court, 2 dodgeballs will be thrown in the air, and they have to catch the ball in less than 5 steps. The other players can run free in the court. By taking only less than 5 steps, those 2 players have to eliminate others; you can’t hit the players in their heads. Once a player is hit, he/she is out. Once there are few players left, the 2 players who have the balls can run around the court to hit others. When the last player is left in the game, he/she wins.

Here is an example of Scatterball:

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