President’s Thoughts on Recent Rule/Policy Changes

I’ve received several inquiries for my thoughts on the rule changes for the 2017/2018 season. Rather than answering everyone individually, I thought this may be a better option. If you have any questions about my responses, please comment below! I’ll be happy to delve into this deeper.

Rule Changes

R3 – Roster size is 8-16. Active players are 8-12 [NEW]

I could not be happier about this rule finally passing. I’ve been advocating for it since 2012 because I truly believe this is the future of our brand of dodgeball. 15v15 is too much and ultimately leads to having softer rosters because teams are looking to just fill empty slots. Moving to 12v12 will allow points to be scored more quickly, new teams to join the NCDA more easily, and each team to have a higher overall skill average. This rule also helps the NCDA develop our JV teams and thus creating higher levels of competition when players graduate from JV to Varsity rosters.


R4 – A Shot Clock Official determines a legitimate attempt to reset the Shot Clock, exclusively. The Head/ Assistant Referee cannot override the Shot Clock Official mid count. [NEW]

This rule I really didn’t have a strong opinion about one way or another. I can see the benefits to both sides of the argument. I am happy with the result though because it keeps the flow of the game more consistent and true.


R5 – The Shot Clock may count either up or down, at the preference of the team. [Current]

I’d prefer if this rule were consistent, but counting the other way (15-0 or 10-0). Zero is always zero on the shot clock, so it doesn’t matter if you’re on a 15 or a 10 count, the last five seconds will ALWAYS be 4,3,2,1,0. When you’re counting up, players on the court have the uncertainty of knowing whether they’re on a 10 or 15 second clock, so when the shot clock counter says “8” you’re unsure as to whether you have 2 or 7 seconds remaining. But I digress.


R7 Blood Rule – Call an Officials’ Timeout. Both Shot Clocks are reset.

I think this was the most fair option since making oneself bleed isn’t (or at least shouldn’t be) a gameplay strategy.


R8 Number of Captains – Teams may designate a combination of 4 Captains and Assistant Captains; e.g. 1C, 0A. Or 1C, 3A. Or 2C, 2A (must have at least one Captain). [NEW]

I don’t really care about this rule. I just want people to follow it. The rule says four, so only have no more than four. Being a senior or a 8th season player shouldn’t automatically make you a captain. Teams need to have designated on-court representatives for their team and that’s what the captains are. Ideally, they’re the most level headed players you have too who can help calm situations when they’re getting out of hands, but we know that’s not always the case……..


Policy Proposals

P2 In order to be eligible to participate at Nationals, Teams must play a
minimum of 3 games during the Season. [NEW]

I like the idea of this rule to make sure teams are playing enough games during the regular season, but I do feel bad for the geographically disadvantaged teams who may have to use all of their funding to travel to Nationals and now will have to find funding from elsewhere. But the rule makes sense and I support it.


P3 Senior Eligibility for Nationals – Players who earn a degree within the academic year prior to Nationals may play at Nationals providing;
a) That player does not violate his or her school’s criteria [2.3.1.1.1.1 Institutional Eligibility],
b) The Executive Board approves that player’s request to play.

I’ll be blunt and honest, this is my least favorite rule/policy that has ever been voted on. Here are my reasons why:

1) Only a handful of schools (maybe 15% of our Member Teams) allow people who have graduated to participate in intercollegiate competition at the club level. So we have a VAST inconsistency throughout the league and it isn’t fair that some schools allow it and others don’t. I would bet a LARGE sum of money that most people didn’t even look at their respective school’s Sport Club manuals before voting. Don’t worry though, I’m going through one-by-one to see what the policy is.

2) The amount of paperwork that will need to be collected will not really be worth it to play (proof of graduation from registrar, official transcript, clearance by sport club director, plea to NCDA Exec Board, etc)

3) This rule gives people a false sense of hope that they will get to play at Nationals. At the end of the day, more than likely no one will be able to benefit from this rule because of the inherent restrictions from their respective school’s policies.


P4 Member Team Voting Rights – Any team granted Member Team status may vote. [Current]

I’d like for teams to play at least one full year before they can vote, but it doesn’t bother me too much either way.


P8 Nationals Scheduling – Participants will play a minimum of 3 matches on Saturday, but will be scheduled for more if time allows. [Current]

This is fine by me.


P6 Nationals Bracket Format – All teams play in a Championship Bracket. Each team receives at least one game. [Current]

For scheduling purposes I would have preferred the Top 12 play in the Championship Bracket, with the remaining teams playing in a consolation bracket. It would have rewarded the top 4 teams by giving them a bye, but also giving ranks 5-12 the opportunity to win it all. I believe a consolation bracket would have been more fun for the teams ranked 13+ because they would have gotten to play more games that were more closely ranked to their own skill level, plus it would have made the regular season and the Saturday of Nationals so much more exciting for the teams that are on the bubble of qualifying for the championship bracket.

Author: Felix Perrone

NCDA President

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