2014 NCDA Rulebook

Good people! Your administrative interns have completed work on the NCDA Rulebook for the 2014 Season. Here it is!

Captains & Officers of the Member Teams: If you find anything, any problems, any mistakes, any issues, any contradictions please email them to the League email and they will be addressed! If there are no issues, the Rulebook will become valid on 11 October 2013.

A little history: The foundations of our college dodgeball ruleset goes back to 2005. In 2010/11, I recodified the 2011 Rulebook into a more logical arrangement. Some of the things that were rewritten included the ambiguous language: “Ball hits Player B then hits Player A or Player A’s teammate. Player B is out.” It was replaced with more recognizable language like Targets and Throwers. Anyway, three seasons have passed and the Rulebook has been put through some great tests over that time. Three years was a good amount of time to take another fresh look at the Rules and see if we could further refine the language and any ambiguities that might have popped up.

Adding Felix Perrone [WKU] and Dylan Fettig [GVSU] as editors, here’s a list of the many changes we undertook. Most of the edits are grammatical and changing ambiguous language to specific language.

Specific changes from the 2013 Captains’ Meeting include:

  • Champion PG8.5 as Preferred Dodgeball of the NCDA []
  • Clean Catches, direct and team catches: If it looks like a possessed ball touched the direct throw or ricochet, then the ball is dead also known as a “trap catch”. If it is clear that the caught ball did not come in contact with a possessed ball, then catch is good! The Official has the last say. [] & []


2.1 Terminology:
2.1.1 Included Hit as actual term
2.1.2/3/6 Grammar
2.1.8 Added condition of being Out
2.1.9 Added condition of being In

2.2.1 Dodgeballs – grammar Added Champion PG8.5 as Preferred Dodgeball of the NCDA and describes the ball. (2ply! not the Heavy Duty version of the PG8.5, this is a dangerous ball.) Added stipulations on using other similar balls if not enough PGs are available. Added Ball Source – teams are entitled to supply five dodgeballs for play.

2.2.2 The Court – Numbering updates Added definition for Attack Line Added definition for Team Zone Jail – Added clearer language, point for reversing the Jail on skinny sidelines.

2.3.1 Membership and Player Terminology Eligibility – grammar Added definition for Coach Staff (treated as non-playing Captains) Uniform Colors – grammar


3.1 Game Format
3.1.1 Teams – grammar
Note: If there is a vote on roster allocation for tournaments, such as 30 per tournament, 20 per match, it would be added under Court Rez Restrictions – grammar
3.1.3 Scoring – no players at the end of “either half”, no score applied Early Halftime – grammar Overtime, # of Players – grammar

3.2.5 Opening Rush, Switching Sides – grammar, switching sides can be waived by both teams.

3.3.1 Stoppage of Play Airborne Balls – Numbering error fixed, grammar edits.
Deleted: “unless a Ball was airborne before the whistle was blown”
Added for clarity: “No Direct Catches or Direct Hits may be made with a Direct Throw that was airborne before the whistle was blown.”
All Airborne balls immediately become dead, exception remains: If a direct hit is made within a split second of the whistle, the Target or Teammate can make a catch.
Official’s discretion was deleted as redundant, this would already be the case. Procedure
Deleted: “Any balls not possessed by a Player and at rest in their team’s respective zone will be placed on that team’s Baseline and may not be picked up before the restart whistle.”
Added: “Any balls in a Team’s Zone may be possessed by a Player before the restart whistle. Any remaining, unprocessed balls are placed on that team’s Baseline.”
This simplifies the process, taking an extra burden of detail off the officials and logically assuming the player is going to pick up the balls regardless, and is in sync with what has been going on for the past three seasons. Timeouts – grammar

3.3.4 Shot Clock – grammar, numbering updates – Timekeeper Mechanic added for counting down or counting up, determined at the start of the half and cleared with the HR and Team. (Choosing which mechanic is on the books to change in the 2015 Season.) Resetting: The Throw must enter the Legitimate Attempt Zone before the Shot Clock expires. The Shot Clock is reset the moment a Direct Throw is deemed a Legitimate Attempt by the Official. Added Higgs Boson Reset – Congratulations to Kevin Koster [GV Alum] on the name suggestion. Two balls collide in mid air is a reset if they intended to enter the LAZ but went all CERN on the court. Illegitimate Attempt – a Direct Throw that does not enter the Zone before the Ball is deemed dead, or a Direct Throw that does not enter the Legitimate Attempt Zone before the Shot Clock expires. …

3.4 Gameplay

3.4.1 Catches Two for the Show – Two direct catches simultaneously counts as two direct catches, not a trap. Clean Direct Catch – If a Target has a ball in their possession, but catches a direct throw in such a way where it is clear that the possessed ball did not come into contact with the caught ball, it is deemed a Direct Catch. Team Catch – Grammar, clarity. Added can be team caught by any live teammate, “including the original target” for clarity. Added admittedly lame rule title Clean Team Catch – If a Teammate has a ball in their possession, but catches the ricocheted ball in such a way where it is clear that the possessed ball did not come into contact with the secured ricochet, it is deemed a Team Catch. Team Ball Trap Catch – If a Teammate has a ball in their possession, and that ball clearly makes contact with the ricocheted ball, the ricocheted ball is deemed dead on contact, even if the ricocheted ball is caught after contact. No Team Catch is awarded; the original Target is out and the Teammate remains live. Ball Trap Catch – rewritten for better clarity. Added “Direct Throws are considered Live balls,  until they are deemed dead. If the Thrower is deemed out after the Throw was made, the Throw is still considered Live and may cause a Direct Hit.” This is how throws are treated in other sections, like catches, but the absence of this definition would leave the issue ambiguous. – Added Siblicide as rule title Catches while blocking – grammar Stripping – grammar Neutral Zone – Extends indefinitely beyond the Sidelines. Death Touch – Intentionally disrupting play is a penalty for specific clarity. (already under the Yellow card section)
3.4.6 1 on 1 double faults – grammar
3.4.7 Defective Equipment – fixed numbering error

3.6 Conduct – The previous elements included in this section were largely moved to the Penalties section since they were redundant. Replaced with some SOTG stuff.

3.7 Penalties – Grammar, added penalties from section 3.6 and


4.1.3 Location Mechanics: Timekeeper at the Attack Line, and may be on either sideline as determined by the Team. Deleted Judge location recommendation. Philosophy of Officiating in Dodgeball – Grammar, commas, quotes Game Control – Title edits Extensive edits to the Pregame Shot Clock Timekeeper signaling the last five seconds to cover both 10/15 count. Grammar, deleted alternate whistle signaling mechanic, Reluctantly… Added Exact Moment of Reset for clarification Switching Counts – Timekeeper announces the Clock after switching Judge Dress – fixed name error

4.4 Signaling – Updated with whistles [01-04]
4.4.03 Overtime – basketball backcourt violation signal
4.4.12 SC Illegitimate Attempt -football running clock signal instead of the smaller point and circle mechanic.
4.4.13 SC Violation – double dribble signal, with an arm swing from offending to receiving team.
4.4.20 Safe/no out – Added OK gesture
A signaling video will be released this year, as well.


Added 5/x.y.x.y for all entries, for clarity within the entire document.
Added “The content of the Rulebook and Officiating Manual takes priority over any contradicting content of the Casebook.” Although if we’ve done our job right there shouldn’t be any contradicting information.

5/ Attack Line – explains that Attack Lines are always 30′, but some Neutral zones will vary in size depending on the court that is available.

5/ Early Halftime – grammar

5/3.3.4 Shot Clock – Added: Placing a ball just over the attack line in order to activate the opposing team’s shot clock can be considered Unsportsmanlike Conduct Exact Moment of Reset – redefined for clarity.

5/ – Five Man Rule – grammar edits
5/ Casebook discrepancy, redefined correctly according to the rulebook language.
5/ Casebook discrepancy, shot clock is immediately reset on a catch

5/ Team Catches – Added scenarios based on the language of the current rule and new definitions.

5/ Direct Hit – Grammar for clarity
5/ added rule title
5/ – Grammar for clarity
5/ – Grammar for clarity
5/ Defective Dodgeballs – Recodification under Defective Equipment


I don’t know about Felix or Mr Fettig, but I’ve probably put over 200 hours in on this season’s Rulebook. The edits come out to about 2 pages worth! Still, even if this is a 17 page rulebook, the actual gameplay portion defining our play comes to about 2 pages. Just something to keep in mind, the game is still fairly simple.

Author: Zigmister

DePaul Dodgeball #68 & NCDA Director of Officiating

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.