2016 Rulebook Release

CHICAGO – September 17, 2015. Office of the Director of Officiating.


The Rulebook for the 2015-2016 Season is released. We don’t have much new stuff this year, the entirety of “Gameplay” has not been changed. See the Rulebook Vote Results post on what we voted on in the off season. However there are some “timing” events that have been updated. Changes are represented in highlighted text. 

  • General: Any spellings of “time out” have been standardized to one word: Timeout.
  • Extrapolated Rule: dictates that a Stoppage of Play is not a timeout, and Jailed and Benched players should not be on the Court. This has been a big problem during Shot Clock Violations, which has always been a cardable offense []. Only Active Players and Officials may be on the Court during a Stoppage of Play. Jailed Players and Bench Players must remain in their respective zones. Interference will result in a penalty [].

  • General: Rule and child items give a better definition of a Team Timeout.
  • Also a line for being ready to play after 30 seconds. This has been abused over the last few years. Team Timeouts have a maximum duration of 30 seconds. Both Teams should be lined up and ready to play after this duration.


  • Recategorization: The old Procedure During a Timeout was extraneous information and rolled into other sections. Specifically, Rule regarding players staying in their zones during a timeout is placed where it should be, under Timeouts. The others are doubles of Stoppage of Play Procedure rules.
  • Added Missing Rule: Officials’ Timeout defines when an Official needs to stop play. Think fixing a broken clock, or a toddler wandering onto the Court. Please note that not all Stoppages of Play made by an official are automatically Officials’ Timeouts:
  • It’s up to the Head Referee to signal to both teams if a Stoppage necessitates a Timeout. An Officials Timeout allows substitutions and resets the Clock
  • For example, a faulty clock usually necessitates a Stoppage, and in some cases it would be fair to issue an Officials’ Timeout in order to reset shot clocks.
  • For instance, a Shot Clock Violation is a Stoppage, not a Timeout.
  • New Rules regarding Substitutions: Substitutions may be made by either team during either a Team Timeout or an Officials’ Timeout. Once a Player is substituted off the Court, they cannot be substituted back into play during that same Point.

  • New Rule: Direct Catch Reset – A Direct Catch made by a Team with a Ten (10) Second Shot Clock will result in the Shot Clock resetting for the Catching Team.

    The [ Five Man Rule] or [ Overtime Shot Clock] indicate when a team is on a ten second clock. Officials are advised to make sure the Shot Clock is in top form, Timekeepers should now keep track of catches when a team is on a short count. Remember, a reset must be made within 10 seconds.

  • New Rule: under Timeouts altering the Shot Clock Count dictates that both team’s shot clocks are reset to zero during an Officials’ Timeout.
  • New Casebook entry: 5/ further reinforcing that a Shot Clock Violation is not a Timeout. This is a place that eats up off-the-clock minutes and causes games to last more than an hour.
  • Officials should make a good effort to return to play as soon as possible.
  • Players should remain in their zones during a Shot Clock Violation.
    For example, Captains that were Jailed who enter the court to dictate strategy will be Yellow Carded for interfering with play. This has been a big problem for many years and there have been plenty of warnings.

Author: Zigmister

DePaul Dodgeball #68 & NCDA Director of Officiating

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