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Dodgeball Terms and Phrases

'Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive, and Dodge! Another Name for Dodgeball'

DODGEBALL VOCABULARY: Check out this concise list of terminologies of dodgeball.

You will find 100s of dodgeball terms and definitions used by players and officials, all listed from A to Z.

Dodgeball teams and match referees can use this vocabulary of dodgeball terminology.

The English titles and common match rulings will also help anyone who enjoys learning about sports and games played in the United Kingdom.

The official dodgeball rules and regulations is a good place to start if you are learning to play. These dodgeball key words cover the advanced lingo and sports terms related to the game.

Shoot through to the most common dodgeball terminology by clicking the alphabetic facility below. Or, take a timeout and sharpen your knowledge and understanding of the indoor court game.

This comprehensive list of dodgeball terms and definitions continues to grow. Check in often for more information associated with dodgeball playing techniques and match-winning strategies.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X |
Y | Z

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A – Airborne Attack

The airborne attack in dodgeball is also seen as a ‘sacrifice fly’. It refers to a player jumping over the neutral zone to make their shot.

The player is eliminated unless the ball leaves the players hand before they return to the ground.

Attack Line

Both teams have an attack line marked on their designated side of the court. Players can only shoot from behind an attack line.

B – Ball

There is an Official UKDBA Dodgeball used in competitive leagues. It is the only approved ball for dodgeball competitions at all levels. The official dodgeball ball is available in 3 different sizes:

  1. Primary Size Dodgeball: Used by players up to 11 years and the ball measures 13.5 cm (5½ inches) in diameter.
  2. Junior Size Dodgeball: Used by players aged 11-15 years and the ball measures 18 cm (7inches) in diameter.
  3. Standard Size Dodgeball: Used by Senior players aged 16 and over and the ball measures 22.5 cm (8 inches) in diameter.

Ball Control

Ball control is a phrase which refers to the majority of the balls played on your side. It also means staying on the offensive for as long as possible during the match.

Buddy Up

Buddy up refers to synchronized throwing with one or more teammates.

C – Catcher

Dodgeball catchers need good hands and they need good hand-eye coordination. The catcher position is highly important because it creates a two-player swing:

  1. It gets the thrower out.
  2. It allows a teammate to re-enter the game.

Corner players attack when it is beneficial and they are defensive or a sacrificial buffer.

Court Size

How big is a dodgeball court is one of the most asked questions about the game. The court gets divided into two areas and each area measures 30 feet by 30 feet (9.1 x 9.1 metres).

D – Dead Ball

A dead ball is a dodgeball phrase referring to one that either hits a dead player, hits another dodgeball, or hits any surface of the court.


Deflection refers to the ball when it ricochets off another ball or a player.

E – Equipment

The equipment needed to play dodgeball in a regulation game is minimal. As a rule you need at least 5 balls, a suitable playing surface, and some uniforms for the player to wear.

F – Face Shot

The shot in the face is not the most sportsmanlike kill in dodgeball but it is effective.


A fault is any action (other than being hit) which results in a player being ruled out. Dodgeball faults include stepping over the attack line, going out of bounds, or repeatedly making high throws.

G – Games for PE

Many schools and sports clubs use dodgeball games for physical education classes.

H – Head Referee

The word of the head referee is law on the dodgeball court. They keep a watchful eye on every player and they make the final decision on any missed call or disputed kill. Their role also involves keeping an eye on the middle line. They ensure nobody steps over it and check that no player holds a ball for more than 10 seconds.

Head Shot

Head shots are those made above the chest and can be intentional or accidental. The result is elimination from the game for that player.


Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story is a well-known film found on the International Movie Database.

J – Jumper

A jumper can refer to a dodgeball trampoline game for small children.

K – Kill (tag)

A kill or sometimes called a tag is a direct throw which gets another player out of the game.

Kill or Be Killed

The fast-flowing game of dodgeball centers around one thing – kill or be killed! No two dodges and no two throws are ever the same. The winner is decided by who gets kills faster or evades them longer.

L – Live Ball

A ‘live ball’ is any ball that is in play and is not dead. Dodgeballs become live when a player throws them.

M – Muffins

Dodgeball muffins is a term describing bad throws where the ball floats slowly through the air.

N – National League

The UK Dodgeball Association is the officially recognised National Governing Body of Dodgeball in the UK and was founded in 2005.

O – Opening Run

The opening run refers to the initial run for getting the balls at the attack line.

P – Play

A play is one of the terms in dodgeball describing any attempt by a player to catch, dodge, or block a directly thrown ball.

Pump Faking

If you pump fake you are fooling the opposition into believing a ball is coming to their direction.

Q – Qualifications

The UKDBA Level 1 Award is a qualification to become a coach.

R – Retrievers

Dodgeball retrievers are individuals designated the role of retrieving balls that go out of play. Players that are out of the game may also retrieve balls.


The dodgeball rush is carried out at the beginning of each game or for a reset. Once the official signals players from both teams rush to center court to retrieve as many balls as possible. Players then take the balls behind the centerline to take a shot at players from the opposing team.

S – Sacrifice

To sacrifice yourself means you are jumping over the attack line to hit another player.


Dodgeball shaggers stand several feet away from the back wall of the court. They are responsible for ensuring the ball does not roll back to the opponent’s half of the court. Shaggers are quick and probably the dodgiest people in the game. They play an important role in gaining ball control. Shagging is crucial for getting balls fed into the hands of your team’s best throwers.


Snipers often hang in the back waiting for someone to become vulnerable. A sniper will often try to obscure the fact that they have the ball.


In dodgeball terms stalling is the act of intentionally delaying the game. It also refers to a player holding on to the ball for more than 5 – 10 seconds. A player caught stalling loses possession of the ball after the initial warning from the dodgeball official referee.

T – Taking the Line

A team with ball control is looking to push their opponents back. They want to take the line and hold it. Holding the line in dodgeball means you can pick off players from the other team.


In dodgeball terminology the target is any ‘live’ player on the opposite team getting hit from a direct throw.

Ten Second Count

The 10 second count is an edict issued by the referees to the team holding a majority of the seven balls in play. They have 10 seconds to throw however many balls they hold more than the opposition. If a team does not comply with the count, they must give the opponent all of their balls.


A thrower in dodgeball terms is any ‘live’ player who makes a direct throw of a dodgeball.


In dodgeball terms a trap ball is one caught simultaneously with a player’s body, another ball, and another part of the environment. The ball is subsequently ruled dead.

U – UK

Dodgeball UK was formed in 2009 by a London-based entrepreneur. He rustled up a group of mates who were all keen to have a go at throwing balls at each other. The rest is UK dodgeball history!

V – Variations

Army dodgeball, also known as medic, consists of two teams, and is normally played in a medium-sized arena such as a basketball court or a parking lot.

W – Warm Up Game

Dodgeball warm up games allow players to practice all the skills such as jumping, dodging and moving in different directions. This is good practice before the game starts.

X – Xbox

Skitbold is an Xbox dodgeball game by Microsoft.

Y – YouTube

You can watch a YouTube video showing a few basic rules that you should know before you start playing dodgeball. You can also read through a complete set of UK dodgeball rules and regulations.

Z – Zone

There is a 1.2 metre x 9.1 metre neutral zone at the center of the playing surface. This zone separates the two main playing areas of the dodgeball court.

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Dodgeball Terms and Vocabulary Definition