League policies govern the rules of league play (e.g. player eligibility, waivers, tiering, playoff scheduling and discipline). Different leagues will have different league policies, but dodgeball game rules remain the same. Below is a sample template of League Policies that have been very successful at the Vancouver Dodgeball League. Dodgeball organizers shall customize their league policies to suit their audience and legal obligations, while still promoting good sportsmanship and spirit.
1. Teams are co-ed, made up of a minimum of 6 players and maximum of 12 players.
2. All players must sign a waiver, and be 19 years and over, in order to play; no exceptions.
3. All teams must have 2 females, if not more, on the court to start a game. If needed, a team can borrow a female from another team, but must still have 1 player from their own roster for their games to officially count.
4. Teams may borrow additional females in the regular season to a maximum of 5 players, excluding the female player from the original roster.
5. In playoffs, no team may be allowed to borrow any females from another team.
6. Substitutes that are outside of the League must sign a waiver prior to playing.
7. Teams are not allowed to borrow male players from another team in the same division/night.
8. Male substitute players can only play for one team per night.
9. After 2 weeks of substitution for a certain team, a male substitute player will be ineligible to substitute for another team for the season.
10. Illegal substitutes could result in a forfeit of all games played by the illegal substitute. An illegal substitute is a player that infringes General #6-9.
11. Only roster players are eligible for Playoffs if they have played a minimum of 4 weeks prior to Playoffs. Exceptions will be granted on a case by case basis.
12. Any physical altercations or serious breaches of spirit and sportsmanship will be automatically met with disciplinary actions which could result in suspensions or expulsion.*
13. The League has a zero tolerance policy towards drugs and alcohol. They are prohibited in all gyms and surrounding areas, and within players’ bodies (playing under the influence). Simply put, if a player or a the League Exec can smell the substances emanating from a player, then the offender will be ejected from the premises immediately and will be subjected to further disciplinary action afterwards, including suspensions and expulsion.
14. Usage of gym apparatuses during dodgeball play (chin-up bars, climbing walls, ropes) or performing dangerous actions and stunts (backflips off walls and the gym stage) are banned due to safety concerns.
15. Captains’ handshake: to build trust, goodwill and a better sense of community, captains are to meet with each other at the beginning of the night, before any games are played, and take a minute to introduce themselves, shake hands, and wish each other well. This helps with any conflicts on the courts.
16. Captains’ Clause: a game may be played under some variation of the rules and policies agreed upon by the captains of the teams involved.**
17. The League expects all players to be mature, respectful and sportsmanlike to other participants and to league organizers. In order to protect the community, we reserve the right to refuse service.
* – In order to protect league players, the League reserves the right to give official warnings and suspensions on any of the above violations, and may ask the instigator to leave the court or premise immediately if the violation is severe. Three official warnings, or a single severe violation will lead to a ban from the league for the rest of the season including playoffs. ** – This rule is only for rare and extenuating circumstances (e.g. permitting a team to play with only 1 female on the court or 1 female substitute player at Playoffs due to unexpected injury or absence). Both captains must agree on any changes of the rules and policies. In addition, pressuring another captain to change the rules and policies against his/her will is unsportsmanlike.
(Optional – For Leagues with Tiers that shuffle)
TIERING & SCHEDULING
1. There will be up to three tiers per division/night: 1, 2, and 3. Re-tiers occur on Week 3 and Week 7 to reflect skill level. Note: S11 Thursdays will re-tier on Week 4 and Week 8 because of a 12 week season.
2. The first re-tier moves roughly 5-6 teams up and down, the second re-tier moves roughly 2-4 teams up and down; there is no set number.
3. Teams will be moved according to the Division Director who will take the following into account: scores, spirit ratings, spirit ballot comments, and players’ skill level, the relative competitiveness of the tier, and feedback from League Scheduler and execs of the night.
4. Team schedules (opponents, time slots, and gym locations) are random and will vary on any given week depending on various factors. We will make it as fair as possible and try to accommodate special requests, but there are no guarantees.
PLAYOFFS AND SPIRIT
1. To place greater emphasis on fun and good spirit, the League ensures that ALL teams make the Playoffs.
2. Playoffs will place teams in 6 tiers of 8 teams (Mon/Tues/Thurs) playoff structure; Wednesdays will have 4 tiers of 10 teams.
3. A points system where a win in Tier 1 = 4 points; Tier 2 = 2 points; and Tier 3 = 1 point will be tabulated via the regular season standings. This points system will determine final Playoff seeding in the respective tiers (T1-6 on Mon/Tues/Thurs; T1-3 on Weds), making every week in the regular season competitive.
4. Playoffs are a double knockout tournament.
5. After teams are placed in their final playoff tiers, a team’s spirit points are multiplied by 3 (for a score out of 30) and then added as wins so higher spirited teams have a chance for better playoff seeding.
6. Teams that do not fill out a spirit ballot at the end of a night will forfeit their input for other teams’ spirit scores for that night. All other teams receive a 10 from said team by default. The team itself receives scores as given to them by the other teams.
7. Spirit scores that do not have a good justification for a score under 5 will be ignored.
8. Spirit scores for the other teams affected in scenarios 5 and 6 will be averaged based on the other submitted scores.