How to Start Up a Dodgeball League: 

Step 1: Build a great team  
Starting a league can be a daunting task on your own.  It’s recommended that you build a team of 4 to 5 people to help you with this endeavour.  They can help facilitate at the gyms each night, build game schedules, take care of administrative tasks, etc. Dodgeball spreads best by word of mouth, and with a large team, you can tap into the team’s networks to make the league a success.

Step 2: Come up with a name for your league
It sounds easier said than done.  Most dodgeball leagues come up with names that reflect their regional location.  This is probably the preferred method as it helps people locate a league in their respective area.

For example: The Vancouver Dodgeball League (VDL) is based out of Vancouver.

Step 3: Register your league with the appropriate legal bodies
It is important to register your league either as a not for profit organization, or a regular business (for profit) with the appropriate municipal or provincial registries.  You do not necessarily need to seek legal counsel in this regard, as it is relatively straight forward.  Registration is important since it can impact the mission statement, tax preparation each year, provides legitimacy for the league and may be required by users and/or vendors.  

Step 4: Open a bank account
At this point, you should also open a bank account under the league’s name, where you can deposit all funds and pay for all expenses.  Assign signing authority only to those authorized to deposit and withdraw funds.

Step 5: Purchase insurance for the league and its players
Also, in order to protect the players and the league, insurance for each player is required (in case of injuries that occur on the courts).  If you do not know of which organization will provide this service, seek out the information from other sports leagues.  Some non-profit sport leagues may be willing to share their insurance costs with you.

Step 6: Secure the appropriate facilities
The style of game play VDL employs is affected by the court space used.  Most elementary school or high school gyms have the requisite dimensions that tailor to the VDL model of dodgeball.  
(Insert approximate dimensions here)
Most gyms, either a school or a recreation center, are managed by someone.  For example, school gyms in Vancouver are managed by the Rentals Department for the Vancouver School Board.  Determine which gyms you would like to use, and contact whoever is managing the gyms to inquire about rental costs and availability.  Compare the costs, availabilities and size of the gyms to determine which ones are the most preferred ones.  
Note: Depending on the number of teams you have, you may need to secure all the gyms available, even if they differ slightly in size.  Availability of the gyms needs to coincide with the start date that was decided upon or vice versa.

Step 7: Build a website
Basic web programming/design skills can accomplish this task.  If it needs to be sourced out, then do so.  People need a place to go to in order to get information about the league (rules, schedules, standings, photos, etc.) and it is the logical place where they can register.  You can build a registration system directly into the website or have teams register by emailing the league their team name and team member’s names if it is more cost effective in the early going.

Step 8:  Advertise the league
If you are thinking about starting a dodgeball league, there must already be some existing interest from a group of people.  However, 4 teams do not a dodgeball league make.  Therefore, you should get the word out that a dodgeball league is starting up soon and draw as much interest from as many people as possible.  A good number of teams to aim for is 16 in the first season.  

Easiest forms of advertisement:

  • Start by running drop ins to gage interest and build a good foundation to start

  • Word of mouth (Simple, easy and effective. Best of all, it’s FREE.)

  • A flyer or poster ad in nearby rec centers

  • Using dodgeball tournaments to get people familiar with the game

Step 9: Before players can begin, make sure all waivers are signed
This step is self-explanatory.  For insurance purposes, this step has to be completed before the players play.

Step 10:  Monitor and adapt
Once our first official season has started, it is important to monitor the players, game play and volunteers.  Make adjustments where you see fit.