How to play partner dodgeball

A great variation of classic dodgeball

Dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge, the 5 D’s of dodgeball. When most people think of dodgeball they think of two teams, on opposite sides of a gym, throwing balls at each other and trying to dodge any balls coming their way. While this is a popular way to play dodgeball it is actually only one variation, normally called King’s Court.

Partner dodgeball is another, fun variation of dodgeball that uses the basic premise (hit others with the ball without getting hit yourself) but isn’t played in large teams and gives the players more freedom to move around the gym. Next time you want to play dodgeball try playing partner dodgeball for a fun change.


Step 1

Split into pairs

Partner dodgeball is called that because instead of playing in teams you play in pairs.

Have all the players pick a partner and stand together so everyone can see who the pairs are.

Step 2

Define the boudaries

Partner dodgeball isn’t played with sides like regular dodgeball, instead everyone uses the entire space to play.

If playing inside a gym and there are benches or other objects along the walls it is good to make the outer most line of the gym the boundary so players are not running into these objects and hurting themselves.

Step 3

Below the waist

When playing dodgeball you don’t want any one to get hurt, that’s why it’s good to play with the rule that hits should only be made below the waist.

If playing with an older crowd this rule can be changed, but only if every player is comfortable with that.

Step 4

«I’ve been hit!»

When a player has been hit in partner dodgeball they sit down, right in the spot where they were hit. Instead of being out of the game they are still right in it, only now they can’t move from their spot.

To be able to stand up again they have to hit another standing player with the ball. The sitting player can get a ball from either having one passed to them by their partner or from grabbing one that is passing by.

Step 5

«I caught the ball!»

If a player catches a ball that is thrown at them they are safe but the player that threw the ball it out. A player can also use the ball they are holding to deflect balls being thrown at them but if a deflected ball hits you than you are out.

Step 6

When you have the ball

When a player has the ball they have three seconds to throw it, if they hold it longer than that then it’s like they’ve been hit by the ball.

They also can take three steps, in any direction, before they throw the ball.

Step 7

End of game

The game ends either when there is only one person or set of partners left standing (literally) or when your time runs out.

If there are two people that are not partners but cannot seem to hit each other than start a count down of 10 seconds and if both are still standing call it a draw.

Things Needed
• A space to play, preferably an indoor gym
• People to play with, the larger the group the better
• At least 3 dodgeballs, more with more people
• A fun and positive attitude

Tips & Warnings
• The three steps that are allowed while holding the ball do not have to be small, they can be strides and leaps if the player wants, but still only three!
• Some of the old, rubber dodgeballs can really hurt but there are foam ones available which are easier to hold and do not carry so much force on impact
• Dodgeball relies a lot on people being truthful about if they have been hit or not, settle any disputes with a quick game of rock, paper, scissors so everyone can just get back to playing


Add a comment



Text commentary: