Where did Dodgeball Start? A Brief History Lesson

The origins of modern day dodgeball remain a topic of debate. But wherever it originated, we’re sure glad someone thought it up. We think dodgeball, particularly dodgeball on a trampoline at Rebounderz in Lansdale, is one of the best games around. It’s not only great physical activity, but it is a lot of fun. It is a rare thing when someone doesn’t end up doubled over in laughter, or laughing so hard they have to call a timeout. If you haven’t tried it, you should come by soon. You’ll be hooked!

What’s the Real Story of Dodgeball?

That’s a very good question. The answer is, it depends who you ask. Here are some theories that have a lot of support from the historical and archaeological communities.

Dodgeball Originated in Africa

There is a lot of evidence that a game similar to dodgeball was played in Africa more than 200 years ago. It wasn’t a fun, or even entertaining game. As a matter of fact, it was played with rocks instead of rubber balls, and was used to develop the strength and endurance of warriors. They would literally throw rocks at each other with the intention of incapacitating them. Some scholars think it went even further than that, and that it was a game played to the death. Yikes!

Other scholars believe the game originated in Asia, Greece, or Mesoamerica as early as 500 BC.

Dodgeball Around the World

Dodgeball is played today with many variations to the rules, including the shape and size of the court and the number of balls used. Thankfully, rubber balls and other non-lethal projectiles are used exclusively. No more rocks. You’ll find variations played in China where a sack of sand stands in for the rubber ball.

Dodgeball Is Taken Very Seriously

The World Dodgeball Organization claims to be the official governing body for dodgeball. The organization holds worldwide tournaments. Their next big event is the World Cup in New York City scheduled for 2018.

There is a National Dodgeball League (NDL) that take the game very seriously. They oversee the annual Dodgeball World Championship, and are the keepers of the official rules and regulations. In these official leagues, teams consist of six players and there are strict rules about making substitutions.

Official NDL Match Types

There are three types of dodgeball games officially recognized by the NDL

  • The Elimination Game: All opponents on one side are eliminated.
  • The Timed Game: Whoever has the most players remaining when time is called wins.
  • The Scored Game: Points are awarded for the number of players remaining at the end of each round.

Dodgeball For Fun

That’s enough of the facts and figures. Instead of reading about dodgeball, why don’t you come out to Rebounderz in Lansdale and try it out for yourself? You’ll love our In The Air Dodgeball Game! It’s an extreme version of dodgeball that delivers extreme fun. You’ll be ducking, dipping, diving and bouncing off the walls. Literally, off the walls! They’re covered with trampolines too!

Come by soon. We look forward to seeing you!


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