Reffing 101

Dodgeball Reffing 101

Reffing Overview: Each game will have 6-10 refs. Below I have broken down what each ref needs to do and where they should be positioned. While reffing, each person has different responsibilities they need to focus on to maximize what is being seen. When a ref sees an out they should blow the whistle and point at the player so the player knows they are out. Refs should only make calls that they see; they should not make calls based on opposing teams or players watching the game. There is no arguing when a ref calls someone out, unless two refs see something different. If that is the case, the two refs and the head ref should get together to discuss the call if necessary. At no point should players from either team be involved in the discussion and the final decision will come from the head ref. Captains may be involved in rule interpretations discussions but not on judgement calls. Head refs should only acknowledge rules based questions and not judgement based questions. Players repeatedly questioning calls should be warned immediately. The second acknowledgement by any ref should result in a yellow card. Confidence and communication are two of the most important things to have while reffing. If you see something, call it and if the player doesn’t hear you, signal to the head ref to stop the game if needed, but do not let someone get away with cheating if you see it as it will cause tension in the game and it will be much harder to deal with as the game goes on.

Head Ref: This ref is in charge of the game from start to finish. Most but not all games have an assigned person to head ref the game. If you don't have a head ref assigned, a captain or veteran player should fill this roll.
Position: Right on the center line at mid court, on the inner sideline of the court.

  1. Before the game starts check that both teams have 5 players of each gender are present.
  2. When the community coordinator signals that the game should start, the 10 minute clock starts to determine a team forfeit. You will lose one game for every 5 minutes you do not have the minimum teammates; up to 2 games lost before a match forfeit is given.
  3. Pregame meeting with the captains.
    1. All game day captains for each team must be at pregame meeting. Each team can have up to 3 as long as one is a registered Captain or Co-Captain. If no registered captains are present, the team can only send two game day captains. Only these players can talk to refs during a game.
    2. CC had ability to restrict players from being named gameday captain if deemed they do not possess captain qualities.
    3. Remind Captains Of yellow/red card rules
    4. Highlight the rule of the week from the weekly email and any other rules emphasized by the CC.
    5. The winner of Rock, paper, scissors (best of 1) will have the choice of picking control of the 7th ball for the game or which side they want to start on.
  4. Make sure all refs are lined up in the correct position.
  5. Run the game clock, it is 50 minutes running time - stopping only if a team uses their time out or if the head ref feels something needs to be addressed.
    1. Switch side on the first game after the 25 minute mark
    2. No new round can start after 47 minute mark
    3. Games WILL end in ties
  6. During the game, the “main focus” should be on managing the game, not just watching for outs:
    1. Watch other refs and help where needed.
    2. Address any unsportsmanlike conduct immediately.
    3. Hold conferences where need, if 2 refs see something differently.
    4. Field captains’ questions.
    5. Monitor subbing rules.
    6. Make “Final” decision on call.
    7. Help with catch calls.
    8. Keep score on the scoreboard.
    9. Watch for outs.
  7. After the game:
    1. Turn the score into me AND put it on the schedule board.
    2. Turn in any yellow/red cards issued.
    3. Make sure all whistles and stopwatches are returned to the table.

Mid-Court Ref: (up to 2)
Position: Stand on the middle line, but on the opposite side of the court of the head ref (against the wall).  
**If a second mid-court ref is added, they will stand on the same side of the head ref**

  1. “Main focus” is to watch for players crossing the centerline.
  2. Watch for catches and deflections.
  3. Ensure 6 players are in the box (unless the team has less than 6 players on the court).

Side-Refs: (2)
Position: Both of these refs should be lined up on either side of the head ref; about halfway down each side of the court. They should NOT be lined up on the wall side of the court.

  1. Watch for players getting hit and deflections ONLY on the side of the court you are on, not the far side!
  2. Watch for players stepping out of bounds on the sidelines.
  3. Ensure 6 people are in the box at all times (unless the team has less than 6 players on the court).
  4. Ensure players are getting off the court in a timely manner after getting hit.
  5. Ensure retrieved balls are being put back into play.

Back-Line Ref: (2)
Position: The corner of the court where the inner side line meets the back wall.

  1. Watch for players stepping out of bounds on the endline.
  2. Ensure players that are called out are lining up in the order they got out and re-entering the game in that order and only when a live ball is caught.
  3. Rolling the balls back onto the court from the back into the box and watching the back line, when there are only 6 or fewer players left.
  4. Can call players out.

Roaming Ref: Myself, other CLUBWAKA staff members and league head refs ONLY!
**can be used to replace refs in a specific game if the community coordinator feels the game is getting out of hand or in close games that I feel extra eyes are needed.**

Extra Refs: Other players that would like to help ref a game are more than welcometo do so. However, you must clear it with me before the game starts and can not just go in and out of reffing a game.
Center-Line Ref:
Position: Lines up next to head ref, off the court.
ONLY responsibility: Watching for players stepping on/or crossing the centerline.

On-Court Back Refs(2):
Position: Lines up on the court in the corner opposite the Back-Line Ref where the two walls meet.  
Main Responsibility: Watch for “Pinball Effect” - if a ball hits more than one person without hitting the ground, all players hit are out.

  1. Roll balls back in box with 6 or fewer players left.
  2. Watch for players stepping out of the back of the box with 6 or fewer players left


  1. If you are not a captain, you can’t not discuss a call with any ref.
  2. Do NOT raise your voice. Must always stay cool, calm, and collected when discussing a call.
  3. Respect other refs.
  4. If you’re not sure about a call, ask your fellow refs on the game or find the community coordinator.
  5. After a call is discussed, the decision and reasoning must be shared with both teams’ captains.
  6. You CANNOT retroactively make a call because a captain is complaining to you. You can look for the behavior moving forward.
  7. Do NOT engage in a discussion with any players. If players are interfering with the flow of the game, signal to the head ref to pause the game.
  8. Any warning, yellow or red card must be issued by the head ref.
  9. Head refs that receive a yellow card will lose a game reffed from their total towards their coupon code.
  10. If a ref acts outside of their assigned responsibility, you may be asked to leave the game. If this drops the team reffing under the minimum 6 refs, your team is subject to a paper forfeit. Only the community coordinator can allow you to add another ref.