UR Benchball Rules

Basic Format

  1. Teams consist of 6 players (minimum 2 of each gender).
  2. Teams begin the game with 5 players on their side of the court and one player standing on a bench located at the back of the opponent’s court.
  3. Players cannot cross the center line (except if they are making their way to stand on the bench).
  4. Teams start with 3 dodgeballs on each side.
  5. The object of the game is to throw the ball in the air to your teammate on the bench; if the teammate is able to catch the ball while remaining on the bench, then the thrower joins the teammate on the bench.  Once all of the players on a team make it onto the bench, that team wins the game.
  6. Teams play as many games as they can within the time period allotted; each game won counts as a point in the match.  The final score indicates how many games each team won.


  1. Each game starts with 3 dodgeballs on each side of centre.  One player from each team starts by standing on the bench in their opponent’s end.  The remaining five players on each team start by standing in front of the bench in their respective ends.
  2. A whistle is blown to start the game. The five court players on each team can then rush out to grab the 3 balls on their side of centre and begin trying to throw the balls to their teammate standing on the far bench.
  3. Players may only have 1 ball in their possession at a time.
  4. Players may not cross the centre line unless traveling to the bench.
  5. Once a player picks up a ball, he/she has 10 seconds to throw the ball.  If a player takes longer than 10 seconds, he/she must roll the ball to the opposing team so that they have a chance to throw it.
  6. A player on the bench may only catch 1 ball at a time.
  7. A clean catch is one that is caught without the ball or the player touching the ground. The ball may not touch the floor during a pass attempt, nor can a player touch the ground in an attempt to catch the ball. You may catch a ball from a deflection (as long as it is not deflected off the floor). You can catch a ball if it bounces on the bench.
  8. Once a clean catch is made, the ball may be thrown back to his/her teammates and the thrower of the clean catch may travel along the outside edge of the playing area to join the bench player(s).
  9. If the ball is NOT caught cleanly, the ball must be dropped to the floor in front of the bench so the opposing team can pick it up.
  10. Teams cannot hoard the balls; players should make an effort to keep the balls in motion.  If the Event Coordinator notices that a team is hoarding the balls, he/she has the discretion to roll some of those balls to the opposing team (or ask players to do so).
  11. Players may play defense in attempts to intercept or deflect balls from being caught; however, players may not make physical contact at any time with any opposing player who is standing on the bench.  If this occurs, the ball must be given back to the thrower and the defender who made contact must go and stand within 1 meter of the centre line until the thrower throws the ball (after the ball has been thrown, this defender is then free to move around  their half of the court).
  12. A defender may NOT try to slap the ball out of the hands of an opposing player who is standing on the bench; if the person on the bench makes initial contact with the ball, the defender may not interfere with that person’s attempt to catch the ball.
  13. A player on the bench may deflect the ball to another player on the bench and if it is caught, this is a clean catch provided both players who touch the ball remain on the bench the entire time. 
  14. If a team has only 1 player left on the court (i.e. the rest of their players have made it onto the bench), once that player throws a ball that is caught by one of his/her teammates, the last player must run over and stand on the bench in order to win the game.
  15. In the event that each team has only 1 player remaining on the court, whichever successfully makes it onto their team bench with two feet first will determine the winner.  In the event that the both players achieve this simultaneously (or too close to determine which was first), the game will be declared a draw.