Best Dodgeball Sets

Updated April 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

15 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
114 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Shopping guide for best dodgeball sets

Last Updated April 2019

Dodgeball sets include balls designed to be throwable, catchable, and dodgeable. Whether you are looking for a set to be used by kids, adults, or a mixed group, there are several dodgeball sets to choose from.

One of the first considerations is the material and size of the balls. Classic rubber balls are larger and come with some sting, so they are better suited to adults or older children. Foam balls don’t sting as much and are much easier to grip with smaller hands. Fabric-covered balls have the size and weight of rubber balls but much less sting.

Most dodgeball sets include six balls, but the number may vary as there is no standardized dodgeball ruleset. Finding the right dodgeball set means choosing the one that fits your group and will be the most fun.

If you’re ready to pick out a dodgeball set, take a look at our top recommendations. To learn more about the varieties of dodgeball sets available, continue reading.

If you are purchasing dodgeballs to use with a league, check with your league first to make sure you are ordering the proper size balls.

Key considerations

Though there are organizations that list “official” dodgeball rules, there’s no agreed-upon ruleset. As a result, dodgeballs vary in size, weight, and material, which leads to a wide array of dodgeball sets to choose from.

Keeping players safe is the most important part of enjoying dodgeball. If you have a mixed group of children and adults, the dodgeballs should be small enough for everyone to grip and soft enough that younger players aren’t hurt by them.

Material and size

Dodgeballs come in a few different materials, each of which have their own weight and feel. You should choose a material based on the age of the players.

Rubber balls are the classic choice. Also known as “playground balls” or “kickballs,” these are the classic colorful rubber balls with a grippy texture and a decent weight to them. Their larger size, typically 8” to 8.5” in diameter, makes them difficult to grip for small hands, but easier to catch. Rubber balls tend to bounce quite a bit, which keeps them moving from one side of the court to the other. The extra weight can make them difficult to throw quickly, but when they get up to a good speed, they can sting your target. As a result, these are best suited for adults or older children.

Foam balls work well for younger children since they are lightweight and unlikely to sting. Their diameter can range from 3.5 to 8.5 inches. The smaller the ball is, the easier it is to throw quickly, and the harder it is to catch. Foam balls are generally lighter than rubber balls. While some may be made entirely of foam, the best quality foam balls are coated in polyurethane or a similar rubber coating, which is generally latex-free. Adults may enjoy using foam balls as well.

Cloth balls are usually rubber balls with a cloth covering to reduce sting. They have a similar weight and size to non-cloth-covered rubber balls. These can work well for a mixed group of children and adults, but they can be difficult for children to throw.

Number of balls

Most dodgeball sets come with six balls of equal size. However, some may include more or fewer.

Sets with four balls are best suited for groups with teams of four or fewer.

Sets with six balls will generally work for groups with teams of four to eight players.

Sets with eight to twelve balls can support groups with teams from eight to twelve players.

In general, there should be one ball for every two players.

Some sets may also have mixed sizes. One popular set includes four 8.5-inch “blockers” and two 5-inch “stingers.”

​​​​​​A classic set of foam balls

Champion’s Rhino Skin balls are among the best when it comes to coated foam balls. They have decent weight and can be thrown easily, but the coating reduces the sting, making these a great choice for a group of mixed ages.

Features

Carrying bag

Some sets may come with a fabric or net carrying bag. As it’s fairly difficult to carry six dodgeballs without a bag, a good carrying bag may help you choose between two similar sets. Most bags come with a drawstring, and the best bags will have some sort of fabric handle or strap.

Pump

In the case of rubber dodgeball sets, the inclusion of a pump and needles can be very handy, especially if you find yourself with a deflated ball during a game.

Colors

Many dodgeball sets come in all one color — often pink or red. However, some sets offer balls in different colors. Not only is this a bit more fun, but it can also help you quickly spot when a ball has gone missing since you can look for missing colors.

EXPERT TIP

Sneakers will work fine for most dodgeball players, but for shoes designed to quickly pivot on hardwood floors, racquetball shoes are a grippier and more durable choice.


Staff  | BestReviews

Dodgeball set prices

Dodgeball sets for $15 to $25 typically include foam balls which may or may not have a rubber coating, though a few rubber sets can be found in this range. The rubber coatings themselves tend to be thinner and prone to tearing in this price range. Sets include from four to six balls.

Sets for $25 to $40 use higher quality materials than cheaper sets, with durable rubber coatings for foam balls and sturdy playground-style rubber balls. Sets in this range may include accessories like pumps and carrying bags.

In the $40 to $60 range are highly durable dodgeballs, often in sets of six or more. For dodgeballs that will last for years, it’s usually worth the extra cost and can be less expensive in the long run. ​​​​​​​

Affordable foam balls

​​​​​​While not quite as durable as Rhino Skin balls, these are a good alternative for a lower price. These are a bit less dense than the average foam ball, making them lighter and harder to get up to high speeds.

Tips

  • Though they’re fun to crush, try to prevent foam balls from being fully flattened, as this can shorten the life of the ball.

  • If your foam balls tear, duct tape is a quick fix.

  • Establish your rules before you play. Make sure you have a clearly defined court and have rulings on things like dead balls and catching balls to return teammates to play.

  • Dodgeball is usually played with an honor system and no referee. Don’t play with people who cheat and you’ll avoid frustrating arguments.

  • Most dodgeball injuries happen at the beginning of the game as the teams race to grab balls from the center. To reduce the chance of this, consider playing with a rule that forces players to return to the back line before throwing a ball they picked up at the start of the match.
DID YOU KNOW?

While rubber balls that come with an air pump are great, an air compressor can often work far faster.

DID YOU KNOW?

Most dodgeball organizations do not allow gloves, but keeping your dodgeballs clean should allow you to grip them properly.

Other products we considered

Our top recommendations are all excellent choices that will work for most groups, but if you’re looking for a rubber set specifically, we have a few standout choices. One affordable option is the Crown Sporting Goods Set of 6 Playground Balls. This multicolored set includes a pump and needles for easy inflation. The 8.5” balls are a classic size and work well for adults. Another similar set is the ToysOpoly 8.5-inch Dodgeball Set, which includes a mesh bag, a pump, and needles. Customers love these balls for their durability and point out that they hold up well even after several months of use as dodgeballs.

While most dodgeball teams have six people to a team, you can play with teams ranging from 2 to 12 or more if you have the space.

FAQ

Q. Is dodgeball a safe game?
A.
Any game or sport comes with risk of injury. However, dodgeball is fairly safe since the two teams stay mostly separate. As a result, no protective gear is necessary, though the the occasional skinned knee or bumped head is possible.

Q. Are heavier or lighter balls better?
A.
It’s based on your preference and the age of your players. Heavy balls are harder to throw quickly, but if you are playing with older players, they can reach high speeds and sting quite a bit. Lighter balls are hard to throw quickly and difficult to catch. Both are better for different players and situations.

Q. Can dodgeball be played outdoors?
A.
Though it’s mostly an indoor game, it can be played outdoors. Without a fence surrounding your play area, you may find yourselves running after out-of-bounds balls frequently. ​​​​​​​

The team that worked on this review
  • Alice
    Alice
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Jacob
    Jacob
    Editorial Manager
  • Kristin
    Kristin
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Peter
    Peter
    Writer

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