The game of Dodgeball can be played on many surfaces, but some surfaces are better than others.
The best floor surface for Dodgeball is hardwood. Hardwood courts, found on many if not most indoor basketball and volleyball courts, provide a safe and consistent playing surface for Dodgeball. Specifically, the hardwood playing surface allows players to slide without incident while dodging or participating in the opening rush. Moreover, a hardwood surface is not as hard as some other surfaces such as asphalt and concrete.
Sport Court-type flooring is a popular alternative to hardwood courts. The smooth tiles on this indoor court are more conducive to Dodgeball than Sport Court tiles with a more coarse (rubbery-feeling) surface.
Sport Court flooring is another popular playing surface found in recreational facilities. While the aesthetics of Sport Court flooring often look better on video, some Sport Court floor surfaces are not as smooth as hardwood and are restrictive for sliding. This restriction can cause injuries when players do attempt to slide or pivot suddenly on the surface. We have seen sprained ankles and even a broken leg (on an opening rush) on Sport Court surfaces. Overall, Sport Court playing surfaces are generally OK for Dodgeball.
A Sport Court-type playing surface that is not as smooth and thus more restrictive to sliding and more prone to sliding injuries.
Asphalt and Concrete
Asphalt and concrete surfaces are often found on outdoor recreational courts including tennis courts and basketball courts. Dodgeball is easily played on concrete and asphalt, but the hard surface can be tough on the knees and other parts of the body. Moreover, non-polished concrete can cause excessive wear and tear on foam dodgeballs, thus, more-durable rubber dodgeballs should be used on asphalt or concrete.
Artificial grass is another surface that is sometimes used for dodgeball. This surface is often found in indoor futsal and soccer courts that are also used for Dodgeball. Often, these courts are surrounded by baseboards, which are very convenient for keeping dodgeballs in play. However, turf burns are likely when sliding or falling on this surface and knee pads are highly recommended.
Beach sand playing surfaces, as can be found at outdoor sand volleyball courts and the beach, are fun for social-type Dodgeball games. However, the uneven playing surface can be frustrating as dodgeballs bounce erratically. Additionally, the soft playing surface does not provide a solid foundation for throwing. Also, sand courts can be wet from precipitation. Only rubber dodgeballs should be used on sandy playing surfaces, as foam dodgeballs are prone to penetration and damage from sand and water. Due to these factors, Dodgeball on sandy surfaces should be limited to social games and not competitive games.
While Dodgeball can be played on a variety of surfaces, hardwood flooring is the best surface. Additionally, dodgeball knee pads are recommended for most surfaces, especially concrete and artificial grass.