15th Annual San Francisco Design Dodgeball

Design Dodgeball is back!

15th Annual San Francisco Design Dodgeball

Friday, October 20th | San Francisco, CA

Since 2005, the SF Design Dodgeball tournament brings together designers and engineers from the San Francisco Bay Area for a battle royale, combining our physical strength, creativity, sportsmanship, and camaraderie. We’re excited to reinvigorate the community and reconnect after a four-year pause.

Get ready to dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge your way to victory in this epic dodgeball tournament. Whether you’ve got a team of seasoned players or a dodgeball newbies, this event is perfect for design companies who love a good laugh and some friendly competition. Grab your coworkers, bring your game face (and face paint?), and prepare for an action-packed day of dodging and throwing. Don’t miss out on this exciting event– there’s no doubt that this year’s tournament will be an epic reunion.


Start rallying your team and book your place in the tournament! Space is limited. Deadline for registration is Monday, October 2, 2023.

Register by emailing greta.billinger@synapse.com


Little Marina Green – West

The west end of the Marina Green Park near the San Francisco Marina Yacht Harbor.

300-396 Marina Blvd.

At the corner of Mason Street & Yacht Road, San Francisco, CA


Team registration

Referee meeting

Opening Ceremony

Food and drinks (starts at 11am)

Trophy Ceremony

Event breakdown
After Party at Final Final

How it works

  1. Register your team by contacting Greta at greta.billinger@synapse.com. Capacity is limited.
    1. Each registration allows attendance for six – up to 25 people.
    2. If you would like more than 25 people to attend (playing or not), you’ll need to pay for multiple teams.
      Cost & Payment 
  2. Cost and Payment
    1. $1,000 pre-registration fee for each team due on sign up.
    2. Final registration fee balance will be announced on October 3rd after registration is closed and the event budget split among teams.
    3. Total combined registration fee is anticipated to be approximately $1,500.
    4. Payment accepted by ACH, check, or PayPal. Email greta.billinger@synapse.com for information.
  3. Game rules
    1. See the full list of rules below.


Sporting unifying, ridiculous, and wacky uniforms is pretty much required. Whether a costume or T-shirt, the more absurd, the better. Winner for best uniform. Weather by the water in October is capricious. Usually starts cold, then gets hot, then maybe cold again. Wear layers.

Food: Annie’s hot dogs, veggie dogs, churros, pretzels, and ice cream will be available for purchase with cash or credit card, or bring your own lunches! (Teams looking to purchase a large group order of hot dogs, etc. from our vendor, talk with Greta in advance to arrange with the vendor to have your order available all at once.)

Drinks: Beer, cider, seltzers, juices, and sodas will be available for free to SF Design Dodgeball participants wearing a wristband.

Water: BYO water bottles for use at the free water station. …We know you’ve all got branded water bottles.

Set up a home base for your team. Think pop-up tents (freestanding, no stakes), umbrellas, flags, lawn chairs, blankets, refillable water bottles, and healthy snacks, if that’s your thing.

Be kind to your skin. You’ll thank yourself later.

  • This year we’ll institute a maximum play time of 20 minutes per game.
  • See the full list of rules below.
  • The nonconsecutive second place team hosts the tournament the following year!

Our goal is to ensure an enjoyable experience for all who attend.

This Code of Conduct applies to all attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, vendors, and guests. It also pertains to official off-site events outside of the main tournament venue.

The 15th Annual Bay Area Design Dodgeball Tournament provides a welcoming environment regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, and religion (or lack thereof). We do not tolerate harassment or inappropriate behavior in any form.​ Inappropriate behavior includes, but is not limited to:

  • Sexual language and imagery, including but not limited to the tournament itself, parties, or on social media
  • Offensive verbal comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion, technology choices, sexual images in public spaces
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording
  • Inappropriate physical contact and unwelcome sexual attention
  • Sustained disruption of tournament activities

Anyone found to be violating this Code of Conduct is subject to removal from the tournament and its related activities without a refund. Sole discretion to remove an individual resides with Synapse, this year’s tournament organizers.

All registration fees are used to offset tournament expenses so there are no profits generated from this event. A detailed breakdown of expenses will be available upon request after the champion is crowned.

  • Alcoholic beverages may be consumed within Little Marina Green picnic area only. No open containers of alcohol may leave the perimeters of the park, and those consuming can prove that they are adults, 21 years or older. There will be bins to capture discarded liquids, as they cannot be poured on the grass.
  • The nonconsecutive second place team is responsible for hosting the tournament next year. That includes planning, collecting registration fees, paying vendors, setting up and breaking down the event and running the show! All registered teams agree to host the following year if they come in second place.
  • At the end of the tournament, the second place team needs to collect all dodgeballs, cones and field supplies and store them in their studio for next year’s event.
  • Leave with memories and all your stuff. Park must be left as found: Nothing left on the fields or team areas, no liquid or ice dumped on the grass.


The court is divided into two 30’ X 30’ areas, with a 4’ X 30’ neutral zone located at center court separating the two sides, an attack line located parallel and 10’ from the center line, for a total court length of 60’ from end line to end line, and a total width of 30’ from sideline to sideline.


Six balls

Teams consist of however many players you’d like. However, you can only have six on the field at one time. No substitutes once the game has started. All players must be in a team uniform.

At least one player must be of a different gender from the other five. If you can’t field a player of a different gender, then you are short one player at the start of the game. You can still reach the maximum of 6 players by catching opponent’s balls.

Retrievers are individuals who are designated to retrieve balls that go out of play. Retrievers may not enter the court at any time. Retrievers are only allowed to field balls from their side of the court and balls can only re-enter from the baseline.

Games are played until all opponents on one side have been eliminated. The first team to eliminate all of their opponents is declared the winner. As always, the tourney will be a double elimination bracket.


Games played before the quarter-finals (in both the winners and loser brackets) will consist of exactly 1 game. No more, no less. For quarters, semis and finals, advancement to the next round will be determined by best of three game matches.

Time Limit

Each game will have a maximum play time of 20 minutes. If a team hasn’t been eliminated by the end of play time the team with the most remaining players wins. In the event of a tie, where both teams have the same number of remaining players, a showdown round must occur.

Showdown Round

Each team will elect a champion to dual each other in a one v. one game. Catching a ball will not bring additional players into the game. The game will commence as normal with 6 balls placed on the center line and all other rules applied.

Play begins with all players positioned behind their team’s base line. Start occurs at the  beginning of each game or reset. Upon the official’s signal, both teams rush to center court and attempt to retrieve their ‘start balls’. If a team leaves their starting balls behind or accidentally knocks them into their opponents side past the neutral zone then the balls are fair game for the other team to retrieve. Start balls prevent over zealous teams from colliding into each other at the beginning of play.


A team may start with as many or as few players as it wants, but at least one person from each team has to start. There is no limit to how many balls an individual player may retrieve. Crossing over the neutral zone will result in an “out.” Players may not physically grab and pull another player across the neutral zone or prevent them from returning to their side of the court.

The player and the ball must go completely behind the attack line. During the start any ball
retrieved from the neutral zone and must be returned behind the attack line before it may be thrown at an opponent. A ball that hasn’t crossed the attack line is considered a dead ball, any hits or catches are voided plays.

There are two ways to put a ball into play following the start:

  1. A player carries the ball across the attack line.
  2. A player passes the ball to a teammate who is behind or carries it across the attack line.

There are no timeouts in life, therefore, there are no timeouts in dodgeball.

A player shall be deemed “out” when:

  • A live ball hits any part of the player’s body, clothing, or uniform.
  • If a player is hit by a live ball rebounding off another player’s ball or ball lying on the court.
  • A defending player catches a live ball they have thrown.
  • Players shall return from the queue in the order they were put “out” (i.e., first “out,” first “in”).

The nonconsecutive second-place team is responsible for hosting the tournament the following year. This means that if the current team hosting the event comes in second place the third place team is responsible for hosting the tournament the following year. That includes planning, collecting registration fees, paying vendors, setting up and breaking down the event, and running the show! All registered teams agree to host the following year if they come in second place.

At the end of the tournament, the nonconsecutive second-place team needs to collect all the dodgeballs, cones, and field supplies, and store them in their studio for next year’s event.


Deadline for registration is Monday, October 2, 2023.  Register by emailing greta.billinger@synapse.com