Is dodge ball the next extreme sport? This article thinks so, as do the World Dodgeball Association and the National Amateur Dodgeball Association. As the article points out, the organized, safety-conscious, rules-based version promoted by the WDA isn’t the same game that is popping up on college campuses:
The WDA and other dodgeball organizations tone down the game’s violence by using lightweight foam-based balls and outlawing head shots, while emphasizing teamwork. At the WDA website, the extensive rules (four “dodgers” on the inside; three “floaters” on the perimeter) read like a story problem from hell’s geometry class.
“Everyone’s going to have their own house rules, and that’s great,” Gelman says. “But we have to have a set of rules, because there are tournaments with money involved.”
Kent’s current rules could be spelled out on a Post-It note. Two teams line up at opposite ends of the court; play begins with a dash for the balls — usually about 20 — which are lined up in the center. Each team then retreats with its ammo, and a rubberized free-for-all ensues, with balls slamming off players and walls until one man is left standing. It usually takes just a few minutes.
Shots to the groin are permitted; shots to the head are applauded.
“If you can’t take one to the face, you’re in the wrong place. Yoga ended half an hour ago,” says Marc Ybarsabal, an Ohio State sophomore who was part of the triumph over Kent.
Surprisingly, I loved dodgeball as a kid – it was the only game we played in gym class that we didn’t get bogged down in skills training and testing, rules quizes, and the like. I was talking to a friend about encouraging departmental kick-ball games the other day; my school’s version dictated that the kicker be placed opposite the swingsets and observers on the swings were allowed to kick the ball back into play so long as they were swinging at the time. I guess there’s a lot of us who miss these sort of free-for-all pseudo-sports. [via Alt-log]