Checking In with the Voice of College Dodgeball: Tony Stumpo

Stumpo (right) commentating at 2022 College Dodgeball Nationals.

I recently sat down with NCDA alum, and frequent stream commentator Tony Stumpo. We had a quick chat about last year, what he expects this season, and the impact of playing USA Dodgeball events during the NCDA offseason. Check out our interview below:

Kevin Bailey: Tony, thank you for sitting down to chat as we get back into the groove of another season of college dodgeball.

Tony Stumpo: Happy to be back talking dodgeball, feels like we have a lot going on with the sport right now. 

First off, let’s recap last year and Nationals specifically. You were on hand for that event. What were your main takeaways from the first NCDA Nationals in years?

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Buckeye Showcase Recap

There’s never a dull weekend in Columbus. Last Sunday’s Buckeye Showcase proved to be the most exhilarating season opener yet (and arguably the most exciting thing to happen in Columbus that weekend). Ohio State hosted 5 schools for the third annual Buckeye Showcase, and my oh my, what a day of close matches. Obviously, teams can change a lot between the start of the season and Nationals, but if these teams continue to play like they did at the Showcase, the Ohio Region very well could claim the National Title this season. 

If you weren’t at this event, the above claim probably doesn’t hold a lot of weight – there’s a lot to unpack. Let’s go team by team to evaluate what we saw and speculate the future of these teams.

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Maryland Madness Preview

The first East Coast tournament of the year is upon us, and nearly the entire region decided to show up.  The University of Maryland will be hosting the Maryland Madness tournament on Sunday September 25th.  UMD, JMU, Towson, UVA, and PSU will all be in attendance.  Last season the East Coast teams surprised everyone at Nationals with strong showings from the respective participants, with JMU, Towson, and PSU all making it to the Elite Eight and JMU making it to the Final Four.  There were a lot of shakeups in these rosters though between last season and this one which leaves a lot of questions going into the event.  Let’s give a brief rundown of the team’s in attendance.

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RedHawk Classic Preview

The first of the two events this weekend will be hosted by Miami (OH) University. The teams in attendance will be: Miami (OH) University, University of Akron, Bowling Green State University, and the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. This will be the first action of the year for both UWP and BGSU and for Akron and Miami this will be their second event. Let’s take a look at the schedule below.

Graphic made by Kris Hass (CSU Coach)
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Central Region Season Preview 2022-23

The following was prepared by the NCDA Content Team:

Time to officially introduce the ‘Central Region” formerly known as the Midway Conference and South Region. This combination of schools spanning various states make up the 4th NCDA region, and one that may be a bit overlooked. Heading in 2022-23, several Central Regions schools look primed for a major leap. Nebraska comes in at #6 in the preseason rankings (has to be a record high ranking for the program) and returns 10 players from a team that turned some heads at Nationals. Wisconsin Platteville also returns 10 players from a young, but competitive team. Kentucky struggled in 2021-22 with numbers but will look to take the next step and start building depth in 2022-23. The two Georgia schools, neither of which competed last season, look to get back in action this year. This would be a great development for the NCDA and for future league expansion! Speaking of expansion… the Central Region also has a few potential new NCDA member schools going through the early stages of club formation, so keep an eye out for new teams entering the league and bolstering the depth of this vastly improved region!

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East Coast Region Season Preview 2022-23

The following was prepared by the NCDA Content Team:

The East Coast Region had an up and down 2021-22, with many schools recovering from low numbers due to the pandemic. James Madison was the clear standout, as the Dukes got back to the Final Four for the first time since 2015. They look like the favorites once again in 2022-23. Towson and Penn State seem like the next tier in the East, both squads need to replace some stars but their depth will help them this year. Maryland and Virginia had poor showings last season and both rosters will be young in 2022-23, but don’t count either of them out from pushing for a higher ranking. Lastly, VCU struggled to field a team at the end of last season. They are looking to get back to competing in the NCDA by 2023.

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Standings as of 2022-09-20

In the 2023 Season, we have 2 technical upsets in 9 ranked matches (77.78% success rate) across 2 events.

This season marks the introduction of the NCDA Hybrid Ranking System as voted on by member teams during the 2022 election. The Hybrid Ranking System uses a combination of the Gonzalez System and the NHL Points System.

The Gonzalez System is a computer ranking model similar to Elo and is a rating exchange system based on research performed by World Rugby. It has been adapted by the NCDA to the demands of College Dodgeball, but can be tuned and customized endlessly to incorporate accurate data. It has been used to help determine seeds for the Nationals bracket since Nationals 2014, and was used exclusively for each Nationals bracket between 2017 and 2022.

The NHL Points System is a point-reward system based on the outcome of a match. A team who wins a match is awarded 2 points whether in regulation or overtime, a team who loses a match in overtime is awarded 1 point, and a team who loses in regulation is awarded 0 points.

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Buckeye Showcase Preview

Sunday marks the first big tournament of the college dodgeball season! The 3rd Annual Buckeye Showcase will feature five Ohio schools itching to be recognized as the state’s top ranked team. Although we are less than a month into the season, we are anticipating close matches and new rivalries; the Ohio teams continue to narrate the college dodgeball scene. 

So who do we need to look out for? Whose match predictions will prove true? Which rookies should we keep an eye on as the season progresses? And how will these teams perform against their current standings?

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Michigan Region Preview 2022-23

The following was prepared by the NCDA Content Team:

Continuing our regional preview articles, let’s take a closer look at the Michigan Region heading into the 2022-23 season. 2021-22 wasn’t a standard top-to-bottom dominant year for this region, as only two schools made it past the Round of 16 at Nationals. Those two teams (Grand Valley State and Michigan State did happen to face off in the National Title Game though, and they enter this season as the top two schools in the country. Outside of the current ‘Big 2’ in Michigan, Saginaw Valley State is looking to build on some progress made in 2021-22, as is an up-and-coming Western Michigan. Lastly, historical power Central Michigan will look to recover from a year out of the league due to low numbers and get back in action this year. Below is your full Michigan Region Preview:

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Ohio University to Host 1st NCDA Women’s Tournament

Come check out the NCDA’s first ever Women’s only tournament, hosted by Ohio University Dodgeball Club! The event will be held at the Ping Rec Center at Ohio University located in Athens, OH. We will also have a livestream available for the event for those who can not attend on our social media platforms.

Anyone interested in participating can either be a current or former female NCDA athlete. Alumni who choose to play will be required to pay a $25 fee, current NCDA female athletes may attend and participate free of charge. All spectators are given free admission to the facility.

For current NCDA athletes interested in playing, please use this link here to register!

For non-NCDA athletes interested in playing, use this link to register.

Please contact us at if you have any questions!

Ohio Region Preview 2022-23

The following was prepared by the NCDA Content Team:

Another season of college dodgeball is nearly upon us. To start our series of regional preview articles we will look to the first region scheduled to compete this fall: the Ohio Region. With a Miami v. UC doubleheader on Sept. 11, the Buckeye Showcase on the 18th, and the RedHawk Classic on the 24th, Ohio schools will see plenty of action over the next month.

In 2021-22 Cincinnati stole the show in the Ohio Region. In only their fourth year as a club, Cincy was the class of the region, going 21-4, winning the Ohio Dodgeball Cup, and reaching the Final Four. Outside of the Bearcats, a few schools (Ohio State / Ohio) had some bright spots throughout the year but made it no further than the Quarterfinals at Nationals. Akron, which lost in the round of 16 at Nationals, did pull off a major upset over Michigan State but failed to stay consistent throughout the season. All in all, the Ohio Region had plenty of solid teams but only one that was a national contender. In 2022-23, seven schools will look to change that narrative and show how deep the region really is. Read our full Ohio Region preview below:

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Internship Program 2022

Each year, the Platteville Dodgeball Club puts on the Tim Ebert Memorial Scholarship Tournament. Tim Ebert was a player at the University of Wisconsin Platteville who was respected by his teammates as a captain and friend. Tim could always be counted on, always there to help, and was always making a difference and missed by all who knew him. The funds raised go towards the NCDA Internship program that allow the league to offer an internship.

Group picture from this year’s Tim Ebert Tournament!
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Top Rookie Classes of 2021-2022

As we look to the start of another new NCDA Season and teams begin recruiting their next captains or future All-Americans we thought it would be fun to take a look back at last year’s top rookie classes.

Several teams across the league brought in multiple impact players which speaks to the depth and resiliency we are seeing across the league in the first full year back post-COVID.

Here are the top 5 Rookie Classes of 2021-22:

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Board Votes to Overturn Rule Changes

The Executive Board has taken a pre-season vote to review some rule changes from the 2023 Ballot Results and offer some clarification on other aspects of the ruleset and NCDA constitution.

Rulebook Updates:

R.1) Update to the Shot Clock Violation Penalty – PASS 8-1

NEW – A shot clock violation will result in a team forfeiting all balls in their possession. (Revert back to 2021-2022 season)

Previous: Shot clock Violation call will result in a team forfeiting all but two balls in their possession (or all if possessing 2 or fewer)

R.2) Redefining the Start of a Team’s Shot Clock – PASS 6-3

NEW – The shot clock will begin when the third ball is considered dead.

Previous: The shot clock will begin when the third ball enters the team’s zone

R.3) Clock discontinues on “failed” retrieval of third ball – PASS 7-2

NEW – The shot clock of a team acquiring their third ball discontinues if the ball returns to the throwing team.

Previous: Shot clock continues if third ball returned to the throwing team.

R.4) Player has 5 seconds to reenter after exit – PASS 8-1

NEW – If a player gets out and has not yet exited the court before a catch is made to bring them back into the game, they will have 5 seconds to enter the court after exiting to their jail.
Previous: A player has 5 total seconds to exit to the jail and reenter the court.

Policy Updates:

P.1) Redefine Dir. of Records to Open Director position – PASS 7-2

NEW – The Director of Records position may be assumed by any of the elected Open Directors.

Previous: The Director of Records position must be elected specifically for said role.

P.2) Redefine Dir. of Female Engagement to Open Director position – PASS 5-4 NEW – The Director of Female Engagement position may be assumed by any of the elected Open Directors.

Previous: The Director of Female Engagement position must be elected specifically for said role.

Supporting Data:

R.1) Update to the Shot Clock Violation Penalty
Evidence to support the reversion to the previous year’s rule comes from the results of the Leadership Conference Tournament survey. After playing with the new rule, we had 15 players provide feedback on our open form on what they thought. Since the results were not strongly in favor of the change, it did not seem logical to play out a whole season with a rule that is more so for the point of “trying something new”. Here were the results:
In Favor – 5 (33%)
Indifferent – 7 (47%)
Not In Favor – 3 (20%)

R.2) Redefining the Start of a Team’s Shot Clock
This rule is being implemented to promote consistency and to provide a more straight-forward way of resuming the shot clock. Each year the NCDA filters out a large portion of their experienced refs, resulting in a wave of new refs having to familiarize themselves with performing shot clocking duties. The previous rule was ill-defined and often interpreted in different ways by each team. This new rule is easy to learn, and easy to track when preforming duties as the shot clock.

R.3) Clock discontinues on “failed” retrieval of third ball
This rule was commonly misconstrued, or rather “imagined” somewhere along the way during the development of the NCDA ruleset. It was never formally stated that the shot clock of a defending team returned to an unenforced state if the throwing team successfully retains their ball after a “wall-ball” attempt. This change can be more so interpreted as a clarification in the ruleset since it is implementing a rule that most teams already follow.

R.4) Player has 5 seconds to reenter after exit
This change is for the sole purpose of bettering the ruleset. Before, in any situation, a player only has 5 seconds to reenter the court. Clarifying that a player will have additional time to reenter in abnormal situations allows them time to understand their situation and address the proceeding steps appropriately. If a player realizes too late that they have been caught back in, they may stay on the court instead of making the appropriate exit and return. No player should be forced to make a bad decision because they do not have time to react.

P.1 & P.2) Redefine of Directors to Open Director positions
The Director or Records and Director of Female Engagement positions were proposed as standalone positions when they were meant to be proposed as additional Open Director spots. The “Open Directors” were originally created to allow a more broad definition of the responsibilities of each board member. Redefining these roles allows for a more broad definition, where elected Open Directors may assume the role of specific director titles as they wish.