NCDA Commentators Shadeed Drakeford and Kevin Bailey Preview College Dodgeball’s ‘Opening Weekend’

In preparation for the opening weekend of the 2019-20 College Dodgeball season, NCDA commentators Shadeed Drakeford and Kevin Bailey sat own to chat about what they expect from Michigan State’s Early Access Tournament on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. Below is their discussion previewing this weekend’s event:

Kevin Bailey: First off, for those who don’t know, Shadeed will be in East Lansing this weekend to help run the National Collegiate Dodgeball Association’s stream for the tournament. So Shadeed, thank you for taking the time to help run this weekend’s filming. With that said, how excited are you for opening weekend?

Shadeed Drakeford: I’m very fortunate and blessed for this amazing opportunity to stream on behalf of the NCDA. When I found out about the fall schedule, I circled this tournament on my calendar and purchased my tickets soon afterwards. On a scale of 1-10 on how excited I am, I’m at 100 right now.

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2020 Preseason Standings

New year, new teams, new standings.

With the 2020 season right around the corner, it’s time to show the updated standings heading into the season. For those unaware, 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 the Nationals 2017, 2018, and 2019 bracket. 

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Michigan Region 2019-20 Season Preview

2019-20 Projections:

*All regional rankings based off the content team’s preseason power rankings

Order of Finish:

  1. Grand Valley State
  2. Michigan State
  3. Central Michigan
  4. Saginaw Valley State
  5. Western Michigan

Michigan Region Player of the Year: Ben Smart (GVSU)

Michigan Region OT 6:

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Power Rankings: Preseason 2019-20

The first official tournament of the 2019-20 College Dodgeball season will take place this Sunday at Michigan State University. With the season just days away, it’s time to take a look at the 2019-20 Preseason Power Rankings.

Note: this year the Power Rankings were voted on by the NCDA Content Team. Every member was given the opportunity to submit a ballot. Here are our final results:

1. Grand Valley State

2019 Finish: #2 in Power Rankings, 2nd at Nationals

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After finishing 2018-19 at #2, Grand Valley State jumps back to #1 to start the 2018-19 season. While the Lakers will be losing quite a few top-notch players, they still return a strong cast of contributors who are poised to step up and keep GVSU at or near the top of the collegiate dodgeball standings. Josh Hill will take over as captain this year for the Lakers, after missing most of 2018-19 with a shoulder injury. He will be joined by a few familiar faces in the NCDA, as Ben Smart (2019 1st-Team All American) and Alex Jonauskas (2019 2nd-Team All American) also remain on the roster. Beyond those three, GVSU has plenty of depth. Nolan Stanko has been a starter since his freshman year in 2016-17, and will likely be one of the Lakers’ top arms this year.

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2019-20 Way-Too-Early Power Rankings

With the 2019-20 season still several months away, let’s take an early look at the way-too-early power rankings. This coming season looks to be a special one, with so many teams in the hunt for a national title!

1. Michigan State

2019 Finish: #5 in Power Rankings, T-3 at Nationals

2020 is the Spartans’ year! Youth and inexperience will no longer plague Michigan State in 2020, as they will be not only one of the most talented teams in the country, but one of the most experienced.

Starting at the top, Junior Captain Payton Schuster is poised to have an MVP caliber season in 2020, after finishing as an All-American in 2019 as just a sophomore. Schuster is far from the only weapon on this roster though. Fellow juniors Dennis Sullivan, Max Antilla, and Brent Weakland will all be veteran leaders next year. Each of which can be counted on to hold his own if he is the last man standing. On top of that, MSU had a loaded rookie class in 2018-19, so they will bring back a talented, battle-tested sophomore class that will have a major impact on the team’s success. Jack Hilt and Jacob Georges were two of the top rookies in the country last year, and will only be better in 2019-20. Hunter Broski, Evan Bara, Jake Lico, and Ben Traub all made some plays last year for the Spartans, but each will have breakout seasons during their second year on the roster.

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2018-19 Top Rookie Classes in the NCDA

1. Michigan State

The Spartans brought in a loaded rookie class in 2018-19, with both top-end talent, and depth. The headliners for MSU were Jack Hilt and Jacob Georges. Hilt turned heads in the winter semester, with some clutch performances in big moments (most notably at WAR). Georges had his breakout tournament at Nationals where he was a massive part of the Michigan State offensive attack. Hunter Broski showed a lot of promise in 2018-19, and is poised for a breakout season in 2020. Evan Bara burst onto the scene at MDC as one of the top playmakers on the MSU roster. Jake Lico already is putting together highlight play after highlight play thanks to his great hands and impressive anticipation as a thrower. One last Spartan rookie worth mentioning is Ben Traub, who will become a much more well-known name in 2019-20 as his role continues to increase on this squad. Overall, this rookie class for MSU is exactly what they needed, and will be the foundation for success in East Lansing for years to come.

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A President’s Final Thoughts from the Last Four Years

As some of you may or may not be aware, the 2020 fiscal year officially begins today. With this comes a change in leadership for the NCDA. Keeping consistent with the expectations set forth for nonprofit organizations in the US, our Member Teams have voted in new board members as others will be making their way out. For me, my second two-year term as President of the NCDA came to a close last night at midnight. Though I would have loved to stay in the position for many more years, the bylaws of the NCDA state a president cannot hold the position for more than two consecutive terms. When I authored the bylaws, policies, and constitution in 2015, I specifically put this clause in place to make sure the NCDA doesn’t get stale. With new leadership comes new ideas, methodologies, and opportunities. Selfishly, I would love to keep the title, but in the best interest of the organization I’ve been so intimately involved with since 2008 I know this is the correct thing to do. I have full confidence in Hunter Ford who will be a great president and continue to lead the NCDA into new and exciting ventures. Over the next two years Hunter will become frustrated, overworked, and underappreciated, but if his experience as president was anything like mine, getting to see the joy, friendships, and game highlights that college dodgeball brings will all be worth it.

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2019 All-Rookie Team

Learning to play dodgeball in the NCDA is one of the toughest learning curves for many competitors. Whether it’s learning strategy or even how to pinch, the game can make many feel like a complete novice early on. However, there are those who learn the ropes quickly and emerge as players with immediate impact on their respective teams. The All-Rookie list is a way to recognize those individuals. Congrats to our first team selections!

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Ballot Results for the 2020 Season

Below are the results of the preferential election for the 2019/2020 NCDA Rulebook, select Policies, and 2020 Executive Board. The Rulebook is scheduled to be released prior to the start of the 2020 Season.

Extra special thanks to the 29 Member Teams that submitted ballots. There are 32 active Member Teams. Overall there were 24 Member Teams with voting rights that submitted ballots, with 5 non-voting teams submitting ballots for the record.

Nationals 2020 Selection

Special thanks to Ohio State University, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, and Ohio University for their time and effort in putting together bids to host Nationals 2020.  Here were the final results for Nationals 2020 selection:

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2019 College Dodgeball Women’s All-American Team

Since 2017, the NCDA has honored the female competitors who have dedicated time and effort to their craft. The individuals on our list have excelled throughout the past year and made major contributions to their respective teams. Many of the NCDA’s female athletes also support their organizations through leadership roles, and this list is a way to recognize those outstanding individuals.

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2019 College Dodgeball 2nd Team All-American

The National Collegiate Dodgeball Association had another fantastic season full of exciting moments. Today, we will further highlight the success of our athletes who showed outstanding achievements on the court during the 2018-19 season. This is your list for those who made the 2nd Team All-American list.

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2019 College Dodgeball All-American Team

The National Collegiate Dodgeball Association continues to expand at a rapid pace.  As the number of teams and players in the league increases, so does the competition to make the All-American Team.  As we have reached the end of the 15th season of College Dodgeball, it is time to announce the players who have earned a spot on this year’s list.  Congrats to all the fantastic players who made the cut!

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