It seems all too common for dodgeball stories to begin with an obscure story about how an individual discovered the sport on their college campus. This story will be no different.
Before moving in to campus as a freshman in Fall 2011, I knew I wanted to play a club sport, but I wasn’t sure which one or how to even get involved. The smart kids went on Towson’s website and researched this type of thing, meanwhile my lazy behind decided to just show up and hope I could figure it out. Little did I know my laziness would actually turn out to be the best thing of my first year at Towson.
Continuing the My Dodgeball Story for our 3rd story of the summer, and 1st of July comes from Kent State University’s very own Jason Hallman, who played at Kent State from 2009-12, is in his 1st season with the Cleveland Has-Beens, and is a prominent referee in the NCDA. Take it away Jason… Continue reading “My Dodgeball Story: Jason Hallman (Kent State)”
WAUCONDA – Office of the Director of Officiating: It is my pleasure to announce the 2019 Executive Board of the National Collegiate Dodgeball Association. Jacob Leski (CMU) and Kevin Bailey (GVSU) will remain on the Board, and Hunter Ford (VCU Alum) moves into a voting position as the Board’s newest and youngest Director. All three will hold a term of two years (July 1 2018 to July 31 2020), serving as leaders of dodgeball at the collegiate level.
2019 NCDA Executive Board:
Felix Perrone, President
Mike McNicholas, Treasurer
Colin O’Brien, Director
Dylan Fettig, Director
Kevin Bailey, Chief of Content
Jacob Leski, Director of League Expansion & Retention
Hunter Ford, Director
Director of Nationals, TBD (PSU)
I would like to take a moment to thank the rest of the Candidates for running in this election. It’s still quite amazing we have this amount of quality leadership willing to step into a national role. Colby Briceland, Erik Zander, and Brandon Meisel, thank you again for being candidates for this League’s Exec Board.
And as always, thank you to our 31 Member Teams that voted in this preferential election (of our the 37 eligible Member schools). An extra special thanks to the 19 Alumni that voted, your continued support and involvement is crucial to this organization.
Preferential Election Results: 32 valid ballots, including one Alumni ballot determined by a Borda count. Electing 3 candidates. Threshold to win is 9 votes. There were no ties. Jacob Leski (17) and Hunter Ford (9) were elected in the first round of counting. Leski’s surplus votes were transferred to down ballot preferences as fractions in the second round. In the third, Kevin Bailey (4) reached the threshold and was elected in the third round. Full details can be found in our records archive.
We still have several months before the 2018-19 College Dodgeball season kicks off, but it’s always nice to start speculating for the coming year. Listed below is my way-too-early top 25 for next season:
1) Grand Valley State
Six straight national titles and counting. GVSU returns all but two starters in 2018-19, making them a very easy choice as the preseason #1 team in College Dodgeball. The Lakers’ roster is absolutely loaded with talented veterans heading into this season. I have a hard time envisioning this team losing too many games this year, as the gap between them and the second best school seems wider than in recent years. In fact, the last time a team was this big of a favorite heading into the season was probably GVSU back in 2009?
2) James Madison
I’m buying into the hype for JMU this year. They have a deep roster filled with athletic players. The missing piece last year was just that they lacked coordination and strategy in some big games. Now that this team has more experience under their belt, I expect them to be a much improved group in 2018-19. Don’t be surprised when James Madison goes undefeated against East Coast opponents all of next year, and challenges for a national title in the spring.
So continues our series chronicling the stories of former NCDA players. Today we have Paul Hillebrand of Grand Valley State University telling his story. Paul played at Grand Valley State University from 2006-09, and 2013-15, a total of six seasons in the NCDA, all of which resulted in National Championships. Please take some time to read this highly detailed account of Paul’s dodgeball career prior to going to college, his time in the National Collegiate Dodgeball Association, and how he has stayed involved in dodgeball after college.
I started playing organized dodgeball in 2004 as a junior in High School. My friend formed a team to play in a foam dodgeball league at an indoor soccer facility called High Velocity Sports in Canton, Michigan near where I grew up. We gave ourselves the hilariously original name of “Ball Busters”, had pink uniform shirts made, and beat down a bunch of much older teams to win the league championship. I still remember the incredible joy I felt playing competitive dodgeball for the first time. I was hooked and continued playing in the league basically year round until finishing high school in 2006. While my teammates (like most normal people) were mostly done with dodgeball after graduating, I wanted more. I found out that Grand Valley State had a dodgeball club and I am not embarrassed one bit to admit that it was a significant factor in my decision to attend college there. Continue reading “My Dodgeball Story: Paul Hillebrand (GVSU)”
Almost two years ago, President Felix Perrone wrote an article called My Dodgeball Story: Felix Perrone and inspired many to tell their story. I encourage all of you reading this to give it a read, barring that you are taking the time to read this alone. On a more contradictory note, many failed to write their stories, which is why I am writing this now. There are far to many NCDA alumni with amazing stories to tell of their time not only in the National Collegiate Dodgeball Association, but in their experiences off the court, and their time in other leagues outside of the college level. With the off-season bringing little to write about, Kevin Bailey and myself thought it’d be a great idea to share some amazing stories with the Dodgeball community. The goal is to release 3-4 stories a month until the season starts back up in August/September. If any of you are interested in telling your story please either contact us through Facebook, or email us at Ncdadodgeball@gmail.com.
To re-continue this saga, I could not think of a better person than Kent State’s very own Leslie Ellison. Starting her playing career at Kent State in 2008, Leslie played all 4 years until 2012. She is well known as an individual who does not cater to nonsense, but loves a good laugh, and enjoys a good challenge on/off the court. Leslie still plays to this day, and is a reckoning force for the encouragement of women to play dodgeball in the NCDA and beyond.
Below are the results of the preferential election for the 2018/2019 NCDA Rulebook and select Policies. The Rulebook is scheduled to be released prior to the start of the 2019 Season. Extra special thanks to the 33 Member Teams that submitted ballots. Overall there were 37 Member Teams with voting rights.
School is out, and it’s warm outside so you know that means voting for the host school of the NCDA Nationals 2019 is coming soon. As a board, we would like to send out some suggestions for you to take into consideration when making your decision. Continue reading “Nationals Host Considerations”
Voting will run from May 29th to June 5th, 2018 11:59PM Pacific, or will end early if each Member Team casts a ballot via Google Forms. Each Member Team has one ballot. The NCDA uses a preferential voting system. If you do not wish to vote on a specific rule or option, just leave it blank.
With the rapid expansion of the league in the past few seasons, we have seen more and more talent emerge from all corners of the NCDA. The future of the NCDA is bright, and we’d like to take the time to show off those who represent the brightest stars of the future generation of the NCDA. These rookies have exemplified skills ahead of their years and have been big contributors to each of their programs even in a short amount of time. Here is the NCDA All-Rookie Team:
Rookie of the Year
Payton Schuster (MSU)
Payton Schuster earns 2018 College Dodgeball Rookie of the Year after a stellar first season with Michigan State. Schuster developed into one of MSU’s top offensives pieces in a very short amount of time during his first season with the Spartans. The freshman had a breakout performance at the 2018 Michigan Dodgeball Cup in February, and has not slowed down since. His impressive side-arm lefty throw paired with strong catching skills make him arguably the most talented rookie in the league. His role will increase for MSU next year, as he has taken over captain duties for Michigan State. Look for him to have a big sophomore season!
-Written by Kevin Bailey
Ike Fleckenstein (VCU)
After putting on one of the best freshman performances at Nationals of all-time and earning the nickname “Mr. Reliable” from former MVPs Kevin Bailey and Colin O’Brien, it’s no surprise to see Fleckenstein on this list. However, he has been solid all year for the Rams, and even found a spot onto VCU’s OT 6 squad in his first semester with the team. While he was most notable for his catching ability, Fleckenstein also developed a solid throw early in his career which helped lead VCU’s offense in a pinch. Next year he will serve as an assistant captain for VCU.
– Written by Hunter Ford
Eric Nelson (CMU)
Central Michigan had plenty of star players on their team in 2017-18, but that shouldn’t take away fromt he type of recognition that their rookie Eric Nelson deserves. Nelson was one of the top rookies in the country this year. Nelson is a very talented dodgeballer, with a strong arm that can pick off opponents consistently, and the catching instincts that helped him make clutch plays all year for his team. Nelson’s skills were never more obvious than during their win over GVSU in March when he came back from a last man standing to make several huge catches and throws to bring CMU back to win the point. I expect to see many more sequences like that next year, as Nelson will be one of CMU’s top players in my opinion.
GVSU won their 6th-straight National Title a few weeks ago. Junior Aaron Krafft has his best performance of the year at Nationals, and it was enough to earn him Baller of the Month! I chatted with Aaron about everything from his mindset, to his favorite dodgeball memories, to which Disney movies he thinks are the best. Read our interview below:
Kevin Bailey: First off, congratulations on wining Baller of the Month. How does it feel to cap off the season with a National Title and a well-deserved BOTM distinction?
Aaron Krafft: Thanks, Kevin. Winning the National Title this year was unlike any other year because of what we went through this season to get there. Outside of MDC, we never played to our potential but at Nationals we played better than I thought was possible. As far as BOTM goes, I’m honored to be chosen because I know there are lots of others worthy of the distinction.
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 14th 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 on this list.
The South is a new and rapidly expanding region in the NCDA. Outside of the Kentucky schools, the league has not had much growth in the south until recently. Now, there are active teams in Louisiana, Georgia and Florida! Despite half the southern schools being in their first or second year in the league, there was plenty of talent throughout the region.
Here is your 2018 All-South Team:
MVP: Kyle Dattelbaum (UNG)
Kyle Dattelbaum caps his final season with North Georgia as the Most Valuable Player in the South Region. That is quite the honor, and one Kyle is more than deserving of. First off, Kyle was a heck of a player on the court. He has a fantastic arm, and is very accurate with where he places his throws. On top of that, Kyle has a knack for avoiding team throws and making clutch catches, and can often be found leading a comeback point for his squad. Kyle will leave a great legacy behind as he graduates. He has been a catalyst for the growth of the South Region over the past few years, not just by founding the club at UNG, but also assisting in the recruitment of Central Florida to the NCDA. Kyle’s leadership will be missed next season for UNG. As will his stellar skillset.
P.S. His jersey has been officially retired from use at UNG.
-Written by Kevin Bailey
2. Thomas Clements (UNG)
Thomas Clements had quite the breakout performance at Nationals 2018, proving to the rest of the league that he is a top player in the South Region. Thomas has a very solid arm, and can be counted on to make a big catch, but on thing that sets him apart from other players is his anticipation and instinct. If you ever watch Thomas play dodgeball, he looks like a natural out there, as he moves up and down the court making plays in transition with incredible efficiency. As Kyle Dattelbaum Graduates, Thomas will likely be the new face of the UNG program, and the key to the team’s offensive strategy. I expect big things from the man with the mullet next season.
-Written by Kevin Bailey
3. Zach Frangi (GSU)
Frangi was Mr. Irrelevant in the Nationals 2017 All-Star Draft, but this year he has been anything but irrelevant for GSU. The current assistant captain of the team played a big role in helping Southern get their first wins in program history this season. With a combination of deceptive athleticism and elusiveness he can get balls for the team when they need it, and has a strong while accurate throw to compliment. He is graduating this year, so GSU will surely miss his on-court leadership, but he has definitely helped light a fire for the future of the program.