Blue Demons Focus on Fun

Story by: Ben Rusch

DePaul University, located in scenic Chicago, is a unique team within the NCDA. Whereas many teams focus on the competitive aspect of the sport, the Blue Demons tend to focus on the fun and ridiculous nature of a bunch of undergraduates playing a child’s game.

Several players take a keen interest on inventing complicated (and usually impractical) trick throws, including The Awesome, The Amazing, and The Mexican Flying Coffin Filler. The spectacular failures and the shocking successes of throws like these are equally entertaining.

In terms of tournament play, DePaul is in a rebuilding phase.

Last season’s National team sported two seniors and 14 players with no prior tournament experience. While numeric successes from Ohio State were limited, we were able to hang out with our good buddies at Michigan State, and our new friend “Chris” from GVSU.

DePaul-style dodgeball has significant differences in game play than most schools in an effort to increase the pace and intensity of the game.

For example, a catch does not eliminate the thrower (though one person from the catching team’s jail returns to the court), and boundary lines (excluding the neutral zone) tend to be fluid.

The basic core belief of Blue Demon Dodgeball is that it’s a game, and while no game should be taken too seriously, dodgeball should probably be taken even less seriously.

When it stops being fun, the reason for grown men and women to throw rubber kickballs at each other ceases to be.

The Odyssey of Ben Murphy

Story by: Andrew Allen

After four years of playing and being president of the Delta College Dodgeball team, Ben Murphy has left the team to pursue other interests.

What do those interests include? Playing for Saginaw Valley State University’s team.

“I had four great seasons at Delta College,” Murphy said.

“It was just time for me to move on. I graduated from Delta back in April of 2007. I stayed last year because my job required me to take classes there and to play dodgeball.”

While there Murphy saw his team reach three consecutive national final-four appearances and set a single season wins record in the NCDA in the 2008 season with 17 victories.

“We had a special group of players these last three seasons,” he said. “My time there will be something I will never forget.”

As for whether he is going to miss running a team that he founded back in 2004, Murphy isn’t going to deny it.

“There is no question that I’m going to miss being at Delta,” he said. “In fact I already do. But I am already having a lot of fun and learning to play with a bunch of great new teammates.”

There was also something that he wasn’t quite used to when he fist took the court for SVSU.

“I can just go to practice and focus on playing dodgeball and nothing else,” Murphy said. “I don’t have to worry about who isn’t playing well and who isn’t at practice. I can just focus on my own game and helping my teammates out on the court.”

On Sunday, Oct. 26 Murphy saw his first game action with the Cardinals against Michigan State University.

“It was weird being out there in a different uniform,” he said.

“But I was so excited to get my first kills and catches with a new team it was unreal. I just hope I can keep improving my game so I can stay on varsity for the rest of the season.”

Taking over for Murphy at Delta is David Halloran, who will be entering his fifth season with the team. Halloran served his previous four seasons as a captain and vice-president.

“The team is in good hands with Dave,” Murphy said.

“A big reason that Delta was so successful over the years is because of him. He understands the team concept and the hard work it takes to win dodgeball games more than anyone I’ve ever met.”

Halloran is excited as well to take over the club, and hopes to get the team over the hump and into the national championship game.

“Taking over the team has proven to be something more than just stepping into the shoes of the past president,” he said.

“It’s been challenging, yet very rewarding. The team looks great and I’m excited about the young talent that keeps coming through the door. I expect to be a national contender and I can only see third place as the last option.

You might be wondering on if Murphy is going to be rooting for his former team.

“I really think that SVSU is going to be a great team this season,” he said.

“But if Delta happens to win it all I hope they don’t mind me stealing one of their championship t-shirts.”

GVSU Repeats as NCDA Champions

by Kelvin Koster

The Lakers made it two in a row at this year’s NCDA Postseason Tournament in Columbus, defeating the Buckeyes of The Ohio State University 9-1 in the championship game. The win marks the second straight year GVSU has come back to Allendale proudly equipped with the NCDA championship trophy.

The win in the finals capped off another perfect season for the Lakers, giving them their 14th win against no losses for the year, and extending their winning streak to 25 matches.

Among other accomplishments for Grand Valley this season were first place finishes at the inaugural Kentucky Classic, held in Lexington last November, and at the now well-established Michigan Dodgeball Cup, held in East Lansing this February.

With the #1 ranking intact and a large target affixed to their backs, the Lakers now focus on the upcoming season. GVSU Captain Kelvin Koster is excited for what promises to be the most competitive year yet for the NCDA.

“I was very impressed with the strides some teams made last year. SVSU and BGSU are emerging as contenders for those top spots. As for Delta, those guys have scary arms and work together better than anyone. OSU is always a top team. If we’re going to win this thing again, we’re going to have to work harder than ever this year.”

GVSU is looking forward to another year full of NCDA action, but especially to the 2009 postseason tournament, which will be held on Grand Valley’s campus in Allendale, Michigan next April. GVSU junior Jimmy Stokes anticipates a historic weekend.

“It will be great to have our fans there with us, and I think other teams who haven’t experienced a game here yet will enjoy playing in front a crowd as large and excited as the one we expect to draw.”

With most of GVSU varsity squad returning this season, the team hopes and expects to find themselves in the championship game of next year’s tournament.

Scheduled Events 2008

As of 2007-10-07

2008-01-28

Michigan State @ Delta College (Saginaw, MI)
Kent State, Kentucky, Marshall @ Ohio State : Buckeye Invitational (Columbus, OH)

2008-02-18

Delta College, Grand Valley State, Oakland @ Michigan State : Michigan Dodgeball Cup (East Lansing, MI)

2008-04-13

End-of-year tournament @ Ohio State (Columbus, OH)

TBD Events

Bowling Green State v Michigan State
Grand Valley State v Delta College
Oakland v Michigan State
Michigan State v. University Center-Dublin (exhibition)
Multi-team tournament @ Grand Valley State

School year begins, updated rule packet posted

Dodgeball season is upon us! Best of luck to all teams in their first full year for what is sure to be an enjoyable experience. The NCDA also requests that you send photos of games and practices along with any game scores to the League email.

Also, the new rule packet is (mostly) completed, undergoing mostly cosmetic revision.  The only fundamental change is the new 15-second/10-second shot clock.

NCDA Hotspots

The NCDA is especially interested in establishing teams at the following schools:

University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign
Indiana University
University of Louisville
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Northwestern University
University of Notre Dame
Purdue University-West Lafayette
Virginia Tech
University of Wisconsin-Madison

If you are a student at one of the schools listed above and are interested in participating in college dodgeball, please view the video below and contact NCDA rep Aleks Bomis.

NCDA seeks teams to add for next year

Looking for a new game to play next year?  Interested in athletics but don’t necessarily want to go all out with the training, drills or practicing?  Just want to be able to hit someone in the face and get away with it?  You might want to consider creating a dodgeball team at your school. With a network of teams throughout the midwest the NCDA hopes to get more schools involved with dodgeball with each passing year.  Grade schools may be banning it, but college is a whole ‘nother story.  Join hundreds of other students in participating in a great extracurricular activity that everyone can enjoy.

Okay, enough with the sales pitch.  Just check out the highlight video [Ed: missing].  If you think you’d like doing something like this at your school, click on the link to the left for contact information and more about how you can create the newest student organization at your school.

-Aleks Bomis

GVSU Champions at Nationals 2007

When the dust settled in East Lansing on Sunday only one team was left standing.  Ohio State’s 3-year dominance in college dodgeball has officially ended and the iconic scarlet and grey has been replaced with a single color Michigan teams have seen all too much of:

Black.

With an army of supporters and a 9-0 record the GVSU lakers clearly came into their final matchup with the OSU Buckeyes (7-2) on a mission.  A 3-1 decision and one silver trophy later, it’s safe to them to unfurl the “MISSION: ACCOMPLISHED” banners back in Allendale.  Next year’s tournament will be held in Columbus, Ohio.

2006-2007 results:

Bowling Green State University: 0-4
Delta College: 9-4
DePaul University: 0-4
Grand Valley State University: 10-0
Kent State University: 2-2
Kentucky, University of: 2-3
Marshall University: 0-4
Michigan State University: 8-5
Oakland University: 2-8
Ohio State University: 7-2
Saginaw Valley State University: 3-6

Delta College prepared for first ever home game; GVSU announces tournament

In what will arguably be one of the biggest weekends of this season, Ohio State, Kentucky, Marshall and Kent State will compete in Columbus, Ohio in a four-team tournament.

Meanwhile, Delta College, based near Saginaw, MI, will hold its first home game this Sunday against the Michigan State Spartans.  The event will be broadcast locally.  The Pioneers will be fighting to avoid a first round matchup with Grand Valley State University in next month’s Michigan Dodgeball Cup.

Finally, the Grand Valley State Lakers have announced the hosting of a multi-team tournament.  Date is TBD, most likely in the month of March.

– Aleks Bomis

The Big Green: MSU Dodgeball

By Jon Gunnells, Published by The Big Green 01 December 2006

For a moment, the gym is silent. The squeaks of hightops on the freshly waxed gym floor are missing, as are the habitual thuds of playground balls careening into competitors’ bodies. It won’t be this way for long – to an unsuspecting observer, the cavernous room may just be resting from rounds of basketball practice, but another sport is about to take over. Once the officials place the 10 eight-inch red rubber-coated dodgeballs on the half court line, there are only three words that erase the silence and lead to mayhem:Ready! Set! Dodgeball!  Continue reading “The Big Green: MSU Dodgeball”

MSU team to host games at Breslin Center

Michigan State’s dodgeball team successfully negotiated a pair of exhibition matches with MSU earlier today. With a capacity crowd of nearly 15,000, the Jack T Breslin Student Events Center will play host to the most-watched game of college dodgeball later this year.

“Naturally we’re ecstatic,” said President Aleks Bomis.  “Any chance you can play in front of a crowd you want to take.  But I never thought that we would get something like this.”

The Spartans will play either the Oakland University Golden Grizzlies or the Delta College Pioneers Sunday, December 3rd.  February 3rd, 2007 the Breslin Center will house the Ohio State Buckeyes.

-Aleks Bomis

Officiating Mechanics Script

  • Film Date: TBD
  • Camera: Sam Murphy
  • Participants/Actors: Zigmas Maloni, Sam Murphy, Troy Dixon
  • Dress: Whistles, Card set, black pants, Referee shirts or any of the Nationals shirts.
  • Location: Court 4, Ray Meyer. Curtain down, IM Closet access for dodgeballs.

Outline

  • Intro: Logos, Title card, introduction to the goal behind the video
  • Definition, Equipment, and Placement:
    The Court
    Dodgeballs (placement x’s, proper inflation)
    Officials’ Equipment [4.1.2… Whistles: 4.2.2.4, 4.2.3.4.5, Rulebook]
    Placement [Court Visual, 4.1.3]
    Officials’ Duties/Responsibilities: Area of Responsibility [4.2.2.2…] for all: HR [4.3.1.1, 4.3.1.3], AR [4.3.2…], SC [4.3.3…, 4.3.3.4], JG [4.3.4], AS [4.3.5…], BS [4.3.6…]
  • Pregame [4.3.1.2]: Captains Meeting [4.3.1.2.3], Definition of lines
  • Officials’ Authority:
    Referee’s Discretion [4.2.2]
    Officials’ Conference [4.2.2.3.1]
    Philosophy [4.2.1, 4.2.3…, Calls 4.2.3.2, Ethics 4.2.3.3, Game Control 4.2.3.4, Players entering play in correct order.]
  • Signaling [4.4…]
  • Ambiguous Calls from the Casebook: Reversing the Jail, Trap Catches, Ball Trap Catch, Team Ball Trap Catch, Boundary Violations, Out of Bounds, Neutral Zone, 1 on 1 double fault

Intro

FADE IN: NCDA Logo, NCDAdodgeball.com
TITLE CARD: NCDA Officiating Mechanics

MS, ZM

ZM: Hello, I’m Zigmas Maloni, General Coordinator for the NCDA, the National Collegiate Dodgeball Association. We’re here on DePaul Dodgeball’s home court at the Ray Meyer to  explain some of the officiating mechanics that NCDA officials use to keep order in a dodgeball game.

Definition, Equipment, and Placement:

Placement [Court Visual, 4.1.3], Officials’ Duties/Responsibilities: Area of Responsibility [4.2.2.2…] for all: HR [4.3.1.1, 4.3.1.3], AR [4.3.2…], SC [4.3.3…, 4.3.3.4], JG [4.3.4], AS [4.3.5…], BS [4.3.6…]

The Court

VWS, up from track onto Court 4. The court is set in NCDA configuration, with 3-4-3 on the lines, with Officials in their designated locations.
Morph into Rulebook diagram 2.2.2.5

NARRATOR: Lets begin with the Ideal Court. Here you can see the layout of the balls, placement of officials, where the jails go, and whatnot.

A dodgeball court is roughly divided into thirds. On a regulation NCAA Basketball court that’s 94 feet long, each zone is more or less 30 to 31 feet. Keep this rule of thirds in mind, since some courts aren’t regulation size. For a comparison, a NBA basketball court is 94 feet long, and the top of the 3 point line is about 28 feet from the baseline.

Lets focus on the dodgeball setup. Notice that the dodgeballs are spaced apart evenly on their respective lines. Also notice that the attack line balls are arranged in such a way so they are not tripping hazards for runners going for the halfcourt line.

CS, “X” marked in tape.

NARRATOR: When taping off the neutral zone in pregame, it might also be useful to mark exactly where the balls should be set. This will help the Crew reset for the Opening Rush a little bit faster.

Dodgeballs

CS, Showing proper inflation, Gripping, Ball bouncing, comparison to deflated ball

NARRATOR: A dodgeball within the NCDA is not inflated until it is taught. It is inflated to a point where it is grippable, and the ball still bounces.This ball is not inflated to a playable pressure. Notice it doesn’t bounce, its lack of “ballness”. It’s the duty of the Head Referee and Host to ensure dodgeballs are fit for play.

Officials Equipment

MS, Officials’ equipment laid out

NARRATOR: Proper equipment is important to a solid officiating crew. Aside from a stopwatch or stopclock for usage in the game clock, here’s some useful equipment.

HIGHLIGHT (or maybe arrow to) SHIRT: Officials should have should have a common shirt. Shown here is a referee style shirt, with vertical black and white stripes. But the Staff could wear any color that is different than the colors of the teams playing.

HIGHLIGHT WHISTLE: The most crucial part of the Crew’s equipment is the Whistle. The Head Referee, Assisting Referee, and the two Timekeepers should all have a whistle. Keep in mind that any Official that blows the whistle stops play and draws attention. Blowing the whistle unnecessarily should be kept to a minimum.

HIGHLIGHT CARDS: Since the Head and Assisting Referee are the only two Officials with the ability to issue red and yellow card, each Referee should have a set. In lieu of the cards, Timekeepers should have a timepiece, like a watch or stopwatch, to keep their count accurate.

HIGHLIGHT RULEBOOK: Having a rulebook on hand, as well as knowing it, is crucial in dealing with any ambiguities that may come up. The NCDA Rulebook is posted on NCDAdodgeball.com, under the Rulebook link. Interested individuals can also purchase a fancy booklet by request.

Location Mechanics

LS, Court Diagram, highlighting the locations of the Staff as they are mentioned.

NARRATOR: Head Referee stands at halfcourt, with the Assistant Referee standing on the opposite side. The Shot Clock Timekeepers stand at the edge of the Attack Lines, on the same sideline of the Assistant Referee.

Any additional Judges should be placed at the corners of the court, in the best vantage points for Sideline or Baseline Boundary Violations. Judges should be placed at the corners of the sideline opposite the Timekeepers.

When not retreiving a ball, Ball Shaggers should be far enough from the Court so as not be confused as in play.

Officials’ Duties/Responsibilities

Officials’ Duties/Responsibilities: Area of Responsibility [4.2.2.2…] for all: HR [4.3.1.1, 4.3.1.3], AR [4.3.2…], SC [4.3.3…, 4.3.3.4], JG [4.3.4], AS [4.3.5…], BS [4.3.6…]

HEAD REFEREE: The Head Referee is the the Crew Chief, in charge of the Officials and the Staff, standing at halfcourt. The Head Ref is responsible for handling the Pregame setup, for starting and stopping the Clock as gameplay necessitates, and setting the Score. Being the final say as to the ruling on the Court, the Head Referee may issue Red or Yellow cards when necessary. It is up to the Head Referee to control game by leading the Officiating Crew. Important techniques are Preventive Officiating and selling the call.

ASSISTING REFEREE: The Assistant Referee stands on the opposite side of the Head Referee, on the same sideline as the Timekeepers. In addition to assisting the Head Referee in officiating the game, the Assistant Ref is responsible for controlling the Shot Clock: Keeping proper timing, making sure the Timekeepers are using the proper mechanics. The Assistant Referee is the final judge on whether a throw is not a legitimate attempt to reset the shot clock.

SHOT CLOCK: The Shot Clock Timekeepers each oversee the Shot Clock for a particular team. They do have the ability to Judge a particular call, but their primary duty is accurately enforce the Shot Clock. It is important for the Timekeeper to maintain a proper consistency and timing, so using a timepiece is recommended. This can be any device that counts seconds.

MS, Signaling the Shot Clock

The Timekeeper signals the count of the Shot Clock in a low horizontal count extension. When signalling the last five seconds of the Shot Clock, the count extension shifts to vertical counts and the Timekeeper announces the count verbally. Vertical counts help the Referees and team Captains better determine where the count is and who close a violation is.

JUDGE:

ASSISTING STAFF:

BALL SHAGGER:

Pregame

[4.3.1.2]: Captains Meeting [4.3.1.2.3], Definition of lines

Officials’ Authority

Referee’s Discretion [4.2.2], Officials’ Conference [4.2.2.3.1], Philosophy [4.2.1, 4.2.3…, Calls 4.2.3.2, Ethics 4.2.3.3, Game Control 4.2.3.4, Players entering play in correct order.]

Signaling

4.4.01 Opening Rush – Make sure officials are ready, both teams are ready, Whistle.
4.4.02 False Start – Rotate fists, extend arm to violating team.
4.4.03 Stop Clock – Head Referee whistles, Wave arms over head.
4.4.04 Start Clock – Ready teams, Whistle. No Whistle: Raise hand, drop swiftly.
4.4.05 Shot Clock Violation – Wave arms over head.
4.4.06 Direct Catch – Extend both arms upward perpendicular to the ground,
two fists together, pull towards chest, say “Catch.” Extend one arm parallel
to the ground towards the team credited with the catch.
4.4.07 Team Catch – Extend both arms upward, crossed at the forearms,
make two fists, pull towards chest, say “Team Catch.” Extend one arm
parallel to the ground towards the team credited with the catch.
4.4.08 Immediate Catch – Signal team or direct catch, say “Immediate Catch”.
4.4.09 Loss of Possession – Hands spaced apart and parallel, but
perpendicular to the ground, motion down repeatedly. Say “Knockout”.
4.4.10 Out – Make a closed fist, extend arm downward at a 45 degree angle towards the team side of the recently deceased. If necessary, say player number and “Out”. If further required, indicate on your own body the area the hit was scored. Avoid birddogging.
4.4.11 Safe, no out – Wave hands horizontally back and forth.
4.4.12 Boundary Violation – Signal Out, swipe both hands across the body towards the sideline.
4.4.13 Trap – Signal Safe, say “Trap”.
4.4.14 Dead Ball – Signal Safe, say “Dead Ball”.
4.4.15 Timeout – Touch finger tips to shoulders.
4.4.16 Officials’ Timeout – Touch shoulders with finger tips, hold head.
4.4.17 No Eyes on the Play – Wave hands in front of eyes.
4.4.18 Keep playing / not a legitimate reset attempt – With arm horizontal, draw a circle in the air with one finger.