While everyone is preparing for Summer internships and finishing finals, it’s never too early to start thinking about the next season. The biggest key to improving from one season to the next is understanding weaknesses from the past year. For many teams, how they handle the offseason is a key indicator of what to expect from them in the following season. Here, I will highlight some of the biggest things that I feel each team needs to accomplish either during Summer or early portions of next season. While some teams will need to center their focus around recruiting, for others there are very specific goals in mind.
This year we will be doing something that we’ve never done before, the women of the NCDA are finally getting the recognition they deserve. There are many talented ladies in the league, as showcased in the Lady’s match at nationals the past couple of years. Every season the match grows in number and talent. The women on this list are not to be taken lightly and are dedicated members of the squads that they represent. Without further delay, the 2016-2017 Women’s All-American Team!
Over a week has passed since Nationals and the dust has had a little bit of time to settle. Congratulations to the Lakers of Grand Valley State once again on their tremendous season. With that being said, no on else in the league cares anymore, we’re ready to move onto the next season. There are a lot of things to look forward to even before the start of next year including All-American and MVP voting coming soon, voting on rule changes, and selecting the next host for Nationals in 2018.
I wanted to take the time to present some interesting thoughts for next season as a nice buffer for what will be some intense discussion tomorrow.
Let’s take a look at some interesting predictions.
With Nationals around the corner also comes one of the fan favorite events, the All-Star Game presented by SAVAGE Apparel Co. This year the game will be larger than ever before, both figuratively, and quite literally. As Colin mentioned in his article, there are definitely members of each team that don’t get selected who are more than worthy of being called All-Stars for their team. As such, I wanted to take the time as well to highlight some of the East Coast players that I believe could be All-East Coast athletes from this season. This is not organized in any type of first team or top-15 group, but just giving recognition to players who have worked hard and performed well all season.
No this was not Co-authored by Colin O’Brien, it was however inspired by him.
It’s time to take a break from the craziness that has been the Captain’s Page and all of the rule proposals popping up. Let’s make dodgeball great again! This weekend the University of Akron will be hosting The War, which is the largest and last tournament of the 2016-2017 regular season.
11 teams from 5 different states will come to Akron, OH to compete in The War. Needless to say, it’s a pretty big deal, with a lot of implications on seeding heading into Nationals, take a look at an article by our VP Zigmas Maloni, Status Quo Ante Bellum, on the possible exchanges. There has also been a lot of talk off the court heading into this weekend, which I’m sure will translate into some exciting on court performances.
We already infused the March Madness style into our Baller of The Month voting, so why not for an actual bracket as well? Now, keep in mind there are still a couple events that are on the way, which are sure to impact the current standings, along with…well you know, day 1 of Nationals. But I have to work with what I have darn it!! So given those limitations, let’s take a look at some intriguing matches to watch that could happen on a round-by-round basis when we get to the Sunday bracket play.
As a disclaimer, included are my personal predictions on a round by round basis, ultimately leading to a final champion. These seeds are subject to change up until April 9th.
*This is subject to the teams that scheduled to attend Nationals, and is not a complete reflection of the current league standings
For those of you who don’t know, Matthew “Kelso” Kelsey (who was one of the original Kent State dodgeball players) was recently diagnosed with leukemia. This tournament is to raise money to help him with his medical bills. Kent is looking for participants in the area interested in playing or helping raise money for Kelso’s medical expenses. If you can’t make it but would like to make a donation please donate to his gofundme. There is also a Facebook group for the event if you are interested in signing up.
You can sign up to participate in the event on eventbrite. More information is provided there but here are the basics:
- 6v6 Rubber tournament
- $50 entry fee per team
- Must be 18+ to participate
The event is scheduled for March 18th from 1:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Kent State’s Recreational Center: 1550 Ted Boyd Drive, Kent, OH 44240
We are a competitive dodgeball league, however we also view all of our members both current and former as part of our family. Whether you are able to donate or can just simply share this with your friends, we want to help come together to support everyone in our dodgeball family.
In our second edition of the top tweets of the month, Kevin and I once again sat down to look through the savagery our league has to offer. We were pleasantly surprised with this month’s candidates, and look forward to what the league has to offer in the future. Now, let’s take a look at what we believe to be the top 10 tweets of February 2017:
Top tweet of the month:
Don’t let the Michigan Dodgeball Cup (MDC) distract you from everything else going on this weekend. Over in Richmond, Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) will be hosting the Border War, consisting of teams exclusively from neighbor states Virginia and Maryland.
Why should anyone pay attention?
Well, 3 of the top 10 teams in the country will be present which includes #4 James Madison University (JMU), #5 Towson University (TU), and #9 VCU. The University of Virginia (UVA) and University of Maryland (UMD) both have an opportunity to move up 2-3 spots in terms of seeding with a win. There will also be three JV teams playing which means we will have the opportunity to see the future of the league. Here are some headlines to watch out for this coming weekend.
BOTM: January 2017 – Jeff Schwartz (PSU)
Our very first Baller of the Month award for 2017 will go to Penn State University’s Jeff Schwartz. Jeff has been a major influence for their program for a long time, and helped organize the team’s first ever home tournament on January 14th. He is being recognized for his play on the court, as well as for the contributions he has made to his program.
It’s pretty clear to see which college dodgeball teams are strong on the court. We have records and rankings for that. But now we take the time to measure some off the court success. Kevin Bailey and I have taken a look at what we view as the top tweets for the month of January. Below, we have listed our top tweet, and the the rest of the list in no particular order.
*Keep your levels of savagery as high as possible if you want to make the list next month!
We are still in the beginning stages of the Spring Semester, but we will be off to an exciting start. Let’s just say, this field is loaded.
This is definitely one of the toughest tournaments you’ll see in the NCDA this season. The sixth installment of the BEAST will feature 5 of the current top 10 teams in the NCDA per Gonzalez standings, and is sure to stir the pot of the NCDA. Every team will play 4 games each, so this will be a marathon to see who can outlast each other down the stretch. Given all of the talent that will be on display this weekend, it would be tough to say any team has a true advantage.
To further illustrate the point, JMU, MSU, OSU, Towson, UK, and VCU have a combined record of 45-23-4, with 12 of those losses coming from playing each other this year. Like I said, a very strong group of teams coming together in Harrisonburg, VA.
For our newest installment in the “My Dodgeball Story” series, we turn to Shadeed Drakeford, founder of the VCU Dodgeball Club. Here he tells his story about the creation of the team, his experiences while being the leader of the team, and the new role he has on the team.
By: Shadeed Q. Drakeford
A long time ago after the annual Chick-fil-A dodgeball tournament in Richmond, VA, my best friend Micheal Tse and I were walking back to my apartment talking about dodgeball and the possibility of playing after our college days were done. This took place in October 2011, several months after the historical Final Four run by VCU in the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament. The conversation started off very casually and jokingly with talks of playing semi-professionally along the East Coast with the potential of winning cash prizes or free food. After all, who doesn’t like free food? Yet, small talk created curiosity in me, and I stumbled across a hidden gem which has been around since 2004, the National Collegiate Dodgeball Association (NCDA).
In December 2011 as a Christmas present to myself, I completed all of the paperwork that was necessary to have the Dodgeball Club at VCU as an official student organization. Little did I know my life would never be the same again. When I first came to VCU, there was actually a very big showing for people who wanted to play. Back then, we exclusively played what we called “medic” dodgeball against other students and it would bring in large crowds of people. But over time, dodgeball at VCU was shrinking in size every single year. It started out strong with at least 100 people playing medic dodgeball every Friday from 2-4:30 p.m. in my freshman year to only 20 people playing medic dodgeball three times a week in my junior year. Once I made the club in those later years, the purpose of the club was to create some stability and a strong perception of the sport around VCU, so that we would have some gym time every week. For anyone who has ever attended VCU, dodgeball time was always cut short on a weekly basis due to soccer, and never really got the respect it deserved compared to the other sports.
After a long hiatus, we are back to our Team Spotlight series. We will be covering the Golden Flashes of Kent State, as they prepare for their tournament this weekend at the University of Kentucky. I had the pleasure of interviewing current captain Cassie Weaver, as she goes into depth about her team and what to expect from them in the coming semester.
By Zach Parise (UK)
Dodgeball is back y’all. Finally the Kentucky and Ohio regions get a piece of the action in what looks to be one of the most exciting semesters in recent NCDA history. UK hosts Western Kentucky University, Kent State University, and Ohio University this weekend. This tournament has a lot to offer for all five teams. Kent State and Western can break out of the middle of the pack, OU can get some good experience and pick up some quality wins, and UK seeks to continue the successful season thus far. Here we will look into each team and what to expect come Saturday.