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 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. Because who doesn’t like free food after a tournament? Yet, small talk created curiosity in me, and I stumbled across a hidden secret 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 organization. Little did I know my life would never be the same again. At the 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. Back then, the purpose of the club was to create some stability with the perception of the sport around VCU, so that we would have some gym time every week. For anyone who has ever attended VCU, you know that dodgeball time was cut short on a weekly basis due to soccer.
The National Collegiate Dodgeball Association’s 2016 Executive of the Year is awarded to Caleb Arnold from Ohio University. The captain for first-year NCDA member team Ohio, Caleb demonstrated excellent leadership, scheduling his team 25 games. This honor is bestowed upon Caleb after the NCDA Executive Board vote (also nominated for this award was Erik Zander, the captain for Wisconsin Platteville).
I was able to ask a few questions of the league’s Executive of the Year, and I learned a lot about Caleb and his team. After reading through Caleb’s responses, I anticipate everyone else will have as much respect as I do for the President, Captain, and Founder of Ohio University Dodgeball:
Kevin Bailey – What were the reasons for you starting up a team at Ohio, and what were the main struggles that you encountered during this process?
On January 31st, Central Michigan University, Saginaw Valley State University and Michigan State University square off at the Student Activity Center in Mount Pleasant, MI. This is the first tournament of the new year for either squad and whichever team comes out on top will carry that momentum with them until February 27th, which is the date of the infamous Michigan Dodgeball Cup. With that here’s a look at each of the respective teams attending…
Yes, September ended many weeks ago, but the content team decided that since we have a baller of the month, it is only right that the many rookies in our league get acknowledgement for their immediate contribution to their respectful teams this season. Our first rookie of the month comes from a team that seems to lose lots of talent year after year, but never struggles to be a title contender. Saginaw Valley State University has a knack for recruiting great players and inserting them immediately into their line-up and that is exactly what they have done with Kyle Bruce. Since Kyle is a rookie and has only played a handful of games, he has yet to have a picture taken of him playing dodgeball, so if you want to know what he looks like then you will have to meet him at a tournament or simply look him up on Facebook. Continue reading “ROTM: 2015 September”
Imagine this: you and your family plan a set of trips throughout the year, with one blowout trip at to cap it all off. You can afford a few small ones along the way, usually just for one day, leading up to the final one; there’s one problem. You realize after those day trips that you don’t have the budget for the final trip! You and your family must now face the disappointment of not being able to take that big vacation.
Virginia Commonwealth’s dodgeball team has suffered with this problem since they joined the NCDA in 2012. The Rams were able to attend a few regional tournaments each year, but were never able to raise to funds to attend Nationals. The club has always wanted to attend, a few factors, primarily the money, always got in the way. With the help of a few donations and a deal with the NCDA, VCU’s fortunes would finally change.
The National Collegiate Dodgeball Association has had ten editions of its national tournament. Eight titles have been won by the state of Michigan but the first two, the inducting tournaments, were won by The Ohio State University. Most people seem to forget that OSU took home those titles, having been lost in the shadow that was and still is the dominance of Grand Valley. This begs the question, was it Ohio State the changed which caused their fall from the top of the mountain, or did they fail to keep up with the evolution of the league? To answer this question we have to jump into our time machines and figure out what was the league really like during its early years. Continue reading “10 Years in the Making: The Rise, Fall and Resurrection of OSU”
CMU fell off the collegiate dodgeball map shortly after winning the national title in 2011, but thanks to the dedication of the leaders on their current roster, the Chippewas are once again considered an elite team.
The East Coast’s dynasty has high aspirations for 2015, the last year for many of their star players
James Madison University Club Dodgeball was founded in the fall of 2010 by Computer Science and Sports Management student, Christopher Hess. Since their first tournament ever, JMU has stormed their way to an above 75% winning percentage over the course of four seasons, with victories over all of the top teams in college dodgeball including Grand Valley State, Saginaw Valley State, Central Michigan, Michigan State, Kentucky, and Kent State.
The Dukes have long been considered the cream of the crop in the East Coast region since they generally dominate their competition in the east. They hold a 27-1 overall record against those teams, including an impressive 20-1 mark against teams from the state of Maryland. This group may be relatively new to the National Collegiate Dodgeball Association (NCDA), but JMU has garnered some pretty high praise from opponents in the past. Compliments like: “They are the most athletic team in the NCDA” or “the hardest throwing team in the league” have constantly been directed toward this team, and rightfully so.
While the Dukes are only in their fourth year as a member team of the National Collegiate Dodgeball Association, they still have compiled quite a few accolades thus far in the team’s brief existence, including two appearances in the quarterfinals, and one Final Four at the annual “NCDA Nationals” tournament.
All of this is old news to anyone who follows the NCDA, and it’s not the reason for me writing this feature story in the first place. Would it surprise you if I said that this year is, in a way, a make-or-break season for JMU? Would you believe me if I told you that everything that the Dukes have accomplished in seasons past was just a prelude to what they may have in store for this spring? Well, now that I’ve grabbed your attention… Continue reading “James Madison Dodgeball: A Season Four Years in the Making”