Just about everyone that plays in the NCDA wants to see more and more teams join. However, the last two seasons we seem to be at a stand still when it comes to new teams joining. We have gained a few, but have lost others. Here is my advice for those of you that are interested in creating a team at your school, or for those of you that want to give your existing club a shot in the arm.
Firstly, and what seems to be obvious but is not always done well is getting the word out about your club. While it’s impossible to get everyone to take note that you are creating dodgeball team, things as simple as a few flyers, an add in the school paper, and open pracite times are a great way to get the word out. Even try getting the word out to local papers. Some eat dodgeball stories right up, since it’s quite different than their normal coverage.
Secondly, try and find that core group of players that you think will be most dedicated and work your way from there. They don’t have to be the best players (though that always helps) but they should be able to create a solid foundation for your club, so that as it grows bigger and bigger you have the foundation ther to support it.
Thirdly, increase your membership anyway how. Invite everyone you know, and have everyone on your team invite everyone they know. Invite the people you see in the hallways or the guys that are playing pick up basketball before your gym time. They may have no dodgeball skill at all when they first start, but I have seen first hand some players that have developed into great players that were not good when they first picked up the game. And, chances are if they like it they are going to invite their friends, and maybe those friends are better athletes than they are.
Fourthly, have your club participate in school functions. If there is a food can drive, have your guys bring in as much food as they can. Not only does it look good in the eyes of the administration at your school, but if you win it creates more publicity for the team. When they have welcome week, club day, or whatever it’s called at your school make sure your club has a table at the event. In fact, maybe even sponsor a school event.
Lastly, run your club as professionally as possible. Have an up to date website, run your home games smoothly, have everyone wear team jerseys, and invite school officials to come watch, and invite athletes from other sports to watch. Make sure someone from your school paper is there to cover the event, and if they aren’t there, send them the results!
There are surely more things that you can do to increase your membership in your club. Every school is different, but these guidelines should hopefully help you out.