NDA July Power Rankings

The following power rankings are for the NCDA’s partner organization, the National Dodgeball Association, a semi-pro dodgeball league.

1. Grand Rapids Dynasty

Brandon Meisel – Grand Rapids Dynasty PC: Kris Haas

Dynasty finds themselves in a familiar spot atop the Power Rankings and Official Standings. The most decorated pinch team exercised some recent demons as they overcame rival Kraken for first time in 3 tournaments. Brandon Meisel was the standout for this group and won a clutch 1v1 to secure a marathon first point in the finals. Expect to see them continue to challenge for the top spot at any tournament they travel to. Eventually bringing Jalen Gardner back into the fold will be yet another boost for a team that already has a win under its belt.

2. Grand Rapids Kraken

Winning USAD Nationals last fall and following it up by winning the inaugural NDA event, Kraken’s run finally came to a close in Kalamazoo. This group went undefeated all day up until a finals showdown with Grand Rapids Dynasty where they fell 4-1. Great performances from Aaron Krafft, Ben Tubergen, Collin Freeman, and others helped propel Kraken to a near-perfect tournament. Kraken will look to make the necessary adjustments to get back on top next time they face their rivals from GR. When will Kraken take the floor next? That is yet to be determined. Rumor has it this team won’t be playing in Athens but might make the August 12 trip to either Platteville or Lancaster!

3. Bowling Green Frostbite

After going 2-for-2 in making championship brackets at their two events, and running through their pool en route to a top seed in Kalamazoo, Frostbite moves all the way up to #3 in the July Power Rankings. This group of players and alums from various Ohio college programs have meshed together well this year with a few new additions. Max Kowalski has been a standout arm for Frostbite so far, as this team of great catchers has found some serious balance and offensive firepower. Frostbite likely won’t be attending the Athens, OH event on July 22, but expect this team to once again be in the running for a tournament title next time they make it out to an event.

4. Detroit Omerta

A disastrous start to pool play in Kalamazoo caused Omerta to miss out on the 6-team championship bracket, but this group remains in the top 4. Detroit Omerta came out flat against Frostbite and Dynasty, then ended in a tie vs. Platteville Pickaxers, and while they rebounded to defeated East Lansing Final Justice, they didn’t have enough wins to make to top bracket, spoiling their chances of leaving Kzoo with medals around their necks. Ultimately, Omerta won the B-bracket, with an impressive 6-4 win over Midwest Mutiny, but that finish is likely the worst we will see from this strong roster the rest of the season. Omerta will be in attendance on July 22 in Athens, looking to avenge their last performance.

5. Midwest Mutiny

What an up and down month it was for Mutiny. This young squad made the trip to Washington, D.C. in June and dominated the competition. That tournament title over the East Coast teams had them heading into Kalamazoo with loads of momentum. Unfortunately for Mutiny, they fell flat in pool play in the stacked Kalamazoo field, failing to make the 6-team championship bracket. Mutiny’s mixed bag of results (with some major roster variance) leaves more questions than answers heading into July. This team will look to gain back momentum in Athens with likely a more complete roster.

6. North Spartans

Consistency has been the name of the game for Spartans. Through two events, this team has made the Championship Bracket both times, but both times lost at the hands of Grand Rapids Dynasty. Spartans have been a strong pool play team each event, setting themselves up for success. Their combination of smart players and strong catching throughout the entire roster make them a difficult team to beat. Their fall from #5 last month to #6 is more a function of Frostbite’s fast rise than it is anything to do with Spartans. This group will head into July in strong position in the NDA Standings, but still looking for that marquee bracket result that will turn some heads.

7. Columbus Gamecocks

Ben Johnson – C0lumbus Gamecocks PC: Kris Haas

The Gamecocks found themselves in unfamiliar territory without captain Felix Perrone on the court but this team of veterans pulled together and made some noise in Kalamazoo. They were able to put East Lansing behind them and found themselves in the semifinals where they came up short against Kraken. Eric Nelson has returned to form in 2023 and was a big catalyst for their success. Ben Johnson proved he can lead this team into contention and the return Jeff Starr and Kyle Fitzpatrick was just what the doctor ordered for this Columbus squad. Look for them to continue their ascent as we reach the dog days of summer.

8. East Lansing Final Justice

Barry Butler III – East Lansing Final Justice PC: Kris Haas

Final Justice stormed out of the gates at their first NDA event of the season in Kalamazoo. This squad of Michigan State players and alumni were in position to earn the 1-seed in their pool after a few matches but ended up coming back to earth starting with a close pool play loss to Detroit Omerta. Still, FJ came out of Pool B with the 2 seed, and looked like a strong bet to make the semifinals. FJ ultimately fell to Columbus Gamecocks in the first round of the championship bracket, ending their run early. Kalamazoo provided FJ with an opportunity to show they belong near the top of the standings, and for most of the day they looked the part. If this team can show more consistency at their next event, they could vault up these rankings.

9. DMV Grizzlies

The Grizzlies performed as expected in their NDA debut in Washington, DC. They finished second in both pool and bracket play. They had strong showings from their UMD alumni making their first appearance since 2020, and their two players new to pinch acquitted themselves well. While these groups have the most room to grow, their core of Daniel Fernald, Shawn Sullivan, Zach Fernald, and Zane Durbin will have to shoulder most of the load against stronger teams while the remainder of the team continues to adapt to playing in the NDA.

10. Baltimore Precision

During their first NDA appearance, Baltimore Precision played in a way that we’ve come to expect from all their years together, fast and with what could be described as controlled chaos. Jeremy Meadows was an integral part to their team’s semi-finals appearance and showed his offensive ability at a high level. Akil Antoine and Marcus Morgan also showed their years of experience in the Elite circuit translated well into the NDA. Precision will be one of the most exciting teams to watch throughout the inaugural NDA season.

11. Virginia Venom

Venom made their debut in Washington, DC and came into the event with a bit of a question mark on how they’d perform. They had lots of members who have played together for a long time but not in a competitive setting in equally as long of a time. A semi-final appearance while only losing to the two finalists, Grizzlies and Mutiny, is certainly a solid showing. The team demonstrated strong catching ability throughout the event which helped them greatly during round robin play but still left some opportunity for improvement on the offensive end. While this team likely won’t be favorites to win many major events, they proved they are not a team that can be completely ruled out from any match.

12. Great Lakes Storm

Despite dropping one spot in this month’s power rankings you could argue that this is a team on the rise. They did not have their best showing in East Lansing but getting Caleb Newell back to anchor their left side had them in the consolation finals and finishing in 8th place in what was a very tough field. Their core of Newell, Leon Rockamore and Matt Barnett should have this team improving month over month as they continue to get more reps together. They’ll look to make their first NDA Championship bracket in Athens, OH.

13. Rubber City Resistance

Resistance made their NDA debut in Kalamazoo and had a nice tournament as they tied for 4th in their 7 team pool later dropping a close match to Storm in the semi-finals of the consolation bracket. Alexis Schultz continued to show why she is the most feared female athlete in the sport while Clay Eggelston and Matt Young also had stellar performances. This team should continue to improve as they adjust to the speed of the game and smaller court size. Resistance is also ranking as the top social media team in the NDA.

14. Baltimore Blue Crabs

Connor Engel – Baltimore Blue Crabs PC: Kris Haas

Comprised of mainly current UMD players, this is a young and athletic team with lots of potential. They performed well at NDA – DC with a victory in the consolation bracket netting them a 5th place finish. They had close matchups with teams that finished better including a 1-1 tie with Mutiny in pool play. This team plays together year round and will look to take a big jump at Lancaster in August. They hope to bring All-American Adam Butz to this tournament who would massively improve this teams stock in the league this season.

15. Platteville Pickaxers

For the Pickaxers, in their first event of the year, they did better than they expected. They got off to a slow start to Final Justice, but after that they improved each game. In pool play, they tied Omerta and gave Dynasty a tougher match than expected. During bracket play, they forced Mutiny to give it everything that they had in order to get the win over the Pickaxers. With a few more tournaments, they should be fun to watch and hopefully be an even tougher opponent going forward.

16. Toledo Lake Monsters

Lake Monsters had an up and down day in Kalamazoo, and slot in at #16 in the latest power rankings. This team started the tournament out hot, defeating Columbus Gamecocks 2-0 in their first match. Lake Monsters went cold after that and ended up having a 1st round exit in the B bracket. If this team attends Athens, look for a more consistent showing.

17. Cleveland Chaos

With this team, the score just doesn’t do it justice. While they don’t win too many points, almost every point is close. Chaos is a team, that if slept on, will upset a greater team. With an everchanging roster, the possibilities for Chaos is endless. Chaos is one of the only teams that has made an appearance at every tournament in this season.

18. Seaside Vipers

While this is the only team that represents the West Coast in the NDA, they have not formally made an appearance at a tournament yet, several of their players have made an appearance playing for multiple teams. Eric Nelson, Matt Gonzalez, and Khacy Evans have all played in tournaments and shown what they are made of. There are also several players on their roster that have yet to make an appearance but are heavy hitters in this sport. Those include Marshall Winterbotham, Mark Acomb and David Benedetto. We are excited to see how they stack up against the competition in their first formal appearance.

19. Atlanta Groundhogs

Atlanta Groundhogs have yet to take the floor at an NDA event, and land at #19 on this list. We will have a far better idea at where this team stands after they can compete at an NDA event.

20. Richmond Protagonists

There were not many expectations for the Protagonists heading into the Washington, DC event, but they showed continuous improvement and had impressive flashes. Cloud Tapia-Manon was certainly the biggest standout with Jeff Kitchen also providing strong moments for the team. The biggest hurdle the team will need to overcome is playing more as a cohesive unit, but they have the pieces to make some upsets during the season.

Author: Kevin Bailey

Current NCDA Chief of Content. Former Captain for Grand Valley State University (#4).

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