John Betters’ Bobcat Bonanza – Tournament Preview

The Ohio Bobcats are poised to resume their breakout, currently undefeated season by hosting a round robin style tournament on Saturday, February 8th, 2020. This tournament will feature 8 teams, 6 coming from the state of Ohio (Akron, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Miami, Ohio, and Ohio State), West Virginia, and a combination of Ohio & Miami B-Team players. Similar to the Michigan Region hosting a pre-Michigan Dodgeball Cup tournament two weeks prior to the actual event, you could very well consider this a pre-Ohio Dodgeball Cup – only with WVU replacing Kent State. 

Also similar to the pre-MDC tournament, the John Betters’ Bobcat Bonanza (JBBB) will be chock-full of incredible storylines to pay attention to. For instance, some match-ups will feature teams who will be facing off against one another for the very first time in league history! 

As we prepare for the JBBB, we took the time to reach out to each team so that they could share for themselves their expectations for their respective teams this weekend, a handful of players they wanted to shine the spotlight on, and what they believe their keys to success will be. Finally, to wrap up we will have game by game predictions from six of our league’s most involved alumni.

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2020 Michigan Dodgeball Cup Preview

Staff Picks for this weekend’s Michigan Dodgeball Cup!

This Saturday, every collegiate dodgeball club within the state of Michigan will converge on IM Sports West on the campus of Michigan State University for the 16th Annual Michigan Dodgeball Cup (MDC). Games begin at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and will be streamed live on the NCDA’s social media channels. 


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NCDA Internship Program Continues

The NCDA believes in the development of our student-athletes’ education and is proud to announce that we will be able to continue our Internship Program. The NCDA offered an internship last year and was able to develop a startup guide for new and current teams (Startup Guide). As part of the completing the internship and meeting our expectations, the NCDA was able to offer a scholarship to that intern for their work.

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College Dodgeball 2010-19 All-Decade Team

Below is the 1st Team All-Decade list, voted on by a panel of 12 individuals who played collegiate dodgeball between 2010 and 2019.

1) Kevin Bailey – Grand Valley State University

The final spot on the College Dodgeball All-Decade Team goes to Kevin Bailey of Grand Valley State University. Bailey joined GVSU in the middle of the biggest rebuilding period in program history. His rookie class, filled with talented and competitive players, came at the perfect time for GVSU. They pushed each other to become better players, and consequently several of them received All-American honors along with their national championship wins. Bailey took over as captain his junior year and focused on building his team through competition, both internally and externally. He genuinely believed that the team was only as good as the worst player so he actively worked to raise the talent level of everyone on the team. He also knew that real game experience was crucial to success and therefore nearly doubled the number of games GVSU played compared to previous years. A true all-around player, Bailey was a problem for his opponents on the court. The speed, movement, and accuracy on his throw was absolutely overwhelming. His superior blocking skills made him nearly impossible to hit with a ball in his hands, and in the rare instances where he would be without a ball, he was still extremely proficient at catching and dodging to save himself from being eliminated. What truly separated Bailey from the rest of the league, however, was his incredible awareness of the game. He was always in perfect position, he had the patience to wait for his opponents to make mistakes, and then he would quickly and efficiently capitalize. Bailey’s resume remains on a likely untouchable level. He is the only player in history to receive more than one Player of the Year award; he received the award 3 years in a row from 2014-2016. He won 4-consecutive NCDA National Championships (2013-2016), and was selected as an All-American each of those 4 seasons. The unanimously voted #1 player of the decade, Bailey is a current member of the semi-professional team Grand Rapids Dynasty.

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Standings as of 2020-01-28

Standings are released every Tuesday

In the 2020 Season, we have 33 technical upsets in 133 ranked matches (75.19% success rate) across 17 events.

The Gonzalez System is a computer ranking model similar to Elo and is a rating exchange system based on research performed by World Rugby. It has been adapted by the NCDA to the demands of College Dodgeball, but can be tuned and customized endlessly to incorporate accurate data. It has been used to help determine seeds for the Nationals bracket since Nationals 2014, and was used exclusively for the each Nationals bracket since 2017.

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Pre-Spring Standings

In the 2020 Season, we have 32 technical upsets in 125 ranked matches (74.40% success rate) across 16 events.

The Gonzalez System is a computer ranking model similar to Elo and is a rating exchange system based on research performed by World Rugby. It has been adapted by the NCDA to the demands of College Dodgeball, but can be tuned and customized endlessly to incorporate accurate data. It has been used to help determine seeds for the Nationals bracket since Nationals 2014, and was used exclusively for the each Nationals bracket since 2017.

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All 5 Michigan Schools Set to Attend GVSU’s ‘Pre-MDC’ This Sunday

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11-0 GVSU will play host to MSU, CMU, SVSU, and WMU this Sunday at the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena. All Court 1 matches will be streamed live on the NCDA’s YouTube Page.

The second half of the 2019-20 College Dodgeball season kicks off on Sunday, January 26th in Allendale, Michigan in what we are going to call the ‘Pre-MDC Tournament’. As the tournament title indicates, every Michigan school will be in attendance for this event. With the Michigan Dodgeball Cup just two weeks after this tournament, it’s safe to say this Sunday will give us an accurate preview of what to expect at MDC. Court 1 games at this tournament will be livestreamed on the NCDA Youtube Page, so make sure to tune in on Sunday for all the action!

Below is the schedule for the tournament:

The schedule for this event is interesting because it is not a full round robin (what we always see at MDC). This Sunday, some teams will play more games than others. Here is the list of opponents for each school along with a graphic comparing each team’s resume to this point in the season:

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5 Matchups Every NCDA Fan Wants to See Before the End of the Season

1. Grand Valley State vs. Ohio

Last time GVSU and Ohio faced off, the Bobcats fell in overtime on Day 1 of Nationals 2019 in what would have been the upset of the season.

Let’s start with the most obvious choice: GVSU and Ohio. The top two teams in college dodgeball at the halfway point in the season, everyone wants to see what would happen when these two undefeateds face off. While their records are the same, the two programs couldn’t be much different. GVSU has been a dominant team in the NCDA since 2006, winning 10 national titles in that time-frame. Ohio, on the other hand, has never even made it past the round of 16 at Nationals. The Bobcats look like a team with national title potential, with some great top end talent, but more importantly, quality depth. We hope that a GVSU vs. OU matchup happens in the regular season, but if we don’t see this duel until the NCDA National Title Game, that would be pretty epic as well…

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Ohio Region – Fall 2019 Semester Recap

It has been one heck of a fall semester for the NCDA, thanks in no small part to the Ohio Region. The region has continued to grow and yield better results year after year, and we don’t see that trend dropping off any time soon. Most of the teams who’ve competed have winning records, and also own impressive out of region wins! Honestly, this should come as no surprise. As the region continues to grow, they continue to host the most tournaments, with, on average, the most teams in attendance. In fact, while Ohio as a region has hosted 5 tournaments averaging 14.4 matches, the East Coast Region has only hosted 3 tournaments averaging 5.67 matches, and the Michigan Region has also only hosted 3 tournaments averaging a mere 4.67 matches (doubleheaders, forfeits, and B-team matches were excluded from the tally). So while teams from separate regions are of course attending some of each others’ tournaments, it’s pretty easy to see how the Ohio Region is quickly growing in skill & relevancy.

If we’re being frank, from top to bottom, the Ohio Region might be the best in all of college dodgeball. Don’t believe us? Here are the inter-regional records for each region through the end of the fall semester (not including B-team matches & forfeits):

East Coast: 8-9

Michigan: 12-9

Midway: 1-9

Ohio: 29-13

South: 2-9

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Storylines to Follow in the Second Half of the Season:

What is happening to the Michigan Region?

Grand Valley is still… Grand Valley. But outside of the Lakers, the rest of the region seems a bit off so far this season. Michigan State is currently the second best team in the region, but they have lost by multiple points in each of their games against GVSU, and in one of their only games against a non-Michigan team (BGSU), they lost in overtime. Meanwhile, Central Michigan has been nowhere near the caliber of team that they were a season ago when they made the Final Four. The Chips have some work to do to get back to reaching their potential. Then there is SVSU, sitting at 2-7 currently. The Cardinals had a rough first semester, but they are known to turn it on in the winter and become a contender, so the jury is still out on them. Lastly, Western Michigan has played only against GVSU, so they are yet to get their first win. The feeling around the league is that the Michigan Region has significantly regressed, and will have only one team (GVSU) even make the Final Four this year. The state that back in 2017 held all four spots in the Final Four, now looks much more average. But maybe this is all a big overreaction. Michigan State is still loaded with talent, and a few content team members expect the Spartans to make the National Title Game still. CMU had a rough first semester, but they have most of the same players from a year ago, so if they can get in a groove, a Final Four run shouldn’t be ruled out. And we all know SVSU improves dramatically in the second half of the season. It was a lackluster first half to the season for the state of Michigan, but it will be fun to watch how each team performs this semester leading up to Nationals.

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Power Rankings: December 2019

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We have reached the midway point in the 2019-20 NCDA season. There have been some surprising upsets so far this year, with some teams performing differently than expected preseason. With still four months until NCDA Nationals 2020, teams continue to shuffle in the power rankings order, as we get a better grasp at who are the contenders and who are the pretenders.

Below is the official December Power Rankings list, voted on and written by the NCDA Content Team.  Please keep in mind: these power rankings have no impact on the actual NCDA Standings.

1) Grand Valley State

For the second consecutive fall semester, the Lakers finish undefeated. GVSU is once again a title contender, proving their abilities against many of the top teams in the country. Grand Valley has several players who should be considered in the MVP hunt, most notably Ben Smart and Nolan Stanko. It’s never a bad thing to have several players in that discussion. The the biggest bright spot for GVSU though, is the way Captain Josh Hill and the other leaders have been able to develop the talented depth on this roster. GVSU is a much deeper team than some may have expected them to be after how may contributors they lost from a year ago. This team looks poised to start a new title streak this spring.

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Worlds 2019 Full Results

CANCUN – Polifórum Benito Juárez: The World Dodgeball Federation holds Worlds 2019 over November 26-December 1, with the Mexican Dodgeball Federation as host. 

If you missed the feature article detailing the mechanics of the ranking system, take a gander at the Complete History of the WDBF which were released prior to Worlds 2018.  Gonzalez Rankings will soon be published for the 2019 year.

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GVSU wins Spartan Invite, MSU beats CMU in Comeback Fashion

The annual Spartan Invite took place on Sunday, with three traditionally dominant schools in attendance. Grand Valley State won the day, going 2-0, with Michigan State finishing 1-1, and Central Michigan finishing 0-2. The end result for each game was about what most would expect, but how we got there was a bit more interesting. Below is a recap of each match that took place this past Sunday at IM Sports West.

GVSU def CMU 5-1

The Lakers were victorious over Central Michigan in the first matchup between these two rivals since last season’s national semifinal game (an overtime thriller). The first point of this game was unexpected for those who have followed the results of each team so far this year. The Chippewas grabbed the ball advantage right from the get go, and used it to help them pick off some GVSU players early on. Central used an aggressive playstyle early on in the point, and they connected on some great crosses and counters to catch GVSU off guard. CMU eventually knocked GVSU down to just Ben Smart left on the court, and after some back and forth plays, Jawanza Edwards was able to step up and make a diving catch on a long reset throw from Smart to end the point giving CMU a 1-0 lead. 

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Spartan Invite Preview

This Sunday, Michigan State University will host the annual ‘Spartan Invite Tournament’. Typically, this tournament will field teams from all across the Midwest, but for whatever reason, this year’s version of the Spartan Invite will only have three schools in attendance: #7 Central Michigan, #1 Grand Valley State, and of course #5 Michigan State. Despite only having three Michigan schools in action at this weekend’s event, there is still a lot to keep an eye on.

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