Towson Dodgeball: No Longer an Afterthought

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It was April 12, 2015, and inside the Preston Center at Western Kentucky University, it had never been louder.  A building full of collegiate dodgeball players looked on in confusion trying to figure out why there was so much yelling and screaming going on.  As it turns out, Towson University’s dodgeball team was responsible for this ruckus, as they were celebrating an upset victory over Ohio State University in the National Collegiate Dodgeball Association’s final tournament.  This moment in time will not soon be forgotten by anyone in attendance, as it will go down as one of the most memorable upsets in NCDA Nationals history.

Rewind the clock just a few years and the thought of Towson making it to the NCDA’s “Elite Eight” was absolutely absurd.  Truth is, the dodgeball club that formed at Towson University never seemed destined for success, but thanks to the incredible commitment of the club’s leaders, the Tigers are finally making noise in the NCDA.  A program that limped its way through the larger part of their first four seasons as an NCDA team, Towson Dodgeball is no longer an afterthought in the college dodgeball universe.

This is the story of how Towson’s dodgeball team slowly but surely clawed their way to national relevance. Continue reading

Proposal for a Burden Rule

Since it was mentioned in the recent podcast I will throw one more proposal out there.

Final (hopefully) Rule Proposal:

The game is played with 9 balls

The team that has more than 4 balls (majority) has 15 seconds to make throws until they rid themselves of the original number of balls that was >4.

So if team A has 6 balls they will have 15 seconds to throw at least two balls from their possession.

SITUATION: Team B throws 2 more balls at Team A after the count has started. Now Team A has 8, but they still only have to throw 3 because that was the original burden when the count started.

RATIONALE:

This rule would completely eliminate ball control focused stalling which is, in my opinion, the plague of the current Rulebook. With this rule you can expect to have at least 5 balls on your side of the court every other 15 seconds so there is no longer any reason to throw balls at the wall to try and get the bounce back.

Also, get ready for it, the dreaded LAZ would no longer be necessary! As long as you are giving the opposite team a majority of the balls you would reset the count.

It removes the need for two counters because only one side has a shot clock at a time (and we all know how people shy away from counting)

Gonzalez Exchanges for Nationals 2016

Games played during a Nationals event are worth double, so the exchanges here are calculated then multiplied by two. Taking that, an exchange for an even match will be around two.

We have 10 minimum exchange matches of the 27 total games on Saturday. That’s a bit higher than the League average (242 of 920 matches is 26%, 10/27 is 37%), but take into consideration this is largely a you-call-em focus to scheduling. If I had to schedule GVSU to play three games on the day, they’d have to play #2-4: CMU, MSU, or JMU. OSU is their next higher opponent, but the initial gap is still 11.495 which forces a minimum exchange. Continue reading

Proposal on catching counting as two in

Rule Proposal by Wes Peters:

Catches bring two players in.
Team catches now only save the player who was originally hit, and nobody comes in for the team catching team.

Honestly, if you wanna make the second part of this its own proposal too, that might not be half bad.

RATIONALE:

Catches aren’t valuable enough, and team catches (let’s assume that my version of the Clean Blocking rule passes) are now going to be way too frequent.

Encourages better throws since you know the penalty for throwing a catch is now doubled.

Speeds up the pace of the game when coupled with clean blocking.

I like catching. Please throw at me.

Proposal on calling a game at four point differential.

Rule Proposal by Caleb Arnold

I say we incorporate something like a run rule in baseball. If a team is up by four or more points by the time the second half of play begins or any time through the second half (so if a team goes up 4-0 halfway through the second half), that the team up by four is considered the winner. From much experience with this, I know that after going down by three or four points, most of the time the second half is played with random teams and what not so we might as well make it official. With that being said, this would be an easy rule to incorporate because it doesn’t change anything with the game play and doesn’t change much with what already happens.

Pros:

On big days like Nationals or four game events, if a team goes up 4-0 against a team where the final could be 6-0 or something higher, those games past four games wouldn’t need to be wasting the arms of players just to prove that they could tack more points on to the board.

This could also help with shortening game times like everyone has requested multiple times.

Cons:

A team that goes with let’s say 10 players that plays a team with a full roster and that goes down by 4 points in the first half every game would only play essentially 3 out of 6 halves on the day.

Proposal on Clock changes

Rule Proposal by Caleb Arnold

Extend the half time length to 10 minutes, run the clock through balls over, make a strict 1 minute break between each point with the clock running through that as well. For the half time extension to 10 minutes, this gives teams more of a time to rest, grab some water, tape fingers, etc. I know that a lot of proposals have been made to shorten game times but the next 2 adjustments will help that. A lot of time is wasted with random things happening between points (team discussion, grabbing water, peeing, etc.). Also, it shouldn’t take 2 referees and 2 timekeepers more than 1 minute to place 10 balls in their respective locations on the court with the help of some team members. Though team discussion may be cut, the extra 5 minutes during half time could allow for more team discussion for a strong second half. With balls over, a lot of slacking and playing around again wastes time. I’ve seen it take 2 minutes or so for teams to get 10 balls on one side and to finally start. For example, one of the longest games I was a part of was the Kent State/Baldwin Wallace game at Ohio Dodgeball Cup this year. I was the referee and an irregular amount of balls over happened. Though I was the referee and I take partial blame on this, the balls over constituted a lot of time. If instead the clock ran through this, the referee should make teams quit playing around and get ready. That or make a 30 second stop for balls over but it shouldn’t take as long as it does most of the time. With this being said, if referees stuck to these strict timing rules, games shouldn’t have to take up an hour and fifteen or twenty minutes.  Continue reading

Proposal to reset Gonzalez rating per season

Policy Proposal by Hunter Ford

Reset all Gonzalez rankings at the beginning of the year to the baseline average of 40.000

Rationale:

Obviously the biggest event of the season is Nationals, however that does not take away from the importance of the regular season as a whole. One of the things I have found an issue with this year is the ranking system which can determine seeding for Nationals, and more specifically the Gonzalez ranking system. In general I do find that it is an effective power rating system except on one front, the fact that it takes historical data into account.  Continue reading

Proposal on Sunday Nationals Bracket

Similarly to Jeff’s proposal I suggest that Sunday of nationals should be two separate brackets. However I think we should do it like world cup groupings for soccer.

Teams from each region are randomly split into 4 groups, the teams in each group all play each other and the top two move onto the championship bracket Sunday while the rest compete in the secondary bracket. That way every single game would matter, every team has a chance to play for the title, and teams would be able to play more even competition throughout the weekend.

Proposal on Nationals Format

Proposal by Jeff Starr

Top 8 teams compete for the cup at nationals, the other teams would play round robin games on Sunday.

RATIONALE:

Undeniably the likely game of GV vs OU isn’t going to be anywhere near close and I don’t see why it should even be played.

The high seed must go through the motions of playing a game which adds more games to the total over the weekend. Playing a total of 7 if you go to the championship must be completely brutal for any thrower out there and eliminating one game that is going to be a blowout would make it easier on them.

The lower ranked teams would be able to play more dodgeball. Instead of being knocked out 1st round in a blowout they could play more teams and more importantly more teams that they could have a close games with.

I don’t believe any team below a 4 rank has ever won it all at nationals and I don’t see that changing anytime soon, so including the top 8 teams would be more than enough