A Last Minute Highlight: One More Showdown in the South

There are several big matches taking place in the league this weekend as teams make their final show of strength (and overall adjustments) in preparation for Nationals 2019. As exciting as it will be to see who comes out on top as “The Big Three” (GVSU, JMU, and Towson) clash one more time, my eyes are focused on the matchup in the Southern Region happening this morning.

Once again, the University of North Georgia will host Georgia Southern University in a double header matchup that will give us a lot of insight on where these two programs are as they both get ready to wrap up their third season in the NCDA. These two teams joined the NCDA together, playing their induction match against one another back in the Fall of 2016, and have a strong history of matchups. Unfortunately, in all of those matchups so far UNG has continued to come out as the stronger team. It has taken some time, but the ability gap between the two teams seems to have started to close. The question is, has it closed enough for us to see some different results from their clash this time around? The captains of both teams weighed in and let us know their thoughts.

University of North Georgia (UNG)

The UNG Nighthawks are currently being hailed as the kings of the Southern Region thanks to their big win over the University of Kentucky during their home tournament back in the fall of this season. Since then however, they’ve been fairly quiet, even though the rest of league has been wanting to see how they fair against even bigger opponents from other regions. Hopefully sitting idle has not made them soft. We shall see after today and during their performance at Nationals.

Captain, Royce Hogg, along with assistant captains Bailey Hankins, Luke Cheney, and Thomas Clements feel as though the core strength of their team is still there. They are also excited to see how some of their young arms, such as Tanner Fields and Vince Bartolomei, play today. Confident as always, the Nighthawks believe they will come out with two more wins under their belt and have the knowledge on what they need to work on before Nationals.

Score Prediction: 5-0 over GSU in both matches.

Georgia Southern University (GSU)

The GSU Eagles have made some big and much needed improvements to their game since their first season, but have still struggled a bit to really take their game to the next level in order to compete with stronger programs. However, they have made big moves this season to travel and play other teams in the league in order to gain more experience. Although a bit more quiet in the second half of the season, GSU has worked extremely hard to build up their ranks and train hard in preparation for Nationals. Today’s matches will show us whether or not that hard work has made a difference.

Captain, Brett Storie, along with assistant captains Pastula Travis and Sam Copland, believe that we will see a new force on the court today if they are able to keep their composure, formation, and overall teamwork together. Veterans, like Andrew Clough, have helped to picked up the pace for the team, while rookies, like Matt Faulkinberry, have really grown since their first matches back in the Fall. They are looking foward to showing UNG, and the league, that they are a team worth talking about.

Score Predictions: UNG 2-1 GSU in OT (1st Match); 2-1 over UNG (2nd Match)

The Big Three Collide at Towson

This is perhaps the most loaded tournament field to date not named the Michigan Dodgeball Cup (MDC).  #2 Towson will play host to #1 Grand Valley State and #3 James Madison in one of the last regular season events of the year, appropriately titled the ‘Nationals Send-Off’ tournament.

All three teams rank in the top three of the current Gonzalez Standings, and have consistently been at the top of the charts of the content team’s Power Rankings as well.  The three schools have a combined 52-6 record this season, with five of those wins/losses coming against each other. Additionally, all of them rank within the top 10 for strength of schedule this year.

While it would be easy to go on and on about the eye popping numbers each team brings to the table, let’s focus on what has gotten each of these teams to the pinnacle of college dodgeball thus far.

Continue reading “The Big Three Collide at Towson”

10 Ways To Become An NCDA All-Star

It has been another exciting season of dodgeball within the NCDA, with a lot of close matches, crazy upsets, amazing plays, and standout players. But what truly makes a player stand out in the league enough to be considered one of the best? Every sports league has its “all-star” players, and the NCDA is no different. After Nationals, every serious player in the league will be looking for their name on the “All-Region” or “All-American” rosters. Whether you’re a rookie or a multi-year veteran, there is always a new way to take your game and notoriety to another level. I spoke to just a few of the league’s most memorable players from over the years to get their thoughts on what it took to take their dodgeball career to the next level, and this is what I learned. Here are 10 ways to become one of collegiate dodgeball’s top players:

1. PRACTICE LIKE A PRO

Continue reading “10 Ways To Become An NCDA All-Star”

Rule Proposal: Ball Re-Entry

The following was proposed by Kevin Bailey.

If a ball exits the court on one team’s side of the neutral zone (and does not re-enter the court on its own), it must be returned in-bounds at that team’s baseline. If a ball exits the court through the neutral zone (and does not re-enter the court on its own), it must be placed on the spot in which it went out of bounds. No exception is made for a ball out of bounds but within reach for a player.

*If a live player possesses a ball at the same time as a designated ball retriever, the ball is awarded to the player.

Rationale:

Too many times (on courts with a close wall especially), a ball thrown by an opponent exits the court on a team’s side but not within reach. When this ball is the only one on that side, it becomes a major stall ball game, and almost always results in 10-15 seconds of standing still, then a shotclock violation call. Oftentimes this will repeat itself after the opponent comes up to make a solo throw after the balls over. At WAR, there were a few games with double digit stoppages due to this exact thing.

This rule will help speed up the game, by taking away some unnecessary stoppages. It will also help decrease bounceback stall ball in the scenario mentioned above. Also, taking away the ambiguity of what is/isn’t reachable helps simplify the out of play rule and will cause for less disputes.

Overall, this isn’t a major rule change that will have a massive impact on the game, but it will help in some cases to make the game much more watchable. Not to mention, more enjoyable to play.

Take a look at the image included in this post for a basic description of different scenarios.

No photo description available.

Standings as of 2019-03-26

Standings are aimed to be released by the end of every Tuesday. 

In the 2019 Season, we have 43 technical upsets in 220 ranked matches (80.45% success rate) across 29 events. Additionally, there have been four JV matches entered into the Records.

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 Nationals 2017 and 2018 bracket. 

Continue reading “Standings as of 2019-03-26”

Mountain Madness Preview

This Saturday, March 23rd, West Virginia will be hosting their first ever home tournament, which is a huge stepping stone for any new club. They’re also in a great location, being able to draw in both East teams and Ohio teams, which will give everybody an opportunity to play teams that they haven’t seen this year. The following article was put together by the Nasiadka brothers, Cory from WVU and Jake from Penn State. It gives a little bit of insight from each one of the captains and even some predictions for the day’s games. Needless to say, each captain is confident in their squad and predicted some big wins, including upsets. Huge shoutout to West Virginia for making this happen as I think everybody involved is stoked. Below is the schedule as well as predictions!

Cory Nasiadka (WVU)

First off, we’re very excited to host our first tournament at WVU. After playing in our 6th tournament since the beginning of the Club last year, we have learned an incredible amount of what it takes to be a successful team in the league. Since our last tournament in Cleveland State, we have been working harder than we ever have been.  I expect big things from our guys in this tournament.

UMD: I have never seen these guys play, so it’s hard to say what will happen here. Solely based off of their ranking I expect us to compete with these guys.

UVA: We played UVA once last year, and we got destroyed. I saw a team that seemed well in-sync. Other than that I don’t know much else about this team other than their ranking. 3-2 WVU

CSU: This is my favorite team in the league to play. Their captain Joe is a force to be reckoned with on the court. The man has a cannon for an arm. I’ve also heard nothing but good things from this team as of late regarding their progress. 3-2 WVU

PSU: How great it would be if I could beat my older brother on my own home turf in our last ever match against each other.  These guys have picked us apart every time we have played them. To me, these guys always seem like one of the strongest teams in the league. They’ve got some great athletes and they all work well together.  We have also never played them with a full 12 guys. If it’s ever going to happen, it has to happen this Saturday. 3-2 Penn State

Jake Nasiadka (PSU)

PSU looks to rebound after our devastating loss to OU at The War last month. We’ve practiced a lot since then, and hope to show our improved strategy at Mountain Madness..

I expect a big day from our big guns Andreas Georgiou and Sean Emrich. Also keep an eye on Ben Paz in his final regular season NCDA tournament. His leadership and strategy has lifted us up to reach our full potential.

I want to give a huge shoutout to Cory and the WVU squad. They’ve taken such a big leap to the next level by hosting their first tournament and attracting 6 visiting teams. That’s no easy feat considering the club is barely a year old.

UMD: Maryland has one of the toughest schedules in the nation, constantly playing Towson and JMU. They’ve grown very hardy and disciplined as a result. This will be a tough game to win, but I think ball control will be the key. 4-2 PSU

OSU: I think a lot of teams sleep on OSU, as their record is not indicative of how talented they really are. Dylan Greer and Ben Johnson are two of the best captains in the league, and I look forward to seeing how they measure up against us. This will be the match of the day, but late game catches from Brett Miller and Noah Grube give us the W. 3-2 PSU

CSU: CSU has gained a lot of experience (probably the most of newer teams) this year and can hang tight with teams like Akron and MSU. 3-1 PSU

WVU: I always love playing West Virginia. Cory has one of the best arms in the league, and they can be extremely dangerous if their guys show discipline and strategy on the court. But WVU is 0-3 against us over the past 2 seasons, and I expect a similar outcome this time around. Your time will come in the future, Cory. 4-1 PSU

Note from BPAZ (PSU):

I am really looking forward to another weekend of Dodgeball! This team has made great strides over the year and I am hopeful that this tournament will be a great way to piece together all of the things we have been practicing throughout the year.

Some quick thoughts on our games: I love getting to play Ohio teams. They are all disciplined and make you pay for your mental errors, one of PSU’s biggest downfalls. Both CSU and OSU are well structured teams that will challenge us to play to our system and not make mistakes. I’ve always felt that PSU could compete with any Ohio school. I feel like our athleticism and growth as a team will carry us through these two tight matchups this weekend. I expect each of these games to be decided by one point.

WVU has always been one of our most fun games on our schedule. Not only do we get to witness Jake and Cory go at it, bro versus bro, we also get to let our younger guys get some great experience time in a NCDA game. I expect WVU to continue to improve and come at us with full strength. Should be an exciting game and weekend!

Dylan Greer (OSU)

UVA: Looking at UVA’s results throughout the year and reading about their performance seems to show that they have their on and off days. If they bring the heat this weekend this matchup could be tough. If the circumstances fall in our favor, I have faith in my team to prevail in this game. OSU wins 4-2

PSU: PSU seems to be having a good season, and has shown to put up a fight with every team they play against. The win over Akron that went viral shows that this team will make this a hard match all the way until the end. If we can limit their catching ability, I believe my team can pull a dub here. OSU wins 3-2

UMD: This matchup is one we are anticipating the most in the upcoming weekend. Our team was quite rattled after being upset in the first round of Nationals last season, so getting a rematch is very exciting. Our team plans on walking into this game with some fire so expect this matchup to get heated. OSU wins 4-1

Vinnie DeMaio (UMD)

OSU: We’re really excited to play OSU after our Sunday nationals matchup with them last year. Last year was our first time playing them in recent years, and we won in an exciting OT finish. We had a lot of fun in that matchup last year and are excited for our rematch.

WVU: We have no idea what to expect from WVU. None of our current players have played them or watched them play. So we are going in blind to their play style. Overall: We’re very excited to be traveling outside of our typical Maryland/Virginia radius and play some teams outside Towson, JMU, and UVA

Shawn Sullivan (UMD)

WVU: Optimistic, but honestly we have no clue what to expect from this team.

OSU: If our game against them at nationals last year is a precursor to now, this game will be an absolute brawl. Impossible to tell which one of us is coming out on top.

Overall: as the club president, I would like to win all of our games (it would make my day), but honestly, I’m just grateful for the opportunity to get some (mostly) new competition before nationals. No matter the outcome, I’m hoping that gets better all-around.

Joe Shue (CSU)

I think that this weekend is going to be a blast because of the opportunity for teams to play people of close to their same ranking, which will definitely be something we don’t see in most tournaments. Things to definitely watch out for this weekend would be how well teams to adapt one another playing other teams of similar strengths and how they adapt to VCU, who is the highest-ranked team going this weekend. I am beyond excited for all the teams we will play this weekend and I feel that every match this weekend will be a fight no matter who is playing!

Zane Durbin (UVA)

We’ve been looking forward to this tournament for a while, as it’ll give us a nice opportunity to play some teams that we haven’t played this year, as well as two that we haven’t ever played. Getting out of the east is much needed for us, as playing a schedule of only Towson, JMU, VCU, and UMD can get very frustrating at times. I don’t think this schedule could’ve fell out any better for us, as we get to avoid UMD, who we’ve played a ton this year, and Penn State, who I believe may be the best team at the tournament. Also, I think our matchups work well with the roster that we’re bringing. We have an athletic team going, with two guys making their NCDA comebacks. Anyways, here are my predictions for our games.

CSU: This is a team that I’m really interested to play. Along with UMD, this seems like one of the top 2 most underrated teams in the league. Although they didn’t have the best showing at ODC, they did have a 3-2 (loss) showing against MSU at WAR, which is impressive. I really haven’t gotten to see them play at all this year, but love getting to play a new team. Prediction: UVA 3, CSU 2 (OT)

OSU: This is another team that I’m looking forward to playing for the first time ever, and another that I don’t know much about this year. I know that they have a solid top half of their roster and had a good showing at ODC, making it into the 5-team OT style playoff, but outside of that, we’re sort of going into this game blind. It’ll most likely be a dog fight, but we’re looking forward to the challenge. Prediction: OSU 3, UVA 2

WVU: This is a game I’m really looking forward to playing and one that I wish could’ve happened a long time ago this year. I’m looking forward to seeing how much this team has improved and grown since we played them last year at Penn State, since I like to see young teams succeed. In the end, I think our experience and the break that we have right before this game will ultimately prove that they may be West Virginia, but we’re Best Virginia. Prediction: UVA 3, WVU 1

Interview with a Falcon: Bowling Green Interview

Last week, NCDA Content Writers Hunter Ford and Kevin Bailey took some time to interview the leaders of the Bowling Green State University Dodgeball Team: Reid Manger and Max Kowalski. During this interview they discuss topics ranging from their recent win at the Ohio Dodgeball Cup, their goals for the BGSU program after they leave, thoughts on the future of collegiate dodgeball, and of course, what they think of the perception of Bowling Green Dodgeball nationally compared to what the actual culture of the program is. Below is the interview with these players:

From Left: Reid Manger, Max Kowalski, and Owen Sill after winning the 2019 Ohio Dodgeball Cup.

Redhawk Rampage II Recap

Last Saturday, four teams were in action and put evrything out on the court at the Redhawk Rampage II. Miami University (3-0) came out on top, followed by Bowling Green State University (2-1), University of Wisconsin Platteville (1-2) and University of Cincinnati (0-3). The following are the results for the day and the captains’ review of the teams and their performances.

Continue reading “Redhawk Rampage II Recap”

Your Better Late than Never ODC Recap

The following was written by Reid Manger (BGSU) and Eric Boehm (Formerly of CSU) with input from Ohio Region Captains:

This year’s Ohio Dodgeball Cup was one for the history books. The NCDA’s largest region, consisting of ten teams, put on one of the more exciting shows in the league this season. Although only eight of the teams participated in this year’s showdown, there were still plenty of storylines to follow: Will Cincinnati make a mark in their inaugural tournament? Is Kent State still the face of Ohio, or is it Miami’s time to put a stranglehold on that title? What about Bowling Green, are they still relevant? All these questions were answered, and many more along the way! Not to mention, there was even a 5-way tie for first when the dust originally settled, leading to an OT style tournament to declare a champion. In the following paragraphs, I give a brief rundown on how each team’s afternoon played out, rest of season outlooks, and various takeaways from each captain about their squads. Oh, and special guest Eric Boehm, a Cleveland State alum, gives his take on how things went down, too. You may think some of our opinions are unsolicited, and they may be, but nobody else wanted to do a recap so this is what you get! Buckle up for this rather lengthy review of the Ohio region!

Continue reading “Your Better Late than Never ODC Recap”

International Women’s Day Spotlight

The Ladies’ Match logo for 2019. Designer: Zigmas Maloni

March 8th is International Women’s Day. Due to this occasion, we thought it would be a great time to spotlight a few female dodgeballers in the NCDA. Thank you to Gwendolyn, Jessica, Katie, Treanna, and Rebecca for providing us with a brief writeup of their experiences in this league!

Continue reading “International Women’s Day Spotlight”

RedHawk Rampage Preview

This Saturday, March 9, 2019 at Miami University four teams are coming together for a round robin tournament. The following teams will be in attendance: Miami University, Bowling Green State University (BGSU), University of Cincinnati (UC), and the University of Wisconsin Platteville (UWP). It is a battle of the Ohio Region and the Midway Conference. Which region will come out on top? Let’s take a look at the schedule:

Continue reading “RedHawk Rampage Preview”

BEAST VIII Recap

Two weekends ago, we had the 8th Edition of JMU’s BEAST and overall had an opportunity to see how the East Coast stacks up. This article was co-written by my fellow captain Jeremy Shaw (JS) and myself and although it really doesn’t have much structure, it covers quite a few of the big storylines from the weekend. We also have some quotes from other Captains from teams in attendance, which will give you a little bit of insight on how (almost) every team at the tournament felt.

Continue reading “BEAST VIII Recap”

Standings as of 2019-03-05

Standings are aimed to be released by the end of every Tuesday. 

In the 2019 Season, we have 38 technical upsets in 202 ranked matches (81.19% success rate) across 27 events. Additionally, there have been four JV matches entered into the Records.

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 Nationals 2017 and 2018 bracket. 

Continue reading “Standings as of 2019-03-05”

Power Rankings: March 2019

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ncda-logo-square.png

What a month! February 2019 was arguably one of the most entertaining months in the history of collegiate dodgeball. From the absolutely chaotic WAR III tournament, to the always telling MDC, to the wild finish at ODC, and everything in between, February was special. With all the crazy games we saw this past month come some shakeups in the monthly power rankings. Below is the official March 2019 Power Rankings list produced by NCDA Executive Board members Jacob Leski (Director of Recruitment and Retention) and Kevin Bailey (Chief of Content).  Please keep in mind: these power rankings have no impact on the actual NCDA Standings.


Continue reading “Power Rankings: March 2019”