Nationals 2011… CMU!

Lifted from Aleks Bomis’ [MSU Alum] Facebook

I’m smiling ear to ear about dodgeball this week. I’m smiling because the best run tournament in College Dodgeball’s seven years of existence took place this past weekend.

And I didn’t have a damn thing to do with it.

I’ve always been pretty concerned about where the organization was headed, what it was working towards. I invested a lot of time in it. It and the people who comprise it will forever be a part of me. The leadership and development that went on in the first few years got me accepted into a Top 20 MBA program and Top 100 law school. I’m proud of that and always will be. Dodgeball is on my resume, and I will unabashedly tell interviewers where it’s at and how it got started. Operations, recruitment, administration, marketing – it sounds silly (and it is), but when you add up the manpower and the revenue required to operate the National Tournament (think of all the hotel money), that’s a major accomplishment that most young people don’t have. The group means a lot to me.

I guess that’s probably why I was less than happy with the way things seemed to be headed in the NCDA last year. Things got more competitive and tense, abuse of officials led to officials not caring led to abuse of officials, the concept of winning seemed to outpace the concept of playing this ridiculous game developed by sadistic gym teachers… maybe it’s that I’m from Michigan where the more determined teams and players are, I don’t know. In any case, it eventually came to a head and I thought, “To hell with it. If this is how it’s going to be, I’m out.” That’s when a nice thing happened: the NCDA moved on without much disruption. From rules administration to tournament operations to keeping the peace or anything else, there’s not one thing where I am or would be indispensable. In the early days there weren’t many people committed to the idea of making this crazy idea work. Most of it fell to me. Not that I minded it – heck, it was more to add to my resume. Now there are schools from all over the country and plenty of people each year who have both the skill set and the desire to keep this going. College Dodgeball has reached critical mass. No situation exists today where I’d think “Oh, I need to handle that.” And if you’re not needed, well, you’re probably not wanted either. Maybe the saying “familiarity breeds contempt” has some truth to it. You either die the hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain. Hey, could’ve been worse – I might’ve been forced out like Mubarak in Egypt.

I’ll cut the maudlin and just line up a few thoughts I wish I had the time or forethought to say to people when I see them in person.

Let’s take the big one first: To the teams that think I hate them – I don’t. Sure, you may have a couple current or former players I don’t or didn’t care for, but nine times out of ten a negative remark about them was immediately followed with “I don’t get it, the rest of ’em seem like nice guys.” Same applies in reverse, people can dislike me and like Team MSU in general. It always comes down to people.

I’ve never tried to screw a team over as an official. I’ll go a step further with that: I don’t think any official has ever intentionally tried to fix a dodgeball game played between grown men and women. Have I ever made remarks to the contrary? Darn straight. The majority of people reading this have as well, however, so don’t act surprised that The Old Man shoots his mouth off like everybody else. Doesn’t it make it right, and for that I apologize.

Sometimes you (I) need to just shut up and let others try things instead of going “No no, I know better, do it this way.” For example, there might be a skills competition or an all-star game or something else that makes this whole idea better.

Last, and certainly not least, the leadership you all collectively show is phenomenal. That’s the one concept I have difficulty trying to explain to outsiders – that college kids will put time, effort, and thought into how to better organize the activity of striking each other with vulcanized rubber. There are many sport club leagues in existence. Few have as solid a base as the NCDA. None are wholly student-operated.

As for where this takes me from here, I dunno. I’d like to put together an alumni production team to shoot and commentate games in Michigan and maybe Ohio. That’s one area where I do have a leg up on most of the NCDA – being an MSU Athletics cameraman for three years has its benefits beyond the field pass. Eh, we’ll see what happens next year. The facilities have gotten progressively better each year, and a brand new Ryder Center ought to be a great tournament site in 2012.

Now if someone can just start a team at the University of Michigan I could die happy…

Reply, 13 April 2011
Greg Trippiedi [GVSU]

I was kind of where Bomis was a year ago, didn’t know where the NCDA was headed and didn’t know whether the Michigan teams would be able to turn over their rosters entirely and remain competitive. GVSU’s club is about 40% of the size of when I first got there, but the sheer size of the club and the fan base has proven to the only thing unsustainable about it. What we accomplished this year was a complete turnover of the old guard to a new team built almost entirely of Juniors, Sophomores, and Freshman. There’s no doubt in my mind that if GVSU played zero seniors next season (and our three or four best players will probably be seniors), they would still be first or second in the state of Michigan, and that means we’ve done our job to turn the program over away from players who won the four championships. To bring home the hardware in a transitional year would have been great, but we still exceeded all of our own expectations, except that one.

The work that Josh and Felix (and everyone, really) have done down at WKU has made all the difference. The first time they ever played us (Oct. 2007, @UK), Felix was still in high school, and their club was two months old and we were at the very peak of our dominance as a program. It was hard to imagine after that game what they would do with that program, but really, the NCDA was pretty close to becoming a regional thing instead of a national one, and I have to credit Western Kentucky exclusively for changing that course. If this years nationals is the point at which we look back at non-Michigan teams starting their run of becoming title contenders, so much the better. Kentucky looks like it can become a college dodgeball hotbed. UofL isn’t good right now, but they have a much better chance of becoming good with WKU and UK around them to play against.

If someday, Kentucky and Michigan are two regions where all the teams are really good, then the NCDA can matter on a national level. For any team east of the Mississippi River, a quality opponent would never be more than a few hours away. A lot has changed in a year, and it’s pretty much all been very promising.

AJP #18

Average Joes' Podcast LogoIt’s our second Newton-free podcast in a row! With the Big Giant Ego an hour away, Felix and Alex recap the UK Invitational, Chicago Dodgeball Open and Michigan Dodgeball Cup. Our hosts also discuss how to run a tournament, preview the new teams coming to Nationals 2011 and bask in the glory of the biggest tournament in NCDA history.

Play

Turn Games into Fundraisers

I was watching an NBA game today when the idea for this column hit me.

During the game, the announcers were talking about how the players wanted to use their position as professional athletes to give back to the community. Mike Breen actually said it was their “responsibility” to do so. It was that particular word that got me thinking.

It isn’t Kobe Bryant status as an NBA player that carries this obligation, as countless musicians, actors and politicians have also devoted hours to benefiting their communities in some way. Instead, it is his platform that necessitates such a responsibility. It is the chance to stand out and be recognized that demands both self-focused and selfless behavior.

This moment of understanding capped off the snowball that had been gathering in my head the last few months. If you have a platform, I realized, you should use to benefit others as well as yourself. Sure, it’s a simple message. But like voting, countless people applaud the merit of giving back but then fail to participate themselves.

Here’s the reason I mention all of this: as college dodgeball players, we have the same platform as everyone else, from Kobe to Kanye to Katie Holmes. It’s not the same size platform reserved for those superstars, but it does exist and carries the same responsibility of its bigger counterparts. While our teams can’t give back millions, we can give back something more proportionate to our meager budgets and limiting status as a niche sport.

As president of Western’s team, I stress the importance of giving back in some way. In my three years at the helm, we’ve had some good opportunities to do that through the Battle of the Bluegrass, the charity tournament for St. Jude and our upcoming Clash of the Commonwealth at the end of this month. In fact, it’s my hope that we’ll raise $4,000 through these three events by semester’s end.

What some teams might fail to realize is that only of those events required extensive planning on our part. The other two only require us to show up and play. So, whether you’re GVSU and have 80 players or Miami and have only 8, fundraising is an option that’s always on the table. Those teams that actively fundraise do so because they’ve recognized two things: how important it is to give back and how many opportunities there are to do so.

Let me explain. During my sophomore year at Western, my major concern was putting a team together that would show up to play consistently. Fundraising wasn’t even on my radar at that point. But then I got a message from UK’s former captain Errol Strauss that basically said, “Hey, come play us at Butler County High School to raise money for their after-prom program. We did it last year, and it’s a lot of fun!” Of course, I agreed, and without even trying, our team was given a chance to raise money for a good cause.

When game day arrived, Western and UK played a game that counted toward their records and Butler Co. HS made over $1,000. After the game, we were met with adoration and an invitation to do the same thing the next year. Kids cheered us from the stands and wanted our autographs afterward. All of that happened just because we showed up to play.

The first Battle of the Bluegrass had a big effect on me. Before I’d even seen an impact on Western’s campus, our team had made a difference in the lives of those Barren County folks. The game helped me see that just because we were a small fish in a small pond, didn’t mean that Western Dodgeball couldn’t use its tiny platform to give back.

I started paying attention to the multitude of causes that needed support on campus and in town, and the results were astounding. In just one year, there were hundreds of causes and fundraising events that needed support. Check it out next time you read the newspaper, pass by the bulletin board in your dorm or get on Facebook. Once you start looking, the opportunities are almost endless.

That being said, the easiest way I think the NCDA can help give back is through playing. While hosting events like Western’s charity tournament and Kent State’s tournament for Haiti is nice, teams don’t even have to put in that much work.

My suggestion is to pick a game on your schedule and talk to a high school in your area about making the game a fundraiser for the cause of their choice. Assuming most of the players attended high school in the state where they go to college, each team has a nice base of about 10-15 schools where connections exist. Pitching the game shouldn’t be hard if you say something like, “You can do something cliché like a car wash to raise money, or you can host a college dodgeball game and entice spectators with a sport they thought only Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller play.” Trust me, they’ll see the light.

Once schools agree, they’ll form a little committee to decide on logistics and promotional ideas. They’ll call each team if they have questions or need to run something by them. In the meantime, captains get to focus on practicing instead of planning for a home event. A few months later, both teams will drive to the host school, turn in their rosters and play. The game will be unlike anything they’ve played in before because it’s a packed house and the crowd thinks every headshot and diving catch is the coolest thing ever. Kids will ask for autographs after the game and teams will be fed pizza for their trouble.

Tell me what part of that last paragraph didn’t sound like something you’d want your team to do? I thought so. No worries, either – this isn’t some gimmick I’m proposing. There’s no catch. Raising money can be that easy and fun for everyone involved. In fact, it’s my hope that someday all NCDA games will be played as fundraisers.

Wouldn’t that be putting our platform to good use?

Five steps to make the NCDA go big

On Sunday, Nov. 15, this league accomplished something I wasn’t sure it was capable of doing.

Facing a mid-season crisis regarding Nationals (only our biggest and most important tournament of the entire year), we didn’t panic. We remained calm and formulated a plan to fix a very serious problem.

Two schools, SVSU and BGSU, stepped forward as potential hosts. I called for a vote to decide who would get the Nationals bid.

I doubted (as did many others, I’m sure) that a ragtag group of college students could organize itself enough to put out a fire like the inferno we were facing.

Sunday came, the votes rolled in, and the door to my skepticism was slammed shut.

12 teams emailed me their vote on Sunday. Eight of them voted for BGSU, making the “Dodging Falcons” the host for Nationals in 2010. That was that.

More than anything, our league’s ability to mobilize and solve a national crisis (literally) proved to me that we have enormous potential for growth.

I’m not just talking about a handful of new teams in the next couple years. That would be nice, of course, but my sights are set a lot higher than that.

I’m talking about the type of exposure that will garner consideration for games on an ESPN network. The type of recognition that will have video game companies taking notice (because everyone knows an NCDA video game would own).

I know what you’re thinking – “Josh, we’ve been down this road before. The league is still too young to accomplish those types of goals.”

Very good point, Mr. Fictional Critic. I’m not arguing that.

What I want to do is accelerate the growth of this league and transform those goals from pipe dream into an achievable reality.

It can happen. It will happen. And I’m going to tell you how.

I’ve been sitting on this list for a while, but after Sunday, I think this league is finally ready to step up and help legitimize itself.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your consideration, I present the “Five Steps to Help the NCDA Go Big.”

1. Film every game and put it on YouTube

Think for a second about the NFL, NBA, NHL or MLB. Think about the fond memories you have from any of those sports. Do the majority of those memories involve stories, pictures or podcast recaps of your favorite games? I didn’t think so.

What you most likely remember are the games you watched in person or on television. You can recall in detail the moments that defined your sports fandom because you watched it unfold. The NCDA is missing out on that element of popular sports. We aren’t seeing the games that matter, going crazy after the big headshots or memorizing the performances that transcend the game.

We can’t get our games on TV (yet), but YouTube provides a great alternative for watching teams pummel each other all season long. I know we have some teams that routinely post their games on YouTube, but that’s not enough. We need every team to provide footage.

Take it from someone who knows – setting up a camera, paying someone to film the game and uploading that footage to the internet is insanely easy. The guy who filmed WKU’s game against UK got 10 bucks. It took me about two hours to edit the footage and post it. That’s it! There’s no reason we shouldn’t have footage from every game. So, my challenge to every team is to stop making excuses and get those games on YouTube.

2. Mandate uniforms for every team, including shorts

What ensures that you don’t look out of place at a job interview? Sunday school? A swimming pool? I’ll give you a second…that’s right, the appropriate attire. If you showed up to a job interview in jeans and a T shirt, you would continue to remain unemployed and embarrass yourself at the same time.

As a league, we’ve done a decent job thus far of dressing to impress. Most teams have jerseys and those that don’t at least have some type of team shirts. But if we want to go big, “decent” isn’t going to cut it anymore. We need uniforms for every team in the NCDA. That means not only matching jerseys, but shorts, too.

“But Josh, my team is new and we don’t have the money for uniforms.”

Bullcrap. Money should never be an obstacle for a team when it’s trying to get uniforms. Even if by some chance your team can’t get a dime of funding from the school (highly unlikely since most schools throw money at clubs), you’re telling me each of your members doesn’t have 14 bucks? That’s right, each member of your team can buy jerseys and shorts for as low as $14. Don’t believe me? Check this website:http://www.epicsports.com/. I just found 20 jerseys and 20 pairs of shorts for $269.59, including shipping. That’s exactly $13.48 a person. If your members can’t afford that, then we’ve got much bigger issues going on then playing dodgeball.

Not only are they cheap, but uniforms for every team will instantly make the league more legitimate. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “You guys have jerseys and everything!” from our fans. Uniforms work wonders. If your team doesn’t have them already, I strongly suggest they look into it.

3. Elect a board of representatives that can be efficient in decision making

I know we’ve got the captains, but one thing this Sunday illustrated was the need for a decision-making council in the NCDA. Not just one with fancy titles and special privileges, but one that could mobilize quickly and pass decisions without prolonged delay.

Even if it were just the captains who comprised the board (my suggestion), that group needs to nominate officers to help the proceedings run smoothly. The positions I recommended in my 5 Year Plan were President, Vice President and Secretary. Basically, I think we need a face for this league (president) and someone to assist them or fill in when the president is absent (vice president). We also need someone to keep records of our voting and decisions (secretary). Another important position would be head recruiter, or the person who received all the inquiries from new schools about starting a team.

Electing captains to these positions wouldn’t be difficult. We could do it at the Nationals meeting this season. We could do before then in another email vote. Whenever we do it, the important thing is that we get it done quickly. Having leaders at the forefront of the league, guiding its progress, is too important to do without.

4. Create season awards and have players vote on the winner

Who doesn’t like to be rewarded for their work? I know I do. So do athletes. The major sports leagues have awards for everything – most valuable player, best comeback player, best rookie, etc. In dodgeball, we have the potential for so many awards it’s not even funny. Let me demonstrate:

Most valuable player, killer of the year, best hands, most hated player, toughest out, best blocker, fastest arm and play of the year – I could keep this up all day. The point is that we need to start recognizing our best players for their accomplishments. This wouldn’t be tough to do.

First off, we’d need footage of each game so the league could see other teams in action. Before Nationals, we accept nominations for each major award. Then we let the people vote. Whether this happens at Nationals on a paper ballot or online through a poll question on the website, the end result would be the same. Players would get recognition, bragging rights would be established and rivalries would become more interesting. After all, who wouldn’t want to see the match-up between the NCDA’s fastest arm and its best set of hands?

5. Designate rivalry games and broadcast those games live on the website

Nothing gets a sports fan more heated than a rivalry. Ask any Yankees/Red Sox, Lakers/Celtics or Colts/Patriots fan what happens when their favorite team suits up against their sworn enemies. It’s what sports is all about.

As a league, we’ve seen the beginnings of great rivalries, but we must take an active approach to fostering those games and promoting them everywhere we can. That means coming up with games that have cool names. Right now, the only two games like that the NCDA has are the “Battle of the Valleys” and the “Battle of the Bluegrass.” I might be missing a couple, but even if I am, we still need more. I don’t want 5 rivalry games. I don’t even want 10. I want 20, 30 or hell, maybe even 40.

It’s a simple fact the rivalries mean bad blood, closer games and more intense action on both sides of the court. Teams don’t just want to win rivalry games; they want to destroy the other team. Flatten them. Make them wish they’d never been born. Pick your cliché because they all work here.

That means each team needs to figure out which teams they hate. I don’t mean hating individuals players on that team, but teams they want to beat the cat piss out of (to borrow a phrase from Mr. Zac Newton). To give you an example, we here at WKU are rivals with UK and UofL. Every time we play them, we want to stomp them into the ground. I love the guys on their team, but that doesn’t stop us from wanting to smash them once the game starts. To use a Bill Simmons term, teams need to have “sports hate” for their rivals, meaning you don’t actually hate them in real life, just when you see them on the dodgeball court.

The time for high fives and hugs is over. I want some bloodshed. I want some carnage. I want teams that are gunning for their opponents on every point. I want rivalries. Captains, let’s make this happen.

There you have it. I’ve racked my brain, and those are the five biggest things that I think can legitimize the NCDA in a jiffy.

It may not get us on ESPN right away, but if we implement these steps, it won’t be long before the Worldwide Leader starts calling.

Guess that means we’ll need new phones, too.

WIU Round Robin

MACOMB – DePaul Dodgeball joined Western Kentucky and Wisconsin Platteville for a Round Robin hosted by Western Illinois on October 23.

This week was a monster for DePaul. In preparing for our matches we had to weed 17 people of our 40 plus regular ballers. The greater majority of our veterans have been injured in non dodgeball related injuries, while others had work and all the right excuses. Then on the Wednesday before, one of our drivers texted us and said he broke his collarbone. By our Thursday dodgeball night, we had barely enough car space for 14 players, bringing just five people with tournament experience. And I got my neighbor’s bike was stolen on Tuesday.

We received our club shirts just a week before travel, and with no free time I managed to heat-press the traveling shirts so we might look like a team. Kevin Hill managed to get the waivers in, and I managed to take two of my cars to fill the space left by our other driver’s injury.

We ended up leaving only 15 minutes late, a small record for DePaul Dodgeball.  But after 60 minutes of driving in the rain, Kevin’s car suffered a blown out tire near Ottawa, IL. He had to wait more than two hours for a new tire to be installed. In the mean time, 8 members of the team continued onto Western. By this time, Western and the rest of the teams had already started playing. We made a small pit stop, and the Chicago Eight decided to keep going as we were more than half-way there.

Arriving an hour or two late, DePaul is forced to play three matches in a row, with only 8 people for the first match. Fortunately, UWP was awesome and really fun to play since they had only brought 11 people. For these 8 person matches, only Kuncklepuck [#54] and myself had any past tournament experience; the rest of our team were  By the time I got out of the car after that forever stretch of road that is Route 34, I didn’t care what really happened.  I wasn’t going to think about the crap week I just had, I wasn’t going to think about the five hour drive in my really small car, I wasn’t going to worry about the shot clock. I just wanted to run around and be really, really loud. And this is what I did.

By our second half with Western Kentucky, reinforcements show up from Kevin Hill’s car, WKU pulls out the crowns, and we continue to have a really fun game. Trick shots, gladiator dodgeball, and pulling an Iron Curtain keeps everyone happy.  Our rookie players really got into our cheers, and it seemed like we had a lot of catches. I believe DePaul definitely had the most fun out of anybody in Macomb.

For the later half of our match with WIU, some of the younger players started getting a little frustrated with how serious WIU was taking the game. I think this might have been part the team being tired from traveling for 5 hours and then playing three straight hours. Another part was the majority of WIU taking dodgeball against DePaul way to serious for the entirety duration of the match. But then again, the majority of DePaul didn’t let it faze them. No matter what they are going to play dodgeball their way, and I’m really proud of the way the team played that whole day.

Since not enough people wanted to stay the night, we decided to hit up Walmart to take advantage of cheaper taxes for the hanging out at home. Then the team had a quick family dinner at Wendy’s before driving home under a full moon. We even managed to stay under budget if you don’t count Kevin’s blown tire.

500 pictures and 500 miles later, DePaul Dodgeball remains undefeated.

NCDA: Headshots Welcome

Story by: Aleks Bomis

Maybe you’re interested in playing a game or sport that’s devoid of all the drills and practices.  It could be that you’re trying to recapture a memory from your youth.  Maybe you’re just looking for activity where “upside your head” is heard frequently.

It’s okay, you can be honest.  You’re among friends.

Anyway, chances are that if you’re on this website, you like the idea of dodgeball.  This is good.  This usually leads to the idea of joining the school intramural league, with their padded foam balls and their no head shot rule.

This is bad.  Forget that garbage, there’s a better alternative: us.

There are three big advantages that the NCDA has over any intramural league, any so-called “pro” league out there, and pretty much everything else.

1 – It’s real dodgeball.  8.5” cheap rubber playground balls that bounce off harmlessly are the weapon of choice.  You’re playing with a huge number of friends.  And yes, you can hit people in the face if you can swing it.

2 – It’s by college kids, for college kids.  No one’s trying to make a buck, there’s no big legislating body issuing bylaws or any of that nonsense, this is about getting together to play people you don’t know and don’t feel bad about smacking around a bit, then possibly hanging out with them afterwards.

3 – It’s a chance for leadership.  This sounds silly, but running a sport club shows you’re able to handle financials, personality conflicts, delegation, and all those other things that employers want an employee to be able to do.  Dodgeball can actually pad your resume if done right.

All colleges and universities are eligible for membership.  All you have to do is register as a student group at your school, find a bunch of people who like to play, and let us know you exist.  We’ve got plenty of teams interested in meeting up for a game.  Put it together and you could start something big at your school.  Check out some of our video clips to get a better idea of what we’re about.  We guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

So get in touch with us already, either to say you’re good to go or to ask some questions.  And if you’re not gonna do that, at least forward this to a friend who’d be interested.  The national tournament is in April and the more the merrier!

2010-11 Season Preview

WIU’s Tim Wohead

1. How many players are returning for your team?
We are only losing two players- Tina Miller and Any Janota- due to graduation. Also for Nationals this year one of our last year’s captains, Paul V., will be studying abroad and possibly won’t attend.

2. What strengths/weaknesses do you anticipate going into the season?
A big strength we have is that we are attracting a lot of incoming freshman and recruiting big arms who have heard of our club now. Our only weakness is financial and being able to travel to all the schools we want to this year. But if there’s a will, there’s a way.

3. What are the areas you’ll look to improve when scouting new players?
You can never have too many big arms on your team but we would also like a couple players that can catch just about anything. And good footwork and agility is a must.

4. What are you goals for this season?
National Champions

5. Why should other teams be scared to play you?
We went to Nationals with one match under our belt. We didn’t start pinching or being strategic until a week before Nationals and we still held the 4th seed after the first day of tournament play. Needless to say with most of our players returning and bringing in better athletes, we are going to be more dangerous.

6. Which teams would you like to play?
We get along well with SVSU so that would be one of them. We would also like to face Michigan State just because we got knocked out by them and I feel that we played like crap and would enjoy a little revenge along with BGSU. Lastly, we would be interested in taking on CMU.

KSU’s co-captain Kyle FitzPatrick

1. How many players are returning for your team?
Definitely lost 2 of our Vets (catchers at that). But overall were a really young team. We just need people to have the time / money to travel.

2. What strengths/weaknesses do you anticipate going into the season?

Strength: Our teams is no longer 70% rookies, and I believe we will be underestimated. Also I have a better grasp of how to manage a team.

Weakness: Money, we may lack some raw athleticism unlike other teams (cough cough GVSU, CMU)

3. What are the areas you’ll look to improve when scouting new players?

We hope to be more active in the scouting procedure. We might try scouting out some middle school dodgeball games for a feeder program.

4. What are you goals for this season?
Having fun, getting new players and improving current players, getting something in the win column. Hopefully attend more tournaments. (Maybe even try to host one.)

5. Why should other teams be scared to play you?
Because you might have fun doing it. Also, we have a unique strategy since even we don’t know what were doing most ofthe time.

6. Which teams would you like to play?
Hopefully we play as many teams as possible. I would like to see more of the native Ohio teams this year since we only played BG, OSU and half of Miami once last year. WIU & NSU were fun, competitive new teams I would like to play again. I personally have never played WPU, EMU, CMU and DePaul. Saginaw (meaning Stein) has already issued a challenge to Kent on the forum. GVSU as long as I don’t fracture me wrist again. Finally, MSU and WKU are always welcomed opponents.

DePaul’s Zigmas Maloni

DePaul Dodgeball will be returning for the start of the dodgeball season with its usual vengeance, and by vengeance we mean beating up on the random freshmen who don’t know how to keep their eyes open.

We’ve lost a handful of our “competitive” roster, but one of the most notable losses has been the graduation of Jack Young. As the face of the team in the league’s eyes, “Jack Attack” has become a herald and guardian of that DePaul Dodgeball decorum. So I’m sure he will be missed.

DePaul’s plans for this season include our normal thing – playing as much dodgeball as our bodies can handle. We have hour and a half practices twice a week, but we invite anyone to play without commitment. We play the game as our childish forbearers did. Our games are a juvenile program of delinquency, where the headshot hug rule substantiates our collegiate goals and ambitions.

In other news, DePaul also plans to do more this season than just throw balls at its own team. We are looking to host matches against other teams, as well as travelling to play nice at other schools.

We are kicking off this commitment by hosting our own tournament on October 2nd, 2010. The Chicago Hat Invitational will mix up the teams and hopefully foster some good times to be had. Any teams looking to participate should check out the NCDA forum and/or aggravate their respective captains.

At the last, we would like to keep up our reputation of playing a really fun game of dodgeball. If there is anything to be said about DePaul Dodgeball, it is that we will always be able to entertain ourselves.