2023-2024 Ohio Region Preview

Ohio region dodgeball will remain the deepest in the league this year, but can they end the 18-year national title drought? Many teams think they can. Here is Terence Checkett and Ethan Lehmkuhl’s pre-season deep dive on each and every Ohio team trying to break through this year.

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Top Matchups to Look for Heading into the 2023-2024 Season

By Rylan Close

We are quickly approaching the start of the 2023-24 season with the Buckeye Opener on 9/17. From the top to the bottom of the standings, there’s no shortage of storylines and rivalries all around the league. Here we’ll be taking a look at some of the most exciting matchups to look for this year. 

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Recruiting 101

With the semester arriving fast, I figured now would be the perfect time to go over some tips to help your team have your best recruiting class ever (or the best first recruiting class for the new teams!)

Step 1: Sign up for your school’s fall involvement fair!

The fall involvement fair is the most important day for every dodgeball club. The involvement fair is where your team will recruit most of the rookies that will help support and lead your club for the next 4 years. To help get the most in hopes that many will stick around and become important pieces of the club, I have a few tips that will help your teams recruiting.

Scholarship Application 2023

Each year the Platteville Dodgeball Club puts on the Tim Ebert Memorial Scholarship Tournament, and this year we are teaming up with the National Dodgeball Association (NDA) to run the event. The tournament will be held on Saturday, August 12th, the link to the event page can be found here (NDA-Platteville). Tim Ebert was a player at the University of Wisconsin Platteville who was respected by his teammates as a captain and friend. Tim could always be counted on, always there to help, and was always making a difference. The funds raised go towards a scholarship in his name offered by the Platteville Dodgeball Club.

Group picture with Tim’s parents from last year’s event.
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NDA Toledo Women’s Division Inaugural Tournament Preview

Saturday August 5th will mark the NDA’s first women’s only tournament being held at Owens Community College near Toledo, Ohio. The NDA is committed to growing the sport and highlighting the women in our league on a new stage. This tournament will feature the no-sting ball type and will be played in a 6v6 format. For the first event, there will be the following three teams in attendance: Cleveland Comets, Midwestern Mercenaries, and Midwestern Martians. Let’s take a look at each team below.

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Ballot Results for the 2024 Season

Below are the results of the preferential election for the 2023/2024 NCDA Rulebook, select Policies, and 2024 Executive Board. The Rulebook is scheduled to be released prior to the start of the 2024 Season.

Nationals 2024

Final results for Nationals 2024 selection:

The Ohio State University – 1st Round

The Ohio State University has been selected to host Nationals 2024.

Ethan Lehmkuhl has been selected to represent OSU as the NCDA’s 2024 Director of Nationals.

Executive Board

Open Director

Kevin Bailey – 1st Round

Open Director

Tony Stumpo – 2nd Round

Open Director

Ryan Ginsberg – 3rd Round

Rule Proposals

R.1)  Team catch only saves player at risk. No player from jail enters.

Yes, a team catch will only save the player at risk from elimination.

R.2) Eliminate “Traps”

Yes, the referee must now call the player “safe” or “out” by judgement of the ball’s first contact.

R.3) Change LAZ to lower height when player is on knees

Yes, the LAZ will shorten when a player is kneeled.

R.4) Team Yellow Card for negligent officiating. Both teams playing during the match must agree to issue a card given valid reasoning.

Yes, playing teams may submit a request to issue a Team Yellow Card to the officiating team if they show signs of negligent officiating.

R.5) Yellow card means out for current point and next point.

Yes, a yellow card results in a penalized player to sit out for 2 points.

R.6) Reduce the player threshold number from 5 -> 4 for when the shot clock changes from 15 -> 10.

Yes, a 10 second shot clock occurs when 4 or less players remain.

R.7) Change the format of the start from a 3-4-3 to a 4-2-4 for ball setup.

Yes, matches will start with 4 balls on each attack line and 2 balls at center court.

Policy Proposals

P.1) “Longevity clause” abolishment

Yes, the longevity clause will be removed effective 1/1/24.
-2nd Round Preferential Majority

Executive Board Overrule 7-2
Yes, the longevity clause will be removed effective 7/1/24.

*Editor’s Note: The Board decision to override the longevity clause decision of 1/1/24 in favor of 7/1/24 was based on the belief of keeping the timeline of rule implementation consistent with the start/end of each subsequent season as opposed to a rule going into effect mid-season.

P.2) Allow players the ability to apply for additional playing years beyond the allowed 6 per institution.

Yes, players may apply to play for more than 6 years at a single institution.

Executive Board Overrule 8-1
No, players may not apply to play more than 6 years at a single institution. [Current]

*Editor’s Note: The decision to override the provision allowing members to apply for additional years of play was due to a lack of clearly defined criteria for the approval process. Without a formal process as part of the proposal the Board’s belief is that the process would be open to high degrees of subjectivity. This would potentially compromise the approval process and lead it in a direction not consistent with the desires of our member teams.

P.3) Teams must submit bids to host regional trophied events by October 31st of the current year. Participating teams vote on the host during winter break and a host is decided before Jan 1.

Yes, teams must bid to host the “Cup” event for their region

P.4) Teams that “forfeit” with >4 minutes remaining in a match, must also forfeit all upcoming matches at that tournament. 

Yes, teams who “forfeit” any match must also forfeit all matches in that tournament. For trophied events only.
-2nd Round Preferential Majority

P.5) Ghost team is ranked equal to the team that is on the opposite end of the forfeit consequence.

Yes, a ghost team is ranked equal to the forfeiting team.

P.6) Reduce Nationals Modifier in Gonzalez to 1.5 instead of 2.

Yes, nationals matches are worth 1.5x of regular season matches.

P.7) Each year a different region has priority for hosting nationals. If no teams from the prioritized region wish to host, then other bids may be considered.

No, any team from any region may submit a bid to host nationals each year.[Current]

Ranking System Proposals

RS.1) Adjust to a scaled Gonzalez system

Yes, the hybrid ranking system will consist of scaled Gonzalez rankings.

Eboard additional votes and details

The NCDA Executive Board has voted to override two provisions passed by member teams. Member teams will have an option to veto the Executive Board’s decision with a super majority vote (3/4ths requirement).

Additionally, the Eboard has voted on the following policy changes which will affect the 2024 season.

E.1) Adjust to a scaled Champ System – PASS 9-0

Yes, the Champ point system shall be scaled in a similar method to that of the Gonzalez method.

E.2) Implement changes to the release policy dates – PASS 9-0

Yes, various policy dates will be changed to the following.

E.3) Abolish Open Director Term limit – PASS 7-2

Yes, the Open Director Term limit will only apply to the position of President

E.4) Yellow card for each match that all captains/coaches have not completed the rulebook quiz – PASS 8-1

Yes, teams will receive a team yellow card at the start of each match where an active captain or coach has not completed the rulebook quiz.

E.5) Eboard voting transparency – DID NOT PASS 2-7

No, The Eboard is not required to release the voting decisions of each board member by request. (Current)

Proposal History

A history of all of the NCDA’s rule, policy, and ranking system proposals can be found here [Insert Link]

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.

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2023 College Dodgeball All-Rookie Team

National Rookie of the Year: Nick Kemer

The Ohio State University

Simply put, Nick Kemer has that DAWG in him. This kid had zero difficulty assimilating into the sport, and it did not take long for him to garner national attention in the NCDA. Quite frankly, it is scary to think that he is only a freshman that will continue to get better heading into the next few seasons. Nick is not only an excellent player, but he is a great kid too. We loved having him on the team, and he is the definition of a foxhole guy. I remember telling him after an early fall tournament that I had not seen a better rookie than him yet, and that sentiment is still there months later. Teams dream of recruiting a talent this good, and I am glad OSU and the NCDA get to watch him for another 3 years.

Ethan Lehmkuhl, OSU Captain

2) Nick Fedewa

Michigan State University

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NDA – DC Recap

The NDA’s inaugural East Coast event took place this past weekend (6/17). Eight teams participated, with six East Coast teams making their NDA debut and two Ohio teams making the trip down after participating in NDA – East Lansing a little over a month ago. There were blowouts, overtime nail biters, and all the highlights you can handle in post-collegiate pinch dodgeballs return to the East Coast.

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NDA Kalamazoo Tournament Preview

The following was written by NDA board member Kevin Bailey

Semi-pro dodgeball season hits full swing this weekend with a loaded tournament in Kalamazoo. 13 teams are set to attend what will be the biggest National Dodgeball Association event of the season (so far) both in size and significance. The list of teams for Kalamazoo includes a staggering 12 of the top 13 teams in the June NDA Power Rankings.

After the East Coast teams showed out last weekend at a surprisingly deep Washington, D.C. event (the first of two in that region), the baton has been passed back to the Midwest as we continue our race towards the first ever NDA Championship. This weekend we will see the top finishers from the May 6th East Lansing Tour Stop back in action, as well as the season debut for a few intriguing rosters including #6 East Lansing Final Justice, #10 Rubber City Resistance, and #13 Platteville Pickaxers.

Let’s take a closer look at this stacked event.

Top Tier:

#1 Grand Rapids Kraken

#2 Grand Rapids Dynasty

#3 Detroit Omerta

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National Dodgeball Association Tournament Preview: Washington, D.C.

The NCDA’s partner organization (the National Dodgeball Association) will be holding an east coast event this Saturday in Washington, D.C.

Below, is a preview of that tournament prepared by University of Maryland Coach, and DMV Grizzlies player: Zach Fernald.

DMV Grizzlies

The Grizzlies are a primarily Virginia and Maryland based team making their NDA debut on 6/17. This team features former All-East Coast players like Shawn Sullivan, Zane Durbin, Zach Fernald, and Daniel Fernald. All of these players have played with the Grizzlies in various forms of dodgeball since graduating college and are fired up to make their return to the pinch court as a unit. While those names may be well known in NCDA circles, there are a few key players who are returning to the court for the first time since their last NCDA event in 2020. They also have several players without any large court pinch experience. 

Final word: This is a talented team, they will look for their core to lead the way early on while those new or returning to this style of dodgeball get up to speed. 

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Way-Too-Early 2023-24 Power Rankings

Team writeups provided by the NCDA Power Ranking Panel
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1) Ohio State – Ohio State will head into the 2023-24 season as the number one power ranked team. They’ll return 10 starters to a team that was an overtime away from a final four appearance, which is more than every other team that played in the quarterfinals. The two departures will be All-American Ryan Ginsberg and All-Ohio player Ben Dardia, both of whom plan to stay with the club as coaches. The corners for the Buckeyes will stay intact, headlined by two All-Rookie players on the right and Ethan Lehmkuhl on the left. The Buckeyes will still need a strong recruiting class to beat the best of the best, but that shouldn’t be too much of a concern as they have had two All-Rookie players each of the past two years. Look for this team to use their experience early on but continue to improve throughout the year in hopes of their first National Title since 2006.

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How to Handle the Off-Season

So, you’ve finished your 2023 NCDA season. Congrats! Whether you’re a rookie looking at your first ever off-season or a senior preparing for one last ride, there is a ton of potential for improvement in one good off-season. This article will go into what to do this summer to come back better than ever this fall. What if you’re playing in the NDA this summer? Don’t worry, we have that covered too!

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2023 All Central Region Conference Team

The 2022-2023 season comes to an end and it is time to recognize the individuals that put in the work to make it onto The Central All-Region team. The Central Region consists of the following teams: University of Nebraska Lincoln, University of Kentucky, University of Northern Georgia, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University of Wisconsin Platteville. This list consists of the top 12 players in the conference, voted on by their peers. A special thanks to the players that helped with this. Let’s take a look at the results and individuals below!

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