Rules Are Hard

Dodgeball is a crazy game. There are so many variables and different situations that can happen that it is nearly impossible to have a rulebook that completely satisfies every scenario. Just this past weekend I saw a play that I have never seen happen before, which is crazy because I have been playing for *censored* years! With that being said, we try very hard to create rules that are all inclusive, fair, and that do not allow for abuse.

Recently I have noticed that there are few misunderstandings of the rules that have been going around that I would like to address leading up to the big Ohio get together that we are having. 

  1. Shot Clock Initiation
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Cornhusker Clash Recap

On February 17th the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and the University of Wisconsin-Platteville (UWP) battled it out at the Cornhusker Clash in a doubleheader. UNL was able to come out on top in both matches with final scores of 7-1 and 6-2. Below are the thoughts from captains and alumni on the day.

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Tournament Recap + Big Picture Outlook following the 2024 MDC

Michigan State holds up three fingers after capturing their third-consecutive Michigan Dodgeball Cup title. PC: Kris Haas

EAST LANSING, MI – Michigan State University was victorious on Saturday at the Michigan Dodgeball Cup (MDC), earning their third consecutive title at the annual event. The Spartans rolled through their early opponents, beating Central Michigan (6-0 win), Western Michigan (6-0 win), and Saginaw Valley State (6-0 win), before a clash with Grand Valley State (3-2 win).

With the 4-0 record on the day, MSU moved to 17-2 on the season, and 5-2 against Top-10 opponents. The Spartans maintained control of the Michigan Region, winning their third-straight MDC Title as mentioned above, and they firmly positioned themselves as serious National Title contenders. All-in-all, a solid weekend for those in East Lansing.

For the other schools in attendance at MDC, it was a bit more of a mixed bag. Central Michigan (0-4 at MDC) wasn’t able to secure a victory at the event, but had some bright spots, including a near comeback against WMU. While we’re on WMU, the Broncos didn’t have their best day, losing a close match to SVSU and finishing 1-3 overall. Saginaw Valley State picked up the key win over Western to stay at the 3-spot in the region, but otherwise had a subpar day, unable to truly hang with the ‘Big Two’ in Michigan. Lastly, Grand Valley State failed to hang on to a halftime lead against MSU for a third straight season, extending their title-less MDC streak to 3 seasons (the previous record was… 1). Let’s dive into each of these teams before getting back to the Spartans, and a big picture view after the 2024 Michigan Dodgeball Cup:

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Standings as of 2024-02-18

In the 2024 Season, we have 36 technical upsets in 151 ranked matches (76.16% success rate) across 20 events.

This season marks the introduction of the NCDA Hybrid Scaled Ranking System as voted on by member teams during the 2023 election. The Hybrid Ranking System uses a combination of the Gonzalez System and the NHL Points System, and is scaled to adjust to each team’s rating relative to league average.

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 each Nationals bracket between 2017 and 2022.

The Champ Points System is a point-reward system based on the outcome of a match. A team who wins a match is awarded 2 points whether in regulation or overtime, a team who loses a match in overtime is awarded 1 point, and a team who loses in regulation is awarded 0 points.

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Cornhusker Clash Preview

The second part of the season finally kicks off for the Central Region on February 17th, with a doubleheader between the University of Wisconsin Platteville (UWP) and University of Nebraska Lincoln (UNL). The games will be played in Lincoln, Nebraska at the Nebraska Coliseum. After this event is completed, it will be the 5th time this year that these teams will have played each other and it will not be the last if UNL can come out to the Zanderthon Throw-Down in a few weeks. Below is the schedule for the day and a look at both teams heading into the weekend.

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2024 MDC Preview

This week the five college dodgeball teams from Michigan will make their annual descent on East Lansing, Michigan, and compete for the Michigan Dodgeball Cup. This tournament has a long, storied tradition in the league and usually serves as a good barometer as to who are contenders and pretenders as the league inches closer to April. Historically, the team that wins the Michigan Dodgeball Cup has found itself in the driver’s seat of the National Title race.

With all that said, this year is looking to once again be a two-horse race at the top. Michigan State University is looking to defend not only their MDC Title but also their National Title, while Grand Valley State University is looking to play spoiler and bring both trophies back to Allendale. You don’t often hear the Lakers labeled as potential spoilers, but this is the first time in recent memory that neither one of the trophies (MDC, National Championship) are in the possession of the 11-time National Champions. 

By Tony Stumpo and Owen Israels

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BEAST XII Preview

Entering what is the largest annual East Coast tournament and also one of the most intriguing tournaments across the nation, we have BEAST (Big Eastern Appalachian Super Tournament) this Saturday, February 10th, at James Madison University (JMU) in Harrisonburg, VA. Let’s take a look at some of the competitors this weekend starting with the out-of-region squads.

By Daniel Fernald (UMD) and Ethan Lehmkuhl (OSU)

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Summit Street Slugfest VII Recap

This past weekend saw the completion of what will likely be the largest pre-nationals tournament of the semester. Don’t worry if you missed any action because we’ve got you covered with a full recap below.

By Ethan Lehmkuhl (OSU) and Rylan Close (Kent)

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Beaumont Blast Preview

As Michigan State University hosts their first-ever Women’s dodgeball tournament, we will see many teams compete. The Spartans have two teams competing in the Beaumont Blast along with Akron & several other schools making up the NCDA Mixed team. Having all of these different schools come together to take on #1 ranked Akron will be something you don’t want to miss.

By Ashlynn Leeper

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Summit Street Slugfest VII Preview

A new semester has come upon us, and with that, the NCDA will return to the corner of Ted Boyd Drive & Summit Street in beautiful Kent, Ohio for the first time since 2019. This tournament will be held on Sunday, January 28th, and will feature 10 teams spanning from East Lansing, Michigan, all the way down to Harrisonburg, Virginia, as well as 7/8 of the Ohio teams, and the Nittany Lions of Penn State. This tournament is putting some big names up against each other as we will see a total of EIGHT top-10 match-ups as this will certainly show who are the contenders versus the pretenders. Down below, we have the schedule, the links to each YouTube channel that will be streaming, and previews for all 10 teams attending.

By Mitchell Porter (Kent) & Rylan Close (Kent)

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Mid-Season Recap: Ohio Region

Now that the NCDA is officially at the halfway point in the season, we will be doing a deep dive into each region. Here is the scoop from Ohio. Make sure to stay tuned for the rest of the regions’ mid-season recaps as well!

By Ethan Lehmkuhl (OSU) and Rylan Close (Kent)

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