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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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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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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Power Rankings: April 2023

Team writeups provided by the NCDA Power Ranking Panel

1) Michigan State – Michigan State remains #1 in the country after a month without any action leading up to Nationals. The Spartans will look to keep their undefeated season alive next week in Athens, OH, attempting to become the first team since 2009 GVSU to finish a season as undefeated National Champions. Nationals will be the final tournament for a handful of Spartan Legends, all from the same star-studded 2019-20 rookie class. Those players include Barry Butler III, Jack Girling, Josh Kramer, and DQ McClean. This group looks to finish off impressive careers at MSU and add to an already strong resume of 2 MDC Titles and a National Runner-Up finish in 2022. This core is not alone for Michigan State, with other young stars on the roster including a rookie duo as good as any in the country (Matt Barriball and Nick Fedewa). Michigan State is one of the very best programs in collegiate dodgeball history, but the one thing they have never accomplished is winning a national title. 2023 looks like their best opportunity yet to do so. Can the Spartans cap off the season on top, or will they make a deep run but fall short like countless seasons of the past? We will find on Sunday, April 16 in Athens.

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Power Rankings: March 2023

Team writeups provided by the NCDA Power Ranking Panel

1) Michigan State – The clear #1 team in the country, Michigan State continued their historic season at the Michigan Dodgeball Cup where they went 4-0, including a clutch comeback victory over Grand Valley State in the final match of the day. There is plenty of dodgeball left to be played, but the Spartans are currently on pace to be the first school since GVSU in 2009 to be undefeated National Champions. Led by the likes of Jack Girling, Barry Butler III, Josh Kramer, and DQ McClean, this MSU roster has an insane amount of experience to go along with a solid group of talented young players. Expect MSU to remain the NCDA favorite heading into April.

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Michigan State Concludes Emotional Week with 2nd Straight MDC Title

EAST LANSING, MI – Michigan State University’s dodgeball club capped off a challenging and emotional week with a Michigan Dodgeball Cup (MDC) on Saturday at IM West. The Spartans (12-0) defeated Grand Valley State (13-6) to win their second consecutive MDC and remain the #1 team in the country. Also in attendance were Western Michigan (finished 2-2 on the day), Saginaw Valley State (1-3), and Central Michigan (0-4).

Below is a recap of each team and the main storylines surrounding them at the Michigan Dodgeball Cup and heading towards the end of the season.

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Analyzing College Dodgeball’s Women’s All-American Team History

Let’s take a quick look at past Women’s All-American Teams and the breakdown by region, school, and player. Note: Each AA Team is provided at the bottom of this article.

College Dodgeball has been around for two decades, but only started handing out Women’s All-American honors in the 2016-17 season. Since that time, there have been 5 All-American Teams announced, and 63 1st-Team Women’s All-American slots awarded. Here are some breakdowns of the results:

All-Americans by Region

Ohio Region29
Central Region18
East Coast Region9
Michigan Region7
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Analyzing College Dodgeball’s All-American Team History

Let’s take a quick look at past All-American Teams and the breakdown by region, school, and player. Note: Each AA Team is provided at the bottom of this article.

College Dodgeball has been around for two decades, but only started handing out All-American honors in the 2011-12 season. Since that time, there have been 10 All-American Teams announced, and 143 1st-Team All-American slots awarded. Here are some breakdowns of the results:

All-Americans by Region

East Coast26
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Midseason Check-In

Happy New Year, dodgeballers. As we head into the second half of the 2022-23 season, this seemed like a good time to zoom out and take a look at the league right now and the season we are having. What a season it has been so far! With some epic matches, shocking upsets, and new teams pushing towards the top of the rankings, college dodgeball is alive and well!

Let’s go region by region and break down the overall feel around the league as we head into the heart of the NCDA season.

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