There’s never a dull weekend in Columbus. Last Sunday’s Buckeye Showcase proved to be the most exhilarating season opener yet (and arguably the most exciting thing to happen in Columbus that weekend). Ohio State hosted 5 schools for the third annual Buckeye Showcase, and my oh my, what a day of close matches. Obviously, teams can change a lot between the start of the season and Nationals, but if these teams continue to play like they did at the Showcase, the Ohio Region very well could claim the National Title this season.
If you weren’t at this event, the above claim probably doesn’t hold a lot of weight – there’s a lot to unpack. Let’s go team by team to evaluate what we saw and speculate the future of these teams.
Sunday marks the first big tournament of the college dodgeball season! The 3rd Annual Buckeye Showcase will feature five Ohio schools itching to be recognized as the state’s top ranked team. Although we are less than a month into the season, we are anticipating close matches and new rivalries; the Ohio teams continue to narrate the college dodgeball scene.
So who do we need to look out for? Whose match predictions will prove true? Which rookies should we keep an eye on as the season progresses? And how will these teams perform against their current standings?
Each year, the Platteville Dodgeball Club puts on the Tim Ebert Memorial Scholarship Tournament. 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 and missed by all who knew him. The funds raised go towards the NCDA Internship program that allow the league to offer an internship.
The NCDA Executive Board voted 7-1 to expand the Board and add a new permanent Director position. This position, claiming the title Director of Records, will be in charge of managing important NCDA information including but not limited to: Records of All Games, Standings, and Form Responses for Registrations.
The Board believes that the expansion will provide additional help to expand the NCDA, and increase involvement opportunities for current and former players to help the NCDA. This position will be open for election on this year’s ballot. Those interested in running for the position must either nominate themselves or be nominated by another individual to be eligible. Nominations for the position are due by May 31st. Please contact a current NCDA Board member if you are interested or have any questions.
Two practices, that’s all it took for Alec Deen to solidify himself as Rookie of the Year (at least in MSU’s eyes). Walking in to his second ever practice, Deen talked about film and asked the coaches questions about situations from games back into 2018 that he had already watched and analyzed. When you couple an insane IQ with a cannon for an arm, speed and agility, and the ability to catch in the most clutch situations, it seems hard to find a suitable match to Alec. It’s not often you can throw a freshman into a pivotal role like corner and have them instantly be feared by other teams but Alec managed to do just that for the Spartans. He proved his worth on the court from the first tournament when he was tasked with holding down former league MVP Ben Smart – a game the Spartans went on to handily win 5-1 largely in part due to Alec’s play. He worked himself into a lock OT-6 player for the Spartans and only looks to gain more experience through USA Dodgeball this summer. If he continues to grow at this current rate, you can almost guarantee Deen to round out the three-headed monster of Michigan State’s offense with Girling and Butler III for MVP discussion.
For years, Joe Walsh has been a staple of the Ohio Region and the Cleveland State Vikings. Walsh is instrumental in all offensive aspects of CSU’s success. He’s their main offensive weapon and best catcher on the back line. When Walsh is active on the court for the Vikings, there’s always a chance they can take the point because of how influential he is for this roster. If this is Joe’s last season, then he has cemented himself as a CSU legend and an All time Ohio Region Player.
The 2022 NCDA season was always going to be one with a lot of mystery heading into the year. With a significant hiatus away from the court, questions about which teams and players would step up and push their way to the top remained at large until finally everything came together with a fantastic showing at this year’s Nationals. Since 2017, the NCDA has honored the female competitors who have dedicated time and effort to their craft. These women erased all the doubt, the mystery, and questions through their excellent play and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt they were some of the best athletes college dodgeball had to offer. This list recognizes both the athletic achievements and amazing leadership these women have brought to their respective clubs.
KALAMAZOO – WMU Student Recreation Center,at Nationals 2022: GVSU def MSU 5-1 in the 2022 Championship match.
Grand Valley State Club Dodgeball is the National Champion for the 2022 college dodgeball season. At the conclusion of the 44 match event, the Director of Nationals, Peter Broe [WMU], along with the rest of the National Collegiate Dodgeball Association Executive Board, presented the Championship trophy to GVSU on Sunday afternoon.
The 2022 Season included 172 ranked matches across and 22 events.
This is GVSU’s 11th National title. This was the 16th National Championship for Collegiate Dodgeball competition; the NCDA was founded April 9th, 2005.
GVSU was the second rated team (48.593) going into Nationals, and was seeded #1 in the Tournament Bracket with a 50.149.
GVSU finishes the 2022 Season with 20 wins and 2 losses, including one win and one loss in overtime.
The second of our article series – as well as a personal role model – has had her fair share of turning heads. With one of the most unique (and accurate) throws on the court, coupled with phenomenal court IQ and strong catching abilities, she proved herself to be a stand-out almost instantly. Sami Beining was a star, not just on the East Coast but across the league; at one point or another everyone had heard of the girl who softball pitched from Penn State. She carries a decorated career through her time in the NCDA, finishing as a 2x Female MVP. I had the pleasure of talking with her about what her collegiate career was like.
When I began thinking over who to center my first main article of this series, one name stuck out from her play this past season and the new honor of becoming the 2019-20 Women’s MVP: Kathryn Mays. She quickly developed her skills through hard work and dedication, proving that she’s among the top tier of players on Ohio State’s roster. Most people may know her for her incredible catching abilities, but fail to realize that she’s frequently called on as a thrower for the Buckeyes. In three short years, she has climbed to the top of the women’s rankings. With her impressive resume in mind, there seems to be no better choice to kick off this series about strong women in the league than Kathryn.
Ten percent: that’s the percentage of women that comprise the National Collegiate Dodgeball Association (NCDA). The percentage who actually start and play? Significantly smaller. Looking from roster to roster across the league, a woman’s name seldom pops up, however their impact on the court can be significant. Women have been a part of rosters since the league’s conception in 2005, however they did not begin consistently being rostered members with frequent playing time until roughly 2008. The NCDA first began to recognize women’s involvement with the establishment of the Ladies’ Match in 2011 and things have slowly grown from there, adding the women’s All-American list in the 2016-2017 season. As important as this growth was for the NCDA, there’s still a long way to go. Being a woman in the sport of dodgeball, you are continuously over-looked; you’re seen as under-sized, under-powered and, if we’re being honest, under-valued. We’d like to change that mindset. As Michelle Obama once said, “there is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” My intention with this series is to tell the story of the powerful women, past and present, in the sport of college dodgeball in hopes to begin to erase that stigma. In order to start this, let’s begin with the easiest story to tell: my own.
On August 8, the NCDA teamed up with the Dodgeball Club at UW-Platteville to host the league’s first ever Rocket League tournament. Rocket League is a fast-paced, exciting online video game featuring remote control cars with special abilities whose goal is to push a larger-than-life soccer ball into the opponent’s net as many times as possible in a given time limit. This event raised money to go towards the Tim Ebert Memorial Scholarship, which goes to help the NCDA’s internship program. The goal of the event was to raise $500 and I’m excited to announce that we raised over $750 through entry fees and donations.
The NCDA teamed up with current players: JT Warren (UWP), Jacob Sebranek (UWP),Caleb Frank (CMU & NCDA intern) and myself to host this competition. This tournament consisted of 9 teams that went head to head to be crowned champions. We started with a round robin tournament followed by a double elimination bracket, and the games were live-streamed for everyone to be a part of the experience. Teams consisted of current and former players from the league. Some of these schools included: UWP, VCU, and WKU. In the end, a team from WKU took home the title as the NCDA’s first ever rocket league champions. There was no one more excited about this than Felix Perrone (WKU alumni). As his response to the victory of his former teammates was, “WKU wins their first championship tonight”! A very much deserved win for sure!
This year the Platteville Dodgeball Club will be hosting an online tournament to raise money for the Tim Ebert Memorial Scholarship. With all the uncertainty going on, Platteville wanted to ensure that they could continue to help the NCDA with their internship program. For this year’s fundraiser, the Platteville Dodgeball Club will be putting on a Rocket League tournament. The tournament will be held August 8-9. Registration is due by July 26th, at 11:59p.m eastern time.
The NCDA believes in the development of our student-athletes’ education and is proud to announce that we will be able to continue our Internship Program. The NCDA offered an internship last year and was able to develop a startup guide for new and current teams (Startup Guide). As part of the completing the internship and meeting our expectations, the NCDA was able to offer a scholarship to that intern for their work.