Just admit it.
Deep down, way past any sense of self-control and common decency, there are times when you would love nothing more than slam someone in the face with a hunk of rubber the size of a soccer ball.
It’s alright. We’ve all felt that way.
But here’s the exciting part that most people don’t seem to realize: you can.
Whoa, wait a second!
Before you go rushing out to your nearest sporting goods store to snatch up your very own plubber (plastic/rubber) kickball emblazoned with Scooby Doo, let me rephrase that last statement.
There is a game that not only allows you to slam people in the face with rubber balls, it encourages such cranial obliteration.
That game is college dodgeball.
Ever since the release of Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, there has been an underground resurgence in the popularity of the playground game taking place on college campuses across the nation.
What started as a clash between the first collegiate teams at Kent State and Ohio State has blossomed into a national organization (the NCDA) and a slew of new teams with more on the way.
So with the popularity of the sport skyrocketing to new heights, is there a reason some people still think college dodgeball is a joke?
(Thinks to himself)
Nope…I got nothing.
Unless you were the scrawny kid in gym class or just allergic to fun, you’ve got nothing but fond memories of dodgeball from your childhood.
I know I do.
We used to play almost once a week when I was in middle school. Anytime our PE coach wanted an excuse to eat donuts or check out his latest skin mag, he would roll out the dodgeballs and all Hell would break loose. The utter chaos that would ensue during the next hour never fails to make me smile in hindsight.
I continued to play during high school and loved the game so much that I even started my own team once I arrived at Western Kentucky University.
Starting off, we only played each other. It was fun for the first couple weeks, but facing the same opponents every weekend got tedious pretty quickly.
So imagine my delight when I found out there were other college teams out there that wanted my squad to come join their ranks. It was like Christmas come early!
I worked the rest of the spring and the beginning of the fall semester to get my team ready for play. Amazingly, I found it was pretty challenging getting people to come play on my team. Some claimed they had more important stuff to do.
More important than some much needed stress relief and a chance to get all the hottest babes on campus? (OK, so I made that last part up.)
Nevertheless, we showed up to the first annual Kentucky Classic anxious but ready to go. My heart was hammering inside my chest like Woody Woodpecker stuck in a permanent time loop.
To this day, I still feel that one of the most underrated things about college dodgeball is the nerves before a game. Standing on the court before our first ever match, I literally felt like I was about to leap out of an airplane. With no parachute. Naked. And on fire.
When that whistle finally blew, my life as I knew it changed forever.
I dodged, I ducked, I dipped and I dived. Playing GVSU in the second game, I even dumped in my shorts a little bit.
This was a game that I had never played before and am convinced that I will never play in the future. It was beautifully simplistic and utterly unique. The sound of rubber slamming into flesh had never sounded so beautiful.
It was the tempo of the game, the teamwork from the players and the total intensity of the whole experience that completely sucked me in.
One year and several losses later, I’m still in love with this crazy game.
Because contrary to popular belief, you can never have enough of a good thing. And considering that dodgeball left “good” in the dust a long time ago, you know it’s got to be tough to walk away from this amazing game.
I, Josh Raymer, love college dodgeball.
Patches O’Houlihan would be proud.