Dodgeball is one of many sports competing for a spot at the Olympic circus. My son developed a strong interest and as he was visiting Edmonton to participate at the world championships it seemed a good time to learn more. Never did master the rules, but did come to appreciate that skills, physical fitness and strategies are important and it is fun to watch.
The basic idea of hitting your opponent with a ball and avoid being hit has been retained. One innovation is to catch the ball. With a definite format we can have international contests.
Some of us (not me unfortunately) saw a movie that used Dodgeball as a vehicle, "Dodgeball" (2004). Judging by the comments, it generated a lot of laughs with its plot and action. Unable to locate it from my usual sources it seems that it did not advance the serious side of the sport, but must have stirred some curiosity.
Rules are confusing (unless you read the written ones). There are two versions: one with a cloth ball and the other with a foam ball. Both could be viewed g at the World Dodgeball Championships in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The cloth version uses a harder ball that is more painful.
There are 6 players per side with 6 balls in total. Initially teams line up at opposite ends of a court and race for their 3 balls. Strategies have developed to take advantage of this unique starting situation. As soon as you have a ball you can shoot at the opponents, but you also leave yourself vulnerable. When a player is hit they must leave and stand by the sidelines. After that each team is given opportunities to fire on the other. The object is to hit all six opponents while they try to do the same to you. In a sudden death situation each team is given three balls on their back line to help decide the winner.
After a set is completed the winning team is credited with one point. Then another set is started with perhaps a change in personnel. The object is to win the most sets.
In addition to the cloth and foam versions the modern version has three competitions within each version. One for males, another for females and a third for mixed. In the mixed it might be assumed the females are the weak link, but that has been proved delusional. The Olympics are looking for more gender equality and Dodgeball does offer that.
Dominant teams were from Britain, Austria Malaysia, Canada, and the United States. Several countries were unable to get visas for tournament resulting in no African or South American entries. The poorer countries are handicapped in raising money. A catch 22 situation; if an event is considered an Olympic sport it is easier to get govt support, but in the meantime it is harder to raise support.
Excitement- levels run pretty high. We met participants from different countries, -Ireland, France, Britain, the U.S. plus a Canadian referee. All here for love of the sport.
Is it going to make it to the Olympics? As one American player said, that is not important. It offers a lot for participants. To be taken more seriously coaching also has to be developed. One colleague suggested a key factor in coaching is teaching.
Check earlier blog on water polo http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2016/04/in-praise-of-water-polo.html
Another sport promotion: http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2015/04/synchonized-skating-would-add-to-olympic.html
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