Dodge or sit down

Jess James and Jess James

Ready, set, dodgeball! It’s the game that takes everyone back to the playground, where the weak were viciously attacked and the strong battled for ultimate dodgeball glory.

The game that once started as a gym class favorite has joined the list of other University club sports with an established league. The dodgeball club is a part of the National Collegiate Dodgeball Association, and competes against other neighboring colleges.

The University’s club dodgeball team started as an intramural sport, but in 2005 senior Eric Fiske decided to make his favorite activity an official club.

‘In high school I played on a rec league and when I was a kid I liked it a lot,’ Fiske said. ‘It was surprisingly easy to get the club started. We went to the Office of Campus Activities and had to get 10 or 12 signatures of people that wanted in the club.’

For the team’s 22 players, club dues are $20 for a team jersey.

Club dodgeball games have two midline referees and two assistant line referees for official faults. There are 15 people on each side of the dodgeball court.

The purpose of the game is to avoid being hit by the opponents’ balls while staying in the court boundaries. If a player does get hit, he or she is eliminated and must leave the game immediately. A player can also be penalized for stepping over the 30-foot base line while making an attack throw.

If a player catches an opponent’s ball, the opposing player is out and the player can reinstate an eliminated player from his or her team.

Senior Zach Brugger, the club’s captain, has been a member of the dodgeball team for three years. He said the University plays surrounding colleges in the Mid-American Conference and other state colleges such as Ohio State. Their record this semester is 0-3.

‘We play teams from all over,’ Brugger said. ‘I know Ohio State has a team and we’ve even played teams in Wisconsin and Michigan. There are community colleges in our league and some schools down in Kentucky.’

In April, the team will host the Club Dodgeball National Championship. The tournament will take place at the Perry Fieldhouse and will be open to the public.

Mike Adams, a junior on the team, said he is looking forward to the tournament.

‘It’s really sweet we were drawn [to host],’ Adams said. ‘The tournament is going to bring a lot of people to dodgeball and see how the game is played competitively. The team is pretty confident. We lost a lot of guys last year, but we have some guys with some arms, so you never know what will happen.’

Club dodgeball is anxious to recruit new players, and has open spots on the roster. To become part of the team, contacBrugger at [email protected].’


A regulation dodgeball court is taped off in a 30′ x 30′ area, with a 4′ x 30′ neutral zone located at center court.

Six regulation 8.5 inch rubber balls are used for each game.

Fifteen people are on the court for each team at once. A 25-player team is considered a full roster.