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The Sheer Joys Of Dodgeball

Artist, actor, poet, teacher, songwriter & actor with 4,000 poems & almost 1,000 songs written, performed recorded & published on line.

The boys and girls and grown men would line up all hoping for a 1st place dodgeball tee-shirt and a trophy.

Tee-shirts and a trophy

Tee-shirts and a trophy

closeup of the logo

closeup of the logo

Handmade trophy

Handmade trophy

handmade trophies

handmade trophies

handmade trophy

handmade trophy

For well over 14 years I ran 3 dodgeball leagues in windowless rooms where 2 teams could reenact a battle zone and no one ever got hurt .

Dodgeball is the most aeorobic sport that

exists today. You use your whole body to leap,

twist, turn, dodge, crawl and run. Plus you will

throw a ball at least 200 to 500 hundred times

in a game all while you are in constant motion

if you are really good. Even your jaw muscles

will get stiff from clenching them and growling

at the other players and talking smack. My

dodgeball games offered over 40 balls on

the line with state of the art and very expensive

per ball, weapons of fun. Each ball averages

between 15 to 25 dollars depending on the

size. Everyone had a lot of access to a ball

and there was very little standing around

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by anyone waiting for a ball to throw,

The teams were divided up by me so that

there would be no stacking of the best players

on one side. Intimidation was forbidden, it got

you a one way ticket to the door. I watched

heavy set kids and adults lose weight and I

watched thinner kids and adults add muscle.

But the most often seen expression was always

smiles. Sure you might grunt when a ball hit

you in a private area or in your face but they were

made out of nerf ball material with a leather or

vinyl skin. It was all akin to a hard pillow fight.

The key to being a sports star at dopdgeball

which I have studied quite a bit, is to throw

and hit your opponents as they are pulling

their arm back to throw a ball at you. They

are almost spread eagled in the process

of throwing a ball, and they are wide open

for a hit that knocks them out of the game.

They are even more vulnerable when they

are retrieving a ball of the floor. I taught a

second grader to do only this in the games

and she won a dodgeball trophy and tee-shirt

for first place. She was knocking boys twice

as big as herself to the sideline with an impish

grin. I added incentives to the already hard

game of dodgeball that became most

popular and an even more fun way to play. Any

player who was the last person on their team

by managing to survive a barrage of hundreds

of throws would be in the running at that point

for dodgeball hero status. He was then required

to take out each and every player on the other

team. But he was also allowed to go anywhere

on the court to do so. No boundaries for the hero

to be. I personally watched many players take out

three to nine players on the other side, one at a time

while managing to dodge their throws. Then he or

she would be given one point on a large dodgeball

scoreboard that held each players names. The player

with the most hero points at the end of each session

which ran about eight weeks would be the newly

declared "Dodgeball Hero!!" They would be

awarded with a trophy, a dodgeball hero tee-shirt

and a free session for the next eight week of ganes

to come. Oh, how every one of them coveted

that trophy, handmade by me and I only made about

150 of them all told.

I would see them wearing their tee-shirts In various

places outside of the game with a big happy grin

on their faces. They had earned the respect of their

peers in such a difficult way. I also awarded second,

third and fourth places and gave out smaller trophies

but that first place spot was all any of them wanted.

I created some really fun versions of the game of

dodgeball that became standard at every session.

I would seed the regular balls with two or three ping

-pong balls that I called the bomb. If you hit someone

with the bomb it destroyed the whole team. Instant

victory!! I would also with much joy from each team

turn out all the lights in a room with no windows and

they would play in the dark. You could hear the balls

coming but you couldn't see them until your eyes

adjusted just a little to the dark. With the kids I taught

them the meaning of teamwork by putting two each

inside a hula hoop. Thye had to fight together and

hold up the hoop. It was never easy. If one was hit

the other still played on as long as he or she kept

the hula hoop around thier waist. The funniest game

that I had the adults play was called left handed

dodgeball where they could only throw the ball with

their left hands. Grown adults looked like first graders

trying to throw those balls with their left hands. If they

were already left handed they had to use their right

hand. I could always tell who was ambidexterous and

they had to sit out that game. Fairness is a number

one rule in any game. We did one special event where

we would rig banks of strobe lights only and it was a

riot watching balls under strobe coming at you. It made

them very hard to catch. Of course I had to stop that

kind of a game because of the possibilties of someone

having a seizure. One of the most favorite games was

played outside with one team hiding and setting up an

ambush with two balls each, against the other team

hunting for them who were also armed with two balls

each. What great battles they had and they had to

maintain control of their two ball ammo each time

they threw them or they would be left unarmed. The

last 2 players left of course would fight it out for hero

while their teamamtes cheered them on. I do miss all

of the players over the years after I retired the dodge

ball course. I still see a lot of them from time to time and

some of them still wear the shirt around that they won.

I made a lot of money running thse leagues the fee was

five dollars per person, with usually forty players per

session. Which for two hours of dodgeball is pretty cheap.

I had to stop playing because I have a golfball size calcium

growth under my right shoulder, and after two hours of a

game meant for ten year olds it was hard to even move

the next two days after a game that I had played in . So I

blew the whistle and referreed and ran the games. My

biggest events each year were school proms where I

would have several hundred [players in a huge gym

at the convocatipn center hammering it out. I played

classic rock and dressed in rock star clothes and

whipped them into a dodgeball frenzy. They too

had me coming back yearly, times three different

schools. Dodgebal should be reinstated in all schools

because it teaches teamwork, and it really gets kids

in shape. That's all I'm going to throw you for now.

I hope you enjoyed an inside look at dodgeball.

© 2022 Matthew Frederick Blowers III

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