Dodgeball, once thought of as gym class staple, is gaining national recognition on the collegiate scale. The National Collegiate Dodgeball Association currently has 27 teams with St. Ambrose as its newest member. Joining the NCDA was only half the struggle. First, dodgeball had to be approved as a club on campus.
“It was a long process,” Davis Elkins, founder of the club, explained with a sigh of relief. “We had to get petitions with signatures, draft a club constitution, and then propose our club to the student government association. They need evidence of why this club would help students and the community.”
Elkins got the club approved last May by SGA and presides as club president. In order to be a part of the NCDA all they had to do was play teams that were already members. Elkins got to work right away and set up a tournament at St. Ambrose on Oct. 19 against powerhouses DePaul and Wisconsin Platteville. St. Ambrose lost the matches 6-1 to DePaul and 3-0 to Platteville. Platteville won the tournament, defeating DePaul.
“The matches didn’t go the way we wanted,” Elkins admitted. “It was a good learning experience though, and at least we became a member of the NCDA.”
This isn’t your Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller dodgeball though. These rules are slightly different. The game is played on a basketball court divided into three parts. Both teams have safety zones from the baseline to the volleyball line, and then there is a neutral zone from volleyball line to volleyball line. Ten balls are layed to start the game, where a maximum of 15 players from one team can be on the court at one time. Games are split into two halves with a 25 minute running clock. Points are distributed only when every player on a team is eliminated, the clock is then stopped and the game is restarted.
“One thing that limits our club numbers compared to other clubs are the rules set forth by the NCDA,” Elkins said. “Under the rules we can only play 15 and roster 20 for all matches.”
No matches have been scheduled for the remainder of the semester yet, but Elkins has already received an offer for the team to play in the DePaul Invitational in March. Some other matches are also in the process of being scheduled but it’s difficult with only one gym and basketball season starting up. Nationals take place in April, but only the top 20 teams can qualify.
The club welcomes all newcomers and encourages people who are interested to email Elkins at his St. Ambrose e-mail. There are practices when they can secure gym time, but like Elkins joked, all you have to remember is the 5 D’s of dodgeball, dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge.