UK dodgeball — it’s a hit



By Paul Martin

Nobody likes to be hit with a dodgeball, especially one thrown by the UK dodgeball team. As player Jacob Hughes noted, “My teammate Wes Hopkins was clocked by a radar gun at 76 mph last year in Bowling Green.”

If you have not seen competitive college dodgeball action, these guys take it seriously.

The UK team was founded in 2005, in part with the help of graduate Errol Strauss.

“Back in 2005, UK was the only dodgeball team in the state,” Strauss said. “Currently, Louisville and Western Kentucky University both have teams. There is even professional dodgeball.

“It’s crazy to think how far the sport has come.”

The rules and game structure are much different than the images people may have from childhood. For the start of the game, 10 dodgeballs are placed at the center line of a basketball court. Each team stands on opposite baselines, awaiting the start signal. Players then sprint to half court to get possession of the balls and start attacking the opposition. Once all players on one side are gone, the team left is awarded one point.

“Each half is 25 minutes long, so multiple games can be played in a half, it just depends on how quickly things go,” player Nick Poston said.

UK’s team has become very good in a hurry. Last year it made the Elite Eight at the national competition hosted by WKU. The team received an invite after it went 11-4 during the regular season.

“We had the best showing in the history of the program,” team captain Zac Brown said. “I’m proud of our effort last season.”

During the week, UK’s team has open gym practice on campus from 6 to 8 p.m.

Brown said practices are held at Alumni Gym on Mondays and Wednesdays and anyone interested can come play.

“The varsity team has 15 to 20 people, and is mainly the squad that travels,” Brown said.

He said other players make up the junior varsity team. About 40 people total are on the current UK team, which is considered a club sport. The club designation means it’s partially funded by UK but gets other financial help through team membership dues and fundraising efforts.

After whipping the Louisville Cardinals 6-1 in the first contest of the young season, UK travels to Miami of Ohio on Saturday to battle the Red Hawks. In December, UK will compete in the Kentucky Dodgeball Cup hosted by WKU.

The UK dodgeball team is on Facebook and Twitter. The majority of the college teams and other scheduling information can be found at or at the professional league site,