Dodgeball Season: Back in Session

By Andrew Allen

The loud repetitive ping sounds echo as colored rubber pummels the walls. An intense battle is being waged inside a sweltering and seemingly ancient gym. Upon farther investigation, it becomes clear that dodgeball season is in full swing on campus.

“This side ready…this side ready, Dodgeball!” The ref shouts as the players race from their respective baselines for an all-out brawl to the ten rubber spheres spaced evenly across the middle of the hardwood. As the chaos subsides in the center court, the teams back off and develop their haphazard and improvised strategies. As the match moves forward, the balls give off a loud “wooshing” sound as they sail from each side of the gym and unforgivingly smack the peeling white walls of Alumni gym.

“My personal favorite team strategy is what I call the Roman Shield. Basically it’s when a few players group up in formation with blockers, then completely unload,” Alexis Goble, local dodgeball fan explained.

Zac Brown, president of the UK dodgeball team, discussed the dangers associated with the sport. “I’ve seen a face shot that’s taken someone off their feet and put him on the ground. I guess it really didn’t hurt him physically, just his general sense of pride.”

There is a fierce sense of competition and rivalry between the teams however, for the UK and WKU teams there is a powerful sense of synergy. “Our main goal is to promote our state’s dodgeball abilities and put Kentucky on the map,” Felix Perrone, Captain for the WKU team explained. Each year, during the Battle of the Bluegrass, the UK and WKU teams work together to fundraise for various charities around the region raising upwards of $7,000 last year.

Although there is no lack of skills on UK dodgeball team, there are two main factors missing: recognition

on campus, and funding from UK. Even after being established as a club sport for the past six years, funding for the team is completely non-existent. The uniforms and balls are paid for through a system of dues paid individually by the players. Brown, stressed the open door policy of the team. “We really want as many people as possible to come out and check it out. Our practices are really laid-back and we like to switch it up to keep things interesting.”

The club hosts open practices every Monday and Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Alumni gym at the Student

Center. All students and faculty are encouraged to attend; this is a co-ed league open to everyone.