Competitive dodgeball is rising in popularity on the East Coast
If you can dodge a ball you can represent your country in dodgeball and the East Coast is the sport’s new hotbed.
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Every time a ball whips by Spencer Smith’s head at nearly 100 km/h it’s a reminder that this isn’t the type of dodgeball he played in his high school gym class.
But that doesn’t stop from coming out to play, especially on Saturday when the regional qualifier was taking place. Smith knows every time he throws himself out of the way of a ball he might be one step closer to qualifying to represent his province and possibly his country.
“I was named an alternate [to team Canada] two years ago and even that felt great,” Smith said. “It’s great to be able to play for your country or be one of the better players in your country.”
For Smith or Corey Oickle, Chair of Nova Scotia Dodgeball, every game is an opportunity to compete and the biggest one for both of them is just around the corner.
“We're hosting nationals in April, right here in Halifax,” Oickle says. “On a competitive level this sport’s a lot more strategic than the one most people are familiar with.”
Teams are composed of eight players with six of them on the court at any one time. The play area is the size of a volleyball court and the team that has the most balls on their side must throw at least one of them in ten seconds.
If you get hit, you leave the court. The first team with no players loses.
Angie Miller was on the Canadian women’s national team two years ago when they competed in the Dodgeball World Championship. While Canada placed fourth that year, she was the only representative on the team who wasn’t from Ontario.
Now, the competitive scene on the east coast is improving, with growing leagues in Halifax and PEI. It’s what has kept Miller coming back for more.
“You see people come out who don’t play any sport but dodgeball,” she said “This is such a good workout, I’ve never been as sore as I have been after a dodgeball tournament.”
Smith can’t help but agree.
“The balls aren’t the thing that will injure you,” he said. “It’s all about what you’re willing to do to play this game.”