By Colin MacDougall
Foam dodgeballs and intensity rained down on 10 students at Washtenaw Community College’s Health and Fitness Center on Sunday, Feb. 28. With an exhausted and out-of-breath voice, Ryan Lewis, a 21-year-old mechanical engineering major from Canton says “It’s blood, sweat and tears out there (on the court).”
Dodgeball is a fast-paced game between two teams consisting of at least five members to a team. Eight multi-colored dodgeballs were placed at the centerline of the gym. Members of both teams line up on the back walls of their zones of the gym. When the referee, Shawn Reid, a 22-year-old sports management student from Ypsilanti yells, “dodgeball” all the members of each team race to be the first to collect the dodgeballs. Once the balls are retrieved, the players turn around and take their ball back across the midzone line.Then, the players can throw their dodgeballs at the opposing team.
The game’s main objective is to avoid being hit by the ball. Other rules include hitting the opponent with a ball to eliminate them. Catching a ball that is thrown by your opponent eliminates them; also, a member of your own team gets back into the game. There are a few others ways players can be eliminated such as crossing the centerline; and head shots eliminate the player which threw the ball.
In WCC dodgeball, a basketball hoop is used. If a player is able to “Chauncey Billups that shot,” as Ryan Lewis puts it, or make a half court shot, a jail break occurs and all players from his or her team are brought back into the game. During a recent Sunday night game, this shot was accomplished one time, by Jay Nirban, a 23-year-old finance accounting major from Ann Arbor.
Zay Provost, a 23 year-old physical therapy and athletic training major from Belleville says, “(Dodgeball) is good exercise.” This sport involves lots of running, along with dodging the ball, throwing the ball, and and attempting to catch the ball; players can be exhausted after a few minutes of this game.
“Dodgeball is open not only to students, but also to staff and faculty,” Matt Lucas, coordinator of WCC sports said.
The requirements to play dodgeball is a minimum GPA of 2.0, with a student being enrolled in at least three credit hours. Dodgeball meets on Sunday evenings, March 13 and 20 this semester, at the Health and Fitness Center. The group meets at 6:30 p.m. at the basketball courts.
“(Dodgeball) is surprisingly intense, but it’s so much fun,” said Ben Maciag, a 19-year-old undecided major from Ann Arbor.