Dodgeball tournament on tap: Kent organizers eye fun adult competition

Kent County Recreation Center program supervisors Kaitlyn Schech and Joseph Paugh will be hosting the center’s inaugural dodgeball tournament on Aug. 12. The deadline for registry is Aug. 8. Delaware State News/Ian Gronau

DOVER — On Aug. 12, the Kent County Recreation Center in Dover will become a rubber ball shooting gallery as local teams clash in the gym’s inaugural dodgeball tournament.

The brainchild of program supervisors Joseph Paugh and Kaitlyn Schech, the tournament is an attempt to spice up the rec center’s summer offerings and engage a different age group.

“We’ve had soccer and pickleball tournaments here, and some people have hosted volleyball tournaments here too — but this is something a little different we wanted to try,” said Mr. Paugh. “There isn’t much around here quite like it, dodgeball isn’t your average sport. With the 16+ age limit too, we’re trying to attract a little more of the adult crowd for some light, fun competition.”

Even the chosen ball type appeals to the older crowd, the organizers say.

“A lot of people think about the foam balls in dodgeball these days, but we’re using the real rubber ones,” said Mr. Paugh.
“They don’t hurt when they hit you, but they make a sound like they do,” joked Ms. Schech.

The tournament will likely run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., depending on the number of entrants. Organizers are also in the midst of contracting with a food vendor to serve players on the day of the tournament.

“We have four courts, so technically eight teams can play at once,” said Ms. Schech.

The tournament is open to all interested participants older than 16, but there is a $100 sign-up fee and each team must have at least one female on the court at the start of their games. The sign-in fee will entitle a team to at least four matches, but possibly more based on how they advance.

The tournament will be double-elimination style, meaning teams will cease to be eligible to win the tournament’s championship upon having lost two matches.

The winning team will walk away with a trophy and “bragging rights.”

Rules

The rules of the tournament were adapted from the “Dodgeball Association’s” guidelines, the organizers said.

“Certain rules we liked, but others we thought made it more competitive than fun,” said Mr. Paugh.

The list of rules being circulated for the tournament include:

• Each round is the best of three games

• Each game is five minutes long. When elapsed, the team with the most players on the court wins

• Six balls will be used per game. Players can only pick up ball on their side of the court.

• Ball will start on the midline at each game

• Players who step on or across boundary lines are out, expect for during the “opening rush”

• If a player is hit by a ball, they are out. Except if the ball is caught before it hits the ground or the thrown ball is deemed an
intentional head shot

• A player throwing an intentional head shot is out, unless it’s deemed accidental

• If a team has all balls on their side, they have five seconds to throw one. If a ball isn’t thrown in that time, a referee will call a player out

• If a player catches a thrown ball before it hits the ground, the throwing player is out and a previously eliminated teammate of the catching player may return to the court

• Players may use a ball to deflect oncoming balls, but if they lose control of their ball and drop it, they’re out. If a teammate catches a deflected ball, the original thrower is out

• Players may not physically touch an opposing player. This will result in termination from the tournament

• No foul language.

Yellow card violations:

• Players may not argue with referee’s decisions

• Players may not spike the balls

• Players may not kick the balls

• Players may not hold more than one ball at a time

• Bad sportsmanship will result in a yellow card.

Getting involved

To enter a team, participants must rustle up a minimum of six players (with the possibility of two alternates who could be benched) or maximum of eight. Then they must select an “appropriate” team name and register to play by Aug. 8.

“We’re asking for the cutoff date to be Aug. 8 because we’ll need some time to assemble the brackets and determine game times,” said Mr. Paugh. “We’re hoping people will be appropriate with their T-shirts and team names — we’ve seen some people get pretty creative with inappropriateness in our volleyball tournaments.”

Though teams don’t have to wear customized shirts, they’re encouraged to try to wear roughly matching apparel.

“You don’t have to match 100 percent, but if everyone at least wore the same color it’d make things easier because we can say ‘the red team plays the blue team next,’” said Mr. Paugh. “At the same time, feel free to make team shirts, or if you want to go all out and make custom jerseys, more power to you. I’d love to see it.”

To register, teams must either walk-in Kent County Recreation Center at 1683 New Burton Road in Dover or visit secure.rec1.com/DE/kent-county-de/catalog (under “sport tournaments” heading). Payment can be made in person or online. Tournament organizers will not accept ‘day of’ tournament walk-ins or payments.

Mr. Paugh says the level of interest has been high and the rec center is hoping for a good turnout.

“It’s just something fun and different to do and I hope a lot of people take adantage of it and have fun,” he said. “If it goes well, it’d be nice to grow it, add to it and hold it every year — or twice a year.”

For more information about the tournament, call 302-744-2495.

Reach staff writer Ian Gronau at igronau@newszap.com

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