2020 Canadian National Dodgeball Championships
2020 is going to be an exciting year for the sport of dodgeball here in the city of champions as we will be the host city for the National Dodgeball Championships on April 8-12th. This event will bring over 300 of the best players from across the country, representing every province, to our city to compete for the national title and an opportunity to be selected onto Team Canada for the 2020/21 season. This is an exceptional opportunity to showcase our local talent as well, not to mention our amazing city. Further details will be announced in the coming months, but it is never to early to start training to make your mark at Nationals!
The Debate Over Dodgeball in Schools The debate over whether dodgeball should be allowed in schools was brought to the foreground in June 2019 as researchers presented a paper outlining dodgeball as a tool of "bullying and oppression" in grade schools in Vancouver. Coverage of this thesis went viral, hitting newsfeeds across Canada and the United States triggering an uproar from the the Dodgeball community. We wanted to highlight some of the discussion out there, so please check out the links to explore the issue.
Thank you for visiting Dodgeball Edmonton, an organization dedicated to bringing you the best dodgeball experience, brought to you by people who care about dodgeball more than pretty much anything.
When Dodgeball Edmonton was founded we offered a unique brand of dodgeball, fusing together elements from the international dodgeball stage with the style that Edmontonians have grown up on. The result is a dynamic, fast-paced game that helped our members to integrate into the national community. In the years since we has brought our focus toward the official WDBF format, while still honoring the other formats we grew up with in our variety of leagues and events throughout each year. Regardless of what type of ball is played with or which house rules you favour, if you are looking for dodgeball, you are home.
The Draft: The Great Equalizer, The Great Socializer
Anyone who has played a sport for long enough is familiar with the rivalries that are formed when you see some of the same opponents season after season. Maybe you dreaded playing that one team who was really skilled, or had a little tiff with that cocky guy in the tight shirt from that pink team. Even recreational sports can breed an “us vs. them” mentality, especially when the object of the game you’re playing happens to be hurling balls at the people across from you.
My first years playing dodgeball were great - I met a few awesome people that I saw multiple times each week, learned to play and appreciate the sport just like any other, and, yes, formed a few friendly rivalries to add to the excitement. However, there was a growing issue as seasons went on that made for a less ideal experience. The skill disparity seemed to be getting worse and worse in most leagues - a couple of really experienced teams with the best players would dominate, and the rest of the teams (although still enjoying themselves because dodgeball is super) had virtually no chance to compete for the championship. Although I was usually fortunate enough to be on a strong team, I knew that the situation could be better for everyone.
I had heard of a group of dodgeballers in Calgary who were trying the “draft” concept for their league, and immediately loved the idea. The potential to eliminate skill disparity and give everyone a fighting chance for victory was reason enough alone to think we should give it a shot in Edmonton. I still recall spending a late weekday night at the pub discussing the idea with a teammate of mine; he thought it might be too ambitious to get people to agree to disband their normal teams and throw their names in some random pool. I decided to give it a shot anyway.
So, for the next tournament I reached out to some acquaintances who I had played against multiple times but never spoken to. After a couple weeks of making new connections and explaining how this would definitely be awesome so don’t worry about it, there ended up being enough willing participants to make three tournament draft teams! I was ecstatic. Now, how to actually create even teams from this pool of players?
When people think of being picked onto a team for dodgeball, they may have some horrible flashback of standing against a gym wall while waiting to be chosen, feeling more and more shame as each finger point isn’t one directed at them. As hilarious as it may have been to witness this process for grown adults, I figured doing the draft behind closed doors was probably in everyone’s best interest. Myself, Chris, and Blair (who was, ironically, my skeptical pub friend) elected to be captains as we were fairly knowledgeable about the skill levels for each of the players. We locked ourselves in a room (AKA Hudsons on Whyte), and snake drafted our teams in a sort-of similar fashion to the NHL draft. The result: three very evenly-skilled teams with a bunch of people we had previously considered our rivals now as teammates.
Skipping the details of how the draft played out (*cough*myteamwon*cough*), we all realized that actually getting to know these people we had played against for years was kind of awesome. Maybe that tight shirt guy wasn’t so awful after all? The socialization aspect became an equal, if not even greater, motivation to run the draft. So many new Facebook friends!
I feel like I know a lot of people in the Edmonton dodgeball circle, and yet the most recent draft this year has over 70 participants, 20 of which I have probably not even had a conversation with… yet! There have been about ten draft events since that first tourney, and every time I get to meet a few new lovely people, and get surprised by a few new killer athletes. Needless to say, I hope this trend keeps up, because I love seeing the sport I have loved since the beginning grow into more and more every day.