With the sport of dodgeball soon to be immortalized in Ben Stiller’s new movie of the same name, I figured I’d confess. Dodgeball always seems to get a bad rap among the ‘less than athletic’ circles that I am a member of (The Tagline for a previous film called Dodgeball is “There’s a reason why you’re so messed up”). I, however, loved the shit out of math AND dodgeball.

     My favorite variation on the game was ‘Rim Dodge.’ Googling turns up one other person with fond memories of the game. From their description:

     “Played on a basketball court indoors, the twist was you could throw at the other team or at the other team’s hoop, always staying behind half court. If someone on your team hit the rim a player from your team could reenter the game. If you made a basket everyone on your team who was knocked out could come back in. The rim/backboard were in play though, so you could still get out if someone caught your throw in the air. At the elementary/middle school level it worked great, because most kids had a hard time hitting the rim from half court or beyond with a big rubber ball. After that it became a little too easy, and finishing a game became like finishing the card game War. It lasted forever.”

     There are all sorts of great games like this that never get played after elementary school.

     I recently found myself wondering how much it would cost to rent out a gym for a few hours to get a game together. Google reveals that many, many other people are already doing this. The IDBF (International Dodge Ball Federation) keeps track of leagues that currently operate in ten states. They’ve also put together a remarkably thorough (if somewhat dry) 48 page rule-book (available here in .pdf format). CNN has even covered the revival in an article about the Portland league.

     I’ve been completely inspired by this and am definitely going to look into getting something started locally. I’ve managed to dig up a few other variations, including a version in which teams defend plastic bowling pins, a version using ‘goalies‘ (Similar in play to the classic ‘Super Dodge Ball‘ video game), and several other variations.


     As ‘research,’ I’m interested in hearing any dodgeball anecdotes you may have festering in your subconcious, as well as tales of any other long-lost childhood games. Woo.