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The Growth of Dodgeball

Updated: Dec 10, 2019


Over 15 years ago, Vince Vaughan and Ben Stiller starred in the seminal film, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. The film was a massive hit grossing $168 million. It also turned viewers onto the sport of dodgeball, a game many may have only played in physical education class as kids.

The funny thing about dodgeball is the film, which was released in the summer of 2004, helped grow the game to new levels. Although the film is a sheer slapstick comedy, dodgeball is anything but humorous and more akin to a full-body cardio workout in which you try to avoid projectiles.

In 2014, the Independent published a piece on dodgeball’s growth and the physical and tactical nuances of the sport. At the time, university dodgeball teams in the United Kingdom were popping up with men’s, women’s, and mixed squads being fielded by those interested in playing the sport.

While dodgeball is a game that rekindles nostalgia for those who played it in school, it is a game that has evolved. Players can throw the ball at speeds topping 60 mph in games that are just as intense as any other team sport played around the globe.

The intensity and excitement are two reasons players are attracted to dodgeball. Yet, they are not the only reasons. The sport is extremely simple to understand and its non-stop movement means there is little downtime, unless you are eliminated.

Consider the difference between dodgeball and other much-loved sports in the UK including cricket and golf and it is easy to see that the lack of downtime keeps players interested and involved.

Even compared to the likes of rugby and football, it is easy to see why dodgeball is seeing incredible growth. You don’t need the size, speed, and strength for dodgeball that either rugby or football require.

Dodgeball isn’t just a sport that has been adopted by university students eager to start teams. Local community teams and sports clubs have created squads to compete in tournaments. These local teams feature players hungry to compete and share their love of the sport.

In April 2019, Canada held a national tournament featuring 300 players from across the country. In all, 36 men’s and women’s teams competed at the nationals once again proving that dodgeball is a legitimate sport played by people of all backgrounds. The 2019 Canadian nationals reached a unique milestone as all 10 provinces were represented. The growth of the sport in Canada is mirrored in other countries and a pro league was even in existence in the United States. Simply google ‘dodgeball’ and you will find a variety of news articles detailing tournaments and teams “showing dodgeball isn’t just a kid’s game”.

The World Dodgeball Association is hopeful the sport will be recognised by the Olympics by the 2028 edition of the Games. Even without the Olympics’ support currently, dodgeball is a game being played at a high level. The Dodgeball World Cup took place in 2018 and another will be held in 2020.

The sport of dodgeball is growing and with more competitions and greater awareness, the game could become larger than ever believed possible. Dodgeball is not just a game kids play in PE anymore. It is a sport with athletes competing for silverware.

Cheetah Sportswear have been creating bespoke made Dodgeball kits for many years now and allow our teams to bespoke design their own. Choose your layouts, add graphics, colours, sponsors, player names and numbers. If you are looking for new team kits for 2020 then feel free to get in touch today.

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