Photo courtesy of Micah Fansler.
Dodgeball Club is a co-ed, national collegiate team at Georgia Southern University. Every year, they participate in tournaments, and travel to nationals.
The club was created by Zachary Rivera, and it became an official club sport around the end of 2015.
Rivera said he wanted to create a new club sport, and he liked playing dodgeball. He said creating it took a lot of time and effort at first.
”It gave me a new sense of importance in life,” Rivera said, reflecting on how the team affected him. The team was his friend group and became a part of his family.
Micah Fansler is the public relations chair coordinator for the team. He said the dodgeball games are intense.
“It’s super fun, it’s really competitive, and it’s more than what you think,” Fansler said.
At practices, the team focuses on techniques like catching, dodging and throwing and the scrimmages with each other with some time at the beginning and end for stretching, said Fansler.
“There’s a ton to it,” Fansler said. “When you watch the movie Dodgeball, or just think about dodgeball in general, it’s just like throwing balls back and forth, but there’s a ton of techniques to it, and it’s really difficult.”
At the beginning, there’s an opening rush where players try to reach the balls before the others, Fansler said. There’s a lot of throwing back and forth throwing between the teams, and players try to dodge balls and block for teammates, trying to keep them and yourself “alive,” Fansler said.
“We like to encourage intense practices because games are intense but also because it’s a great workout, keeps everybody fit,” Fansler said.
No experience is needed to join the team.
“Last semester was my first semester, and I was terrible, and I’m still not the best thrower and I’m not the best catcher but it takes a while to get it,” Fansler said.
Fansler said they all joke about how someone’s not paying attention when they should be, and that person gets smacked with the ball or someone else will be ask why someone can’t catch, and they throw the ball at whoever said it, making them miss the ball.
“Tons of weird, funny stuff happens at practice all the time,” Fansler said.
The team travels around two to three times a semester, said Fansler. Last year the team went to UNG and Ohio and hosted UNG at Southern. This year, the team is planning on going to UNG, and nationals in Tennessee.
At Nationals, there are around 10 to 15 teams, said Fansler, and it can last around 1-2 days.
Dodgeball club has the cheapest club sports dues, said Fansler. It costs $65 for new members and $10 for returning members.
“It pays for your travel, your stay, your jersey and then with these sponsors coming in hopefully we can get the team some shorts and book bags that they don’t have to pay for at all which is provided by the sponsors,” Fansler said.
Fransler said, “You meet tons and tons of new people and they’re super cool and they are adaptive to you and you are adaptive to them, so you hang out outside of just practice and it’s so better than just going to class, going to your apartment or dorm and then doing homework.”
Dodgeball Club practices on Tuesday and Thursday between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. in the Auxiliary Gym. For more information, contact 912-658-3257 or either of these emails: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com