Grab life by the BALL

Think back to when you were in elementary school during gym class and you were hurling red rubber balls bigger than your head at the opposing team. Depending on your athleticism as a kid, the game you loved the most or dreaded playing as a snot nose is not just for kids anymore.

Sam Houston State University’s Recreational Sports added dodgeball as an intramural sport in the spring of 2006 and held tournament that ended Friday, creating “a true underdog story.”

Although most students do not think about dodgeball when someone mentions intramural sports, after the release of the 2004 Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn comedy classic, the popularity of the classic P.E. game resurfaced as adult national dodgeball leagues began sprouting through out the country.

“You can pretty much trace it all back to the movie ‘Dodgeball’ because after that was released, a lot of intramural programs across the country began dodgeball tournaments. It just got bigger and bigger, and thought everybody else is doing it and we decided to give it a shot last semester,” said Stephan Wright, Assistant Director of Intramural Sports who explained why the unlikely game was added as an intramural sport.

While you may not see students practicing with an old man as he throws wrenches from a wheel chair as seen in the movie, students at SHSU prepare for the game and take pride in their performances making the grudge between the average Joe’s and Globo gym seem like a friendly feud.

“It’s pretty insane to watch how intense some people got over controversial calls. Instead of having a friendly tournament, and although most people haven’t played since elementary school, some take it seriously.” said Wright.

Most of the rules for the game have not changed since your preadolescent days, but Rec. Sports have made a few adjustments to insure safety.

“Our basic rules you can’t hit in the end to make it a little safer. At the start of a game, each team picks up three balls instead of what you’ve seen in the movie where everybody kind of wrestles for all six balls. Other than that, all the rules are the same to what you’re used to,” said Wright.

All games were played in the Health and Kinesiology Center on basketball court’s three and four. Every match was best three out of five games and every game had a five-minute limit.

The men’s reigning champions from last semester was the team “BYOB” and were set to defend their throne this season, as well as the women’s division champions “The 5 D’s” named after the team in the movie “Dodgeball.”

“I’d say half the teams are returning teams that played last semester. I had eight new teams and eight returning teams that had fun last year, and we hope to have more teams in the spring semester,” Wright said.

If dodgeball is not your sport, Rec. Sports hosts several other intramural sports to choose from while flag football and softball are the most popular.

New to Rec. Sports this year, will cater to video game fanatics as they introduce a Madden 07′ XBOX Tournament. Registration begins today and will be open to register through September 20th the first day of the tournament.

For more information on intramural sports, stop by the Rec. Sports office or call (936) 294-1985.

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