Many students may remember playing dodgeball in school during gym class. Two opposing teams try to knock the opposition out by hitting them with balls while avoiding getting hit themselves. When one team eliminates the other, they score a point.
The UCCS Dodgeball Club is a couple weeks old and in the process of registering as a student organization, aiming to become a club sport. The club’s first goal, according to its volunteer coach, Kevin Bailey, is to drum up student interest.
“We went to the club fair that the school had outside a couple weeks ago,” Bailey said. “UCCS was gracious enough to let us have a table even though I’m not a student at the school. I just got people to sign up and sold them on the side of dodgeball. And a lot of students were pretty interested.”
The club is holding open practices, so students can see if they are invested in the sport before they commit to it.
Each practice has had more than 10 people show up, according to Bailey, who teaches the basics of dodgeball in practice, like how to throw the ball effectively. Students then compete in several matches against each other.
“A lot of people have some sort of idea of what dodgeball is; they’ll either ask about the movie ‘Dodgeball,’ or they’ll think about grade school,” he said. “It was the same thing for me when I first joined the club at my school. But it’s way more than that. It’s a legitimate sport.”
Bailey said the club will officially be founded by students over the coming weeks, and student executive board positions will be determined by students later this year.
The club plans to begin competing in January since collegiate dodgeball allows teams to determine their schedule. The season begins in September and ends in April with nationals. Bailey plans for the team to attend them.
Bailey is on the board of the National Dodgeball Association, the governing body for club dodgeball across the country at colleges. He is the chief of content and is responsible for articles, videos and Instagram content.
“I’ve been involved with many different clubs and leagues,” Bailey said. “It was something I’m pretty comfortable with. When I moved here about a month and half ago, I figured I should try and start a club at the school.”
He fell in love with the sport when he joined the dodgeball club at his alma mater, Grand Valley State University in Michigan. He hopes the same thing will happen to some students who join the club at UCCS.
“It can become a bigger part of your life than just a college club,” he said. “There are opportunities of playing dodgeball even past when they graduate.”
Open practices will resume when the club is approved before the end of the month. For more information about practice schedules, reference the club Instagram page @uccs_dodgeball.