Something special can be said when a group of people living in a community can come together and share a great love, a common attitude and feelings of fellowship over something as simple as playtime. As children, some of us grew up playing dodgeball in the school yard and in gym class. It was the highlight of our days. The whistle would blow and for a moment, all our cares would disappear as we fully engaged in the moment of “now”. If your attention was not open to the present, you’d be ‘gently’ reminded to be mindful of the array of colourful dodgeballs heading in your direction. Dodgeball can teach us the importance of having fun, the discipline of fair play, and community.
Today, thousands of grown-up Canadians are still loving and playing dodgeball. Some have even gone on to represent Canada on the international stage winning medals and accolades. Dodgeball has also given many Canadians a sense of community, bringing students and working professionals together to have fun, be healthy and laugh with their friends. This is one of the many reasons why people LOVE dodgeball… it isn’t just a game – dodgeball is a lifestyle! When we first came together, we recognized the potential for developing the sport at all levels from casual players to the most hardcore of competitors. We recognized the positive effects it had on our communities and the talent it produced in shaping athletes to compete on the international stage.
The dodgeball community in Canada extends coast to coast – from Victoria, British Columbia to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Our participants are drawn from all walks of life, and the games we play vary regional, with each community personalizing the experience. We have foam leagues in Vancouver, rubber in Edmonton, cloth in Hamilton. We have leagues that cater to the novice, others that cater to the expert. We have a presence in 15 communities and growing.
Despite many different rules and styles across the country, there is a clear common thread among us all – one of passion for a sport that often requires a bit of explanation, a bit of rationalizing in the public eye. Perhaps it is the feeling of being on the fringes of athletics that brings us together. Maybe it’s a darker visceral passion for throwing things at people. Whatever it is, it has fostered a shared understanding and it has made the journey so far an incredible one.