New Year’s Day dribbling tournament attracts small but enthusiastic first-year turnout
The impressively dressed “Dodgefathers” arrived.
The five-member Dodgeball team, which includes middle school-aged boys from Wheeling, WVa, traveled Saturday to West Deer to compete in the new year’s inaugural Smash Em Dodgeball Championship.
Custom matching track jerseys with a sports play in the classic Italian mafia movie, Dodgefathers coach and father Brandon Pape said the activity is a departure from the normal athletic routine.
“We play in baseball leagues, and we thought it would be fun to do that,” Pappe said.
The event was hosted by No Offseason Sports (NOS) in West Deere.
“I thought it was a fun activity for the kids on New Year’s Eve,” said Joe Voloch, COO of NOS. “We wanted to organize something different.”
Voloch said participation wasn’t quite what he expected, with six teams out of five participating, but he hopes to increase enrollment next year.
“It’s new this year,” he said.
Under a giant inflatable bubble, about 30 competitors competed in six matches each, vying for bragging rights and medals.
The objective of the game is to eliminate all the opposing players who hit them with dribbling balls.
Each game had a three-minute time limit and was open to youth in grades 6-12, adults 18 and older, and 30 and older.
Kayden Juris, a seventh-grade student at Lichburg District High School, said his friend encouraged him to enroll.
Each team paid a $125 registration fee.
“It’s fun, challenging and competitive—like baseball. I just started playing dribble,” Joris said.
Dodgeball spectator and mother Tricia Beatrice, 46, of Beaver County, brought her son Owen, 14, and his friends to the tournament.
It’s fun and it gets them out of the house,” said Beatrice.
Beatrice said their team name “Shopkin Slayers” was created by some of the girls.
Only one team competed.
“We play football here,” said Tessa Holibo, a student at Deer Lakes Prep. “We wanted to represent the girls.”
JoLeene Condle said the competition offered something different during the winter break from school.
“It’s fun to play against the boys,” she said.
Voloch used Rhino leather dodgeballs during the tournament, a smaller sized ball that causes less bite than a traditional dodgeball that many adults might remember from their childhood gym lessons.
“I feel like cotton when you get hit,” Joris said.
Joyce Hans is a writer for the Tribune Review. You can contact Joyce at 724-226-7725, firstname.lastname@example.org, or via Twitter.
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