Greetings, dodgeball friends! The second installment of the Team Awesome Dodge-Blog is all about youth dodgeball, or as many refer to it as the future of the sport. I have coached youth teams for years, well before joining Team Awesome and I often find it more exciting than adult dodgeball. I thoroughly enjoy teaching our kids what our team has learned through our travels and I have a blast every time they apply our strategies and succeed in the game. It’s also exciting to see young talent in the game as one day the youth will replace our generation at the forefront of dodgeball. Our youth teams have traveled as far as Ephrata for dodgeball tournaments and if all goes well, we will bring a team out to Chick-Fil-A Richmond’s infamous Sports Challenge (Dodgeball Tournament) this fall.
Personally I believe we have an obligation to promote dodgeball to the youth. Ask yourself why you are where you are. Everyone I know who currently plays says they first experienced dodgeball as a kid and the fun they had then motivated them to either continue playing or to pick it up again as adults. How can we contribute? There are a number of things we can do to get kids involved with dodgeball. Outsiders to the sport tend to find competitive dodgeball quite fascinating. For all the successful teams out there with trophies and titles, you can use your clout to visit YMCA’s or schools to simply play dodgeball with kids. To hear you won an East Coast Championship, the World Championship or a huge cash prize, you will gain the interest of many young minds who are looking for a sport to get involved in.
Recently, Team Awesome’s youth teams took a trip to the Lansdale YMCA to participate in their Winter Challenge Dodgeball tournament. There, our teams faced off against teams from Phoenixville, Norristown, Kulpsville and Lansdale. Our friends at Lansdale ran a great event – well-organized, fair and forgiving at times, especially with the teams who were newer to competitive dodgeball. The competition was the best we had encountered in a legitimate setting. Within the younger age group (ages 7-11), Team Awesome Jr. was the crowd favorite but were missing a number of their experienced players. Lansdale fielded by far their best team yet, hoping to end our three straight YMCA tournament winning streak. Lansdale put on a fantastic show but our players adapted and drove it home with a 3-1 victory in the finals.
Day two welcomed the 11-15 age division, featuring Phoenixville’s first team appearance and Norristown’s first official team. Probably the most exciting showing was in the semi-finals between our Indian Valley teams Cheeker Nation and Team IV. Team IV almost took the upset with an early win and close games but Cheeker Nation pulled through and clenched the match-up 2-1. Below is
This tournament was pretty important since we have a rivalry with the Lansdale crew and also a bit with Norristown. There were two age groups, one for ages 7-11 and a second for ages 11-15. For the younger division, there were two crowd favorites from the start – “North Penn 1” and “Team Awesome Jr.”. This was a pretty big match-up as “Team Awesome Jr. had not lost a YMCA tournament within the last year and Lansdale was fielding their best team yet. My dear friend Jeremy from the Lansdale Y had talked up his team for the past week. three crowd favorites from the start, Indian Valley (Team Awesome)’s “Cheeker Nation”, Norristown’s “Mini Team Awesome” and Lansdale’s “School’s Out”.
As a coach, I have seen a number of youth tournaments across the area. Much like most adult tournaments out there, the rules, structure and organization are pretty much unique to