I’m sitting here with my right hand quivering, the entire right side of my back in knots, and my legs threatening to collapse if I so much as stand up and walk.
Lesson is: Never under-estimate a game of dodgeball.
When my physio told me I should get back into doing a bit of impact sports, he most likely did not have dodgeball in mind.
If you know the Average Joes from the film Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, that was basically me two days ago. I strolled up to a game, thinking it’ll just be some relaxing fun to ease my injured foot back into active life -only to find out that I’m part of a ragtag team of guys and girls half of whom have never played before (including me, discounting primary school) who were facing an opposition that seemed like an alternate version of Ben Stiller’s Globo Gym.
They have matching team shirts, a couple of them wore headbands, and they have sponsors. Seriously, who sponsors a dodgeball team?! And this is a dodgeball league by the way. Since when are there leagues for dodgeball?!
In the pre-match warm up, I watched with my chin on the floor as the guys slam balls across the length of a volleyball court into the guts of someone standing on the other side. Someone threw a ball at me. I blocked on reflex with my hands, but it came with such force that it sliced up across my face.
I think this is hands down the scariest and most intimidating thing I’ve done all summer.
It’s very unnerving when you watch big guys take aim and pump balls across the court with the very intention of hitting you. I play sports where the aim is to hit the ball, not a person. So it was very disorienting trying to adjust my mindset.
So yes it’s a squishy ball, but trust me you don’t want to take one in the face.
In revenge for this seemingly unprovoked attack, I try to get them back. But I learn that I’m a shit thrower. My flimsy little lady arm and a light squishy ball the size of a mini watermelon does not go well together. My balls go off target and drop before they’ve travelled the intended distance.
But I try my absolute might. After sitting on my arse all summer, I come back to do this and my muscles go into overdrive. I twist my body, do a little three step sprint, point my left arm out and fling my right arm as hard and fast as I could. Now two days later, I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck from the right.
Here’s a video of part of the game. We lost 15-0 in the end. I think there’s a whole series of videos of the 40 min game. The only reason I chose this one is because it shows me (grey t-shirt + black shorts) killing two guys with my sissy throws. Ha! My proudest kill moments! (It also shows me running away a scaredy cat.)
If you haven’t had enough, go to 1:47 in the video below and it’s got my best dodge yet (followed by a completely shit throw):
What surprised me about this game is how aggressive and personal it gets. I thought it was just a happy happy playground game; but NO, I think it’s the most violent non-contact sport ever. A player being outed with a hit is called a death. Therefore, in this game, you throw to kill. People try to kill you. They pick you out and throw as hard as they could at you. And some guys can really throw. They’ll trick you. They want you dead. Then you’ll want revenge. You’ll want to kill him back, and you throw all your might behind a ball. I usually don’t die too soon, because although I can’t throw, I discover that I have a talent for dodging (or hiding). But really, it’s basically one insane 40 minutes of kill or be killed.
It’s crazy. But I’m going back next week.