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Forget the Red Rubber Sting; Tempe’s New Dodgeball League is Pain-Free Space for Coeds

Published: Thursday, July 26, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 00:08

Dodgeball

Adrian Lesoing, College Times

A new dodgeball league that caters to young professionals is giving them a chance to meet new people and have fun getting in shape.

This coed, recreational league is attracting nearly 60 people every Tuesday night for open gyms, and expects a full eight team league starting up August 14.

Former dodgeball world champions Santiago Granillo and Bill Fair created the National Dodgeball Organization earlier this year and are preparing for the inaugural season.

“We have been playing competitive dodgeball for a while,” Granillo said. “So we thought, let’s start a league.”

Fair and Granillo feel a lot of people in the league play because it reminds them of the fun times they had when they were younger.

“It’s something out of your childhood you haven’t played in a while,” Granillo said.

Josie Bryant, 26, is planning on playing this year and is excited to do something she remembered loving at a young age.

“I used to play in a league when I was in high school,” Bryant said. “I thought this would be a lot of fun.”

A big selling point for girls in the league, Fair said, is the no sting, foam balls. Fair said the lighter and smaller foam balls make it so competitors are not going to go home covered in bruises.

“Usually people use the traditional red rubber balls,” Fair said. “But you will sometimes get guys throwing those around 70 miles per hour.”

Another way the league differs is that women can get close to the opposing team to make up for the difference in throwing power between the genders. Just past the middle line that divides the two teams, an extra mark indicates where women can take a few extra steps.

Bryant feels the social aspect is every bit as important as the physical part of the league and is a great way to meet a diverse group of new people.

“Aside from being really good exercise, you meet a lot of good people,” Bryant said.

Joe Hickman, 27, heard about the league through MeetUp.com and stopped by an open gym night to try something new.

“It is different from going to happy hour and things like that,” Hickman said. “We meet up afterwards and just play ball.”

With any league of this nature, it runs the risk of becoming overly competitive.

“When it is competitive, the league tends to get smaller,” Fair said. “That is why we created the three veteran rule.”

The three veteran rule means that on any given team, only three players are allowed to have extensive background in dodgeball leagues.

Fair and Granillo feel that this will create a competitive balance in the league that will keep people coming back for more.

The league will be capped at eight teams this year due to lack of gym space, and seven teams are already registered.

However, it is not too late to sign up.

“If you are interested in playing in our league, we will help you out,” Granillo said. “We will find room for you on someone’s roster.”

Registration to join the National Dodgeball Organization ends on August 7, with league play starting the following week on August 14.

The fee to join is $65, which covers a shirt, post-game parties and a six week season that concludes with a Saturday tournament to crown the league champion.

All league events are held at the Sports Club at City Square in Phoenix, located at 400 N. Central Avenue.

For more information about the National Dodgeball Organization, stop by one of its open gyms every Tuesday from 7 to 9:30 p.m., visit LetsPlayDodgeball.com or call 602.285.2929.

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