When it was first suggested that we play dodgeball as a league, I expected that it would be on skates in the Thunderdome and it would be complete carnage.
But when it came about that we were actually going to a proper place, to play proper dodgeball, taught by a proper dodgeball player (part of the Manchester Bees, an official dodgeball team in Manchester) it came as a surprise.
We started off playing a little game where we would all run across the room whilst we got balls thrown at us. Now, as I’m sure you know, roller derby doesn’t involve balls or a lot of upper arm strength, so when we started throwing the balls I could feel my former netball-playing self get a little bit ashamed.
Then we started doing a little bit of throwing and catching. Working in pairs we got progressively more aggressive throwing the ball at each other and trying to catch it. A lot of this exercise was spent chasing balls around the room, it was good cardio though.
Then we got split into teams and played some dodgeball. I was pretty excited, dodgeball was my favourite sport before roller derby reeled me in (that doesn’t mean I was any good at it). We played a game where if you got hit by the ball you had to stand still for 10 seconds. I stayed towards the back of my team towards the wall, Mennis threw a ball and as I turned around to catch it, it bounced of the wall and made my glasses half fall off – thanks!
We played a few rounds of that game, and then moved onto another where if you got hit out you could only get back if someone went between your legs or high-tenned you. We got a drink after this, and after training in the Thunderdome where it is freezing at this time of year, it was strange to be exercising in a room which had heating. I definitely missed being back in the freezing cold ‘dome (I was turning a new shade of red).
We got back and lined up again to be put into teams to play a proper game of dodgeball. The game would consists of 5 games and whoever won the most out the 5 won. It was pretty good actually, our skills had picked up from the beginning and there was some good catches, I think someone even managed a dive catch. We let the other team win the first one, then we pulled it back so it was 3-2 at the end. Our team was feeling quite pleased with our first ever dodgeball win.
After another little drink and a break we played a few more games. One called ‘super catch’ where if someone caught the ball the whole team came back in, one where if you were out you had to go to the back of the other team and catch a ball to come back in and one where you chose a person to be your VIP, and if they got hit the whole game was over and the other team won.
It was a good evening! After not playing dodgeball (or any other ball sport) for years, it made me realise I should probably work on my upper body strength a bit. But I think it might be a little while before there is an official Rainy City Dodgeball team.
Thanks to Manchester Bees for coaching the session and putting up with our questionable ball skills!