Do you remember dodge ball? Elementary school was where I was first introduced to the game. The concept is simple – remain the last man standing. You eliminate your opponents by hurling an orb at their bodies. The rules have remained relatively static – hit someone else and they’re out. If they catch the ball, you are out. Most places do not allow hitting people in the head, also known as head hunting.Since grade school I have had almost no chance to fling balls at people with the express purpose of hitting them. I joined my high school football team, but whenever I threw the pig skin at someone they caught it. When I asked my coach if I could hit people, he instructed me that I could but it was generally accomplished with my body. This brutal interaction often proved to be just as painful to me as to my victim and lacked the finesse I had grown to appreciate in my years of dodge ball. Experimentation with several other ball-related sports proved to be even more disastrous. A baseball tryout left a team mate with a broken nose and the bowling team still won’t return my calls.Maybe the world is a better place now that I can no longer thump my friends with Voits and Spaldings. It is a known fact that grade-schoolers have the throwing velocity equivalent to my grandmother’s. Perhaps now that my muscular system has developed, my opponents could sustain life-threatening injuries if I were to engage them in dodge ball combat.In a trend towards reviving sports once considered to be barbaric and dangerous to the contestants, the International Dodge-Ball Federation is bringing the game back in style. It has launched a national campaign to form local leagues. 20th Century Fox and Ben Stiller are currently filming a movie scheduled to be released in the Summer of 2004 titled “Under Dogs,” starring Stiller and Vince Vaughn, in which business men settle their disputes with a good, old-fashioned game of dodge ball. The movie uses over 50 newly-sanctioned IBDF balls. This Saturday there will be an IBDF tournament in Rochester. It will take place at the YMCA of Greater Rochester, 444 Main St. East. The entry fee is $13 per person for open 16+ and senior 45+ levels. Teams are limited to six people, and registration can be made via e-mail or telephone at (585) 546-5500.Goldner can be reached at bgoldner@campustimes.org.



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