Dodgeball Life Lesson #1: Always Pay Attention

Posted on February 17, 2013 at 9:21 pm |


Many years ago, purely on coincidence, I overheard a few people talking about playing in a dodgeball league.  I was amazed such a thing existed and even more amazed why I was not already a part of this. Immediately after, I did a quick internet search, and there it was, The Vancouver Dodgeball League.  Luckily, it just so happened that the league was about to start a new season and registration was still open.  Without even thinking if I had enough people to form a team, I quickly registered one. Two weeks later, I was playing my first dodgeball game.

The league was only in its third season.  Only 2 nights, no tiers, and everyone for the most part was still just learning about the game.  It’s safe to say the league has grown and improved tremendously since I first started.  As the league continued to evolve, so did I.  Being around the league for as many seasons as I have, I’ve been able to observe and learn a lot of things.  A little bit about life, a lot about dodgeball, quite possibly a whole lot about dodgeball with no real life applicability but nevertheless, allow me to take the time to share with you what I’ve learned over the years.

Dodgeball Lesson 1:  Always Pay Attention

What started as regular game quickly turned out to be a valuable life lesson for all involved.

Initially everything went as planned.  The game started.  People got balls.  People tried to hit each other with their balls.  It had all the makings of your typical dodgeball game.

About halfway through the game, the game setup looked something like this (Figure 1).

Figure 1.


Player 1 was on my team, while Player 2 standing beside the refs was one of the people from the opposing team who was out.  (Note:  I didn’t bother to include every person playing that game just the important ones.)  Also as you can clearly see, Player 1’s arms were significantly larger than everyone else’s and disproportionately large compared to the rest of his body.  That provided him super human throwing strength and intimidation.

Looking at this setup, you can easily determine that the path of the ball can really only go in one general direction seeing as all the opposition had positioned themselves at the opposite corner of the court.

Figure 2 illustrates the possible throwing options my teammate (Player 1) had at the time.

Figure 2.


Now despite my teammate’s super human abilities in strength and intimidation, his accuracy was (and still is) questionable at the best of times.  My teammate then winds up to make a throw at full power (hoping for the best) at the three people standing on the opposite side.

A lesson here is that in the heat of battle when you are reacting to the situation, sometimes you get really caught up in the moment and forget to do certain things.  In this case, my teammate while throwing forgot to release the ball.  Therefore, instead of going straight…

Figure 3.


Yes…the ball took a slightly different course of direction…

Figure 4.


And as you can clearly see, Player 2 was less than 0.5m away (hells yeah, we’re going metric) from my teammate.  Keep in mind, that there was no reason for anything to be thrown at the direction of the wall/standby line as all the opposition was standing on the other side.  At that distance, with no release from the throw, it quickly became a punch from a man with super human strength…

Figure 5.


I’ll let you guess where the ball ended up…

From that we all learned a valuable lesson that night.  True there was no reason Player 2 should have expected a ball to thrown anywhere near his area (hint hint) and cheering his team on is a perfectly logical action when out.  However, because he wasn’t paying attention to the entire play, Player 2 wasn’t prepared and he paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Let this be a lesson to all of you and remember my first rule of dodgeball.

Dodgeball lesson # 1: Always Pay Attention.

Note:  On the happier side of things, sometimes trauma can lead stronger bonds as Player 2 joined our team the following season and continues on to this day.

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