Spirit Ballots

Spirit is one of our most important values at VDL and to encourage it, we have a Spirit Rating system that allows teams to give other teams spirit ratings after each league night. In addition, each team will be asked to pick a favourite team that they played against that evening.  The team with the most “Favourites” during the season is awarded Hootie the Spirit Owl trophy, and a team prize to be shared among all team members. To incentivize teams to play with the highest levels of sportsmanship, spirit scores will impact your playoff seeding as your final spirit score is adjusted by our playoff multiplier and added to your regular season score.

Here’s a bit more info about the Spirit Ballots and how to use them.

What is the Spirit Ballot?
At the end of each league night, teams are given a ballot to rate the spirit – or AWESOMENESS – of the opposing teams. This ballot allows you to award the teams 1 to 5 points. Afterwards, the spirit scores are tallied and updated on the VDL website every 2 weeks to let all teams know how they’re doing.

As a guideline, the 5 points are based on 3 categories that help you rate the other team’s spirit:

Did the team always provide two refs right away when not playing?
Did the referees know all the rules and enforce them?
Were the referees attentive on the courts?

Did the team play fairly and honestly?
Were they respectful to the other players?
Were they respectful to referees?

Were they enthusiastic?
Did they have a good attitude?
Were they pleasant to play against?

If an opposing team is given a score under 2, the team giving the score must explain the reason(s) for the score. If there’s no good justification, the score will be ignored, and the opposing teams will get an average based on the other scores submitted. Teams giving other teams a zero are flagged and followed-up on, as it’s considered a serious complaint.

If teams don’t fill out a spirit ballot at the end of a night, they forfeit their say in other teams’ spirit scores for that specific night. All other teams receive a 5 from said team by default. The team itself receives a zero.

What Happens to the Spirit Ballot?
The hard copy of the Spirit Ballots are kept in the VDL vault and a soft copy is inputted into our top secret, very complicated, high-tech, custom-designed internal app. In addition, we take your comments on the Spirit Ballot into consideration and they are reviewed by the team to help us improve the league.

The How-Tos of Spirit Ballots
Basically if a team demonstrates high spirit, good sportsmanship, consistent reffing, and are just a blast to play with, they should receive a 5 out of 5. The comment section is available for positive comments too, so if you had a great time at dodgeball playing a certain team, write that in! We love hearing positive feedback just as much as constructive criticism.

The What NOT-To-Dos of Spirit Ballots
The Spirit Ballot is:

– NOT a reporting tool. If you have a concern to bring up with another team, as per our new conflict resolution process, please try to resolve the matters player-to-player or captain-to-captain immediately. The comments are used to improve the overall logistics of VDL, get feedback on what teams need coaching, but are not used to resolve personal conflicts or major complaints. Please follow up with the respective Division Director if there’s been a spirit or code of conduct breach.
– NOT used as a punishment tool. The opposing team should not be punished with a low score because of misunderstandings of the rules, or because of an inability of impacted teams to speak up, and address the issue directly. Proper conflict resolution, done immediately, should prevent low spirit scores.
X – NOT to be used to sabotage another team. Do not give the opposing team a low score in order to sabotage their efforts to get better Playoff seeding or to win Hootie the Spirit Owl. This action in itself contradicts what Spirit is all about.

The Spirit system is unique at VDL and we trust our community to use it with goodwill so we can award Hootie the Spirit Owl properly, but more importantly, to keep Dodgeball fun and full of spirit!