Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Dodge, duck, dip, dive and... dodge

Two clans, both six-strong, stand opposite each other, separated by 20 yards of open battlefield. A whistle blows. They surge forwards, screaming as they explode towards their enemies. There’s a clash at the heart of the arena as warriors gather arms. They retreat a safe distance. The standoff commences. Then, BANG! Projectiles fly. Combatants perish and fall as the action roars on until, eventually, one team is annihilated. The air fills with the hollers, whoops and relief of the victors, who bravely live to fight another day…

… then they all head to the bar for a right old piss up! Wahaaay!

This, ladies and gentlemen, is Dodgeball. It’s like the opening scene of Gladiator, but with fewer losses of life, less fire, fridgeloads of booze, a considerably more jovial atmosphere, a smattering of sportswear, no weapons and not a single instance of Russell Crowe. As you can imagine, it’s the metaphorical male canine’s genital area. Unless he’s had the op.

I joined a Dodgeball team last summer and, quite frankly, have never looked back. It is, without doubt, one of the best things I’ve ever done. Every Wednesday I hop on the train to the Shoreditch Powerleague centre, where I routinely throw balls as hard as I can at complete strangers. And they don’t even mind! In fact, it’s openly encouraged. Ok, so they throw them back at me, in most cases much more powerfully, but that’s the name of the game. And I love it. Here’s why:

1. If you’ve had a bad day, the dull thud of a ball as it crashes against an opponent’s lumber is quite possibly the best therapy you’ll ever receive.

2. There’s a bar…

3. It’s all for fun and fun for all! Ok, so once you’ve crossed the white lines you do want to win, but you can lose with a smile on your face too. In all the years I’ve played football I don’t think I’ve ever come off the pitch after a defeat and thought “That was awesome.” With Dodgeball I do it all the time. And it’s not just because all the blows to the head have left me mentally retarded.

4. The teams have to be mixed sex. Attractive, athletic ladies in sportswear, getting a sweat on. Could be worse…

5. Winning. Yeah, I know I said it’s all about the fun, but by the beard of Zeus, there’s nothing quite as pleasing as pulling off a winning throw or catch.

6. The atmosphere is electric. My fellow Dodgers are ultra-pleasant and friendly people who love a few drinks in the bar afterwards as much as they enjoy throwing balls directly at people’s faces. It’s a perfect arrangement. Technically speaking, you’re not allowed to hit faces, but it sure makes for better reading.

Perhaps the only downside is the crushing shame and remorse you feel after blasting a humdinger straight into the face/boobies/ovaries of an innocent young lady. Yeah, I feel a bit guilty when that happens. But they would probably hit me square in the pant region at the drop of a hat, so I should stop worrying I guess. Oh, and the inability to perform even the most basic of motor skills with your throwing arm the next day is a slight downside, but who uses their arms these days anyway? It’s much easier to type with your nose and chin…

Anyway, I love Dodgeball. Can't really do it justice in a short blog entry. But I just thought you should know.

Incidentally, if you want to try it out head to http://dodgeballuk.com/

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