Remember dodgeball from high school where you just tried to not get hit with a ball?
Winnipeggers took the sport to the next level this weekend at the Dodgeball Nationals at the University of Winnipeg’s Duckworth Centre.
A total of 35 teams from across the country came to the city to compete.
“People go to the gym, training, they have practices. We have a 19-page playbook so it’s pretty extreme,” said Prairie Fire dodgeball player Taylor Yule. “There’s a lot of people that will come and say ‘oh, I used to be super good at that in high school’ and they don’t understand that people are throwing these balls over 100 km an hour.”
There’s even more at stake at the tournament on the weekend. Teams aren’t just competing for the national title but hoping to catch the eyes of scouts, putting together Canada’s next national team.
“This is an intense sport,” said Mat Klachefsky, president of Dodgeball Manitoba.
“The people who are playing here today, they treat dodgeball like NHL players treat hockey. It’s 24-7; it’s all they think about. It’s all they do.”
In Winnipeg, the dodgeball sport is growing. Klachefsky said Winnipeg has the most players per capita in the country and that more than 1,000 people play each week.
“It’s an infectious community,” Klachefsky added. “People who play they all know each other. The community is really tight and it’s infectious.”
The tournament wraps up Sunday, and the team Canada chosen players will go off to the world competition in Los Angeles.
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