Dodgeball hurtles from the playground to the Rec

By Tyler Dixon

After weeks of hard work and preparation, and arduous minutes of dodging, ducking, dipping, diving and more dodging, an SIU dodgeball champion was crowned in the top league Dec. 5.

Team Chuck defeated People’s Elbow in the final match, with the winner not tasting the bitterness of defeat in the last two seasons. The team took home its second consecutive A-League championship for intramural dodgeball.

Student Recreation Center intramural dodgeball is divided into four leagues with 29 total teams. The A-league is the highest level and has 12 teams, the B-league with seven teams, Greek League has eight teams and the co-rec league has two teams.

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Shane Bennett, intramural sports assistant director, said the larger leagues are usually football and basketball, but dodgeball has between 29 and 40 teams per year and is only played in the fall.

“Dodgeball is one of (those) sports due to the limited amount of space that we have, we do what we can,” Bennett said.

Shea Cullen, a senior from Dixon studying exercise science, member of A-league champion Team Chuck, said the team is named after one of the player’s dogs, Charlie.

Cullen said he and his friends chose dodgeball because of its physicality.

“We chose dodgeball because it was the sport that requires the most athleticism out of all the intramural sports,” he said.

Each dodgeball team has 10 members but only six can be on the court at the same time. The championship was decided in a best-of-seven series. A game is won when one team knocks out all members of the opposing team with the ball.

Team Chuck is comprised of players with different backgrounds. Cullen said some of the members went to rival schools growing up, but they were able to come together when it mattered most.

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“We actually have a few guys that went to rival high schools,” Cullen said. “We had to put our differences aside and check our egos at the door.”

Jarret Baber, a senior from Monmouth studying criminology and criminal justice, was not on the team last season but was a piece in this year’s team repeat victory.

Baber said he played dodgeball to ease the stresses of college life.

“It’s just good to get a break from the normal grind of school and everything else,” he said. “You have some time to just relax and go out and play,”

Cullen said they knew there was a target on the team’s back after last season. He attributes the team’s solid play this season to vigorous off-season training and conditioning as well as many hours in the film room.

The championship match was held at the Student Recreation Center but seating was limited.

“We were honestly a little disappointed they didn’t move the championship match to the arena stadium because the place was pretty packed,” Cullen said.

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