Adult Dodgeball Tournament Planned For February

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Almost every elementary school student of the past four decades has played some version of dodgeball, either on the playground or in gym classes.

Although most adults have not played the game for years, they remember it as a team, or individual showdown, in which players try to avoid being hit by a ball that opponents throw at them.

Those who get hit are eliminated, and the team with the last man standing is declared the winner.

In 2004, the game enjoyed a resurgence in popularity when the movie, "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story," hit the big screen.

The plot centered on a group of misfits who enter a Las Vegas dodgeball tournament in order to save their cherished local gym from the onslaught of a corporate health fitness chain.

This past school year, Payson High School hosted a first-ever dodgeball tournament that turned into a huge hit among the students.

Now, the Payson Parks and Recreation Department has decided to get in on the act by hosting an inaugural adult dodgeball tournament. It will be held Feb. 24 in the Payson High School gymnasium.

Town recreation coordinator Mary McMullen said the idea of hosting a dodgeball tournament was presented to her months ago, and with the success of the high school tournament, she decided it could also become a popular town sports offering.

"If the tournament goes over well, we could someday hold a league," she said.

The dodgeball recreational offering might be the most unusual since the town offered over-the-line softball 10 years ago.

In past years, some dodgeball competitions around the country had a downside when injuries occurred because rules were ignored and balls not suited for play caused injury.

McMullen assures those interested in participating, that the parks and recreation department has taken steps to ensure the new tournament will be both safe and enjoyable.

"Rubber coated foam balls will be used and safety conscious (National Amateur Dodgeball Association) rules (will be) enforced," she said.

McMullen also believes the league will be a fun way for adults to relive their dodgeball days and also enjoy healthy, stress-free physical activity.

Registration for the first-ever offering begins Jan. 16 and will continue through Feb. 2.

The tournament will include both men's and women's divisions as long as a minimum of four teams register for each league.

A minimum of six players, and a maximum of 10, are allowed on each team.

All participants must be 18 years of age.

The fee is $100 per team and includes tournament T-shirts. Prizes will be awarded to champions in each division.

Call McMullen at (928) 474-5241 ext. 7 for more information.

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