Teams battle it out in fierce contests

Rockland Dodgeball: A circus all its own

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 11:15pm

ROCKLAND — Near the end of a long night, the Rec ‘N Crew dodge ball team claimed a tournament championship following a final game against the Bench Warmers.

The Wednesday, March 25, match up, refereed by Rockland Rec. Center Assistant Director Benji Blake and volunteer Heath Commeau, marked a fierce double-elimination finalization to a six-week co-ed dodge ball league at the Rockland Recreation Center. 

The elimination of the Bench Warmers ended a constantly moving three-hour tournament loud and lively from start to finish. 

Players from 13 teams leaped, twirled, and performed mid-air splits, all in attempt to avoid air balls, missile strikes, and grounders.

At times, bodies skidded out of control, mopped the floor, and smudged the varnish. 

Only once did a moon ball become wedged behind the scoreboard hung on the wall, just below the rafters.

The smack of hard foam against backsides, feet, and — even though illegal — faces could be heard, but did not deter the 18 to 50-plus year-old participants who were releasing their pent up energy.

Along with original team names such as ‘The Dodge Fathers’ and ’Traitor Joes’, some participants wore jerseys branded with nicknames such as ‘One Play,’ ‘El Diable,’ and ‘Howlett the Moon.’

The gymnasium deafened often by the foot stomping, vocal trebling of the spectators as a lone player on one side of the court delayed the oncoming attack of three or four opponents from the other side.

Twice, members of the audience shouted, “Hit ‘em in the knees.”

As with other games, the final set of matches between the Rec ‘N Crew and the Benchwarmers amassed strategic warfare including waiting for the opponents to throw their balls, at which time the strategizers would pelt the unarmed and unprepared opponent. Sometimes this worked. 

At one point, two Bench Warmers sent simultaneous balls bulleting at one Rec ‘N Crew player, who managed to avoid both with a single leap.

Points volleyed back and forth during this final set between the two teams. 

One game within the set ended simply because a Bench Warmer stepped over the center line, an unacceptable act in the sport. 

Another of the games ended when a Rec ‘N Crew athlete did a jump split, only to receive a ball smack against his gut.  

The majority of the Rec ‘N Crew team happen to play for the same baseball squad at Oceanside High School. Some also play for the school’s basketball squad. 

When asked about the leagues, Coby Dorr said, "Well we got involved through the Rec. It's mainly people who work there [on our team]. All of us just show up to have a good time and try to win." 

Reach Sarah Thompson at