‘It’s fun to hit your friends’

Melissa Sidebotham

Club dodgeball offers ‘stress release’ and chance ‘to be yourself’

WATCH a video of dodgeball practice.

WATCH a photo gallery of dodgeball practice.

Colorful dodgeballs lined the walls of the multi-purpose room of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center Friday afternoon.

The dodgeballs, as well as 40 people, were there for the Kent State club dodgeball team’s weekly practice.

The Kent State club dodgeball team is ranked fifth out of 26 collegiate club teams, according to the National College Dodgeball Association.

Carl Veith and his brother Matt are co-captains of the team and want everyone to come out and join.

“It’s the only time you can be yourself,” Carl Veith said.

Members of the team said people who join don’t have to be extremely athletic to play dodgeball.

“If you notice, we don’t all look like athletes,” said Brett Hodros, senior secondary education major.

Jerrod Yarosh, sociology graduate student, said playing dodgeball brings him back to his playground days.

“It’s a good release of stress from work,” he said. “It’s fun to hit your friends.”

While many people think dodgeball is a dangerous sport, players say that isn’t the case.

Freshman education major Hank Zak said dodgeball does have its fair share of finger, knee, arm and below-the-belt injuries, but that’s about as bad as it gets.

“I doubt anyone would actually die from dodgeball,” Zak said.

Players say dodgeball isn’t just a sport for men. The Veith brothers encourage women to come out and play.

Leslie Ellison, freshman biology technology major, said she loves to come play dodgeball. She said it’s a fun way to release her aggression and to meet “lots of guys.”

Carolyn Jones, freshman nursing major, said sometimes men are afraid to hit women and it impresses them when they can take a hit.

While dodgeball can be a very hard-core club, the players don’t always take themselves seriously. Carl Veith wore fishnets during a game last year.

“You can wear Halloween costumes and no one makes fun of you,” he said. “No one ever asked why.”

Dodgeball also has plays where players do a cartwheel then throw the ball and another where they have three balls and throw them all at once to fake out opponents.

The Veith brothers said the dodgeball team doesn’t have any dues like a normal club team. When the team travels to tournaments, its members have to help with a fundraiser. Anyone can help the dodgeball club raise money by going to http://www.magfundraising.com/KentStateDodgeballClub .

Dodgeball practices every Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. and every Sunday from 7 to 9 p.m. in the multi-purpose room at the rec center. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to come. Starting every Monday night in October, the team will play in a 6 on 6 Akron dodgeball league.

Contact Student Recreation and Wellness reporter Melissa Sidebotham

at [email protected].