The Weird and Wonderful World Dodgeball Championships in Hong Kong
Bill Moffat needed his team to remain calm. He knew that was the key to the gold.
“If I can keep them calm, then we have a chance of winning this,” the coach of the Canadian National Dodgeball team said in the tension-filled moments leading up to Sunday afternoon’s World Dodgeball Championships at Queen Elizabeth Stadium in the Wan Chai neighborhood of Hong Kong.
WATCH: Hit the Floor of the Dodgeball Championships
You’d be forgiven for not realizing the World Dodgeball Championships happened over the weekend. Blame it on that other sporting event happening down in Brazil.
Yet over 150 players from five countries traveled to Hong Kong last week to compete in the game of skill that involves strategy, teamwork and avoiding foam balls thrown at speeds of up to 80 miles per hour.
We live in the early days of global dodgeball competition. Very early.
In 2012 a group of enthusiasts from countries with large dodgeball communities—Malaysia, the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, England and China—got together to try to standardize the game’s rules for international play. The quarreled over court size, ball size, rules and regulations. That year they hosted an invitational tournament in Malaysia—the very first World Dodgeball Championships. The following year the tournament was hosted by New Zealand. Next year, they hope to hold the games in Las Vegas.
“The goal right now is to get dodgeball organized and standardized across the world,” explained Bill Fair, the president of the World Dodgeball Federation. Fair is 37 and works in hotel sales in San Diego. Thirty-seven, he claims, is practically ancient in the world of dodgeball, but he shows no signs of retiring any time soon.
Once the sport is standardized, Fair says, the goal grows loftier. “Once we can agree on the format, the rules and the standards then we will look towards the Olympics.”
Excitement brews at the opening ceremonies. (Photo: Jo Piazza)