Dodge, Dip, Duck, Dive and Dodge

Concordia’s Dodgeball League Whips It at Le Gym

  • Concordia students take part in the Concordia Dodgeball League at Le Gym on Saturday nights Photo Shaun Michaud

  • Concordia students take part in the Concordia Dodgeball League at Le Gym on Saturday nights Photo Shaun Michaud

  • Concordia students take part in the Concordia Dodgeball League at Le Gym on Saturday nights Photo Shaun Michaud

If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball,” a wise man and dodgeball legend—or, more precisely, a character from the film Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story—once said.

While it remains to be seen if any of the members of the Concordia Dodgeball League can actually dodge a wrench, they can certainly dodge a ball.

“It’s old school,” said Concordia Dodgeball League president Bhushan Charkha.

“Everybody loves it, everybody has played it.”

It’s a sport that’s long been a staple in high school and elementary school gymnasiums, but it’s also a hit among university students.

The Concordia Dodgeball League has been a club under the Concordia Student Union since 2010, and has allowed students from all faculties, ages, and backgrounds to participate in their games, free of charge, on Saturday nights at Concordia.

The league’s games take place in a small gym inside Le Gym on the Sir George Williams campus. The familiar pings and smacks of balls hitting walls and players bring back memories of a simpler time for the players, and the thrill remains even after being away from the game for so long.

Photo Shaun Michaud

“I [last] played dodgeball maybe five years ago, back in high school,” said league member Rais Mohammed Hedi.

“It’s really a game where you always have to look for your target, look for the ball if it’s coming to you, look for the [middle] line. It’s pretty fun.

“It’s more fun than intense, but you still have to watch out [for the ball],” Hedi added.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Lawrence Greenberg, who was participating in the league for the first time this past weekend.

“It was very competitive. It’s fun to play.”

The league often sees over 50 players in the gym every week, a big improvement from when the league was in its infancy.

“We barely had seven players on hand [in the first year],” Charkha said.

“We used to call people to come join us to play.”

Photo Shaun Michaud

Now the league has a waiting list with up to 35 registered players waiting for a chance to play at a time, because the gym can only accommodate so many people. However, executive members of the league don’t feel that their league has spread out as much as they would like.

“I think it’s growing steadily, but not many people know about it,” said the league’s VP Social, Alfred Chellanthara.

“We actually want to move to the Loyola gym,” said VP Marketing Martin So.

“[We want] to get even bigger. Get more people to come out. Not that many people know that we’re out there.”

Undergraduate and graduate students from all faculties at Concordia are among the league’s members. Co-ed teams are also in the league, and the women are sometimes superior than the men.

“You do not expect them [to do so],” said Hedi.

“I thought that they would be [the worst players] on teams, but definitely not. Definitely not.”

This past weekend, the CDL held a dodgeball tournament in which teams of eight faced off against one another for bragging rights and dodgeball league supremacy.

Players from Concordia paid an entry fee of $10 while non-Concordia students paid $20, receiving jerseys and refreshments. According to Charkha, 64 players participated in the tournament. The funds raised at the tournament will go towards UNICEF and Engineers Without Borders.

Photo Shaun Michaud

The CDL has fundraised money for charities and foundations through its tournaments, raising over $600 at a tournament last year, as well as through bake sales. Members of the league also plan on visiting a women’s shelter, Logifem, in the summer, where they will spend the day taking care of women in need.

With the league at work trying to expand, as well as contribute through volunteering and fundraising, Charkha, who will be graduating Concordia after this academic year, is confident that his league will flourish.

“I don’t want this league to [die out],” Charkha said. “I’m just trying my best to run this league as smoothly as possible. Looking at our performance, and how people [have responded], I don’t think it’ll be our last year.”

The league plans on being open during the summer, allowing members to the get their dodgeball fix in the warmer months. Students can register through their Facebook group. The league plays its games every Saturday evening from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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