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Youth Dodgeball “Hits” the Glen Ellyn Park District!

Posted on: July 30, 2018

If your child is looking for a new activity to add to their sports arsenal, sign them up for Youth Dodgeball through the Glen Ellyn Park District! This energetic, strategic game geared towards children in grades 3-8 is a great way for kids to burn off energy, stay healthy, make new friends, and learn a fun and exciting sport.

Youth Dodgeball is new to the Glen Ellyn Park District this fall. “We’re always looking for new programs to offer, and dodgeball is a hit with the age groups we’re targeting,” said Brad Thomas, Recreation Supervisor for the Glen Ellyn Park District. “Neighboring park districts run dodgeball leagues that are very well attended, so we’re expecting to have the same results.” The league is co-ed, with no specific requirement for boys or girls on each team.

The 9-week season includes a practice the first week, 7 regular-season games, and then a single-elimination post-season tournament. “Games will be held at Ackerman SFC on Saturdays from September 15th to November 17th,” said Thomas. “League rules and registration details are on our website at www.gepark.org/youth-leagues. Players must register individually, but will form their own teams with 6-12 players, including a coach and a captain.”

Dodgeball begins with players lined up behind their endline at the back of each end of the court. At the start of the game, players run to the middle of the court to pick up one of the several balls that are placed there. Players must come back behind the “attack line” before throwing their ball at an opponent. A player who is hit by a live ball is deemed “out” and must go to the sideline.

For parents concerned with the safety of the game, there are many rules in place to avoid injuries. “Our league plays on a turf court, which is softer than a basketball court,” explained Thomas. “We’re running these leagues on turf because they offer us more availability for games, but we like the advantage of a softer, less slick surface.”

Kids enjoy dodgeball, perhaps in part due to the popularity of the comedy movie “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story”, starring Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller. “The kids have fun trying to mimic what they’ve seen in the movie,” added Thomas. “Ever since the movie came out in 2004, dodgeball has become increasingly popular. The boys especially seem to have fun throwing the dodgeballs at each other.”

Dodgeball is a very safe sport to play, according to Thomas. “The leagues are run in a controlled environment, with official referees,” he said. “The dodgeballs and rules we use are in compliance with the National Amateur Dodgeball Association (NADA). Players don’t need protective gear, but sport goggles are required if players normally wear glasses.”

Registration for residents wanting to play Youth Dodgeball opens on July 29th at 10 pm. Registration for non-residents begins August 13th at 8:30 am.

For more information about Youth Dodgeball through the Glen Ellyn Park District, please contact Brad Thomas at bthomas@gepark.org.