Drop-in dodgeball goes to nationals

Growing dodgeball league sends local team to bring home the championship title


Reported by Tierney Grattan

The Vancouver Dodgeball League is heading to the National Dodgeball Championships for the first time after a big win at the provincial tryouts.

The VDL beat three other teams to secure a spot at the nationals, to be held in Prince Edward Island, April 4 to 7.

Byron Wong, a player on the provincial team, said they first realized they could make it to the nationals last year after playing against a team from Toronto.

“We got the idea of thinking about trying out for B.C. and making it for the nationals,” Wong said.

Not your ordinary league

The VDL is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization that creates a community through the sport of dodgeball. People can either try the game for the first time as a drop in, or play on a competitive team.

The biggest challenge for the team is the difference in playing styles. The VDL created their own style, which is fast-paced with more action. In comparison, the World Dodgeball Federation plays a slower and more controlled game.

One of the foam balls the VDL use to play sits on the court, waiting to be thrown. Photo: Tierney Grattan

“The ball sizes are also different as well. We play with eight inch foam balls. They play with seven inch,” said Justin Tieu, the VDL Thursday night director. “It may not sound like a lot, but it makes a big difference in terms of how it works for throwing it.”

Sport in the spirit of fun

The league began when Kevin Bao, the founder and chair, first went to a drop-in dodgeball session at SFU. He enjoyed the atmosphere of fitness, fun and team-building. He wanted to expand that community throughout the Lower Mainland.

“It was just a drop in at first, but then it grew to 16 teams,” said Truong Cao, executive director of the league. “Now we have, if you include Richmond and our sister leagues, we are standing at 200 teams.”

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