Dodgeball, An autobiography

Small fact: dodgeball is stupid. The only reason that I said that I would choose it for my sport was on the condition that I wouldn’t actually have to do the dodge the ball bit. This turned out to be very true. Though I wasn’t expecting that other people would not have the same view about the stupidness of dodgeball as me. I know that there are people who actually enjoy sports but I never thought that there would be such a thing as a dodgeball enthusiast. Well, there isn’t really. There are just highly competitive people who use dodgeball to satisfy that need to win. To me dodgeball doesn’t bring up any complicated philosophical questions. It’s just so pointless that you have to wonder what the hell people are doing being enthusiastic about it.
Me, I sat in the corner of the gym playing puzzle games on my phone and flinching not an inch when balls were hurriedly hurled my way. One of the greatest advantages to not giving a crap about winning is that you get to watch other people give a crap about winning, which is a vastly curious sport.
As I sat in the corner for a very special reason. It was a tactical reason rather than a lazy reason. The fact is that even if people decide that I’m worth the ball if they are off angle for more than an inch it’s just going to hit one wall, bounce onto the other and miss me entirely. Another good thing was that people tend to crowd around corners for no good reason when they’re afraid of getting hit, so I viewed the game from a cage of long, pale legs.
The thing about dodgeball is that the people that actually give a shit are usually either really, surprisingly tall, or really rather small. I found this remarkably amusing.
An unfortunate fact for not really giving a crap is that when your team loses and all the good people are out you can either just stand there and get a ball int he face or you can stand up and play. I did the latter. Though not with my normal lack of enthusiasm towards actual physical exercise. I figured that if I was going to have to jump around dodging brightly coloured balls with 96 pairs of judgemental eyes staring at me I may as well have a little fun with it. I don’t need to tell you where that went.
Happily this only happened once because our team had a larger amount of people who gave a shit on it than the other team.
The one time my not exactly playing, but not exactly out strategy didn’t work and I well and truly did get out was the one game that my team lost. Though unlike most of my other teammates there was a much smaller amount of yelling and violence. This year nine guy came up to me holding one of the balls. I didn’t recognise him, but that wasn’t surprising considering we were playing with people from year eight to year ten. He asked me if I was out and I grudgingly told him that I wasn’t. He smiled at me in a nervous sort of way and threw the ball like a bowling ball. It hit my boot with a satisfactory thump. We saluted each other as I wander vacantly towards the out area filled with the rest of my team. Later I was asked if I knew him to which I had to answer no, nonetheless in those few minutes of confrontation I had become a fan.
In the end I wandered out of the gym feeling bewildered and vaguely hungry. I deemed the period of sport a decent waste of my times and somehow ended up on a train deciding I needed to document what I had observed.


  1. Pingback: On impact | Music for Deckchairs
  2. Rachel · March 17, 2014

    This is the post I was talking about…Think I might have posted the wrong one in my last comment. It’s by Charlotte Wood- a Sydney writer I like.

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