MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

February 23, 2014

Wanted: Dodge ball teams

By Cathy Spaulding
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Winning a dodge ball game involves remembering the five D’s, a Muskogee dodge ball veteran says.

“You’ve got to duck, dodge, dip, dive, and dodge again,” said Joseph Lane, who plans to play in the Fifth annual Dodging for Disasters Dodge Ball Tournament next month.

Businesses and individuals are assembling teams for the tournament, set for March 8 at the Muskogee High School gym. Proceeds benefit the American Red Cross Muskogee chapter’s Hero Campaign.

The American Red Cross is soliciting teams, said Muskogee Chapter Director Ryan Hardaway. Entries will be taken through the day of the event, he said.

Fees are $60 until the day of the event, or $70 for late entry. Teams may sign in from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. the day of the event. The tournament begins at 10 a.m.

Lane said he has had a team in each Dodging For Disaster tournament since they began.

“I really like Ryan, the guy who puts it on, and the Red Cross helps a lot of people,” Lane said.

Rules of dodge ball are simple, Hardaway said. Teams try to eliminate opposing players throwing a big rubber ball at them or catching a ball thrown by an opponent.

“It’s just a neat little kind of craze match,” he said.

Winner of Dodging for Disaster gets the Golden Wrench. Hardaway said the Wrench is a reference to a line from the movie “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.”

Lane said he is working to get his baseball-playing friends on this year’s team.

Hardaway said any type of team is welcome at the tournament, as long as it has at least six players.

“It can be guys and girls, any combination. It can be all guys; it can be all girls,” he said. “We get a nice mixture of businesses as well as individuals who get together too.”

Hardaway said if teams come up short a player, “let me know and I can find someone to add.”

Tournament officials also will get lone players hooked up with a team, he said.

Last year’s tournament drew a record 24 teams, Hardaway said.

“We’re hoping to really break that record this year,” Hardaway said.

The tournament netted $3,990.96, just shy of its $4,000 goal, he said.

Prizes also will be given to the best dressed team, he said.

“Last year, we had someone bring a mascot costume,” Hardaway said. “We’ve had some people dressed in kilts, some dressed in tutus.”

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogeephoenix.com.

If you go

WHAT: Fifth Annual Dodging for Disasters Dodge Ball Tournament.

WHEN: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 8.

WHERE: Muskogee High School Gym, 3200 E. Shawnee Bypass.

BENEFITS: Muskogee Area Chapter of the American Red Cross Hero Campaign.

ENTRY: $60 per team of six or more up to day of tournament; $70 late fee. Rules and registration forms available at Red Cross Office, 566 N. Sixth St.

INFORMATION: Ryan Hardaway at (918) 682-1366 or ryan.hardaway@redcross.org.