With running being the only sport in the first ever recorded Olympics held in Athens back in 776 BCE, it is of no surprise that there are many elements and techniques of running present in the development of new sports thereafter.
Mention Soccer, Basketball, Handball or even Rugby. It is undeniable that these adrenaline-pumping sports require players who are also fast runners to make quick bursts for the ball and the goal.
As RunSociety looks forth to expand sports coverage beyond running to provide our readers with more refreshing angles, we are elated to produce this feature, having clinched an exclusive interview with the members of the Singapore Dodgeball Team. This group of passionate athletes will be donning our national colours in the upcoming 2016 WDBF Dodgeball World Championships.
Yes, we are talking about Dodgeball – the classic game we all adored in PE lessons, otherwise known as poison ball and hantam bola (hit ball). It is a growing competitive sport with World Championships held annually across the globe!
RS: Introduce yourselves to the running community!
Singapore Dodgeball Team: Hi runners! We are a group of 9 male and 8 female Dodgeball players who will be taking our game to the world stage at the 2016 WDBF Dodgeball World Championships in October. We are passionate about what we do and it is a great pleasure to be able to share our story with you here.
RS: How is Dodgeball played?
Singapore Dodgeball Team: Dodgeball is a fast-paced sport in which 2 teams of 6 players compete by throwing balls at each other, with the aim of eliminating all players on the opposing team. A standard match is carried out with a running time of 40 minutes, in which, teams play as many sets as possible, and get a point each time they eliminate the opposing team.
Players eliminate opposing players by hitting them with a ball or catching a ball thrown by the opposition (which also brings one of their own players back onto the court).
RS: What are the key attributes of a good Dodgeball player?
Singapore Dodgeball Team: Contrary to common perceptions that Dodgeball is just “child’s play”, the sport is in fact, very demanding in nature. Good Dodgeball players should be well-versed in different skills such as shooting, catching and dodging. Agility, tactical awareness and cardiovascular endurance are also key components of fitness that are crucial for high performance in this sport.
Technical skills aside, Dodgeball is also a sport of integrity. While we may have referees regulating the game and making the official calls, there are bound to be times when valid hits go unnoticed. It is a core value of every team to honour and practice integrity in all games.
RS: Tell us more about the 2016 WDBF Dodgeball World Championships. Who are the powerhouses to watch out for?
Singapore Dodgeball Team: The fifth edition of the World Dodgeball Federation, Dodgeball World Championships will be held from 19 – 22 October 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. The annual event that is hosted in a different country each year, has seen a growing participation since its debut. Host country Australia, along with USA, Canada and Malaysia, are the powerhouses to look out for with their dominant performances in recent years. More details about the event can be found at the official site.
RS: What are the expectations for Team Singapore on this international stage?
Singapore Dodgeball Team: Singapore made their debut in the inaugural WDBF Dodgeball World Championships back in 2012 with minimal preparation, having formed both men’s and women’s teams merely 2 months ahead of the big day.
Unlike the old days, we are much more prepared now, especially so for the women’s team that has been training consistently over the past year with several exchanges in Malaysia.
Reviewing footage from the previous editions of the championships, we are humbled to comment that all nations had put up incredible performances and we are looking forward to playing against these professionals. We are absolutely excited to execute our game plans and strategies to counter the various playing styles.
Ultimately, the desideratum of the team is to have each player put his/her heart and soul into each game and let there be no excuses, explanations, nor regrets at the end of the day.
RS: What are some of the greatest challenges the team has faced in this journey?
Singapore Dodgeball Team: Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.
We are a standalone team with no support nor funding from the national association. You wouldn’t have imagined it but we have got no coach either, and had to derive solutions amidst the lack of coaching resources available in our local community. Fortunately, the collective expertise and knowledge from players of different sport backgrounds opened us up to many possibilities. We have adopted various drills that are relevant and skill-specific from other sports into our training plans.
They say team work makes the dream work and indeed, unity makes the unimaginable happen. We are heading to the World Championships and are extremely grateful for this opportunity to be able to pit our skills up against the world’s best. We are full of appreciation to all who have believed in us and supported us in this arduous yet rewarding journey.
With an undying passion, we will go a long way and look forward to having more people join us in our journey to champion Dodgeball.
RS: Why should runners or anyone try Dodgeball?
Singapore Dodgeball Team: The famous quote from the Dodgeball movie – “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball” applies!
Dodgeball is one of the easiest sports to pick up and you are bound to have fun in your first session. That aside, mastering the game is another story, perhaps for next time!
Dodgeball is also a fantastic sport and outlet to vent everyday frustrations, although we strongly discourage face shots. The feel of adrenaline rush after having executed an on-target shot is inexplicable – you have to try it yourself!
Not to forget, the frightful mention of “suicide” drills, essentially, sprinting from line to line on the playing court, is a nightmarish ritual during training for most team sport players. We are certainly interested to see how runners will enjoy this running drill!
RunSociety wishes the Singapore Dodgeball Team all the best in their upcoming appearance at the 2016 WDBF Dodgeball World Championships. Comment below to show some home ground support for our up-and-coming team!
Follow the Singapore Dodgeball Team on Facebook to stay updated with their happenings.