Sometimes your friends want to play dodgeball, and (*gulp*) duty calls. I don’t know why this is a desirable activity or how having balls whipped at your being in any way constitutes fun, but unfortunately, it’s a popular means of socializing. Dodgeball can actually be fairly dangerous (I know people who have gotten concussions and sprained limbs from a local league), so in the interest of self-preservation, we’d like to present a guide for the less-than-adept among us.
1. Stand near the front
It might seem counterintuitive, but actually the worst thing that you, an Indoor Kid, can do in a game of dodgeball is hang back and manage not to get hit. You’ll end up the last one left, responsible for the fate of the entire team, and they’ll expect you to both CATCH the ball and HIT people to turn the game around. I actually have nightmares about being in this situation. Best to rip the Band-Aid off all at once: Get out early, and spend the rest of the game being a totally necessary cheerer-on-er.
2. Play the martyr
If you must remain in the game for longer than five minutes, use your acting chops (you’re an Indoor Kid, so we’re assuming you’re good at theater). Wait until you’re sure the ball is coming for someone on either side of you, and at the last second, dive in front of them to “save” them. You’ll be a hero AND get to sit down.
3. Be social captain
Every team needs someone to organize the after-party. If you’re unable to provide any athletic contribution, at least lead the post-game charge to the Steak ‘n’ Shake. It’ll likely be your fault if people need cheering up, anyway.
4. Hide where they can’t find you
Again, we’re not saying to hide behind someone tall or in a remote corner of the court. We’re advocating under-the-bleachers or building-side brush or perhaps, if it’s snowing out, in the snow outside the gym. When it comes to dodgeball, people will be more concerned about keeping a snowman in tact than they are about human limbs.
5. Befriend a doctor
This is a good one for life as an Indoor Kid in general, but let’s just say if you show up on the court with a sling on your arm, you’ll get a free pass out of participating in the ritualized Indoor Kid slaughter that is dodgeball.
When all else fails . . . make an attempt to not completely mess it up for your team. People usually won’t get mad that your existence managed to negate every clutch point they’ve garnered if you look like you’ve been putting some effort forth. And after all, running away from balls is what Indoor Kids have been trained to do their entire lives!
What other tips do you have for Indoor Kids that are obligated to participate in dodgeball games or leagues? What’s your strategy? Let us know in the comments!
Photos, from top to bottom: Hunger Games Katniss via http://imgfave.com/view/2244659; “RIP Dodgeball. Thanks for all the good times.” by Dennis Crowley; Cat by Jasmine Ramig; Broken Wrist in Green Cast by Rpaterso; Dodgeball catch by Victoria Morse. Blog index image of Spartacus Throw being used by student at the University of Mary Washington Dodgeball Club by University of Mary Washington Dodgeball Club.