South Africa’s fledgling national dodgeball side takes on their Egyptian counterparts this weekend at the Coetzenberg Indoor Sports Centre in Stellenbosch on the 22nd and 23rd of November 2019. The matches form part of the Dodgeball African Cup 2019.
Nicknamed the Green Mambas, the South African team is made up of men and women from Cape Town and Joburg, as the sport still needs to spread its wings across Mzansi.
While still in its infancy, Dodgeball SA are confident that the love of Dodgeball will spread across the nation, as more people are exposed to the sport and see for themselves how much fun it is, not to mention the myriad of health benefits associated to this low cost entry sport.
“Dodge ball is funky, fun and fast-paced. It’s an incredible athletic workout, and one that involves a lot of strategic brainpower and teamwork, but what really appeals to us is that it’s a game that guys and girls can play together as equals,” says Nicholas Oebell, Managing Director of DodgeBall SA.
“Our players are mostly university students and working professionals in the industries of Tech, teaching, entrepreneurship, health and beauty and finance. Their ages vary from as young as 19 up to 40 years of age,” says Oebell.
DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story, is one of the most memorable comedy movies from the 00s. Comic legend Ben Stiller plays the villain and captain of the Globo Gym Purple Cobras who are bent on the destruction of Vince Vaughn and his ungainly gaggle of players from Average Joe’s Gym. The blockbuster movie sent the sport into a spike as new players took up the dodgeball in record numbers following its release, but it was only in 2014 that Dodgeball South Africa was established, with the first national team selected in 2017.
That first bunch of merry men and women were named the Green Mambas and they lined up to compete in the first-ever Dodgeball African Cup, held in Cairo, Egypt. Worldwide dodgeball has close to 70 million players, but the game has yet to capture a firm grasp of the African continent, which is ironic, considering that a game similar to dodgeball was first played in Africa more than 200 years ago. Back then the weapons of choice weren’t handy-to-hold dimpled rubber balls, and that’s why players learned the core skills of duck, dodge, dip, dive, duck to avoid the rocks hurled at them by their ‘opponents’ (aka assassins).
Some have speculated that the term sudden death might have originated from this very version of Dodgeball! Fortunately, the modern game is bright and fun with a whole lot less bloodshed. It also features local teams with names such as Dodge Brawlers, Slumdodge Millionaires, Dodgefathers and Dodger Federer.
For a chance to watch the action live, you can head to the Coetzenberg Indoor Sports Center in Stellenbosch, 22nd and 23rd of November 2019, where South Africa takes on the side from Egypt. The matches form part of the Dodgeball African Cup 2019.
The gates at Coetzenberg are open from 11:30-20:00 on Friday and from 08:30-20:00 on Saturday. A full Weekend Pass for adults is just R80, with kids under 12 paying just R50.
THE BENEFITS OF PLAYING DODGEBALL
- Team building – Being part of a team can help children face various challenges, therefore having communication and confidence to successfully complete these challenges is important.
- Reaction Speeds and Awareness – the speed in Dodgeball is fast, can the players react and move in throwing and catching – this is extremely important for Boys and Girls of all ages and can provide very Important foundations for other sports.
- Hand-Eye Co-ordination – to successfully throw and catch, pupils need to have the correct hand eye co-ordination in order to do this as quickly as possible.
- Strategic Thinking – creating strategies and plans on the go, by analysing opponents’ own game plans and adapting accordingly etc.
- Gross motor skills, coordination, endurance, motor control, visual motor Integration
- Motor skills refer to any action that involves the muscles: fingers, toes, wrists, and so on. Parents reported that “when combined with increasing-hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills… open new doors to exploration, learning, and creative expression.” And based on the findings of a 2013 study, having good motor skills can foster greater social skills.
- Trouble sitting, standing, and even speaking are early indicators that a child’s motor skills aren’t developing properly. Not only do experts believe this will start to affect their social abilities, but it may also negatively affect their academic performance. Finnish researchers found children who scored poorly on agility, speed, and manual skills experienced poor motor performance in first grade, suggesting students benefit from greater motor skills outside the gym.
- Problems with motor skills are common, according to Scholastic, though they’re not always obvious. Children can love running, jumping, and skipping, but their coordination over the years may not improve and could begin to lag behind. In which case, a game like dodgeball can offer vital practice for those experiencing delays.
Photo: Dodgeball SA