Get ready to DODGE!

IPSWICH residents young and old are preparing to 'grab life by the ball' ahead of the region's first ever official dodgeball tournament.Dodgeball has long been hugely popular in America, but it was only after the success of the 2004 Hollywood film Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story that the dynamic indoor sport began to take off in the UK.

Stuart Watson

IPSWICH residents young and old are preparing to 'grab life by the ball' ahead of the region's first ever official dodgeball tournament.

Dodgeball has long been hugely popular in America, but it was only after the success of the 2004 Hollywood film Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story that the dynamic indoor sport began to take off in the UK.

Since then small pockets of leagues slowly developed in the midlands and the north of the country, however, it is only now that residents of East Anglia have been given a chance to play.

Due to be hosted by the Indoor Sports Stadium at Henley Road on Sunday 20 July, the Inaugural Ipswich Dodgeball Tournament has already attracted a number of entrants.

Sports Stadium manager Sue Johnston said: “We had a number of people come up to us here an ask about the possibility of playing dodgeball.

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“We are always looking to branch out with the types of sport we can provide and just thought dodgeball sounded ideal for our venue.”

Those that enter the tournament will receive an hours coaching session from members of the UK Dodgeball Association (UKDBA).

“If someone can either throw, catch or dodge, which is pretty much everyone, then they can play dodgeball,” said Nick Pinnock, secretary of the UKDBA.

“There are probably a couple of million people playing the sport in America and there are five different governing bodies over the sport over there.

“It's gradually growing here at the moment, there are around 4,000 players at present, while we are not sure on junior figures.”

Johnston said: “It should be a really fun day. The competition is open to everyone over the age of ten so we are expecting quite a family atmosphere with potentially up to three generations being able to play within the same team.

“I think a lot of people have been renting the film since we've announced the tournament and they have soon come back with their registration forms.

“I know a few teams are planning on wearing the lycra outfits and there are already some fun team names being submitted that are related to the film.”

Under the UK rules for the game, six players make up a team, however it is recommended that entrants bring a squad of eight.

There is a £40 entrance fee per team, with payment due on registration. Those that wish to enter as individuals will be placed within a team.

To register your team, please call into the Indoor Sports Stadium, call: 01473 256411, or e-mail: sue.ipswichstadium@live.co.uk.

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