Students dodge for cash

Monday, February 21, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 12:26 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

War cries filled the air at MU’s Student Recreation Complex.

At the blow of a whistle, 20 players charged for the 10 balls sitting at midcourt, some bellowing and shrieking as they clamored for the blue, yellow and red rubber balls.

Dodgeball teams such as the Facebreakers and Greatest Hits Vol. 1 looked to intimidate teams with brute strength, while others, like Delta Upsilon and the Penthouse Players, relied on teamwork to succeed.

During crucial moments, some teams gathered to decide which opposing player to target. Many times, all 10 members of a team would throw a ball at the same time, trying to eliminate as many players as they could. Teams also huddled to decide whether to focus on catching oncoming throws.

Thirty-two teams competed in the third annual Dodgeball Cup, sponsored by the Missouri Students Association Special Events Committee on Sunday.

For a $10 entry fee, players competed for a $500 grand prize and a $100 prize for the MVP. There were five rounds in the tournament and each match was best-of-three games.

Delta Upsilon won the championship 2-0 against Team Ramrod in a heated match in which the officiating was questioned.

The first game ended when three Delta Upsilon players simultaneously hurled balls at Team Ramrod’s one remaining player. Two of them whizzed by his head and one struck him on the foot, eliminating him.

Many of the players became upset with the officials in the second game.

The officials had to stop the game on several occasions to discuss calls. Several throws by Team Ramrod grazed Delta Upsilon members. Other throws bounced off players from Delta Upsilon, but were caught by teammates close to the sideline.

“It all happens so fast,” said Matt Newlin, an official for Sunday’s event. “There were some problems in the final match and things started to get heated, but we did our best.”

Friends and fraternity brothers created their teams with the hopes of winning the grand prize, but many were content with having fun.

Alex Jones of Team Ramrod was more upset about losing the title match than not winning the money.

“It’s really disappointing, but I didn’t even care about the money. I just wanted to win,” Jones said.

Sophomore David Lussky of the Delta Upsilon team agreed.

“At first it was all about the money,” he said. “After we started playing we just wanted to win and have fun.”

Frequently during the tournament, players were stranded and hopelessly outnumbered. Opposing players tried to capitalize with a barrage of dodgeballs.

“It’s really scary,” Nate Marschalk said. “You know you have to catch balls, but you also have to keep from getting hit at the same time.”

Michael Phelps, a member of The Facebreakers and former member of MU’s Track and Field team, had a different take on the situation.

“I love it,” Phelps said. “It’s the best part.”

Phelps was stranded in his team’s match against G6, but caught two throws to eliminate two opponents.

The Facebreakers went on to win the match but lost their quarterfinal.

The members of Delta Upsilon decided to split the $100 MVP prize. Each Delta Upsilon player walked away with $60.

Even spectators were not safe from flying dodgeballs. On several occasions, people sitting on the sidelines were smacked by a speeding ball.

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