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Dorm Dodgeball arrives at Ellsworth

ELLSWORTH AFB, S.D. -- Imagine two teams of school children using big red, rubber balls and flinging them at one another in a fifth grade physical education class. The children are scrambling, catching, or avoiding the balls. This activity is known as dodgeball, and it's coming to Ellsworth dorms Nov. 18.

The Dorm Dodgeball event at the Bellemy Fitness Center, Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. for all Ellsworth Airmen has an array of rules that are engrained in the history of the game and have helped propel its popularity with today's pop culture.

The games will pit two teams against each other in a double-elimination tournament. Six-person teams will face each other with red rubber balls as their weapons. If a player gets hit with the ball, he is out, but if a player catches a thrown ball, the person who threw the ball is out. Each match has a five minute time limit.

It's the basic rules of dodgeball, but players can block balls with other balls said Senior Airman Charles Stiles, 28th Services Squadron fitness specialist.

While there isn't an official dodgeball history, there are a few popular beliefs about the origin.

According to various Web sites on the origin of dodgeball, the game could have originated from Africa 600 years ago or China or Germany, or it could be just a school yard game that has grown through the years.

Regardless of the origin, dodgeball has become more popular in today's culture.

Recent movies have been made about the sport, and there's even a National Amateur Dodgeball Association that has received media coverage.

And now Ellsworth Airmen continue dodgeball's growing popularity with a tournament of their own.

Teams can sign up until Nov. 17, at the Bellemy Fitness Center for $30, said Airman Stiles.

"It is geared for the dorm residents," said Carey Karger, 28th Services Squadron fitness center director. Airmen don't have to be from the dorms to participate though, anyone can play.

"(Dorm Dodgeball) will be really good for the dorm residents, giving them something to do," Mrs. Karger added.

For more information about the Dorm Dodgeball event, call the Bellemy Fitness Center at 385-2266.