Getting Out of Dodge(ball)


Among the many popular sports that college recreation departments offer, dodgeball isn’t usually one you’d see on the list. As many sports across campus recreation — such as football and basketball — have been able to maintain their popularity, dodgeball has seemingly been left behind.

This begs the question of whether dodgeball is even worth offering as an intramural sport or activity. Is dodgeball even popular anymore? It seems the desire to play dodgeball gets left behind when students go off to college.

For more insight into the waning popularity of such a beloved childhood game — for the fast kids, at least — Campus Rec spoke with Butch Sutton, the director of rec sports and physical education instructor at San Jacinto College.

CR: Is dodgeball still relevant on college campuses?

BS: Dodgeball is very relevant on college campuses — our students ask for it every semester. When they see it on our schedule of events, they get hyped up. It reminds the kids of their elementary play days, something of a stress reducer for today’s college students.

CR: What has attributed to the decrease in popularity of dodgeball on college campuses?

BS: Lack of time could be a reason for decreased popularity of the sport. Students are so busy with classes, work and family life they have little time to be active in their college. Perhaps students don’t think of playing dodgeball on campus — it is not expected, but a gift provided through recreational sports. Also, the promoting of a dodgeball event might not be on point or enough to engage certain students.

CR: How do you keep students engaged in dodgeball?

BS: We offer dodgeball almost every semester. We get new students each semester, and this is a way to keep them engaged and give them something to look forward to. Our rec sports provide food and drink at some events — anything free will attract the college student’s eye.

CR: What can other campuses learn from your success in making dodgeball popular?

BS: Dodgeball offerings won’t be successful every time, but you cannot let that get you down. Keep offering dodgeball leagues and eventually it will build and grow. We have offered dodgeball many times and had just a few students sign up — each semester the interest level is different. Word of mouth from semester to semester builds to a point where you cannot have enough dodgeball.

Bobby is a former staff writer at Peake Media.

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