Return of Indoor Dodgeball
It’s official: indoor dodgeball is back! And it’s only been just over 400 days since the first lockdown – not that we’re counting or anything.
As of the 17th of May, indoor dodgeball has been possible again, and this time without the rule of 6 limiting the number of players on court. So with players dusting off their kneepads and stretching out their throwing arms for the first time in over a year, how are we all feeling about stepping on court again?
“The return of indoor dodgeball has been incredible and it was fantastic to see so many old and new faces at our first session back on Tuesday,” says Lauren Conaty of Manchester Bees. “It was clear to see how excited everyone was to get back into the sport safely and the wonderful ‘family’ feel Bees has. Even though it had been over a year since we’d all been able to play together it felt like no time had passed!”
That relief of seeing our sports families again is definitely in the air. “Training Tuesday, the only way I can put it was a relief, it felt like I was returning to see my family,” says Sam Walton of the Stafford Raptors. Raptors had their first training on the 18th, after an exciting lockdown period where their numbers grew substantially with new signings. “Once I heard ‘both teams ready’ it felt as if I never spent a week away from the game.”
Adjusting to the new COVID regulations seems to be going smoothly. Guidance means that clubs are slowly easing their way back into their old routines, careful not to push too hard and endanger their players. This means less trainings than usual for a short while, with smaller numbers and more of a focus on social sessions than hard trainings.
London Storm’s first session, for example, was limited to 15 people. “Our regular venue won't be opening until the 21st June, when all restrictions are lifted, so at the moment we are at a slightly smaller hall and on a different day and time,” explains Rachael Potter. “We've set our own limitations for how many people we think we should safely have at each session, and our current limit is 24 but this will go up when we return to our regular training next month!
“Everyone was glad to be back playing and seeing teammates again. We're pleased with how easy it has been to adapt the session to be safe and covid compliant, and despite the extended break everyone seems to have retained their skills. It was definitely a high quality and intensity session - and we're sure there will be some sore muscles today!”
Muscle aches are going to be a given after so long locked inside, making stretches, warmups, and cool downs especially important. It’s tempting to push yourself hard in your first session back – we all want to feel that rush of playing great dodgeball again – but it’s important to ease your way back in to avoid serious injury. Alex Harrison’s 3-part series of exercises for building up strength in your throwing arm includes some great stretches to incorporate into your pre- and post-training routine.
“We [the Raptors] didn't want to get back into to training really hard (as of yet anyway) as we don't want an injured squad,” says Sam Walton. “But we did a good warm up and got into some drills, then played a few games.”
Overall, the return to trainings has been a massive success, and with more teams getting booked in and returning over the coming weeks, dodgeball is only going to get busier. “We’re absolutely buzzing (pardon the pun) to get back to competing and winning some medals and getting to know all our new-bees,” says a team you’ll get no prizes for guessing the name of. You heard them – bring on the opens, bring on the leagues, and let’s get back to the dodgeball we all know and love.
Returning to indoor training? Check out our individual and club bundles, featuring all the equipment you need to play dodgeball: knee-pads, dodgeballs, ball bags, and more.