Out of Dodge? Free the Children’s Dodgeball Tournament Receives Less Hype

Will Nuelle Maybe we’re too far removed from the Dodgeball era, almost nine years removed from the world famous movie’s release, but the hype surrounding the Free the Children Dodgeball tournament was not the same as it had been in previous years. I started off with this question to one of the heads of Free the Children, Senior Ian Spear: “How did you feel about the Dodgeball Tournament this year? Was the sign up weak? Did there seem to be less of a buzz surrounding the tournament [this year]?” I used Facebook to facilitate this conversation and he responded appropriately for a conversation over that medium. “I don’t like the way that question is phrased haha,” he wrote, but being the ever-polite senior prefect, Ian typed a disclaimer, “jk, kinda.” For those who are tech unsavvy, “jk” would imply that he was just kidding about his previous comment, but he really wasn’t; he was just trying to be nice. My initial question was rudely phrased; I had messaged Ian expecting him to be discouraged about this year’s tournament. The Free the Children Dodgeball tournament is usually one of Latin’s most talked-about fundraisers. From what I had witnessed, it seemed that the Dodgeball tournament had inexplicably lost a significant amount of its popularity. Before breaking my wrist, I had joked over text about starting a team with a friend, but we never followed through. Unfortunately, that seemed to be the mentality surrounding the tournament this year: some talk about joining, but not a lot of following through. Only twelve teams signed up for the tournament versus fifteen from last year. I don’t blame that change on bad communication; the Free the Children crew announced the tournament far enough ahead of time and gave plenty of further announcements along the way. Is the student body ready for a new FTC fundraiser? I rephrased my question and asked instead asked, “how did the tournament go?”, as I wasn’t there to witness the elimination round due to illness. Ian had this to say about this to say about the lack of hype, “There may have been a little less buzz this year, but I was encouraged to see everything come together today once we got into the elimination rounds. There were lots of people in the gym watching, and there was definitely good energy. The tournament definitely used to be bigger, but I think that’s the natural trend. Also, with so many more clubs doing fundraising now, it’s harder to get people energized about any single event.” And with that, we can only hope that FTC met their fundraising goals and that Ian doesn’t have to publicly humiliate anyone at gathering who hasn’t paid the fees. Congratulations to Team BYE for not only winning the tournament but also winning the Most Creative Team Name Award (as judged by me). Until next year, dodgeballers… (Editor’s Note: if you’re not savvy with the politics of dodgeball, the name is clever because it appears on the schedule that the team who’s playing BYE gets a “BYE,” so that they don’t have to play. Well played.)]]>