In the movie “Dodgeball,” dodgeball master Patches O’Houlihan says there are five essential moves to the sport: dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge.
Enthusiasts can try all five Saturday at the VFA-102 First Class Petty Officer’s Association dodgeball tournament at Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan.
The association came up with the idea of a tournament after returning to Atsugi from a cruise aboard the USS Kitty Hawk. They wanted a healthy activity to give sailors something fun to do and to help them interact with the base population, said Petty Officer 1st Class Jorge Gonzalez, a member of the First Class Association.
The group considered softball or volleyball, but dodgeball had a unique appeal.
“It was something new, something to do here on base,” he said. “To keep people from getting bored.”
He said that after several weeks on a ship, squadron sailors needed some fun. And by opening the competition to everyone, it helped the squadron and others in Air Wing 5 to interact with the community.
The association, a group of 34 E-6 sailors in the squadron, plans to purchase prizes, most likely plaques for the winning teams.
The tournament will use the same rules as the 2004 Ben Stiller film about the game. In the movie, two groups of 6 people face each other. At the referee’s call — “Ready? Dodgeball!” — the two groups race to the center line to grab six rubber balls and fire them at their opponents. Players are out when hit by a ball. Catching a ball brings back a previously disqualified player and sends the thrower out.
The team with the last person standing wins.
The International Dodge Ball Federation calls it “The game where you are the target.” For official rules, visit the federation Web site at: www.dodge-ball.com.