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YMCA Dodge Ball- Yet Another Thing That Doesn’t Suck In San Diego

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So it’s a Saturday morning in February and here I am, trying to wake up at a startling 10 o’clock and shake off my hangover from the night before. Why? Because I am about to spend my day watching grown people get hammered and peg each other in the face with Nerf balls. I can’t think of a better reason to roll out of bed early and crack a beer. I rouse my roommate and faithful companion and we are on our way. The time? 10:48 AM. After a failed trip to the YMCA to find this catastrophe (The event is a YMCA benefit and I got kind of confused in my morning fog), I found myself in the parking lot of a bar called “In Cahoots” in Mission Valley. Now, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the establishment, it seems to be some kind of 2-step country bar. But there was thankfully to be no country line dancing on this day, which is good because I don’t think that I could stomach that kind of experience with a moderate hangover and a stomach full of early morning beer.

The first thing that I noticed was that that parking lot was literally FULL of cars. I don’t think I’ve seen a bar parking lot that populated before 11:00 AM since I was living in Seattle and the Seahawks lost Superbowl 06’ to the Pittsburg Steelers on some stomach-turning official decisions. At least this time it was full for a good reason. Once we find a parking spot, Craig and I wade into the crowded bar and grab some drinks. With a $2.50 Tanqueray and tonic in one hand and a $2.50 Bud Light in the other (“In Cahoots” was generously offering their entire bar for one low price) I side up to the railing and wait for the action to begin.

The setup looked something like this: Take the bar’s enormous 800 square foot dance floor, cage it in with nets 2 stories high, throw a line of tape down across the middle and place 5 official dodge balls evenly along the center line. Each game is played by 2 teams of 5 players each. When the whistle blows the teams sprint towards the balls from either end of the makeshift “court” like ravenous wolverines with the goal of snagging one and scoring first blood. Once the balls are in play, the carnage begins. Now, I know that I’m no expert on the topic of dodge ball; I had accepted that as long ago as the 4th grade when Adam Towsen smashed me in the face with one so hard that my nose erupted in a crimson torrent of blood. However I had no clue what a rookie I was… some of these guys are seriously dedicated to this sport; a fact driven home when a group walked by in shirts that read “Dodge Ball is Life”.

Childhood nightmares aside, the dedication shown by the organizers and some of the participants is part of what made the event so cool.  Plus, the entire thing was a benefit for the Mission Valley YMCA so it was all in the name of a good cause. At the end of the day – between Team Entries, Raffle Tickets and Taco Sales – the event raised $3800 to support YMCA programs.

Of course some of the participants showed their enthusiasm to the beautiful sport of Dodge Ball in more… unconventional ways. The event’s roster reveals a variety of Over-the-Line-esque names:

It Ain’t Pretty Bein’ Easy

Taste & Thirst

Old Spicy Balls

Dodge – Deez Nutz

2 Tacos for 4 Dollars

Papa Bear and His 3 Cubs

Overweight Lovers

Old Smelly Balls

Ballz Deep

Party Down Below

Blue Moon

One Nut Too Short

with Pimp Hand Strong winning- Congrats

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Photo’s for both galleries taken by Choose 123EventPhotography.com Superlative Clarity, Detail & Image Size on your event and action photographs.  Mention RollinSD and tell them you loved the photo’s from Dodge Brawl.

And of course – your very own RollinSD team. While our Rollin’ team was pretty awesome, I couldn’t just drink with them the whole time; I had to see what else was out there. Of course my first stop was a conversation with the “Overweight Lovers.” The team’s costume (which would end up winning best of show) was sweatpants and sweatshirts stuffed with ample amounts of cotton batting so that each of the players looked as if they were tipping the scales at 300+ lbs. Apparently no one on the team stopped to think that they were giving their opponents significantly more target area, but that didn’t stop the team, captained by Ryan Hammond and Nate Shevlin, from waddling around the court with the full support of the crowd.

I also talked to “Ballzilla” whose dino-themed costume really bothered my roommate for some reason. I thought it was kind of funny; it reminded me of kindergarten when I used to have a Stegosaurus shirt. After watching them command a tough loss in which their final team member was ousted from the court by a painful looking shot to the dome, I decided to make my way across the bar to check them out. They seemed to have a pretty good mixture of humor and enthusiasm for the sport. I talked to Ian, Julie, Robin and someone who was too drunk to write their name down legibly. It looks like it could be Herbertio or maybe Horatio? That’s when I realized “Hey, I’m in a bar!” and ordered another drink.

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All in all, Dodge Brawl is definitely something that I will be doing again and adding it to my 2012 calendar right now. Cheap drinks, cheap thrills and a good excuse to open the bottle early on a Saturday morning… What else do you need in life? Who knows, maybe next time I’ll actually play.  ~Z-Man

John is a badass motha fucka

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