Throughout 2016, we will be posting a series of guides with the aim of improving our readers’ dodgeball skills around the world. We will cover the most common skills in dodgeball, breaking them down into their desired objectives, techniques and successful tactics.
Up first: Run-offs!
Run-offs happen at the start of each game, where players on each team race for balls in the hopes of gaining an early advantage. How can you be sure to nail this every time? Let’s discuss…
What’s the rush?
The outcome of a successful run-off is either winning all three balls or passing balls quickly back to your receivers to make quick hits close to the centre line. The secondary objective is to stop your opponents from cleanly winning balls. It is no secret that the fastest players will be the best at running off, but there are a few things you can do to give yourself the edge…
– Make a wide, low stance ready to drive forwards at the whistle.
– When you reach the ball, get down low quickly to grab it (you can put a hand in the dead zone to stop even faster).
– Always watch for the lines; going out on a line fault is not cool.
– Some referees have a whistling pattern; use this to your advantage!
– Choose the correct retrieval technique according to what situation you are in…
2 handed pass: Faster than your opponent? Set yourself, put two hands on the ball and flick it between your legs to your receiver. Having the ball in two hands means that it will be hard for your opponent to slap the ball out of your hands.
1 handed pass: If you just beat your opponent to the ball, then you won’t have time to set yourself for a 2 handed pass. Instead, put one hand in the dead zone for stability and flick the ball back with one hand. You might need to use your strength to out muscle your opponent!
Slap: If your opponent arrives before you at the ball, you must try to interrupt their pass by knocking it out of their control with a well-placed slap on the ball.
If you want to be a run-off master, then it is important you practice a range of techniques so you can both win the ball cleanly and disrupt your opponent if they are faster than you. Good luck and swift running!
Manchester Bees are one of the largest dodgeball clubs in the UK and have 2 international head coaches alongside 8 regular international players. As such, the club has a wealth of technical coaching experience and our sessions are one of the best places to come to in the UK if you want to improve yourself as a player (or just have fun playing an exciting new sport)!