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Dodgeball Skills #3: Tactical Throwing

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.

This week: Throwing (part 2).throwing part 2

In Throwing: part 1, we looked at correct technique for powerful throwing. In this edition, we will consider how to throw well as a team and how to throw tactically.

Group throwing:

Group throwing is the easiest way of getting opponents out in dodgeball as it is really tough for humans to track multiple objects all moving at once (and even tougher to dodge them or take a catch). Some teams beat better-skilled teams just by group throwing and getting the balls back over and over. As such, it is important for your team to master this skill.

throw timingThe key to group throwing is… (wait for it), timing. If your balls hit your opponent at the same time, only top class players will take a catch consistently. But if one of your team throws a second too early, your opponent can catch/dodge it easily and then repeat for the next ball afterwards.

Got the timing down? Good, let’s think tactically.

Tactical throwing tips:

– Do not always look at your target; you will have a lower success rate if they know the ball is coming.

– Throws need to be accurate – it is often worth taking some power off to make sure it’s on target.

– If your opponent has a ball and there’s a risk of you being countered, immediately retreat backwards after throwing to decrease the chance of getting hit by a counterattack.

– Having a full run-up is important to maintain timing and speed in a group throw. No lazy standing throws!

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But where should we aim?’ I hear you ask.

Targets

If you want to be successful, you need to throw at the same person. You could try hitting them in these places:

Legs: The safest way to get someone out, but easy to jump over if they expect it.

Shoulders: Good against players who drop to their knees to catch as they will be expecting low balls.

Head: Come on guys, just don’t do it (unless your opponent has stolen your family or something).

Chest: Risky! A big area to hit, but you also run the risk of getting caught.chest caught

Nearby: Some teams aim close to someone without actually trying to hit them. This is used against good catchers to make them ‘fish’ for the ball, or simply to waste time. Your throws need to be within one meter of the target or you will get called out for invalid attempts (and for making the game super boring…).

Got any other good throwing tips or tactics? Let us know in the comments below!

Manchester Bees is 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)!

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