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: Dodging (part 1)!
It’s the name of the game, so it should come as no surprise that dodging is perhaps the most vital skill in dodgeball. In this post, we will look at common types of dodge and when to use them (hint: usually when balls are flying at you).
The main point of dodging is that you can avoid being hit so you can live to fight another day.
If you want to be clever about it, you can also try to get yourself into a position where you can stop balls from rolling back to your opponents after hitting the wall behind you.
You should begin all dodges in the ready position, as you are like a coiled spring and can move anywhere quickly from this stance.
Types of dodge:
Jumping: In general, most opponents will throw low to make catching their balls difficult. Jumping can take you out of danger when this happens. You will still be able to make catches if balls do come high.
Make sure to spread your legs or tuck them up to prevent waist-high balls from hitting your shins. Timing your jump is very important – players will be able to recognise the wind-up motion for a jump if you begin too early.
Ducking: Ducking is good to use if you are against opponents that often throw high. If one ball does follow you down to the ground, you are able to make a catch. Be careful though, if you duck too early you risk all three balls being thrown low at you which will likely result in a hit.
Sidestepping: Sidestepping is useful as you are still able to catch stray balls at your chest, however you sometimes might not have room to sidestep if your whole team is still in. If there are few players left in on your team, make big movements to maximise your chances of a dodge.
Going to ground: Sometimes, when you are getting peppered with dodgeballs, it is best to go big. Diving to the ground and lying flat limits the area of your body which is hittable by an opponent. This is a risky move as you are effectively leaving it to chance whether you get hit or not, but sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.
Timing is important for all of the above dodges as it mixing it up – if you use the same dodge repeatedly, teams may work you out. Stay unpredictable!
Manchester Bees is one of the largest dodgeball clubs in the UK and have 3 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)!