Bryce Corrion said his passion for dodgeball started in grade school when the gym teacher blew the whistle and foam balls went flying.
“The cooler gym teachers would sometimes let us use volleyballs, but you can’t get the same velocity with a volleyball as a normal dodgeball,” the Saginaw senior said.
Corrion has taken the playground sport to a competitive sport with rubber balls that can reach up to a speed of 70 mph with Central Michigan University’s club dodgeball team, where he is the assistant captain.
Dodgeball is one of the sole sports that encourages hitting people in the face, Corrion said. And for a team of about 12 CMU students on the dodgeball team, they enjoy just that.
The game has players trying to hit other players on the opposing team with their own balls, while avoiding being hit themselves. For seven years, he said he’s been engrossed in the game.
“It’s just a lot of fun and still very competitive,” Corrion said. “Plus, it’s the only league that allows, and encourages, head shots.”
St. Clair junior Brett Hadwin was introduced to the game in fifth grade during a summer program. He has loved the game ever since because of the intensity and competitiveness, he said.
He never imagined he would play at a competitive level in college, and he’s pleased with the progress the sport has made.
“I won’t lie, the head shots are always funny to see,” Hadwin said.
More than half the team graduated last year, so they are focusing their efforts on fundamentals and team building, he said.
The team sets up different scenarios they might be faced with during competition and executes different strategies. Although the team carries a serious and competitive mentality, fun is their number-one priority.
The team’s practices in the Student Activity Center gym draw a crowd of watchers, and some even come play.
For captain and team president Wesley Peters, dodgeball has been a passion since middle school.
“I’ve always loved it as a kid,” the Macomb senior said. “I came here and instantly became attracted to it.”
The team is getting ready to play their first tournament Saturday at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where CMU will face Saginaw Valley State University, Grand Valley State University, Miami of Ohio University and Bowling Green.
The dodgeball team plays in four to six tournaments a year. The team practices from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sundays and 9 to 11 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the MAC 2 gym in the SAC.
“We’re always looking for new players,” he said.