Fading dodgeball fad goes Underground in Jackson

Monday, August 14, 2006

Only five teams turned out for Saturday's tournament.

The dodgeball craze that swept across the nation has come and gone, but the Jackson Underground Dodgeball League is still here.

However, the decline of dodgeball's "fad" status has taken its toll on the league. The league hosted its annual Summer Slam tournament at Litz Park in Jackson on Saturday. The tournament, which once attracted as many as 23 teams, featured only five this year.

"The turnouts haven't been great, but we're having a great time and playing some good dodgeball, and that's all that matters," said event organizer Josh Tomlin.

Tomlin attributes the dwindling number of participants to a variety of causes.

"We've changed our location and the times of the tournaments," Tomlin said. "Also, the cultural phenomenon of dodgeball seems to have passed. We've stayed when others have gone."

In an effort to increase participation, league organizers plan the return of Friday night tournaments next season, which will begin in March.

Tomlin remains optimistic about the future of dodgeball in Jackson.

"There's usually a team or two of rookies at every tournament," said Tomlin. "It's great to see new kids out here carrying on the tradition and giving us some good competition."

While most of the participants are high school and college age, Tomlin says dodgeball is a sport for almost anyone.

"We've had teams of fifth graders and 40-year-olds." said Tomlin, "You don't have to be in high school or college to enjoy this sport."

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