Dodgeball is a ball sport in which players of two teams try to hit their opponents with a ball before it bounces while avoiding being hit themselves.
The sport is typically played among school kids in North America but now internationally, the sport has emerged as a popular middle, high school and college sport and is also played in informal settings.
The main objective of the game is to eliminate all players on the opposing team by hitting them with the ball, catching the ball thrown by the opposing team or forcing them to move outside of the boundaries of the court when a ball is thrown at them.
Dodgeball originated from a very barbaric African sport in which members of two opposing groups in a tribe threw big rocks at each other; the goal being to injure an opponent and kill him. This game was used as a form of preparation or training before battle.
During the 1800s, Dr James Carlisle, a missionary working in Africa, spotted the tribals playing this game and realized the strength, agility, quickness, and team building values of it. And when he returned to England to teach at the St. Mary’s College in Norfolk, he made sure his student play a safer and sounder version of this newly acquainted sport by utilizing a soft rubber ball instead of a ton-weighing rock.
However, this sport was still quite different from the modern-day dodgeball in many means - outdoor field, fewer restrictions, etc. but, during an inter-college match held in St Mary’s college, Phillip Ferguson (the man credited with bringing dodgeball to America) saw the sport and suggested some modifications to make it better.
Upon his return to the USA, he formed the official rules and regulations of this sport and helped popularize it across the whole nation. This concludes the origin of modern-day dodgeball.
There are many variations of the game played in different part of the world -
Dodgeball is usually played on a volleyball court, basketball court, fenced area or even on an Australian Rules Football court or soccer pitch. There is no particular or fixed court design for the sport. The court must have a center line, unless it is a variation the sport.