Dodgeball growing as competitive sport in Manitoba – Winnipeg

Dodgeball growing as competitive sport in Manitoba – Winnipeg

It’s a sport that many of us have played in gym class, but a growing number of Manitobans play competitively.

“I think a lot of people think of high school when they think of dodgeball, and it goes way beyond that. There is strategy. There is the competitiveness,” said dodgeball player Adriana Mingo on Saturday.

Dodgeball Manitoba hosted its Winnipeg Women’s Provincial Championship at the Dakota Community Center on Saturday. Manitoba’s top three women’s teams will head off to the national championships in April, something Mingo says was not possible in the province just a few years ago.

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“The women’s team is definitely growing. We had six women’s teams this year and eight men’s teams last weekend, so we have almost as many women in the league too,” she said.

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Six players on opposite sides of the pitch compete to be the last team standing.

Veteran Tayler Yuel was one of six Manitobans who helped Canada bring home its first mixed gold last summer.

A total of nine athletes and four provincial coaches represented the country at the 2022 World Dodgeball Championships in Edmonton.

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“We are growing. It’s nice to see our talent being recognized nationally,” said Yuel.

The 27-year-old said many people were surprised the sport was so competitive.

The inclusive and welcoming community is what makes it so appealing, she said.

“This is a sport that anyone, any age, any gender, any size can play and be good at and that’s kind of really beautiful. There are a lot of sports that are very people-focused,” Yuel told Global News.

“Six balls, 12 people. Something always happens. You can really stay engaged with the game,” said player Kahleigh Krochak.

The nine meter wide space does not leave much room to dodge.

“The ball doesn’t hurt when it hits you. I feel like that’s a lot of fear people have,” Yuel said, laughing.

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With more than 110 registered member athletes, Dodgeball Manitoba aims to develop elite athletes capable of competing at both the national and international levels, the organization said in a press release.

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