I’m sure by now you have all read the “registration will be delayed while we wait back to hear from our gym partners” message on the front page of the Dodgeball Winnipeg website. The message was put up there while we were waiting for the few suitable open-court venues that exist in Winnipeg to respond to our applications for space.
We got the email at 5:04pm on Monday August 20th from Dakota Fieldhouse that we were waiting for, but unfortunately it was not what we were hoping for. They were unable to award us any of the space we had requested.
Despite the incredible growth in our community and for our sport in the last several years, Dodgeball is still a fledging sport in its infancy. While it is exciting to be on the cutting edge of something new, it also means we struggle to compete with the booking power and recognition of well-established sports like basketball and volleyball.
This unfortunately means that during the winter months, while both these sports are in full swing, we are not able to gain access to the facilities needed to play open-court style. I did consider booking a variety of smaller venues to run single open courts (Broadway Neighborhood Center, running a single open court out of Elmwood or Norberry, etc), however a large portion of our community plays on more than one team per night and it would have resulted in a significant amount of travel time and expense for those individuals.
For this reason, Thursday nights will return to being wall-ball, but the rules changes will stay the same (pure WDBF rulebook, as few house rules as possible). The divisions will remain as Mixed Competitive, Mixed Intermediate, Men’s Competitive, and Women’s. The cost will be the same as regular team-league, and we can all rest easy Thursdays as we won’t be desperately hunting for shaggers.
Despite all these setbacks, I am happy to announce though that Draft will be able to remain as open-court. We will run a single court lengthwise at both Norberry-Glenlee lengthwise and East Elmwood Community Centre. Both venues have offered to let us set up net stands if necessary. Draft will have a hard limit of 12 teams though, as we can run 4PM-6PM at Norberry and 3PM-7PM at EECC if necessary.
Open Court is is very near and dear to my heart. I love this format and the challenges it brings. I am very grateful for the opportunity Dakota Fieldhouse has provided us as a community, introducing many people to this style of play for the first time. Fieldhouse has guaranteed us space back in the Spring, in no small part due to the friendly, respectful and frankly amazing community of people that come out to play dodgeball.
In the meantime, I will continue to look for suitable Open Court space for Winter season. I look forward to the day when Dodgeball reaches the same level as basketball and volleyball, and have no doubt that our community here in Winnipeg will play a huge role in getting us there.Thank you for your understanding, registration will open officially tomorrow (August 24th) at 12:00 noon.
Managing Director of Dodgeball Winnipeg