Dodgeball South Africa will make history this weekend when it sends the first South African teams to compete in the inaugural African Cup of Nations.
The tournament will take place in Cairo and will see the teams face Egypt, Cameroon and Nigeria, while Sudan has had to pull out of the tournament.
The winners in each division (male, female and mixed) will progress to the Dodgeball World Cup at Madison Square Garden in New York City next year.
The event marks the team’s first international tournament, and open tryouts were held before the 21 players were selected. According to Dodgeball SA Directing Manager Nicholas Oebell, some of the players have been playing for less than four months.
“From the open tryouts we found quite a few decent throwers and catchers whom we have developed a little bit and they made the team.”
The organisation is currently mainly operating in Cape Town and Johannesburg, but has plans to expand across the country in the next two to three years by developing clubs, training academies, school tournaments as well as regional tryouts and championships.
Though the team is not currently recognised by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, Oebell says affiliation is definitely a goal.
“It’s quite a long process and we are trying to get affiliation, but we are not supported by any local official bodies yet.”
Dodgeball SA is recognised by and affiliated with the World Dodgeball Association, and started three years ago “as more of an events movement,” says Oebell. The company’s value proposition describes it as a “thrilling, inclusive and social sports movement aimed at uniting diversity and enhancing lives, one ball at a time.”
According to Oebell, the sport is popular because: “It’s non-contact, it’s inclusive with a lot of mixed tournaments and leagues. Anybody can play, you don’t have to be really, really strong or really, really fast. There are different elements to the game which allow for different strengths.” – Tegan Mouton
You can watch the tournament on the World Dodgeball Association Youtube channel.Friday 25th from 3:00 pm-10:00 pm GMT+2Saturday 26th from 11:00 am- 8:00 pm GMT+2