New York Teacher Leads Team USA to World Cup of Dodgeball
We all loved dodgeball when we were young, but did you know competitive dodgeball is really a thing?
Much like the 2004 Vince Vaughn movie, there is actually a World Cup of Dodgeball, and Team USA's Captain is a 36-year-old teacher from Ballston Spa, New York.
Rob Immel appeared on CBS2's Snapshot NY where the physical education teacher at Ballston Spa High School went into detail about his love for the sport.
If you didn't know it was an actual sport, you may be surprised that its roots actually go back to Africa over 200 years ago, according to the Ballston Journal. If you thought that one kid from middle school, who always threw the ball at your head, was scary... the origins of the sport saw the tribesmen actually try to maim each other with rocks instead of inflatable red balls, the Ballston Journal Reports.
Today's version of the game isn't as deadly, but it can still be surprisingly intense. Immel said fans of other sports would appreciate dodgeball's "athleticism." He also told CBS:
You’re having multiple dodgeballs thrown at you, and you have to be up in the air, down on the ground before those balls come to you.
Immel's New York Empire have made it to the World Cup for a number of years, where they meet tough challengers from other countries such as Malaysia, according to Saratogian.com. The 2018 World Cup was recently played at Madison Square Garden in early August.
Wikipedia says there are currently two world bodies: the World Dodgeball Federation (WDBF), which uses foam, and the World Dodgeball Association (WDA), which uses cloth.