Steamboat Springs My dodgeball team didn't get to play this week. And I was crushed.
This probably needs some background: By my count, there are three teams in the Steamboat Dodgeball League with Steamboat Pilot & Today staffers on them.
Two of them are pretty competitive. And then there's my team. We're not very good.
This is a little disappointing for me, having spent the vast majority of my afternoons as a kid playing dodgeball or kickball or some other gymnasium-friendly, red-ball-required sport on the hardwood at the YMCA in downtown Greensboro, N.C. For the last year of high school and the first two years of college, I worked summers and breaks at the same place. And I'm pretty sure the amount of dodging, catching and related skills practiced was more common during that time than it was when I was 8.
So, after working more or less nonstop all week in Steamboat, a community dodgeball league is pretty much the best thing to ever happen. I make a concerted effort to leave work early - and make less money by doing that - just to be able to play (my team missed our game last week because of a tragic misreading of the game schedule). I do all that knowing my team, ranked last, probably doesn't stand much of a chance.
Because really, despite more than a decade of practice at it, I'm terribly clumsy, and that doesn't bode well for catching, throwing or dodging anything, especially something bouncy.
Having seen adult community sports leagues in a few other cities and towns, I have to hand it to Steamboat Springs for being the most laidback and also the most ferociously competitive.
It could have something to do with the emphasis on year-round outdoor recreation, but even the dodgeball league seems a little bulkier than, say, the Washington, D.C., ultimate Frisbee face-off (though the Sierra Club team is pretty killer in that one).
I guess that means taking some time to train before getting involved in any kind of summer softball, beach volleyball or Big Wheel derby leagues. If a single office can produce three teams for dodgeball, I'm not sure I want to know how fiery people get about who's safe and who's out in a game of slow-pitch.
Oh, and I hope my dodgeball teammates don't get down from the above description of our skills. It's going to be a Cinderella season, guys. Team Balls to the Wall (intimidating, I know) is just getting started.