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Don't Underestimate Women's Dodgeball Player Shauna Roe

Don't Underestimate Women's Dodgeball Player Shauna Roe

In honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day on Feb. 5, Savage is highlighting some of our favorite female athletes [like Ultimate player Jenny FeySpikeballer Tori Farlow, and disc golfer Hannah McBeth] in some of our favorite sports throughout the week. Next up: Dodgeball player Shauna Roe.

Shauna Roe has been playing dodgeball competitively for around 8 years, playing on the Canadian National Team for 6 years. When she's not hurling balls, the 28-year-old is a full-time advertising copywriter living in Toronto, Canada. Take it away, Shauna!

Savage: How did you get into playing dodgeball? What drew you to the sport? 

Shauna Roe: My first experience with dodgeball, as with most people, started in elementary and high school. In college, I was asked to play on the extramural dodgeball team, who desperately needed girls that year. I actually said no at first! The idea of competitive dodgeball seemed outlandish to me, and I’d never really played a throwing sport before, so I figured there’d be no role for me. At my first practice, I realized there were in fact many roles to be played on the court, beyond knowing how to throw, including catching, calling plays, and drawing in balls.

What drew me to dodgeball was ultimately the persistence of Humber coach, Victor Gravili, who is now the coach of the national program and a good friend of mine. 

Savage: What's unique about being a woman in the world of dodgeball? 

SR: The power of underestimation. I love dodgeball because the game can change in an instant. A catch can bring a 4v2 to a 3v3. Sometimes you’ll see a single player eliminate five opponents to win the game. You really never know what could happen. 

A lot of these moments I see happen with women. In co-ed, we’re often underestimated. A team will leave a female player for last, only to have her make a huge catch. Or a woman you’ve never seen before turns out to have a softball background and therefore has a canon for an arm. 

Savage: How do you think being female in this sport compares to other sports? 

SR: Dodgeball is very much still in its infancy as a sport. In my mind, this gives women an opportunity to define how women play it. I love this article’s POV on why men are, the vast majority of the time, better than women at sports. In short: Sports, especially those well-established, were designed by men, for men*. The rules, the court sizes, the skills involved, and so on. When women enter these sports, they’re playing an adjusted version of a “men’s game,” versus a game designed by women, for women. 

As an increasing number of women have entered competitive dodgeball, I’ve personally noticed differences created between how men play and how women play. The strategies can be different. The play calls can be different. I would even argue the players valued most excel in different skills that are perhaps less valued in a men’s game. 

All this to say, compared to other sports, women in dodgeball can influence the sport to work around them, not the other way around. 

Savage: Are there any challenges to being a woman in dodgeball?

SR: I think the challenges women face in dodgeball are similar to all sports — less popularized, less viewership, a perceived slower or less intense game, to name a few. 

Dodgeball is far from perfect in this regard, but I do see a lot being done to address the challenges, whether it’s putting the women’s final last on the schedule (often men’s is last as a ‘grand finale’), or ensuring an equal amount of men’s and women’s games appear on the live stream. I think little things like that go a long way. 

Savage: Thoughts on bringing more women into dodgeball? Youth initiatives? 

SR: Dodgeball Canada has YMCA youth nights for girls and boys that are run by volunteers and Team Canada players. They’ve also started a Dodge In Schools program, aimed to re-introduce dodgeball into schools as a sport that’s inclusive and skill-building.

After working on a project at work a few years ago relating to indigenous women, I developed a relationship with the Native Women’s Resource Centre in Toronto. Knowing the positive and empowering experience dodgeball has given me, I’ve always wanted to introduce an indigenous women’s team to our leagues, hoping it’s a similar experience for them. 

Savage: What are your hopes for the future of the sport?

SR: I would love to see dodgeball move into a more legitimized space. I would love to see more high-performing athletes migrate to the sport (especially women). I would love to do an interview without the Ben Stiller movie being referenced. I would love to tell people I play dodgeball without having to follow with “yes, I’m serious.” 

I believe dodgeball has the potential to be more universally viewed as a sport (not a game) that requires skill and athleticism, and comes with major entertainment value. Hello, TSN!

Savage: Who are some of your favorite female dodgeball players?

SR: There are many. But today, as I write this, these three come to mind:

  • Hwei Xian, Team Malaysia — Because she never quits, has the quickness on court that I wish I had, and makes really smart decisions at important moments. 
  • Jiji Fayad, Team Australia —Because she’s really fun to watch, makes clutch plays all the time, and has a great amped-up face.
  • Shadae Berkley, Team Canada — Because her work ethic inspires mine daily, she’s a caring teammate who’s always reminding me to keep my chin up, and most importantly, she drives me to practice (I owe her so much gas money, it’s nuts). 

Psst: Shop the Women's Mystery Sale here.

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Photo Recap: Ultimate Dodgeball Championships 2018

Photo Recap: Ultimate Dodgeball Championships 2018

Our friends from Ultimate Dodgeball just shared a whole bunch of photos from the UDC event last weekend, and we're passing along a few of our favorites. Savage was proud to provide gear for this awesome event — and you can still buy your own replica Ultimate Dodgeball jerseys, hats, and more in the Savage shop. Check out all the UDC event photos here.

Ultimate Dodgeball Championship

Ultimate Dodgeball jersey

Women's Ultimate Dodgeball

Ultimate Dodgeball women's jerseys

dodgeball team jerseys

dodgeball uniforms

girls dodgeball

women's ultimate dodgeball

dodgeball skyzone

Ultimate Dodgeball refs

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Dodgeball Talk with UDC Director Jaime Martino

Dodgeball Talk with UDC Director Jaime Martino

We recently sat down to chat with Jaime Martino, the new director of the Ultimate Dodgeball Championship. This awesome event pits 32 of the world’s best dodgeball teams against one another for the chance to win their share of $65,000 in cash and prizes. You can check it out on the Ultimate Dodgeball YouTube channel Aug. 2-5. And you can pick up your official Ultimate Dodgeball Championship jerseys and other merchandise right here on the Savage store!

 

 

 

 

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Savage: So how did you get into playing dodgeball? What's your background in the sport? 

Jaime Martino: I've actually never played organized dodgeball! I got into dodgeball when I owned (and have since sold) three Sky Zone franchises. As a former athlete, I loved the element of competition in the park. I saw an opportunity because people loved it. We took a sport that was traditionally played on a hard gym floor and made it easier and more fun to dip, duck, dodge and dive atop our trampoline playing courts.  

 

Our first park in Fishers, IN was one of the first 20 parks to host local qualifying tournaments when the UDC started seven years ago. Since then I've been a part of growing the event to where it is today: the biggest, most-watched dodgeball event on the planet!  

 

Savage: Are there a lot of women who play dodgeball? Do you consider it a pretty female-friendly sport? 

J.M.: Surprisingly there are! And I have to say a lot of them are better than the guys! They are smaller in general, quicker on their feet, have great arms, and they tend to be more agile! We're really hoping that the new 8 Team Women's Invitational at UDC this year helps show women that this isn't just a sport for the guys!  

 

Savage: Tell us about your new role with UDC. What does that entail? What are your goals for taking over as director? Anything you can tell us about this year's event? 

J.M.: I've served as the assistant director for the last five years, so when the former director took a promotion within Sky Zone and I sold my last franchise, the timing was right to step into the director's role! Our ultimate goal every year is to beat our previous year's viewership of the event! But beyond that I'm really excited about making this more that just a tournament for the participants, I want to make it an event! I don't want to give too many secrets away but we've worked hard over the years to add events scheduled outside of gameplay (i.e. happy hours) that encourage teams to come together, socialize and interact outside of the courts!  

 

Savage: What are some common misconceptions about dodgeball? 

J.M.: I think the biggest misconceptions are that it's just for the guys or that you have to be a really good player to enjoy it. Dodgeball is a game that can be enjoyed by all skill levels, all athletic abilities, male or female. It's a great workout and it's a game of strategy. You don't have to have the strongest arm or the fastest feet, if you can strategize and out think your opponent you can be a very impactful player!

 

Savage: What do you do when you're not playing dodgeball? 

J.M.: I have two fur kids: Teddy & Louis who are my world!  I love to cook, be active, and do anything outside! I have a hard time sitting still.

 

Savage: Any advice for women/girls who want to get into the sport? 

J.M.: Just jump in at game at Sky Zone! We have pickup games going all day, every day! It's a great way to find out if you enjoy it without the commitment of joining a league. And don't be afraid, you're probably better than most of guys out there!

 

Go check out our dodgeball gear right here!

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Dodgeball Descends on Richmond

Dodgeball Descends on Richmond
The National Collegiate Dodgeball Association's Championships are in Savage's hometown of Richmond this weekend, and we couldn't be more stoked to attend. The tournament will be held at VCU, and attendance is free. Check out what the local paper had to say about the event here, and peep some predictions on the NCDA's site. And don't forget to check out our limited-edition Dodgeball Greatest Hits collection right over here. Continue reading

USA Dodgeball's Plans for World Domination

USA Dodgeball's Plans for World Domination
Once upon a time, there were many different dodgeball organizations spread throughout the land. They had different leaders, and different rules, and even different balls. And then one day, a handful of leaders joined forces to create a single unifying governing body in the United States. And that’s how USA Dodgeball was born. Continue reading

Devin Super Tramp: Trampoline vs Dodgeball Parkour!

We’re having one of those giddy moments over here at SAVAGE HQ today, and we want to share that joy with you! To immediately see what’s making us so happy today, check out the Devin Super Tramp production video below.  Eeeeee!!!

 

Our partners over at Skyzone Trampoline Park recently collaborated with the Devin Super Tramp team to make a kick-butt video.  It showcases one of the many things you can do at one of their parks scattered around the country – Ultimate Dodgeball. It’s dodgeball in a multi-directional trampoline pit, and it’s a sports experience all its own.

SAVAGE has for the last 2 years been the official apparel partner for the Ultimate Dodgeball Championships. Each year has been a showcase of sportsmanship, talent, and killer moves. It thrills us to the core that when producing the video, Sky Zone contacted us to outfit their team in SAVAGE fully sublimated tank tops from our Summer Line.

These guys are looking good!

A big shoutout and thanks to our friends over at Sky Zone and the Devin Super Tramp team!

 To get your hands the awesome gear featured in the video, check out the links below!

The Wave Tank | The Triangle Tank

Stay tuned for SAVAGE Apparel at Ultimate Dodgeball Championships in 2017!!

...Hey Devin, hollatchabois...

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Viva Las Vegas: 2016 Ultimate Dodgeball Championship Recap

Viva Las Vegas: 2016 Ultimate Dodgeball Championship Recap

Last weekend SAVAGE spent four days in Las Vegas as the official merchandiser of Sky Zone’s 2016 Ultimate Dodgeball Championship. The tournament brought together the top 53 trampoline dodgeball teams from three different countries to compete for a grand prize of $50,000. Not only did SAVAGE set up a booth and sell apparel, we also provided staff polos and referee jerseys. 

Unfamiliar with the sport? Take gym class dodgeball and mix it with elite athletes, then go ahead and add floors and walls made entirely of trampolines. These ingredients combine to make one exciting sport for both the players and the spectators.


The first two days of the tournament consisted of round robin play to establish seeding. The third day began the start of bracket play. Early Sunday morning, the final day of the tournament, the top eight teams received full sublimation SAVAGE jerseys to play in. While all the teams fought extremely hard, the championship went to DOOM for the second year in a row.

 Congratulations to all the qualifying teams. SAVAGE can’t wait to see you all in Vegas again next year!

Click here for more info on the Ultimate Dodgeball Championships. All photos by Micheal Mason Photography.

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