By CHRISTINE CHEAH
DODGEBALL may have only made its presence in Malaysia over five years ago but the sport has already grown strong enough to produce players to compete internationally.
Recently, the national dodgeball men and women teams did the country proud at the World Dodgeball Invitationals held in Queenstown, New Zealand. They competed against five other countries – Canada, US, Hong Kong PRC, New Zealand and Australia.
For relatively newcomers in the scene, the Malaysian players didn’t fare too badly – the men’s team placed third and the women’s placed fourth in their respective categories.
Malaysian Association of Dodgeball (MAD) secretary Yeo Wai Tat said that players from the other countries have voiced their amazement at the Malaysians’ improvement in the game considering that they are still new kids on the block.
“When I look at the other international teams play, they seem to be more aggressive in attacking and in their dodging techniques as well,” Yeo said.
“I believe that this is a fun sport and anyone can pick it up. It is great to see dodgeball going strong but I hope that more there will be more platforms for players to showcase their talents. Hopefully, it would get more people participating,” he said.
Currently, there are several dodgeball competition held annually in Malaysia – from college invitationals to the National Dodgeball Championships. At the national championships, teams from various states battle to be crowned the national champion and consequently represent the country at the annual World Dodgeball Invitationals.
This year, UCSI men’s dodgeball team Devil Dukes and Taylors University women’s team Storm took to the podium to represent the country.
Devil Dukes captain Ng Chee Keong said that the team didn’t expect to place third as they were defeated by New Zealand in a friendly match prior to the competition.
The earlier trashing proved to be a blessing in disguise as it gave the Devil Dukes a glimpse of what awaited them at the invitationals and had even managed to beat the New Zealand team which placed fourth in the tournament.
First time national champions Storms deem the World Dodgeball Invitationals as the most prestigious competition they had participated in. It was also their first time to compete on an international level.
“We were already nervous competing as the national championships,” said Storm captain Chong Hwei Xian, 21, on the new experience.
Fortunately, the girls did not let their nerves get the best of them and still managed to play well in the tournament.
“I think we did well. We only lost by a point to Hong Kong,” said Chong.