By PHYLLIS HO
TENSION was in the air when one of the Storm girls got hit by a ball in the finals as they were already on a 3-2 lead against UCSI University’s Devil’s Dukes. But with the marshal ruling that the hit was made after the whistle was blown, the girls from Storm gleefully became the first official Female National Dodgeball Champions.
Held at MINES Convention Centre, Seri Kembangan, Selangor this year, the inaugural Championships was organised by the Malaysian Association of Dodgeball (MAD) to bring all dodgeball clubs together to compete under one roof.
The Taylor’s Lakeside Storm and UCSI Devil’s Dukes were the clear favourites, having dominated the competition in most recent tournaments.
As fate would have it, the two clubs were on different sides of the draw, setting up the possibility of another final meeting between them – both in the male and female categories.
Although Storm’s female team achieved victory over their rivals, luck was not on the side of the male team. They took a 1-0 lead against the UCSI boys, but conceded two games by the second half. Gathering their composure, Storm pulled one back to make it 2-2 just as time ran out.
As it was a draw, a sudden death had to take place where the first to get hit loses the match. The thrilling match ended when the Devil’s Dukes eventually got a shot on target, bagging them the national title.
Later, MAD announced that both Taylor’s and UCSI would represent Malaysia against the Hong Kong All-Starz – the current world dodgeball champions – as they had proved themselves worthy champions at both campus and national level.
The International Dodgeball Friendly between Malaysia and Hong Kong was held last Saturday at Summit USJ, Selangor.
MAD has organised a few international friendlies with their Hong Kong counterparts in the past.
These exhibition matches are held not just to improve the quality of play in Malaysia (by exposing local players to international players), but also to strengthen ties between the dodgeball communities from both countries.
As a gesture of goodwill to the Hong Kong players, the friendly was played with the smaller foam balls used in Hong Kong, instead of the larger cloth-surfaced ones our local players are accustomed to.
With the Malaysian crowd cheering them on, the Malaysia Boleh spirit was evident as the players fought hard to hold their own against the world champions.
In the end, they managed to put up a respectable performance.
Storm went down 10-5 in the female category, and 12-4 in the male category. The players all received medals for their efforts.
Andrea Low, captain of Storm’s female team, remarked: “It was great exposure playing with the World Champions. It truly shows the standard of the Taylor’s girls’ team on an international level, especially playing with a new ball for the first time.”