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Dodge, duck, dip, dive...

Watch the movie. Now play.
Andrew Sprague on Saturday 13th February 2010

If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball. No words could sum up the OUSU Dodgeball tournament better. Dodgeball isn't a mainstream sport, I'm sure most people have never even seen a proper dodgeball match beyond the legendary setting of Average Joes' Gym. But it's a game of skill, tactics, composure, and downright determination. You have to dodge, duck, dip and dive your way to victory. And thanks to excellent organisation by Daniel Laue, plenty of money was raised for charity.

St Catz C team came out on top this year, breaking the previous stronghold of the dodgeball champions Teddy Hall. C team by name only, a technical flaw in the proceedings meant the team that entered first was the A team even though they weren't their best players. The early group stages were dominated by quick one sided games as the seeded teams took out the wildcards without losing players, a result that is often referred to in the dodgeball arena as a ‘whitewash'. The group stages ended with little controversy as the big sides progressed to the business end of the day, though it wasn't without its spectacular moments. An unknown lone player pulled out a spectacular double dodge, splitting the two incoming missiles like unwashed and unconditioned hair, to pick up the dodge of the day award.

So the quarters progressed, and a series of strong performances by men with handlebar moustaches meant St Catz took away the victory, and restored pride to the college. But it was the Christ Church teams that initially broke up the Teddy Hall contingency. Christ Church A took out the Teddy Hall C team in the pools, but lost in a quarter final rematch. The House B team made it all the way to the final with some excellent tactical dodgeball, spearheaded by new boy Mark Rambotinitowski.

Initially it was Teddy Hall B ousted in the quarter final courtesy of an outrageously athletic diving catch by Ben Anderson, and then it was farewell to Teddy Hall A after a thrilling and controversial semi final ended in a one vs. one final showdown. It's a metaphor, but that actually happened. However, St Catz, after sweeping past St John's and Teddy Hall C in the quarters and semis respectively, took them down at the final hurdle, turning around the loss inflicted on them by the same team in the earlier group stages.

The final came down to the wire, with early initial tame exchanges. But slowly both teams were worn down to 2 apiece, and with Catz making an excellent catch it was suddenly 3 on 1. Christ Church Man of the Match Bob Hector needed to make a vital catch against 3 opponents to keep their hopes alive. He dodged the first, then went for it. It stuck in his giant mitts, it was back to 2 on 2, and Christ Church smelled victory in the air. Another successful catch would have swung it beyond reach for either side, and Christ Church made the first move. A dive to the side for a fast swerving ball, but it was too good. Bob once again had to save the match, but twice was too much. Catz teamed up and sent in 2 bullets to knock the big man down and to knock Christ Church out.

Christ Church B captain Tom Morris comments ‘At the end of the day, we beat Teddy Hall. Pub?' The wooden spoon went to Brasenose; it really was like watching ‘a bunch of retards trying to hump a doorknob.' (The film's words, not mine!) Patches O'Hoolahan was not available for comment.

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