A furious comeback leads TU's Dodgeball sport club to its first national championship
Brandon Kirby can’t help but laugh as rubber balls whiz by his head at high velocity. The sophomore from Hampstead, Maryland, is president of the Towson University Dodgeball Club and spends at least one day a week trying not to get hit in the face.
And while Kirby admits that dodgeball is a bit of a “joke sport,” taking a hit isn’t exactly funny.
“I’ve been hit in the face a few times,” Kirby laughs. “It hurts! But the sport is fun to play. It’s not super serious, but there is still a chance for us to compete.”
The TU team has competed at the highest level of collegiate dodgeball and is now recognized as the country’s top collegiate dodgeball team.
On April 14, the TU Dodgeball Team won its first national championship at the National Collegiate Dodgeball Association tournament. It’s Towson University's second national title in three years after the Men's Lacrosse club team won the National College Lacrosse League championship in 2017.
The No. 2 seed in the tournament, TU upset 10-time reigning national champion Grand Valley State on their home court in Allendale, Michigan. TU fell behind 2-0 early on, but won three straight points to claim the title.
Kirby, who initially was looking to join the club basketball team, celebrated the only way he knew how: storming the court.
“It was awesome,” Kirby says about the celebration. “It was the first year the tournament was professionally filmed. Watching it again was like the end of a basketball game the way we stormed the court. It was an incredible feeling.”
The national championship was the capper for an amazing year that saw TU finish the regular season 23-4 and make it past the NCDA Tournament quarterfinals for the first time.
Formed in 2011-12, the TU Dodgeball Club has seen a steady amount of players each year. This year the team initially started with over 100 recruits to its first meeting. But with the rise of other commitments and schoolwork, the team trimmed its numbers to 40 by the end of the year.
During the season the team plays a schedule against schools like Maryland, Penn State, Virginia and main rival James Madison. It has also traveled across the Atlantic region for contests.
Along with competing, the team is also heavily involved with the community. During the spring semester members volunteered with Charm City Runs on a few races. They have also volunteered for a number of area clean-up efforts.
All Towson University club teams are required by The Office of Campus Recreation to complete 250 hours of community service. Each year the team tries to do more because they appreciate the support they receive from Campus Rec and the Student Government Association.
“We want to give back as much as we can and show how much that support means to us, “Kirby says.
Dodgeball is just one of 34 sport clubs offered at Towson University. Sports clubs range from basketball, volleyball, soccer and rugby to specialty sports like badminton, equestrian and kronum.
Sport Clubs are open to all Towson University students through a sign-up process. Several clubs have been deemed “high impact” by TU Sports Medicine. Members of high-impact clubs need to be medically cleared before they can participate in club activities.
For more information about TU sport clubs, intramural sports or the Burdick Hall facilities, visit the Campus Recreation website.