MONMOUTH — Monmouth Academy math teacher Dan Weeks still remembers the thrill of the catch and high of the bounce.
Dodgeball has changed over the years, and even disappeared from many school gymnasiums, but the joy of the game still lives in Weeks’ heart.
“It’s one of the best games ever,” he said.
The game will come alive again Saturday when Weeks and the academy’s Future Business Leaders of America team host the first Monmouth Academy Dodgeball Tourney.
A fundraiser for the March of Dimes and the future business leaders’ state conference this spring, the double-elimination tournament is set to begin at 11 a.m., at Monmouth Academy. Doors open at 10:30. Registration is open to the public, both youth and adults.
Weeks, who advises the future business leaders, said the students were also looking for an opportunity to play the game with old-school rules, which allow teams to blast away at their opponents using air-filled rubber balls.
Those rules have fallen out of favor at a lot of schools. “It’s not as fun as it used to be,” said Weeks, who is 29 and still has fond memories of his hours spent on a dodgeball court.
The game will include referees and even a commentator. Academy students, who have started their own photography and film business, will record the entire tournament with a portable camera that can be attached to a helmet.
“They have almost a dozen of those they’re using plus a helicopter camera,” Weeks said. “I’m pretty excited about that.”
Weeks said the plan is to create a movie and sell copies to the team.
“They’ve had a blast,” Weeks said of planning the tournament. “They’re really excited. It’s pretty much all the rage during lunch.”
Weeks said teams have signed up for 17 of the 32 openings. Registration is $25 in advance for each team of five or $30 at the door. Registration will continue up until the tournament as long as slots are available.
Weeks said there will be cash prizes from $75 to $150 for the first place team, depending on how many teams register. The second-place team will be awarded $25 to $50.
Spectators will be admitted for $2.
“We’re hoping it’s going to draw a crowd,” Weeks said. “Not only people that are playing.”
Weeks said the future business leaders raise money for a charity every year. This year the group decided to support the March of Dimes, which promotes the health of mothers and babies, and to raise money to attend the state conference.
Weeks said the group is already thinking about a spring dodgeball tournament if Saturday’s event proves successful.
“We thought this would be a great opportunity or them to go to the state conference and show the students what we can do with a little organization,” Weeks said.
For information, or to pre-register, contact Weeks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Craig Crosby — 621-5642