Perhaps it's not coincidence that the red circle in the Japanese flag resembles a dodgeball. The sport is hugely popular in Japan, especially among school children.
After the recent earthquake in Japan, many American leagues are holding dodgeball tournaments to raise relief finds, including the AZ Dodgeball league. And in homage to Japan's love for the sport, they'll be using Japanese dodgeball rules.
In American dodgeball, if you get hit with the ball, you're out. In Japanese dodgeball, there are boundaries outside each team's square, and if someone on one team gets hit with the ball, they move to the boundary behind the opposing team's square. They then become "rear attackers," so teams can effectively be attacked from both sides. The game goes until one team loses all its players.
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Anyone who wants to learn the game can join and play for $3 per person. The tournament will be held 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, April 14, at the Family Life Center, 15 E. First Avenue in Mesa.
Admission to the game is $5 per person. All proceeds from both nights will go to Save the Children's Japan Earthquake Tsunami Children in Emergency Fund.