AZ Dodgeball to Host Tournament for Japan Relief, Using Japanese Dodgeball Rules

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.

​Sam Pewitt, founder of AZ Dodgeball, says he's never played the game using Japanese rules before. "It will be a new thing for us," he says. "But we thought it sounded fun and kind of different. Japanese style dodgeball is so completely different from the way it's played anywhere else."

To help people familiarize themselves with Japanese dodgeball, AZ Dodgeball will hold an open gym from 8 to 10 p.m. Monday (tonight) at the Tempe YMCA, 7070 S. Rural Road.

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.

For more information on Japanese dodgeball rules and the AZ Dodgeball tournament, visit www.azdodgeball.com or www.facebook.com/azdodgeball.

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