Critics of dodgeball consider the game a "dangerous sport," but it's really only as sadistic as the person chucking the ball at you. The main thing to remember is: A big rubber ball full of air is flying at your torso. So move. We know from experience that a rock-hard leather tetherball in the schnozz hurts a lot more than a dodgeball, when it comes whipping around a pole at 40 mph. So don't be a wimp -- show your dodgeball cojónes when the Arizona State Fair hosts the New Times Dodgeball Invitational on Saturday, October 22, and Sunday, October 23. Games begin at noon, and the sporting's free with fair admission ($5 to $10). You can get your bruisin' butt in the games, or you can watch your friends play and yell distracting things at them so they get walloped in the noggin. The fairgrounds are located at 1826 West McDowell. Call 602-268-3247 or visit www.azstatefair.com for more information. -- Niki D'Andrea

Blue Birds Return to Roost
Beep, beep

SAT 10/22
While the NHL tries to make you forget about the lockout you never paid attention to in the first place, old-school puck heads know that the most sentimental hockey-related comeback this fall has nothing to do with the Coyotes and everything to do with the Phoenix RoadRunners. The Valley's original professional hockey team is back, this time as part of the ECHL, hockey's premier AA league. Catch history in the present as the RoadRunners kick off their regular-season home schedule versus the Utah Grizzlies on Saturday, October 22, at America West Arena, 201 East Jefferson. Game time is 7 p.m. For tickets or other information, call 602-462-4625 or 480-784-4444, or visit www.phxroadrunners.com. -- Craig Wallach

Peak Performance
Rocky mountain high

SUN 10/23
South Mountain has taunted you for years. The overgrown pile of granite won't stop winking at you with its crimson TV tower lights, mocking your inability to get off the couch and traverse its 58 miles of trails or ascend its 2,690-foot-high crest. Well, it's time to tame that remorseless bitch by strapping on your cross-trainers and competing in the Arizona Road Racers South Mountain Classic on Sunday, October 23. Join other participants in a 20K race or a 5K fun run; awards are presented to the top three male and female finishers in 12 separate age-specific categories. Race-day registration starts at 7 a.m. at South Mountain Activity Center, 10600 South Central, with the competition beginning at 8. Call 602-954-8341 or visit www.arizonaroadracers.com. -- Benjamin Leatherman

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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
Craig Wallach