We’ve often joked that we live in a community where baseball/softball are HUGE and yet not one of our kids has ever swung a bat on a team. My husband was very athletic in school and argues that playing a team sport teaches some essential skills. We have encouraged (maybe even forced) them to try other team skills. Each child has tried something; soccer, basketball or swimming are the ones that have been most successful.
Then along came Dodgeball.
Let me back up a few years. When my oldest children were in high school, they discovered a gymnastics place that had some trampolines to train on and a huge foam pit. Once or twice a week, the place was open for anyone to come play. Being a natural leader, Kayson gathered his friends and took them with him. As parents, we went a few times to observe and even held a few birthday parties there. We were grateful to have a place where people of all levels of athletic ability (or none at all) could do something fun. We could see that there could be opportunities for injury, but not any more than playing on a sports team…and since our kids tended to spend more time on the computer than doing any kind of physical activity, it was a risk we were (and continue to be) willing to take in exchange for some good-old-fashioned EXERCISE.
Here is an early video my son made of their early shenanigans at PPT:
Open Gym was so successful for the business, the owners went on to create Lowe’s Extreme Air Sports where it is open gym most of the time and where we have spent many happy hours.
Fast forward a few years and there is a new gym in town: Get Air Hang Time in Orem, Utah (similar to Lowe’s) and includes a dodgeball “arena” on trampolines. Guess whose kids work there now? Yep, that’s my boys!
With the addition of the dodgeball arena, Kayson and Braden are now pretty darn awesome players and I’ve found that I really love watching this sport! The games are short and sweet and the players are incredibly talented: Is all that eye-hand co ordination from video games paying off in real life after all?!?
Last weekend, the boys took us to Las Vegas where we celebrated Kayson’s 21st birthday by watching the Hang Time teams (Kayson was on team Hang Time and Braden played for The Misfits) compete in a tournament at Sky Zone. Because they needed 10 teams to participate to be able for the winners to qualify for the National tournament (and when we arrived there were only 8 teams registered) we rousted up a few bystanders (including dads, sisters, cousins, coworkers) and created two more teams: The Autistic Avengers and Meat Shields. The team names explain the ability level and purpose, and those two teams ended up 9th and 10th, but the fun was priceless.
How did the other two teams do? AWESOME. And the Hang Time Team won the tournament!
It’s not where we ever expected to go, but we are enjoying Trampolines and Dodgeball right now!