Innovations in Dodgeball

Over the past two years, our team has visited trampoline parks all over the world and one thing is obvious: every park we have visited is buzzing with children’s laughter and raucous tribes of little people pinging all over the place. The industry has exploded over the past few years and is still growing, attracting bouncers of all ages and demographics. Trampoline parks are popping up all over the place; from cities to farms to underground caves — and they are massively popular. Not only are they great fun but they’re also an incredible way to keep fit, get active and keep the dreaded screen away.

We were also delighted to see dodgeball courts in almost all the parks we visited; dodgeball is an excellent way to get everyone going at it. There is a problem though - to get a great game going you need at least 4 players (really it needs at least 6) and a referee....if the courts aren’t in use, they can seem a little sad and they take up a lot of space.

I wondered if there was a way we could use our skills in developing technology that might bring dodge ball into the 21st century - with lights, sound and interaction.

And thus, DodgeAttack was born. Rugged Interactive has re-invented the sport with something unique, dramatic and challenging.

We’ve kept it super competitive and fun, whilst minimising the need for supervision and ensuring players from 2 - 12 and more) can play for a fixed time. No more being whistled out in the first 10 seconds.

We took a look at all the factors of the original game that might discourage people from playing and tackled them head on. We found that dodgeball discouraged younger, smaller players, the big kids were taking over the court. The little 'uns often ended up court side and in tears when knocked out early on, so we took away the ‘out’ element.

Face and body shots are no longer the aim of the game as players instead aim for the targets at the other end of the court. Each player in DodgeAttack has a full two minutes of play, therefore maximising game time and keeping everyone engaged. We created lit, robust and interactive targets that can be retro-fitted to any dodgeball court with simple mountings and straight forward connections in a single day. The targets are sensitive and strong, so perfect for players for all abilities and ages. This, combined with automatic scoring on the huge scoreboard with timer and sound unit, removes the need for a referee or marshal as there is always a clear winner.

The kit can also have colour branding that matches the trampoline park. As DodgeAttack can have any number of players from 2 to 16, it makes organising games easier. It isn’t necessary to have even teams and also promotes defence skills as well as attack. We wanted to encourage more teamwork and tactics. It’s all about working together to score as many points as possible in two minutes — simple.

The end result? Players benefit from longer gameplay, less intimidation and more fun. Fixed game lengths keep the action regular and there's no argument about winners.

At Rugged Interactive, we believe dodgeball courts deserve to be full of excited players, and DodgeAttack is just the ticket to brighten up courts and get as many people playing as possible. Our vision? The courts will be inundated with dodging, ducking, dipping, diving and delighted players.

If you like the idea of giving your dodgeball court a turbo boost, you can find out more about DodgeAttack here.

by Simon Heap

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