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February 21, 2012 > Dodgeball hits Milpitas with 'Rec of the Irish'

Dodgeball hits Milpitas with 'Rec of the Irish'

Milpitas throws a St. Patrick's Day dodgeball tournament

By Helen Tracey-Noren

Dodge, dip, duck, dive, and dodge again. These are the basic skills one needs to know in order to succeed at the game of dodgeball, at least according to Patches O'Hoolihan in the movie "Dodgeball." But the same applies to the City of Milpitas Recreation Service's first ever "Rec of the Irish" dodgeball tournament on St. Patrick's Day, March 17.

"The number one rule is to have fun," said Renee Lorentzen, head of Marketing and Cultural Programs for the City of Milpitas Recreation Services. "And to be aware of where the balls are at all times. It's a popular sport right now and it reminds people of being a child."

Lorentzen went on to recall her earliest playground memories of playing dodgeball when she was a child. "I remember I was the last person on my team, and I looked over and saw all those red balls lining up in front of me."

Whether dodgeball is played on the playground as a child or in a gym as an adult, there's no doubt that Milpitas Recreation Services is trying to find new avenues for making fitness fun. "We are constantly looking for new programs and events to keep our community active and interested," Lorentzen said.

The dodgeball tournament is also a way for Milpitas Recreation Services to show how versatile their facilities can be. "We have such a corporate presence, and the employees like to take advantage of our services during the week, so now we're trying to get them here on the weekends" Lorentzen said. "We hope [local companies] can use this tournament as a team-building exercise. We are also partnering with some local restaurants, so that way the teams can play here and then go over to the restaurant to celebrate St. Patrick's Day."

For the tournament, Lorentzen would like to see at least eight teams to "make for a good tournament." But more are always welcome, of course. Teams are comprised of six to ten people, 18 years or older. Each team is guaranteed to play at least two games and nobody will leave empty-handed. Even if players don't win the first place trophy, everyone will receive a tournament t-shirt.

Each game will run between five and seven minutes, monitored by experienced dodgeball referees to ensure that safety is maintained and good, clean fun is being had by all. Though some standing space is available for on-lookers, there will be no audience seating according to Lorentzen.

Players who want to prepare for the big day will "have to find a school yard, or somewhere else to practice," according to Lorentzen. The Milpitas Sports Center will not be offering any classes or practice hours in preparation for the tournament.

But not to despair, the "Rec of the Irish" is meant to be a fun way for people to come together and an alternative to traditional St. Partick's Day celebrations. Dodgeball is a way for people to bond, enjoy themselves, take out aggressions or just to relive childhood memories. And as Patches O'Hoolihand said, "If you master the five D's of dodgeball, then no amount of balls on earth can hit you."

Sign-ups, in-person or by mail-in registration, are Feb. 20-24. The entry fee for Milpitas residents - or teams made up of 51 percent Milpitas residents - is $150 ($170 for non-resident teams). Registration for resident corporate teams is $160.

The "Rec of the Irish" Tournament will be held at the Milpitas Sports Center in the large gym located at 1325 E. Calaveras Blvd. in Milpitas on March 17. Team check-in is at 2 p.m. and the tournament is projected to run from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. For any further information or questions, contact Renee Lorentzen at rlorentzen@ci.milpitas.ca.gov or at (408) 586-3409.

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