Between drinking beer, hanging out with friends and dodging flying, colorful balls, nearly 200 adults harnessed their inner child when they competed in the first Wichita DodgeBrawl tournament Saturday.
The one-day, double-elimination dodgeball tournament, hosted by Intrust Bank Arena, allowed teams to play for the charity or nonprofit of their choice, and the top three team’s charities received a donation from the tournament.
“The competitive balance here is phenomenal, and all these people just having a good time and being out here supporting their charity, it’s phenomenal,” said Chris Carney, coach of his family’s team.
Of 27 teams, Carney’s team dipped, ducked and dodged its way to third place and a prize of $500 to be donated to its charity of choice, the Salvation Army.
Second place went a team that played on behalf of Wichita Children’s Home, which received $750 from the tournament. Team “Spandex Ball Squad” claimed first place and a $1,000 donation for its charity, the Kansas Humane Society.
The tournament raised money for the charities through corporate sponsorships and player registration, which cost $35 per person. The event was run by Intrust Bank Arena’s management company, SMG, out of Philadelphia. The company has hosted the event at several of its properties across the country, and because the tournaments were so successful and raised money for charity, the company decided to bring it to Wichita, said Christine Pileckas, director of sales and marketing.
Fifteen Wichita Army Reserve members were referees for the tournament. Sgt. 1st Class Greg Throckmorton said their job was to call players out when they got hit, make sure players stayed inside the court and keep players from cheating.
“My favorite part (is) being out here in the community, meeting people, just having a good time,” he said.