Parks and Rec department hosts co-ed dodgeball

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The city of Hattiesburg’s Department of Parks and Recreation is hosting a co-ed dodgeball league. The teams require a minimum of six players per team with at least two members of the opposite gender.

The league season begins on Tuesday, March 7. The cost is $150 a team with registration closing Friday, March 1. Matches will run Thursday evenings at the Ben McNair Center.

“We started adult co-ed dodgeball last March,” the innovative programs coordinator Kristen Nooe said. “Everyone had a lot of fun last year, so we had to do it again this year.”

Nooe said the this dodgeball league is not the first co-ed sport hosted by the Department of Parks and Recreation and they have also done volleyball, basketball, softball and dodgeball.

“All the new programs we’ve come out with were started to offer more innovative programs for the young professionals in the area,” Nooe said. “Dodgeball was a fun memory from when we were younger and in elementary school.”

Teams from the past year got into the sport by dressing in shorts and wearing headbands.

All of the programs have had the impact on the area Noee was looking for. “Mayor Barker is looking to make Hattiesburg a premiere city in the South, and this is part of it. Programs give people more reason to stay here.”

For the time being, dodgeball will be held inside the Ben McNair Center only. There are no areas outside that can accommodate a dodgeball game.

“We played around with working with construction to build a wall that is strong enough but portable enough to move each game,” Nooe said. “Logistically, we figured we would keep it as a cold weather sport that we can do indoors so people can still be active.”

Iyanna Marshall, a freshman psychology major, said a dodgeball team would be a good addition to the community.

“Dodgeball is one of the more unifying team sports,” Marshall said. “It is a lot of fun and is a good way to get everyone together.”

Preston Cox, a senior public relations major, thinks a dodgeball league would be a good way to get out into the community. “I think dodgeball is a simple enough game anyone can pick it up,” Cox said. “I think it’s good. It’s co-ed, so anyone can get involved.”

“Dodgeball is perfect. It is so fun and so simple,” Cox said. “I think anyone can pick it up and be good at it.”

Marshall said dodgeball can help students relieve stress. “Personally, even though it is the beginning of the semester, the workload is a lot,” Marshall said. “To have an opportunity to wind down and be around other students and community members would be a good way to get students out of their dorms and into the world.”

For information about the dodgeball league, call 601-467-7879 or go to http://cityofhpr.siplay.com to register.