by Amanda Groulx
Camp counsellors are trained to be innovative when dealing with children. Natalie Sutherland uses this strategy to stop adults from cheating at dodgeball.
Sutherland, who graduated from Ryerson’s Food and Nutrition Program in May, is the intramural dodgeball convener and a former camp counsellor.
She has been trying different variations of the classic game in an effort to curtail accusations of cheating by referees and players.
Sutherland said that as soon as intramural dodgeball players hit the court, tempers and attitudes flare.
“It’s like being in Grade 5 again,” Sutherland said. “Last year, I had refs who treated (players) a lot like children, but this year no one wants to deal with it. Nobody should have to treat adults that way.”
Sutherland has created new ways to play dodgeball. She hopes the new rules will limit cheating.
One new game is Siamese dodgeball, a game where players pair up and hold hands while they play.
“The Siamese thing was stupid,” said first-year computer science student Andrei Tudor. “Anybody who had more left-handed people won.”
Jail break, another version being played, was better received. With regular dodgeball rules, this game included a target players could hit to bring “out” teammates back in.
“Jail break was extremely well planned, because even if you get unlucky there’s a chance to get back into the game,” Tudor said.
Dodgeball staff at the Recreation and Athletics Centre have welcomed the new games, saying they saw a lot of cheating in the original system.
“People weren’t being honest getting hit,” said RAC referee Veasna Suon. “The referees can’t keep their eye on everybody.”
“Some people think they can be smart and bend the rules bit,” said Nicholas Henry, a first-year business management student.
Suon predicts jail break will be played again this week, the third in a row.
“We’re always searching for the perfect game,” Sutherland said. “One that everyone enjoys, and no one can cheat.”